Spinning Karma, a religious satire, available now through Amazon, Camphor Press and at your local bookshop. (Audiobook coming soon!)
“Maybe it’s not surprising that I so readily fell into this story about a reluctant American cult guru who runs into unexpected complications on a trip to Taiwan, because I happen to be, in real life, a reluctant cult guru who ran into unexpected complications on a trip to China. What did surprise me was the vivid writing, so rich in detail that it caused me both kinds of flashbacks (the exquisite, and the terrifying). “
~ Rev. Ivan Stang, Sacred Scribe #273 of The Church of the SubGenius
“I heartily recommend this cynical and funny book! If you don’t read it the winds of change shall destroy your serenity (or something of that nature).”
~ Eddie Pepitone, The Bitter Buddha
“Anyone conversant with the spiritual journeying of the past 40 or so years, and aware of modern media hijinx and political realities will find ‘Spinning Karma’ a delightful and insightful read. Readers will find familiar characters and archetypes thinly disguised in this kind yet mischievous, funny yet serious paradoxical parable.”
~ Steve Bhaerman aka Swami Beyondananda, Author and Comedian
“Joshua Samuel Brown’s first novel is a fast-paced, hilarious and highly cynical ride that hits too close to reality despite its absurdist shenanigans. It covers a lot of territory and pokes fun at a wide range of phenomena within its 240 pages, but the book can be devoured in one go without much problem. Nothing is as it seems as Brown hurls the reader through countless twists and turns, and the narrative flows and makes sense despite the madness that unfolds up until the very end.”
~ Han Cheung, Taipei Times Review of Books
Through Taipei streets I cycle erratically, in between guidebook gigs and en route to an interview for a writing gig for which I am vastly overqualified. The trip gives me time for some high speed meditation, my mind awash with … Continue reading
Quick repost of a twitter thread I put on twitter the other day concerning the ongoing discrimination against Taiwan by the World Health Organization and subsequent attempts by the WHO to re-frame the issue as a racist attack by Taiwan … Continue reading
Where does the time go? It’s been exactly one year since Formosa Moon, our groundbreaking dual-authored tale of love and strange adventure around Taiwan was published. Since coming out with a pre-order bang, Formosa Moon has ranked consistently high in … Continue reading
The timing of today’s earthquake in Taiwan was particularly weird, striking as it did at 1:01 PM, about 45 minutes into a luncheon at the Nikko Hotel hosted by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Though former Congressman Paul Ryan had … Continue reading
Joshua Samuel Brown (Vignettes of Taiwan, Lonely Planet Taiwan) and Stephanie Huffman cordially invite you to a casual meet, greet and author reading from Formosa Moon at The Community Services Center – Taipei. Published by Things Asian Press, Formosa Moon … Continue reading
The tradition of running blatantly false news headlines on April First probably started with the English, because most things that are funny and involve
were started by the English.
In my two years as Editor-in-Chief of Taiwan Scene, I've tried to carry on the tradition, despite the tradition has far less cultural traction in Taiwan. Continue reading
An early rejected story of mine concerning Beijing Starbucks in 2002 and having to listen to The Eagles on continual replay. Gonzo journalism at its finest! Continue reading
Weird spots pique my interest as a travel writer. Which is probably why I wound up here. Taiwan has no shortage of unique travel destinations. A few months back, my good friend Tobie Openshaw forwarded me an email he’d gotten … Continue reading
A Nihilists Guide to Sun Moon Lake is a story that didn’t make it into Formosa Moon, and probably for good reason. Stephanie and I traveled to this fabled tourist destination for the book, and actually had a wonderful time. … Continue reading
Joshua Samuel Brown (Vignettes of Taiwan, Lonely Planet Taiwan) and Stephanie Huffman cordially invite you to a book launch party for their latest book, Formosa Moon, at Taipei’s Red Room! Published by Things Asian Press, Formosa Moon is a romantic … Continue reading
Unable to sleep (damn this insomnia,) I woke up and checked my email to find that the Famous Doctor Ho has, as the Naxi people of Yunnan, China say, “Gone to the Mountain.” I wrote about the good doctor for … Continue reading
On the subject of windsurfing in Taiwan, one of the strangest years of a life with no shortage of strange years was spent living on an archipelago called Penghu, halfway between Taiwan and China. It’s a remote, beautiful and extremely … Continue reading
Author’s Note: Outside of my work for Beijing Scene in 1999, Memoirs of a Dog Meat Man was probably my first serious bit of journalism. The brief backstory is that in 1998 I was hired by a company called Cal … Continue reading
I get interesting gigs here in Taiwan, and since I already can tell this is going to be a series I’ve decided to go with the format “I Get Interesting Gigs” (Name of Gig in ellipses). I can already tell … Continue reading
Taiwan’s Alpaca Cafe was someplace we’d been meaning to visit for almost a year but hadn’t made it to for a variety of strange reasons. We’d heard about it last year, a large cafe and restaurant in Sanzhi, a town … Continue reading
“Calling into the ring…Joshua!” It’s a hot August night in Taipei, and I am about to be beaten up in public. Standing across the ring (if you can call a cement square taped on a cement barroom floor a ring) stands … Continue reading
Humor is a tricky thing to translate, which is a pity since humor is also such a good icebreaker. Last week I gave a talk on promoting tourism in Yunlin (an agricultural county in Taiwan), and while they didn’t bring … Continue reading
Taiwan’s diplomatic allies have been much on my mind lately, not so much on a national level like will Honduras be the next to flip but more along the lines of elements within the American government coming out on Twitter to support Taiwan, … Continue reading
SEO-destroying, algorithm-annoying preamble: A lot of my stories have stories of their own. This one about Taiwanese Cuisine (chew on that, WordPress SEO monitor) has two or three, so…read on or not. One of the pleasures of establishing a long-term working relationship … Continue reading
Seeing as it’s mother’s day I thought I’d relate a tale from the early eighties concerning two influential mothers from my childhood. This story is a reprint, having run in Funny Times a few years back. Of course, it’s old … Continue reading
I used to write a lot of articles on the theme of short layovers around Asia. “Seven hours in Seoul,” “A Day, a Night and Some Petty Larceny in Okinawa,” that sort of thing. When I was younger, I did … Continue reading
It’s five in the afternoon at Hsinchu’s Municipal Stadium, inside of which a crowd of about twelve hundred have gathered, their vibe rowdy, but polite. Welcome to the world of Mixed Martial Arts in Taiwan. Heavy Metal music blares over … Continue reading
￼My photographer is surrounded by waitresses wearing starch-pressed uniforms. They are grabbing his camera, repeating “no photos” in halting Mandarin. The editor and his girlfriend hang by the entrance, clearly regretting their decision to join the magazine’s newest writer on his … Continue reading
Reports are trickling in on the Coronavirus that’s shutting down China and threatening to be either the next black plague (death toll 50 million), the next Spanish Flu of 1918 (death toll also 50 million, only we had cameras and … Continue reading
As Lonely Planet announces severe staff cutbacks due to Covid-19, veteran guidebook author Joshua Samuel Brown writes about his experiences working for the company through two major shifts in management and suggests a potential way forward for the beloved travel publisher. Continue reading
Use the above slider to chose an article, or hit Featured Articles (or click here) if you prefer to navigate old school.
This handy Smart Slider is where you’ll find the last ten articles I’ve published, either on this site or for other publications. These articles range from travel stories and tourism to political op-eds about Taiwan, America & cross-strait relations. There may also be stories about bicycling, boxing and mixed martial arts.
What you’ll find on my expansive portfolio are links to my work as author, journalist, travel writer and cultural liaison for writers, bloggers and other creatives traveling in Taiwan.
As my career has spanned two decades, there’s a lot here, so I’ve separated the site into seemingly logical sections. Up above is Featured Articles. And below, four more sections with introductions to other places at josambro.com.
You can also navigate using the menu bar.
Books by Joshua Samuel Brown
This links to my Books page, where you’ll find my author portfolio.
Spinning Karma, my first novel. It’s a religious satire based incorporating cults, politics, cross-strait relations, Colorado and current events.
But since you’re already here, how about one last shameless plug about Formosa Moon (co-authored with Stephanie Huffman)?
As of June 9, 2018, it was ranking #1 at Amazon’s Taiwan Travel Guide listing: If Henry Miller, Bill Bryson and Elizabeth Gilbert took a six-month long polyamorous voyage around Taiwan, this is the book they’d write together.
But don’t take my word for it: Read what Bookish Asia has to say about Formosa Moon then go pre-order it at Amazon!
Books is where you’ll find links to the books I’ve written.
Click here to learn more about my Books or use the above menu.
This is the section where you’ll find links to my work as a journalist. My specialty is creating deep dive content, spending weeks to months in one destination to create stories and articles that give a fuller picture of a place, its history, and its cast of characters.
Though my current focus is Taiwan, I do occasionally take gigs throughout Asia, specifically in places where my Mandarin proficiency can be put to good use.
In addition to my Lonely Planet work, I’ve written a few hundred articles for magazines, newspapers, websites and trade publications. I’ve provided content to travel websites such as AFAR and Jetsetter from Mexico, Oregon, Taiwan and Norway. An avid cyclist, I’ve also written a dozen or so articles for cycling magazines and publications, for which I’ve created the sub-page Bicycle Journalism.
Click here or choose Journalism on the menu for items relevant to my work as a journalist.
(currently on extended hiatus)
Travel consultant, tour guide, cultural liaison, interpreter, fixer. Whether you’re coming to Taiwan to take a bicycle tour, on a lengthy round-the-island social media influencer trip, or because you’re filming a segment for a German TV show concerning a local chef who cooks a kind of goat hot-pt in a walk in oven requiring gas masks, I’m a good person to know.
Over the past few years I’ve brought people around Taiwan for the aforementioned purposes and more.
This page is where you’ll find out about my ongoing work as a Taiwan liaison and how I can make your own trip to Taiwan, whether a simple customized bicycle tour or an elaborate mission of cross-cultural promotion easier and probably more fun.
Click here or choose Taiwan Consultant on the menu above for items relevant to my work as a Taiwan Consultant.
THE ENDLESS MORE
Authoring books, writing travel articles, editing a website about travel in Taiwan and acting as a travel consultant and liaison are only part of what I do.
I also have a long running blog called Snarky Tofu, write political columns, contribute the occasional lighter side of article for humor magazines, write and produce radio comedy, take photographs, do light HTML coding, play piano poorly, conduct strange experiments with food. When these activities produce something worth sharing, I’ll put them somewhere on this website. If it doesn’t fit in one of the other sections, I’ll generally put it under MORE. Find links to the appropriate output / life experiences on the menu above under MORE.
This is also where I’ve created a page for people I collaborate with. Check that out here. If you’re interested in collaborating with me on a future project, drop me a line at josambro 在 gmail.com. (Substitute @ for 在.)
Look for the appropriate section under the MORE section on the menu above, or click MORE to watch a video for the song MORE by Pink Floyd.