Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Spotlight: Borneo Tom by Tom McLaughlin

Join award winning science teacher Tom McLaughlin as he moves from America to Malaysian Borneo as he tracks orangutans, dances naked in an earthquake, swims with jellyfish AND MORE DANGEROUSLY…falls in love.

Walk with him through a cacophony of emotions including great joy when he finds the love of his life and marries in a village ceremony, reunites with one daughter after a divorce, travels with another and flies the entire family on his honeymoon in Bali. Oh, yes, did I forget? His vasectomy and his wife’s diagnosis of barrenness produces a son, Dzul Patrick, now a few months old.

Each stand alone chapter is humorously sketched by Water Front Niki, a familiar face to all who visit Kuching. Niki’s sensitive portraits of the national bird, the Hornbill, decorates living rooms world wide.

**Proceeds from the book go for items that support the Matang Wildlife Center that rehabs orangutans and other amazing wildlife.**

Read an excerpt!

Bukit Tinggi, Sumatra Indonesia – Women rule here. The culture, matriarchal, requires the land pass to the daughters. The custom predates the arrival of Islam and no number of Saudi Arabian missionaries, whose job it is to ensure pure Islamic tradition being observed, are ever going to change it to the Qu’ran required patriarchal system. They have tried. And believe me when I tell you, these ladies would have no part if it! Local customs and religious belief coexist side by side as they have for hundreds of years.

I wandered into one particular village and stopped at a house and chatted with the owner. She was lovely lady in her 40s with two teenagers, a son and daughter. She informed husband had divorced her and left. I teasingly asked her if I could marry her and move in but I think she thought I was serious. She looked me over, considered the idea and said yes but everyday I would have to work in the nearby rice fields. There would be no freeloader man in her house, I surmised.

Read the reviews!
"I was drawn by the uniqueness of this book once I received it. There are cartoon sketches for each and every story in this book. The black-and-white sketches are wonderfully, and sometimes comically, done. They correlated well with each story they represented.

There are sixty separate stories, or essays, in this book which are arranged in chronological order. Tom’s essays are informative, cheeky, humorous and, sometimes, eye-opening."

–Literary R&R

"I enjoyed the read and found myself giggling over some of the silly things that Tom does or says..."

--One Day at a Time

"If you are looking for an inspirational and at times humorous book, made up of short stories, this is the book for you."

--Inspired by Savannah

Science teacher Tom McLaughlin battled a rare neurological disease to a stand still, packed up his life and moved to Malaysian Borneo from a Washington D.C. suburb.

Landing in Kuching, he quickly learned the Malay language and involved himself in projects which includes orangutan rehabilitation and research about the famed naturalist, Alfred Wallace, whose thunder was stolen by Charles Darwin.

The advent of cheap air travel to many destinations in Southeast Asia transported him to many adventures. From dancing naked in an earthquake in Sumatra, to getting lost in a warren of World War II Japanese caves to walking the rim of a volcano with poisonous gas, he has jumped with foolhardiness into everything wild and wonderful, all related in his book Borneo Tom.

Reuniting with his Peace Corps family of thirty five years ago, sharing adventures with one daughter, then reconciling with another after a divorce, marriage with full kampung ceremony and then taking both daughters on his honeymoon to Bali are a few of the highlights of his remarkable personal life. Oh, but we can’t forget? His vasectomy coupled with a wife diagnosed as barren has reproduced a son, Dzul Patrick, now a few months old.

Tom teaches at the Lodge International School in Kuching, Malaysian Borneo while writing about his adventures as a US expat living in Borneo.

You can find him at:
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On Kindle!

1 comment:

V.R. Leavitt said...

Wasn't this a great book?! I'm glad you liked it too. People should definitely put this one on their to read list.