“Authors like to talk vaguely of structuring their books ‘like music,’ but they should all look to Susan Uehara Rakstang for how to do it right! Basing Cooking for Her Eyes on her own harmonic analysis of Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata, she subtly but unmistakably weaves her own themes and key changes into a memoir that is deeply personal and filled with life’s tiny details. A sprawling Part I filled with exposition and development, a dreamy, meditative Part II, and as Part III a series of vignettes touching lightly on all of the essential elements that came before. It’s a wonderful, subtly crafted accomplishment of a memoir. It is about the quiet, heartbreaking beauty of the mundane details. The everyday and ordinary made extraordinary and precious.”
—Dr. David Arbury, PhD, composer and professor of music theory, Los Angeles City College

“This book has so many wonderful different layers to draw in the reader. A beautiful memoir of life, death, and relationships, Susan’s is an empowering story of finding one’s place in the world and shows her personal Japanese American experience—a powerful thing for the community, and a valuable glimpse into that community for all audiences. Like all good books, it was bittersweet to arrive at its ending!”
—Michael Takada, CEO of the Japanese American Service Committee

Cooking for Her Eyes is a generous invitation, a moving walk through time revealing Susan’s intelligence in terms of character development and attention to the right details. A passionate reading experience is the result: between essential vicissitudes and raw power of the senses, this book is proof of life, undisputably.”
—Marc Louis-Boyard, founder and editor of  Slow Culture Magazine

“A beautiful memoir by the author regarding her growing up as a child of Japanese parents, who moved from Hawaii to mainland America. …The book reminded me a lot of my own relationship with my own mother and my grandmother. Cooking was a huge part of my growing up. I loved to cook with my mother. … As I am still tearing up as I am writing this….. I would say this book is a YAY!”
—Vivian, Chocoviv

Reading Cooking for Her Eyes by Susan Uehara Rakstang gave me the opportunity to reflect deeply on the ties between family, friendship, food, and heritage. It also gave me intense cravings for the foods that I grew up eating. … Cooking for Her Eyes made me realize how much the tastes, smells, and sights of dashi, shoyu, and rice vinegar remind me of my family, of our community and our community’s unique culture.”
—Jaymie, Onigireads

“In the end of the novel, when all the ends began to meet, I felt that I had been on a bit of a spiritual journey. It was enlightening, joyous, sad, and even triumphant. …[T]this book was a beautiful journey and I do recommend if you enjoy novels that combine music, food, and family.”
—Joanna, Sun-Drenched Concertina

“[S]uch a moving story. The incorporation of so many topics: being a Japanese American, a wife, a mom, and especially deciding to be an architect when it wasn’t a popular career for women was interwoven into this story in a great way. It was also gut-wrenching to read at times as this memoir really brings you into it, making you feel the emotions on the pages. My favorite part of this memoir was how music and food were merged into this book. It was done in such an original way that I really enjoyed it. … I definitely recommend reading this book.”
—Carly-Rae, Hey It’s Carly-Rae! Book Club

“A gentle, lovely read discovering the life of Susan Uehara Rakstang.”
—Danielle, NetGalley reviewer

“Reading the book was like meeting a dear friend for coffee and catching up on their life in bursts. Susan’s story is interesting and her achievements and tenacity impressive.”
—Wen, NetGalley reviewer

“A splendid exploration of how true passions color our life experiences everyday, Chicago-based architect Susan Uehara Rakstang’s memoir Cooking for Her Eyes: Transcription of a Sonata tells a story of life and death, friendship and family—all through the lens of the author’s life-long relationships to music, food, and art.”
Architecture Lab

“Loved this book! Susan Uehara Rakstang weaves a rich tapestry of life, filled with food, music, laughter, love, and loss. Set in Chicago, Susan leads us through her fascinating, challenging, and deeply emotional life from childhood through impressive professional success, to her poignant and inspiring later life challenges.

Her descriptions of the City, of relationships, and of her experiences as a sharp, driven, deeply sensitive Japanese-American woman are often lyrical, keenly insightful, and a delight to read.

I highly recommend this book.”
-Chris Cinnamon, founder and head instructor, Chicago Tai Chi

“Excellent read. It was a memoir of an ordinary person who didn’t let gender barriers stop her and learned to become successful in business and in life. She shares stories about life and food.”
–Amy, NetGalley reviewer

“This is a very endearing book that touches on a number of subjects that impact the author’s life. I didn’t understand the sonata part of it until I got to the very end and then I had to admire the cleverness of the author. You can tell she is an architect as you read; she built something with this book.”
–Sara, NetGalley reviewer

“If you like memoir, and are a foodie, here you’ll go! Beautiful food imagery with a variety of Japanese (Okinawan) dishes. You follow a lovely family from their early days in the 50s to present day. A lovely story for a warm day, snuggled in a blanket.”
–Traci, NetGalley reviewer

“I enjoyed Susan Uehara Rakstang’s writing style, which is often quite sensuous. […] I particularly enjoyed reading the author’s descriptions of cooking, music, and architecture [and] would particularly recommend this book to foodies and fans of Classical music, or those who enjoy experimental literature.”
-Lorena, NetGalley reviewer.