Monday, November 13, 2017 5 helms, Biographies & Memoirs, Reviews

The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir by Anh Do

The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir by Anh DoThe Happiest Refugee: A Memoir by Anh Do
Published by Allen & Unwin on September 1st 2010
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs
Pages: 232
Format: Ebook
Source: Library Book
Goodreads
5 Stars

Anh Do nearly didn't make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing -- not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days -- could quench their desire to make a better life in the country they had dreamed about.

Life in Australia was hard, an endless succession of back-breaking work, crowded rooms, ruthless landlords and make-do everything. But there was a loving extended family, and always friends and play and something to laugh about for Anh, his brother Khoa and their sister Tram. Things got harder when their father left home when Anh was thirteen -- they felt his loss very deeply and their mother struggled to support the family on her own. His mother's sacrifice was an inspiration to Anh and he worked hard during his teenage years to help her make ends meet, also managing to graduate high school and then university.

Another inspiration was the comedian Anh met when he was about to sign on for a 60-hour a week corporate job. Anh asked how many hours he worked. 'Four,' the answer came back, and that was it. He was going to be a comedian! The Happiest Refugee tells the incredible, uplifting and inspiring life story of one of our favourite personalities. Tragedy, humour, heartache and unswerving determination -- a big life with big dreams. Anh's story will move and amuse all who read it.

Reading Challenges:
Good Reads Reading Challenge 2017
Read Harder Reading Challenge 2017 (5. Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.)

It was pure coincidence I picked Anh Donh’s memoir to feature in my immigrant challenge and it was such a great way to reconnect with Australia after my months of absence. I’ve been wanting to pick this up for an age now and truly glad I read this at my current stage of my life. I’m a proud Australian and so is Anh Do. He pays true homage to Australia and it’s culture and allows us to realise we truly are lucky to be part of this sunburnt country.

Anh’s memoir begins with anecdotes of his childhood and gives us insight right through to his adult years. His family play a major role in his life to shape the man he becomes. Anh’s mom is truly wonder woman with the sacrifices she makes for her kids and the suffering she undergoes to give them a better life. Even though Anh’s dad abandons the family during some of their most difficult times, it was great to read about his redemption from Anh’s point of view. Anh’s love and respect for his parents really shine from the pages, which gave me a few sniffles. I also loved the positiveness of Anh’s family, because no matter what life threw at them, they always had a very positive outlook, which was quite inspiring.

There are so many lessons to take away from this memoir….letting in too many refugees, this is a huge wake-up call to emphasize the poverty-stricken conditions people are risking their lives to escape, just so they can have a chance at a better life.

An emotional, inspiring and uplifting read with a great balance of humour & poignancy with simple yet effective writing to keep you reading late into the night.



Monday, October 30, 2017 Life, Travel

Hello Sydney!

Ahhhh so good to be home in Sydney! It’s been a week since I’ve been back and wow it feels like I haven’t been away for nearly two years! I guess that’s what you call home I touched down on the 19th of October (Thursday) and started full-time work on Monday! Yeah! I know….totally insane […]

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Monday, September 25, 2017 Life, Travel

Where have I been hiding?

Hey guys, As per a few posts ago, I mentioned that I will be travelling around for 6 weeks around Europe and Sri Lanka before I leave London for good and head back home to Sydney. I thought I would update everyone on my holiday so far! 7th September – 12th September was Scotland! Amazing […]

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Sunday, September 24, 2017 Bookish Celebrations

Banned Books Week 24th September – 30th September 2017

Don’t forget it’s Banned Books Week! I’m currently reading Anne Frank’s Diary as my banned book for this week and it also helps me complete a task of the Read Harder Book Challenge! Who knew Anne Frank was banned! It’s really interesting looking into which books have been considering banworthy! I disagree about banning a […]

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Thursday, September 14, 2017 4.5 helms, Historical, Loved, Reviews

Topaz by Beverly Jenkins

Reading Challenges: Good Reads Reading Challenge 2017 Oldie But A Goodie Reading Challenge 2017 Read Harder Reading Challenge 2017 (24. Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of colour I’m very excited about this review as this was my first Beverly Jenkins! I’ve been meaning to try her for ages and finally it […]

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Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm by Dana Simpson

Reading Challenges: Good Reads Reading Challenge 2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 Read Harder Reading Challenge 2017 (6. Read an all ages comic, 15. Read a YA or middle-grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+) I’ve said it before and I will say it again….I want a unicorn, especially one like Marigold! […]

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Monday, September 4, 2017 4.5 helms, Historical, Reviews

It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas

Reading Challenges: Good Reads Reading Challenge 2017 Oldie But A Goodie Reading Challenge 2017 Another great read from the Wallflower Series! Marcus and Lillian are such a great match and the promise of their story in “Secrets of a Summer Night” did not disappoint! In fact, it was a fantastic read! I cannot decide if […]

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Sunday, September 3, 2017 Life

I’ve been a bit slack in posting!

Hi all! You guys might have noticed the lack of posts over the last few weeks…I’ve just been way too exhausted to write my reviews…..just about to move countries again and had been packing up everything over the last two weeks before our big move…We are also going on a 6 week holiday before we […]

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2017 Reading Challenges

Good Reads

2017 Reading Challenge

Vellum has read 1 book toward her goal of 40 books.
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Netgalley & Edelweiss

34 out of 25 books (136%)

Oldie but a Goodie

5 out of 10 books (50%)

Read Harder

13 out of 24 books (54.166666666667%)