Friday, May 11, 2012

Zenbu Zen

Pssst! I'm a little bit excited to share this with you.  Its the cover of my new book - shortly I will finally see the finished product!

Zenbu Zen is due for release on 01 October 2012 - it seems so far away but not so long to wait in the scheme of things! Its been a long time in the making and its so wonderful to know that I will soon hold a hard copy in my hands for the very first time. 

Being in Japan for the last 8 months I have been working on digital files only  - so I haven't had a chance to feel real pages...  there is something so lovely about flicking through the pages of a hard copy book... That might make me sound a little old fashioned (and I get that a bunch of novels are easier to carry to your holiday destination on an electronic device than drag around in your luggage) but to me, there are few things more enjoyable than sitting quietly in your favourite corner of the sofa or perhaps under a shady tree with a cuppa or a glass of wine and pouring over the pages of a beautifully designed and well considered book.  Getting lost in a book's text or images and, in the case of a great cookbook, plotting and tagging all the recipes you want to sample and who you will share them with, is one of life's simple pleasures. 

The team who worked on the book have done such a great job to ensure my text stayed true, my recipes were beautifully photographed and that my own images of Japan were used in such an empathetic and stunning way.  I was so lucky to have Uber designer Reuben Crossman working his magic on this title as he did with Snowflakes and Schnapps. I can't thank him enough. The recipe images are as gorgeous as they are thanks to photographer Cath Muscat and the food itself was lovingly and so perfectly cooked for the shoot by the very lovely Olivia Andrews from Have you Eaten and Firetruck.. Keep an eye out for this one she is a very clever young miss! 

I am a lucky girl to have had such talented peeps working on my book. My words, although trimmed to fit, could not have been more respectfully edited by the gorgeous women who are Carla Grossetti and Katri Hilden. Thank you also to Laura from Murdoch Books for keeping it all ticking along. 

I will be updating my blog occasionally in the lead up to the release but in the meantime...

Here is the jacket blurb just to give you a taste:

"When bestselling author Jane Lawson finds herself burnt out professionally and personally, and anything but healthy, she retreats to Kyoto to find more balance in all aspects of her life. Through an immersion in Japanese culture and especially in its food, she slowly regains that equilibrium - the zen of the title. "Zenbu Zen" is her very personal journey of discovery, interspersed with well-explained and beautifully photographed recipes."

Key points: stunning food photography; detailed explanation of Japanese food and ingredients with more than 60 recipes; provides a unique insight into Japanese people and culture."

And here is a link to my facebook page where I will also be adding regular info on my Japanese life and the book  - please do hop over and "like" my page - that way I am sure to keep you in the loop. 

Cheers, Jane x


  1. I was looking for a Christmas gift in a book shop in Nagoya and found your book, Zenbu Zen. Well, looks like I will have to buy another for the Christmas gift because I'm keeping this one for myself. I really like the mix of food, anecdotal writing, and beautiful photos. I've visited Kyoto a few dozen times over the past 23 years I've lived in Japan and I really think you've captured the magic of the place. It's a beautiful book that asks to be read and looked at and used for cooking again and again and again. This is already one of my favourite books in my collection. Jean-Pierre Antonio

  2. Dear Jean-Pierre Antonio, I am so touched that you have taken the time to write. I couldn't ask for a more perfect response to my book - I am so chuffed that you have enjoyed it. It truly is wonderful to hear a fellow Japanophile's opinion - especially one who has been living in Japan for so long and just gets the Kyoto experience. Thank you! You have made my day. J xx

  3. Hello Jane,

    I found a link to Zenbu Zen online and hoped to borrow it through the inter-library loan system in the US. I noticed that it was only available in New Zealand at the time, so I contacted my local library and asked if there was another way to borrow the book. They said it was scheduled to be released in the US in March and they had purchased a copy, and that I would be first on the waiting list. I picked the book up today and am already well into it. I'm enjoying the beautiful photos as well as your foodie descriptions and recipes. I had a homestay in Kyoto many years ago so enjoy the descriptions of places and sites I've visited myself. I especially appreciate the way you take the reader through the "slowing down" process of your stressful life. It's something we all can take to heart.


  4. Dear Susan, firstly - thank you for being so patient and following up with your library - I am so pleased it has finally arrived for you!. I do hope that a US publisher picks up the rights to it soon so that it is more accessible to people in your neck of the woods. I am so happy to hear your response to Zenbu Zen now that you have it in your possession. Thank you for taking the time to write to me and please do let me know what you think when you have finished it. So nice to see and read about places we have connected to previously isn't it? I believe that Kyoto has an eternal hold over anyone who visits her - a lovely caressing hold. Thanks again for touching base - it is VERY much appreciated. Jane