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Double Happiness: One Man's Tale of Love, Loss, and Wonder on the Long Roads of China

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  20 reviews
At twenty-two, Tony Brasunas had never left the United States, taught a class on anything, or spoken a word of Chinese. The journey that changed him forever, that broke open his heart and awakened his mind, began in a high school classroom in hot, coastal Guangzhou, China, and culminated on the plateaus of Tibet.

A journey into the heart of a changing China and through the
Paperback, 1st, 350 pages
Published December 12th 2013 by Torchpost
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Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
This isn't your usual account of overseas encounters. For one thing, author Tony Brasunas had never been overseas (nor taught any classes) before he journeyed to China as a teacher. What he did do was grow up on a commune in West Virginia: likely it was this flexibility and difference that contributed to his successful sojourn.

His formative years evoked a 'dragon's fire' of passion for exploration and change: a passion that lasted even after the commune failed and he and his parents parted ways.
Gabriella Gricius
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Why Read: I was offered this book to read by Closed The Cover, a great company, who gave me the chance to read and review it. Probably I would have found my way to the book eventually because armchair travel book and all that, but I’m so glad I got the opportunity to give it a shot (because let me tell you, China has never seemed so interesting).

Review: I normally don’t read so many books on Eastern Asia, it’s always been areas such as Eastern Europe or Southern Europe that have captured my inte
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
As a child of a military parent I am not a stranger to adventuring into the unknown. I have a great love for the ‘road less traveled’ and a great respect for neighboring cultures. Throughout my lifetime my entire family has held a strong bond with Asia; whether it be my father’s knowledge of the Far East, my Japanese aunt, or my Cambodian sister-in-law. I enjoy the traditional stories of these countries, but have never really taken a second look at China. This book is an interesting recollection ...more
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
To many people, the concept of traveling to another country to work and live for a period of time is fascinating but unfathomable. Tony Brasunas actually embarked on such a journey, and brings his experiences into focus in all their poetic and, sometimes harsh, glory. Through his own words, we meet him as teacher, scholar, stranger and friend. We witness his struggles to acclimate and adapt in a foreign land. He gives us insight into his most poignant struggles and triumphs; even the most seemin ...more
James Anderton
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: china, travel
This was a very engaging read, one of the best books I've read in a while. I'm a fast reader and don't always slow down for descriptive passages, but the imagery is great and vivid -- I felt like I was right there with him in China, strumming a guitar in a classroom, walking and smelling the streets, climbing the mountains. The writing was often funny too -- I found myself laughing out loud at several passages.

The writer is young and brings a young perspective to a lot of his interactions with p
J. A.  Lewis
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Brasunas is a superb writer leaving nothing to the imagination. You will be transported to China and all the richness of color, smell and personalities he met along the way. Only complaint was length. I began to grow weary towards the end.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I received a copy of Double Happiness from the Closed the Cover book tour.

I’ve always wanted to travel… but I don’t want to visit mainland China. I don’t actually want travel anywhere farther than the other side of the country – I’m what you’d call an armchair traveler. (Thank goodness I have books, right?) Double Happiness captures the essence of Chinese culture and China at the end of the 20th century through words that effectively stimulated all of my five senses. Tony’s descriptive prose sha
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, non-fiction, adult
I’m really happy that I decided to read this book. It surprised me in so many levels that the best thing to describe it is that it opened my mind. This book is not just entertaining, but educational, and most of all it makes you question things and go deep into yourself.

My absolute favourite thing about it is that it allows you to learn so much about a culture that is very different from ours. I mean, I’m not American, but I’m still occidental, so you get the point. Sometimes it was hard for me
Billy Buttons
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Here's what the readers thought:

Title: Double Happiness: One Man’s Tale of Love, Loss and Wonder on the Long Roads to China
Author: Tony Brasunas
Star Rating: 3.5 Stars
Number of Readers: 16
Editing: 7/10
Style: 6/10
Content: 9/10
Cover: 8/10
Of the 16 readers:
11 would read another book by this author.
12 thought the cover was excellent.
8 felt the writing style was excellent.
9 felt it was an insightful read.

Readers’ Comments
‘Excellent story. Ve
There are times where I like going out of my comfort zone for certain genres. For me, this was one of those I took a chance on as a way to perhaps learn something a bit more. I’m glad I did because I found the author's dedication to detail as well as devoting so much effort to making the reader feel like they were taking the journey with him. To travel in unfamiliar places can be difficult on its own, but as someone who is attempting to do something positive, it can be even more difficult. There ...more
Michelle Bowles
It's hard to believe but there are many people who have never been outside this country. Their only perception of the outside world is through books or images they see on the television. If you have traveled the world like me, than you know there is no greater beauty than experiencing these places first hand. For those who may never get the chance, when you read a book like Double Happiness, for many places that fill your dreams, you get the opportunity to live vicariously through the author.

Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: people, asian
****I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway****

In Double Happiness, Tony Brasunas tells his story of growing up in America and deciding to explore the world. His first journey outside the US took him to China to teach English. With his lack of teaching experience he found it difficult to control the class and often received notes of advice from the students. He also tells of culture shock, worries about food, and experiencing extreme illness. At the end of the school year h
Chris Calverton
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: china
A wonderful journey through China here, evocative, inspiring, and even a bit magical. Personally I was already familiar with most of the cultural and historical elements of China and Chinese life that Brasunas discovers, and the story takes place over a decade ago, but there is a compelling freshness in the curiosity he brings to his encounters with everyone he meets that took me back to my first time abroad (in Japan). And his writing style is so vivid you feel like you're right in the classroo ...more
April (The Steadfast Reader)
Full review here:

Since I love to travel and have long had a fascination with China I jumped at the chance to read Double Happiness. I'm glad that I did. This is a memoir and a travelogue but it's also more than that. Honestly, it reads more like a novel than it does a memoir, which is good. There is plenty of action and crazy things happening, but underneath it all is a sense of peace and understanding.
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. His ability for self-reflection and contemplation are so rare this day. Even so, his characterization really hit the spot. For instance, every time one fellow traveler left his side, it was as though another person had fallen from the earth. It was quite depressing at times because you became so attached to each character. His descriptions make me hope -- and I intend -- that I can travel to the same places. Hopefully they present just as much mystery to me as they did t ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Artistically written memoir with amazing descriptions of the landscape, his emotions and experience. What I found disappointing was that he repeatedly mentioned his love for his camera and taking photos yet not a single shot was included, which I consider a must for memoirs and travelogues.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
**** Received a copy of Double Happiness as a part of GoodReads Giveaway ****

Fantastic read! Its one of the best memoirs i have read.The way the author describes his amazing discoveries about the people, things , culture and many more... in Chinese provinces is quite interesting .
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poetic tale about a year in china

Nice book about a boy teaching english in china, after which he travels extensively through china and Tibet. A poetic way of writing.
Anne Lawrence
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Overall I am glad I read this book. I was very impressed with some chapters and very disappointed with others.
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Inspiring! Plus, it has beautifully-crafted writing. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a bit of cheering up, and anyone who loves to read travel books, as I do.
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Sharon Loya
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Sep 30, 2014
Tom Carter
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Tony Brasunas grew up at Claymont, an intentional spiritual community in West Virginia. He attended a large public high school in Atlanta and graduated from a small New England college.

His writings have appeared in numerous publications. Double Happiness, his first book, won Best Memoir at the Paris Book Festival, ForeWord Travel Book of the Year Silver Winner, and Best Travelogue at the Indie Exc
“We fear what we long for. This is the paradox.” 2 likes
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