Review – Letters to Home

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  • Title: Letters to Home
  • Editors: Ooi Kok Hin, Aish Kumar, Nik Mohamed Rashid Nik Zurin
  • Featuring letters by: Azalia Zaharuddin, Fikri Fisal, Ng Jung Kian, Aish Kumar, Zaryff Razali, Tan Heang Lee, Billy Hoo, Nurul Ismawi, Ooi Kok Hin, David Lim, Rexy Prakash, Tharmelinggem Pillai, Abdul Rahman Shah, Shamil Norshidi, Shahir Shukor, Benedict Weerasena, Nik Mohamed Rashid Nik Zurin, Achmad Bakhtiar M Yuni, Justin Lim Jia Tian, Sarah Syahirah binti Abdullah, Nizhan Faraz Rizal and Eddy Arief Zulkifly, Asyraf Muiz Roslan, Hasbullah Faudzi, Ian Chew, Izzat Adha, Puteri Eleni Megat Osman, Mohamad Syazwan Abdul Rahman and Mohd Izzuddin Ramli.
  • Publisher: Matahari Books (an imprint of Buku Fixi)
  • Release date: December 3rd 2016
  • Pages:234

Blurb

24 universities. 7 countries. 1 hope.
These are the voices of young Malaysians all over the world–penning down our dreams, fears, concerns, aspirations, and hope to our nation, our home.


If you know me well enough, you would have realised how much I love reading books written by local authors. It gives me a great sense of pride to see my fellow Malaysians contributing to the writing and reading community. What’s more, I feel responsible to share these great books to more readers – hence why I was more than happy to read and review this book.

Letters to Home is a collection of stories and thoughts penned by 30 young Malaysians who all have one major thing in common – hope for our beloved country, Malaysia. As you read these letters, you will come across them making a stand on topics close to heart, formulating their views and sharing their aspirations for the greater good of our community. Coupled with some bahasa rojak and light Malaysian humour, this was an enjoyable read!

If Malaysia was a Pokemon, Canada is what it might evolve into – Nizhan Faraz Rizal & Eddy Arief Zulkifly

The letters written are very distinct from one another, making it very refreshing to progress and dive into. From Malaysian politics, to education, to freedom of speech, to people disabilities etc. – there’s something in this book for everyone. Oh and may I add that I made it a point to read this book in public – just to give it some coverage it deserves. It was very promising to see Malaysians looking over curiously at the cover, and several even approached me to know more!

While our child law currently upholds the general rights of children in Malaysia, more reforms are needed to protect specific groups of children, including the children living in orphanages. – Puteri Eleni Megat Osman

Overall, I am extremely happy with the selection of topics included and have high hopes for more to be published in a similar manner – part two please! There’s so much to learn from the book and it is indeed an insightful source to kickstart healthy discussions with family and friends. Read it with an open mind and form your own opinions. Connect with the authors and immerse yourself with conversation. We Malaysian youths have so much more to do, learn and explore. Let’s keep on going.

Together, we can make a difference. – Rexy Prakash 

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I would like to thank Buku Fixi and Matahari Books for this review copy in exchange for my honest review!

Review – A Sticky Note Guide to Life | Chaz Hutton

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  • Title: A Sticky Note Guide to Life
  • Author: Chaz Hutton
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Release date: October 13th 2016
  • Pages: 194

Blurb

LIFE! What does it all mean?

Chaz Hutton, the world’s first sticky note lifestyle guru, has taken it upon himself to figure it all out so we don’t have to. He covers all the important things: dating, working, eating, fighting gorillas, the impossible physics of toothpaste, the family history of a sock drawer, and so much more.

Basically, all the big life questions that you didn’t realise needed answering.


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The first reaction I had when I flipped through this book was – omg, sticky notes! Printed sticky notes on each page, literally! I then proceeded to parading the book to all my family and friends (victims?) who would listen to my many ramblings on it. Haha! This book is one of a kind and the author, Chaz, knows very well of it.

A Sticky Note Guide to Life is a collection of sticky notes illustrating observations of different parts of one’s life – work, home, entertainment, dating, technology and well — assorted nonsense that will make you laugh, smile and have those ah-hah! moments.

I find this book extremely engaging and fun to read. Your life will be analysed and represented in the form of pie charts, flow charts, line graphs etc. in the most thoughtful way possible. I love the captions that accompany each sticky note – Chaz has a colourful characters, and it shows.

Each of us lead different lives and sometimes even, very unique from the rest. As such, not every situation in the book may be relatable to you but it does give you a glimpse on what goes around another person’s life – no matter how exaggerated or true it may be. You may also not understand everything that is represented – which makes it fun when you start deciphering the messages with friends and family, or get everyone confused along the way.

Certainly a unique book you could read with your loved ones to have a good laugh. I look forward to more interesting outlooks from Chaz.  You can check out more of his work on his instagram account – @instachaaz.

Here’s to a wonderful 2017!

Rating: 

I would like to thank HarperCollins for this review copy in exchange for my honest review!

Review – Let Me Fly Free | Mary Fan

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  • Title: Let Me Fly Free
  • Author: Mary Fan
  • Publisher: Glass House Press
  • Publication Date: July 5th 2016
  • Pages: 60

Blurb

Fire fears nothing. And Elaia is about to show her world that she doesn’t, either.

Like the rest of her kind, fire nymph Elaia is bound to her homeland, a forest whose borders were closed centuries earlier in a peace agreement between the humans and the enchanted creatures of the Terrestrial Realm.

But her heart is as restless as the flames she casts, and she secretly yearns to defy that order.

When a mysterious threat creeps into the forest, an invisible beast that leaves a trail of death in its wake, Elaia is determined to fight back and protect her people. Before she can, however, she must learn what the beast is … and the answers lie beyond the borders of her land.

Defeating this evil means she’ll have to go outside the rules, but she’ll do anything to find the answers she seeks—even if leaving her homeland means not only breaking the law, but risking her own life.


Let Me Fly Free is a story of Elaia, a fire nymph, and her tireless journey in protecting her homeland from evil.

This is my first time reading Fantasy in novella form so I do appreciate Mary Fan’s work in the world building which must have been a challenging task. It was really easy to follow and the descriptions did justice in painting the magical world in my mind. I loved the main character, Elaia, as it reminded me of my favourite childhood character, Tinker Bell, from Peter Pan. She had an elegant yet strong attitude to her, which was a winner.

Unfortunately, the plot to me was very plain as there was nothing particularly special about it. The beginning was fine but as I progressed in my reading, I wasn’t drawn to the story and just when I was looking forward to the climax, I was extremely disappointed as it was too rushed for my liking – that’s it? 😦 

Despite not enjoying the book, I must credit the author for gifting us with Elaia’s heroic voice. She showed very strong will and determination as the heroine, which I adored.

Thank you Glass House Press for sending me a copy of this book to review!

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Review – Leaving Microsoft to Change the World | John Wood

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  • Title: Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
  • Author: John Wood
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • Pages: 278

Blurb

John Wood discovered his passion, his greatest success, and his life’s work not at business school or his high-flying job at Microsoft but on a chance visit to a school library in Nepal. He walked away from his lucrative career to create Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that promotes education across the developing world, giving more than one million children the lifelong gift of education. If you have ever pondered abandoning your desk job for an adventure and an opportunity to give back, you will love Wood’s vivid, emotional, and absorbing tale on how to take the lessons learned in big business and apply them to the world’s most pressing social problems. 


I bought this book exactly two years ago, while I was still interning at Microsoft Malaysia. Well I must say that even though I was enjoying my time there (had no intention of leaving), it certainly caught my eye and I was genuinely curious on what it had to offer. Plus, I was actively involved in a non-profit organization, Enactus, that very same time so an outlook on an entrepreneur’s odyssey to educate the world’s children was one I was excited to dive into. Unfortunately, life got into the way so it is not surprising that I only got into reading this last month. (Whoops!)

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World is a feel-good, inspiring book written by John Wood, the founder of Room to Read.  It starts off with Wood’s share of experiences on his life in the corporate world – the challenges he faced, the dissatisfaction he experienced and his continuous yearning to do something better with his life. During his travels to Nepal, he learned on how scarce books were in remote parts of the country. With some help from the locals and his close family and friends, he set off to collect books and funds to improve education and knowledge accessibility in the area he visited. Consistent little steps kept the dream alive and soon, Room to Read became an important part of communities not only in Nepal, but all over the world.

The highlight of this book for me would be the opportunity to learn on the non-profit organization’s business model. I love how Wood emphasized the importance of his experiences and knowledge gained at Microsoft in adding value and bringing Room to Read together. His focus on networking, management, quantitative results and sustainability made this organization a success and this book, an eye-opening read.

Each chapter of his journey was written with much thought, care and simplicity. It is easy to follow and very engaging. If you’re a fan of memoirs and in need of a jab of inspiration, this book is for you. Not only will it give you a peek into Wood’s journey, it will encourage you to take the next course of action to make a sustainable difference in this world.

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