I picked up Bento Box in the Heartland as part of my recent self-education in Japanese cooking, and I was pleasantly surprised! I was suspicious of the idea of a “food memoir” before, but you did a lovely job telling vivid stories and painting the background of those stories with the smells and tastes and colors of food. I’m excited to try out the recipes at the end of each of the chapters, and was so physically hungry after mentally devouring your book in one day that I made onigiri for dinner. YUM! Of course, the memoir part of the food memoir was fantastic, too–the way you express the difficulties and triumphant moments of your childhood made the experience accessible even to those of us who grew up surrounded by our own ethnic group. Dealing with parents, with teasing, with self image…all those things are difficulties everyone can relate to. Five stars.