Book Review of Catalyst in South Asian Woman Magazine

  • Book Review
  • Catalyst by Alex Sangha
  • By: Ravneet Samra
  • For:  South Asian Woman Magazine
  • Fall 2013 Issue

Catalyst by Alex Sangha is not your regular time-pass novel. It is a series of short one to two page excerpts that open our minds up and get us thinking about where we are going as a country and as a society. Each excerpt ends with a question to ponder upon. Reading Catalyst was a treat because it allowed me to be open to topics that reflect on values, goals and beliefs, and topics which ultimately shape the future of our society.

The book is divided into three categories: Our World, Our Country and Our Life. Sangha provides a vast amount of unbiased knowledge to readers on a variety of subjects, including life after death, arranged marriage, depression, homosexuality, poverty, the death penalty, immigration, politics, and much more. His suggestions on how to overcome certain issues that he highlights are insightful. However, Sangha encourages readers to be critical thinkers and come up with their own opinions as well; don’t believe everything people tell you; it’s not the only perspective out there. It is important to know if our opinions are based on ignorance or are formed after examining all facts.

Sangha has opened my mind to how I can help stop bullying, how I can help a loved one suffering from depression, my thoughts on the death penalty, how those with a mental illness can find employment easier, how to improve the health care system, and the benefits of being a vegetarian, to name a few. By being informed critical thinkers, we can help the world move forward. So, what can you do to be more informed about the world and make a difference? Sangha suggests, “What are the things you see in the world that you think need to change? What makes your blood boil or your passions rise? Make a list of the issues that most concern you and think about how you could solve them.”

Reading this book is a good start to understanding the foundations and gaining clarity of the many challenges and issues currently affecting our world.


Book Review of Catalyst by Linda Gewis

Dear Alex,

Thank you for sending me your amazing book “Catalyst.”  It raises so many important issues in our daily lives that all politicians should read your book to learn what touches people’s lives and what matters to them most.

Even though not everyone might agree with your propositions at least they will agree that there are very important issues which you have raised and that in order for the politicians to truly be in touch with the ordinary citizens in this country they should read your book. In fact, I think it is an academic “Must Read.”

You have made reading this book easy and enjoyable to read. Not only have you made the chapters very short and easy to read, you have injected it with great humor through those great quotes of famous people worked at the beginning of each chapter.

Thank you for being so considerate of your readers by injecting the humorous quotes. This is another reason why this book ought to be on a best seller list, especially for politicians: they can always use your quotes if they are short of humor that day. Finding the correct quote which is also funny for the serious matters raised in your book was no easy task.

So thank you for going this extra mile.

Linda Gewis is a photographer in Vancouver, B.C.