Book Review | The Wasting of Borneo by Alex Shoumatoff

wasting of borneo cover.jpgPalm oil is the devil. This is one of the clear take away messages from Shoumatoff’s latest book The Wasting of Borneo. This accessible read offers a clear picture of the devastation that has been occurring in the rain forest of Borneo and its far reaching implications. Sharing wisdom from field experts, the book uses both scientific data and real life anecdotes to educate readers about an important, but lesser known calamity that is impacting indigenous people, animals and the environment.

I approached this book with no previous knowledge of the topic. More than just educating me, Shoumatoff’s writing drew me in and explained to me why the wasting of Borneo’s rain forest is a catastrophe, and also how it concerns me as a consumer on a personal level. It’s scary to learn that just because certain processes are being labeled sustainable, that doesn’t mean they really adhere to strictly sustainable standards. I highly recommend this book as an introduction to the topic for any readers who care about the environment and man’s negative impact on it. Check it out from a library near youI received a copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

*Fans of The Wasting of Borneo may be interested in Songs of the Baka and Other Discoveries by Dennis James (2017). 


Book Review | Wrong about Japan : a father’s journey with his son by Peter Carey

wrong about japan peter carey.jpgCarey and his son travel to Japan and meet with various anime and manga experts, artists/writers and publishers. This delightful little book is a quick read, which highlights the essences of Carey’s “interviews” and thoughts. From meeting Mr. Miyazaki and Mr. Tomino, men behind some of Japan’s most popular anime, to a traditional sword maker and a teenage Mr. Donut, Carey has created a book of interest to pop culture fans and the general Japanophile.

I picked up this book to get in the groove for an upcoming trip to Japan. I laughed aloud as I read about dining experiences and appreciated cultural references that may be helpful during my travel. Having seen most of the referenced animes certainly provided me with a background for better understanding and relating to the text, but one does not have to be an anime nerd to get something from this book. This nonfiction is fun and easy to digest. Check it out from a library near you!

*If you’ve enjoyed reading Wrong About Japan, you may be interested in The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life by Andy Raskin (2009)

Book Review | The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasm

story-of-a-brief-marriage-by-anuk-arudpragasmThe Sri Lankan Civil War occurred from 1983-2009 and claimed more than 100,000 victims. Arudpragasm’s first novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, takes place during the war and provides an acute and brief view into one young man’s evacuation and displaced life in a camp. While the protagonist’s marriage does take place during the story, I didn’t feel it was the book’s focus as the title suggests.

For a first novel, this book is definitely a success. The language used is very descriptive, but still easy enough to read without too much concentration. The story is clear and flows well enough, but it was not engrossing. Because of the book’s specific subject matter and focus, it serves well as a window into a situation most people will never experience. This book isn’t the fun read to cheer you up type, but it is deep and thought provoking without being overbearing. Check it out from a library near you.

I received an advance reading copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

Pictorials | Lucknow, India – market month photo 31


Amrood Walla / Guava Man at Aminabad bazaar. 2015. Lucknow, India.

Pictorials | Lucknow, India – market month photo 12


Noodles in Aminabad bazaar. 2015. Lucknow, India.

Pictorials | Baroda / Vadodara, India – market month photo 05


रात की बाजार में गुब्बारे वाली लड़की / Raat ke bazaar mein gubbare wali ladki / Balloon girl at night market2015. Vadodara, India.

Pictorials | Agra, India – market month photo 01


Women at Vegetable Cart. 2015. Agra, India.