Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Tour: Borneo Tom: Stories and Sketches of Love, Travel and Jungle Family in Tropical Asia


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.**

My Review:

5 stars out of 5

This is a very unique book, and was enjoyable to read.  I loved how it was broken down in 60 essays, which were illustrated with black and white cartoon-like illustrations.  The reader learns about Borneo through theses stories told by the author, who experienced them.  The reader is educated about Borneo and all the beauty it has to offer a traveler.  After reading a few of the short stories/essays, it made me want to travel there to witness the flora and fauna firsthand.  The best part of the book was the unexpected ending -- the miracle of life.  After battling cancer myself, and being told I wouldn't be able to have children, my husband and I were blessed with our daughter, Savannah last July.  She is a miracle, as is Tom's son's birth.


If you are looking for an inspirational and at times humorous book, made up of short stories, this is the book for you.  I now a better appreciation for Borneo and for Tom, who traveled to Borneo and started a new life.

About Borneo Tom:

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:
On Twitter
On Facebook
On Kindle!

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book, along with a sling bag from the author in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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