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NOTES FROM A DYSLEXIC PUBLISHER #10

NOTES FROM A DYSLEXIC PUBLISHER #10

Posted: 2022/01/04

The Point

As a publisher, sometimes you come across projects that can
unexpectedly reshape the direction of your company and your life.
Take the subject of macrobiotics and your health—Part Two.


In the 1980s and ’90s, I worked with Stephen Blauer—the then-director of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston—on Ann Wigmore’s health books and then later his own titles. Stephen was the one who opened my eyes to the important role food plays when it comes to one’s health. I had grown up listening to all kinds of TV and radio commercials that equated fast foods, desserts, candy, and sodas to everything that made someone feel good. I was hooked—that is, until my experiences working with Ann and Stephen at the Institute began to show me the negative impact these “foods” could have on my body. With their help, I started to recognize how these ads had encouraged me to eat foods that were both addictive and unhealthy. But the interesting thing was that I was not alone. The “alternative health movement” was just beginning to gain national attention.

In reading an article published in a magazine called The East West Journal, I came to learn about a Japanese culture-based approach to health called Macrobiotics.  As it happened, one of the leaders in this movement was also located in Boston. His name was Michio Kushi. I called Stephen on the phone soon after reading that article, and he assured me that macrobiotics was in fact growing steadily in popularity. “Check into it for yourself on your next visit to us in Boston,” Stephen suggested. I was definitely curious.

Soon after, I learned that Mr. Kushi headed a learning center that was located only a short distance from Hippocrates. I called the Kushi Center, explaining that I was a book publisher and was interested in talking to Mr. Kushi about any writing plans he might have. I left my number and said that I would be happy to drive up from New York if there were any interest. The next day, I received a call back—and an invitation to come up and meet with Mr. Kushi and his staff.

The Macrobiotic Center was located in a large beautiful building, which I learned was once a finishing school for young women. I was greeted at the door by a staff member and taken into the library. There sat several men on a couch, all dressed in business suits. I was then introduced to a gentleman named Ed Esko who, in turn, took me over to the couch and introduced me to the other men—one of whom was Michio Kushi. It was a far more formal setting when compared to the relatively relaxed atmosphere over at Hippocrates.

Initially, I did all the talking—I explained who I was, and what my company did. I had taken a few sample books with me, along with a catalogue, as evidence that we were a solid independent book publisher. Once I was done, Michio spoke. He asked me if I knew anything about macrobiotics, and I said only what I had read in a magazine. He nodded his head and gave me a smile. He then gave me a brief explanation of what macrobiotics was based upon and how the world, our diets, and our health are to a great degree reliant on a balance of two natural forces—yin and yang. I listened but wasn’t exactly sure how that worked. For the most part, I was still working on Ann Wigmore’s raw vegan diet.

One of the other seated gentlemen, a kind-tempered fellow named Bill Tara, handed me a few books that Michio had translated into the English language that were produced by a publisher located in Japan. He said that the problem with the Japanese company was that they had very little representation in the US, and relied solely on his Macrobiotic center to market and sell the books. While they were selling copies, they were limited to only the handful of other macrobiotic centers located around the country. I asked to have a few copies to read, and concluded by saying that I felt my company could definitely do a better job in marketing any future titles, if Mr. Kushi was thinking of writing any more books. I said I would be coming back up in a few weeks and if it was okay, we could continue the conversation.  And that was the beginning of another aspect of health about which I was about to learn a good deal more.

I did not know very much about macrobiotics at that point, but I wanted to learn. To a great degree, the books I took back with me gave me a far better idea of what this approach actually entailed. The problem was that the Japanese publisher didn’t seem to have an editor proficient enough in English to make the copy more accessible. This made the books rather difficult to read—particularly for someone like me, who is dyslexia.

As I was to learn, macrobiotics as a philosophy is rooted in Japanese, Far Eastern, and other traditional cultures. Among many of its aims remains the achievement of good health through a diet of whole grains, local fresh land and sea vegetables, and beans. Unlike the Hippocrates raw vegetarian diet, the macrobiotic diet required cooking. There were several macrobiotic restaurants in the Boston area, and I would have lunch at one every chance I had on my trips there. It was definitely a learning experience.

A few months later, after which I had established a working relationship with Michio, I was given a manuscript on oriental diagnosis—and soon after that, a separate and more extensive manuscript on the overall topic of macrobiotics. My editorial team worked hard to make sure that all these books were made as accessible as possible for the general reader. On a personal level, I also learned that perhaps there should be more balance in the way meals are consumed. Raw foods had their place, but so did the right foods cooked properly. And as it turned out, my publishing house caught the macrobiotic movement at the right time. These first two titles unexpectedly became bestsellers, as did many of the other macrobiotic titles we would publish.

In addition to learning from Michio, I remain thankful to all the other macrobiotic educators with whom I have worked over the years. Each has broadened my view of health, and the positive ways in which we all can live our lives. And as you can see from the titles below, my commitment to macrobiotics remains as strong as ever. Still, though, I had one more crucial lesson to learn about health . . .

To see some of my previous posts, I invite you to visit our website at www.squareonepublishers.com, and click the NOTES FROM” tab.


The Book of Macrobiotics

The Book of Macrobiotics is a passport to a world of infinite understanding and adventure. It has been read, reread, studied, and treasured by hundreds of thousands of people who seek a clear, comprehesive approach to the problem of living in a world of endless change.Now after two decades, The Book of Macrobiotics has been completely revised and expanded to reflect refinements in Michio Kushi's ...
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9780757003424 Paperback
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$17.95

Macrobiotic Home Remedies

It is simple in its approach and powerful in its effect—a diet of natural foods and the use of non-invasive home remedies made from natural food products, designed to eliminate many symptoms of disease and strengthen your body’s healing power. It is a philosophy of healing rooted in centuries-old traditions. In the past, these traditions were passed from generation to generation by word of ...
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9780757002694 Paperback
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The Do-In Way

Dō-In is an ancient traditional exercise for the cultivation of physical health, mental serenity, and spirituality. Over the last 5,000 years, it has served as the origin of such well-known disciplines as shiatsu, acupuncture, moxibustion, yogic exercises, and meditation. Literally meaning to pull and stretch, Dō-In originated as a way of achieving longevity and attaining the highest potential ...
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9780757002687 Paperback
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Unexpected Recoveries

For more than three decades, Tom Monte has been a leading writer, teacher, and counselor within the natural healing community. As a national best-selling author, he has helped bring to the public’s attention the work of many cutting-edge doctors, medical researchers, and scientists. As a teacher and counselor in the use of natural healing methods, he has worked with thousands of individuals and ...
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9780757004001 Paperback
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One Peaceful World

No matter where we live or what language we speak, food is an essential factor that shapes the way we think, feel, act, and respond to one another. In this milestone book, Michio Kushi presents his vision for building world peace through a sane way of eating. As the leader of the modern-day international macrobiotic movement, Michio has taught, lectured, written, and worked steadily to achieve ...
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9780757004407 Paperback (Trade paperback (US))
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$17.95

How to Eat Right & Save the Planet

“In no other book will you find such a comprehensive discussion of the key factors that should be driving our food choices.”J. Morris Hicks, author of Healthy Eating, Healthy World“This is an absolute must read for anyone who is concerned about the environment, suffering of animals and human and non-human health.”Anteneh Roba, MD, Founder of the International Fund for AfricaThe ethical wasteland ...
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9780757004865 Paperback (Trade paperback (US))
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Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea Cookbook

You are invited to come aboard one of America’s premier health cruises. Too busy to get away? Even if you can’t swim in the ship’s pool, you can still enjoy its gourmet cuisine, because natural foods expert Sandy Pukel and master chef Mark Hanna have created Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea Cookbook—a titanic collection of the most popular vegetarian dishes served aboard the Holistic ...
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9780757002878 Paperback
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$16.95

The Miso Book

For centuries, the preparation of miso has been considered an art form in Japan. Through a time-honored process, soybeans and grains are transformed into thiswondrous food, which is both a flavorful addition to a variety of dishes and a powerful medicinal. Scientific research has supported miso’s use as an effective therapeutic aid in the prevention and treatment of a range of disorders. Part ...
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9780757000287 Paperback
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Cooking with Seitan

Seitan (pronounced say-tan) is a spectacular meat substitute with a look, taste, and texture that satisfies the heartiest of appetites. Derived from wheat flour, seitan is naturally nutritious and low in fat, cholesterol, and calories. Perhaps best of all, it is amazingly adaptable and can be seasoned and prepared to fit into any menu. Cooking with Seitan provides a wonderful introduction to ...
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9780757003042 Paperback
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The Big Beautiful Brown Rice Cookbook

Every once in a while, restaurant patrons are offered a simple menu choice: “Would you like that with white or brown rice?” And all too often, the brown rice that appears on the plate, while healthful, is far from a culinary treat. But brown rice can be as tempting as it is beneficial. To prove the point, best-selling cookbook author Wendy Esko has put together a spectacular collection of her ...
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9780757003646 Paperback
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I Used to Have Cancer

By all standards of success, James Templeton seemed to have it all. He was a highly successful businessman, had a beautiful wife and daughter, and, only in his early thirties, had his whole life in front of him. To avoid the same fate as his father and grandfather, who both died of heart attacks at a young age, James became an avid runner—a passion that he believed helped him stay fit and ...
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9780757004780 Paperback (Trade paperback (US))
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$16.95

Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy

The best-selling memoir Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy tells the fascinating story of actor Dirk Benedict’s journey from the big sky country of Montana to the hustle and hype of Hollywood. It also describes his odyssey of self-discovery and growth as he changes from struggling actor to celebrity, from meat eater to vegetarian, from cancer victim to cancer victor. Brilliantly ...
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9780757002779 Paperback
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My Beautiful Life

As a top academician, Mina Dobic led a privileged life, but that changed when she was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her liver, bones, and lymph system. Given two months to live by her physicians, Mina rejected conventional treatments and decided to adopt macrobiotics. Six months later, Mina Dobic was cancer free. My Beautiful Life both explains how Mina ...
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9780757002441 Paperback
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Embracing Menopause Naturally

We are familiar with its symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, and more. While menopause triggers physical changes, it also brings forth spiritual issues that, for many women, mark a redefinition of the feminine self. To address the impact of menopause, Gabriele Kushi has created a practical guide to dealing with this special time. The author first provides a clear understanding of the overall ...
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9780757002960 Paperback
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