Reader Views ©

Many of us in life have made wrong choices or have been dealt a bad hand, and that is no different for the author. When life throws us obstacles we sometimes have the free will to make choices and sometimes others make them for us.
The author was born in an American concentration camp during WWII and learned early on what it was like to be taunted and excluded because he was from a different culture. Regardless of those taunts, his Japanese family taught him that sometimes things happen and one must learn to persevere. This is just what he did by attending college and getting his dentistry license.
Everyone knows that when you go to college you have to stay focused, be on top of your game and still have some type of life. But for Roy that was not easy. School became his life. He found that if things went crazy, as they often did, he could block it out of his mind. Unfortunately, this doomed several of his romantic relationships. His saving grace was his daughter Leslie. Through her, he was able to share his life and his journey.
During the peak of his career, Roy had an accident that ended his dental career, yet he still carried on finding new ways to use his talents. His daughter died when she was 25 years-old and it crushed him like no other crisis. With the help of his therapist, Roy began to really look at his life and the choices he made. Through very detailed conversations, we are able to look at Roy’s life and how his choices affected his decisions.
What I particularly liked about this book was that the author wasn’t wallowing in self-pity; he was very direct about how his life had gone and discovered new ways to regain his strength. At the end of each chapter, the author provided lessons he had learned. Many readers will identify with Roy and all will be drawn into his world. “Elephant à la Mode: An Epicurean Guide to Life” by T. Roy Nakai is a wonderful book to read over and over as you go through life.

Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views

March 3, 2010

Notes for Leslie: Lessons I never told you

…This is the amazing story of the authors life. T. Roy Nakai has overcome tragedy after tragedy and has written a truely (sic) remarkable book that you will not want to put down. I can’t imagine having to go through even one of these tragedies. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Lessons Learned”. I love that the author added this. It gives added insight into the mind of the author, and let’s you compare what you learned to what he learned. I would recommend this book to everyone. Life’s tough, it can make or break you. The lesson from this book is you can triumph over anything that breaks you.


Reading At The Beach

Dec. 20, 2009

A Great Story About A Remarkable Life

Roy Nakai’s life story, from Manzanar to Maui, is a remarkable narrative of someone who has weathered struggles that would have daunted many people with less inner strength. He is honest with himself and his readers in ways few autobiographers manage to achieve. He uses humor as a salve to get him through some very rough times, and shows a continuing concern for the people in his life and those he sought to help with his professional work.

I read this book in part because I knew Roy long ago in high school, and recognized even then that he was a strong person. But his book has confirmed that his strength came with a personal integrity that shines through on every page. This is a fine read.

By Sidney L. Gardner

Irvine, CA

December 3, 2009


More Like A 10 Star Book,

What I appreciated about the book and why I gave it 5 stars and recommend it, is its rare book these days that is about not being a victim of life’s unforeseen challenges but be a survivor and thrive. Its like taking all those sour lemons and making pies,and lemonade. So if you think in these hard economic times that you have it hard, read what Dr. Nakai has come thru.

Mother Lode Beth

Sierras of California

December 3, 2009



Enjoyed reading about Roy’s life and how he overcame challenges. He has been a part of our lives since ’59; yet I learned things about him that I never knew. Roy is a great friend and very talented individual. I especially enjoyed reading about the family’s time in Manzanar. His devotion to his parents, daughter and friends came through loud and clear.

Elsinor H.S. Friend

November 24, 2009


Such An Inspiring Book!

The Author’s Title is a metaphor that refers to the obvious requirement for life. In this powerful autobiography, he shows us even through some surprising humour, the horrible experiences both himself and his family endured during WWII ,and the consequences of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Not only did he survive and make it to become a successful dentist, he had yet another tragedy to overcome. Combine all of this with normal, everyday issues that we all face, and it is an amazing, inspirational read!

You will appreciate the Author’s compassionate and brilliant writing. The ability to resurface from such a dark period in the manner he has, is an inspiration to us all.

Jill (Frugal Plus)

December 11, 2009


Just finished your Magnificent book!

I spent the last three days reading your book.  I could hardly put it down!  Roy!  You are amazing!  Even though I know you so well and know so much about your life it was a new beautiful journey for me as each chapter unfolded.  I laughed and cried.  I reminisced over the people I know that you mentioned along with the places you have lived. I loved the historical content too. It was just like you were sitting right here next to me telling me all these things as you had done before. But it was different and new and endearing.  I just LOVED it.  I loved the way you spent all the beginning chapters with Leslie and developing her life story too.  
     It was just wonderful and meant so much to me…mainly because of our friendship.  And now I have even more respect and admiration for you than I did before.  You are just the BEST!
     Thank you so much for sending me the book and thank you SO much for writing it.    I am so PROUD of you!

 Your all- time best buddy.


Dec 3, 2009


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