Shawna Yang Ryan
Author of Water Ghosts, Green Island
What a delight! Joshua Samuel Brown and Stephanie Huffman offer readers an affectionate, clear-eyed view of Taiwan that highlights its complexities, its eccentricities, and its wonders. Structured as a dual-voiced narrative, Formosa Moon is as much the story of a relationship forged by the act of travel as it is about Taiwan. A must-read for both returning and first-time visitors to Taiwan.
Author of The Feng Shui Detective, The Curious Diary of Mr. Jam, The Kama Sutra of Business
By rights, a Far East travelogue written by a couple of aging American flower children should rank highly on the Books Not To Publish list. But Joshua is a veteran Gonzo journalist and his partner Stephanie a courageous ingénue with a taste for the weird. The result is a clever, offbeat and very funny introduction to Taiwan that’s hard to beat for sheer readability. A must for any Taiwan lover’s bookshelf or fan of well-done travel writing in general.
Author, First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life
"Formosa Moon is more than just another wonderful travel book about Taiwan. It is armchair travel at its finest with a delightful He Says/She Says twist. Like the beautiful island itself, Formosa Moon will surprise and delight you at every turn. You don’t have to know Taiwan or even have any plans to ever visit the place to love this book. But after reading Formosa Moon you might feel compelled to make the trip yourself."
“Joshua Samuel Brown and Stephanie Huffman have pulled off something remarkable: A love letter to Taiwan grounded in deep experience and fresh eyes. A beautiful book for the beautiful island.”
Bookish Asia. The East Asia Book Review
Formosa Moon is a singular book, a quirky mix of memoir, travelogue, and practical travel information. It’s well written, immensely likeable, and informed. The pairing of new eyes with an old Taiwan hand works beautifully. Of course, having a good idea and executing it effectively are two different matters. This is where Brown’s writing talents come in. He has a good nose for anecdotes, story hooks, segues, and funny phrasing.
Travel writer and author of Indolirium and One Breath: Freediving, Death and the Quest to shatter Human Limits
Like the island nation at its center, Formosa Moon is a delightful enigma, a memoir of love, travel and resettlement, and a permission slip to chuck it all, and move halfway around the world to save your soul. Or at least to look for it. Josh and Stephanie are seekers above all else, and as they seek out and reveal Taiwan's cultural curiosities and natural gifts they'll inspire you to travel (preferably to Taiwan), listen deeply, and never, ever take yourself too seriously.
Editor: Arts Journal: The Daily Digest of Arts, Culture & Ideas
“Pure delight. Read it for the quirky, entertaining, and wholly unique stories. Stay for the original insights of a seasoned traveller and the unwitting generous accomplice he talks into accompanying him. Their duelling reflections and perspectives, presented in an unconventional he said/she said format draws you in to every page.”
Formosa Moon is two endearingly peculiar love stories between three characters told as a travelogue. The characters are Joshua and Stephanie, a quirky artistic couple from Portland, and Taiwan a quirky subtropical island in East Asia. The tale of the couple's cautiously blossoming romance is told alternately from each person's point of view as they're seduced by Taiwan's bizarrely heartwarming charm. The story is filled with surprising serendipity, such as holiday celebration with an excessively-athletic and disarmingly kind local cult, and a visit to a traditional Chinese fortune teller who predicts that Stephanie will cuckold Joshua and encourages the couple the accept this fate with unusual enthusiasm. And then there are the puppets. So many puppets. Puppet masters, puppet fratricide, puppet genocide, puppet brothels, and Taiwan's little-known heritage of politically subversive puppet performances. Charming, endearing, and effortlessly readable, Formosa Moon can only be summed up with one phrase: it's not what you expect.
Sex educator, coach, and author of Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships
“While this is a book about travel and about place, having been co-authored by a couple also makes it a book about relationships (my personal speciality.) From the first pages you get a glimpse not only of what planning a life changing move is like, but what it means to negotiate for your needs in a relationship.
This book had a magical power over me, both igniting my wanderlust while simultaneously deepening my love for Portland. I dare you to read it without taking notes - mental or otherwise - about the sights you’re eager to see for yourself. Not only do Joshua and Stephanie’s words paint vivid pictures, but to my surprise and delight the book is full of glorious color photographs that deepen the experience of reading about these places. While Formosa Moon tells a lovely story of a person showing his partner the adopted home he loves, it’s also full of concrete tips and suggestions about locations and festivals to help you plan your own visit.”