I’ve written a couple books before, and so I am no stranger to the nervous energy of waiting for reader response to what I have somehow managed to “push out there”. In the age of digital instant responses, it is possible to get some rather brutal feedback. That gives me a moment of pause… but then again, I also would like to think that I would just publish anyway, regardless of what might be said.

I have stepped on a few toes along the way, so having a book out there in the wilderness, like an unguarded pup makes for a tasty morsel for would-be predators, makes me a little uneasy.

But so far, so good. I am very very very happy to hear that the book, “Your Pilgrimage in Japan: A Regular Canadian on the 88 Temple Buddhist Pilgrimage of Shikoku” (and candidate for longest title of book in recent history), is being favourably received. I want to share a few with you here.

The first is a nice email I received from a Mr. Les Heap. He kindly writes:

Hi Mark,
I am from Australia, 73 years old married to a Japanese and love traveling Japan.
Just finished reading your book I purchased on Kindle and thank you for all your information. I have also read many other books like the ones you suggested.
I too have done the SHIKOKU 88 a few times and still found the book interesting as there are so many thing to see at each temple and the book explains many things I didn’t know.

(edit: personal information removed)

Your book has now inspired me to go  back and complete my third Pilgrimage but using public transport and walking this time.

(edit: personal information removed)

Les Heap

Les also sent me a nice photo of himself on the trail:

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I was really glad to get this email, and know that the book has use for someone who has already become quite familiar with Shikoku and the pilgrimage!

And on my Twitter feed I got this gem:

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But the best response I got so far was from Bert Almon, my dear professor of many years back, and dear friend, a poet and guide, when he simply wrote via Messenger, “I loved it”. That made my week. Bert Almon is one of those rare people you meet in life, who just by being true to whatever moment he is in, brings light, mirth, and awareness in every meeting. He gets me laughing every time within five minutes whenever we can get together.

So, now I guess I can handle the rougher reviews for my amateur book when they come.

If you have gotten the book and enjoyed it, I would love to hear from you. If you have the book and hate it, you have my apology, and a promise to provide soy flavoured snacks should you come to Kagawa prefecture to collect. I promise. They are delicious.

The book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Your-Pilgrimage-Japan-Canadian-Buddhist/dp/1701297779/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=your+pilgrimage+in+japan&qid=1576041171&sr=8-1

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