Category Archives: Books

Reading Update

So I start reading the fantasy novel today. My choice fell on The Infernal Devices Series: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, which is the prequel of The Mortal Instrument Series.

Like what I’ve mention here, hopefully this would be the door to go back to the reading like crazy world. I will start with 50 pages a day.

What are you reading right now? Feel free to share on the comment section 😀 (please).


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Liven Up My Reading spirit

I miss reading like crazy, read up to 13 books in a month, enjoying every moment of it.

The 2015 book list stop on May. That means three months without reading any book. The truth is, I actually read some books, I just never finish any of them.

I think I will go to fantasy novel to liven up my reading spirit. It usually makes me ready to read everything else.

What kind of books that you like the most?

How Do You Write a Review?

After more than four years, I found that I mostly post about book reviews in this blog.

The reason to that, I think, is because I love to read and I like to share what I’ve read.

I use to discuss the book that I read with my sisters. Especially if we all have read the book and found it interesting, or when I read a book and I want them to read it, either for the knowledge or nice stories in it I thought they should know.

We could spent hours to discuss a book. About how the story goes (how surprising, or how we disagree), about the characters in the book (how we love or hate them), about how true some of the wisdom that lies in it, how we learn from the book, how we amaze of how the writer comes up with such ideas and put them into words.

One thing that I know would make me like a book and wanting to discuss about it is how it make me feel. That is what my review is mostly about too.

I’m not an expert of how to write a good review. What should or should not be in it. I don’t know that much about technicality as some other people do. What a good book should, technically, consist of. I might not even read as many books as some avid readers do, to have a masive insight and comparison or knowledge about genres and stuff (see, I don’t even know what to name it).

I just write a review based on how I feel about the book (or film, or place, or event). Any detailed that follows is to describe the feeling.

There are books that open my eyes, shaking my minds with some new point of views that I never thought before. There are books telling me some stuff I’ve heard before with some different kind of ways. There are books that make me understand things better or completed my previous knowledge; connecting the dots. There are books that open up my imagination, bring me to places I’ve never been. Books that make me laugh and cry, inspired and motivated.

BR 2

I’m pretty easy to please. I might dislike a book, but, so far, never hate it. I always try to finish what I started to read, no matter how boring it may be. In most of the cases I eventually enjoy the book or got something from it. So, yes, I believe that we should give books a chance like we should give people chances to show the good side of them.

It is more challenging, however, to write a review than simply discuss it with my sisters. The review is in english, first of all. Then, I need to find the right words to describe some of the many things I want to share, in one single post (instead of bubbling every now and then about random pieces of the book). And the hardest part is: I should watch out for spoilers! ;D

That is why, I didn’t write reviews as much as I read. But I’m planning to write more.

I think sharing what you’ve read is helping you to have a better memory and understanding about it. It’s also a good practice to express your thought.

How about you? How do you review a book? What do you think should or should not be in it?

I would also like to hear your opinion about the reviews I’ve wrote so far. The comment box is open for you. Thanks! :)

The Mortal Instruments

As an answer to this post, yes, I finished “City of Heavenly Fire” first. That means a closure of “The Mortal Instrument Series”, which always left some sense of loss.

I read the first book of the series, “City of Bones”, years after I bought it. You know I have this habit of keep buying books even though I haven’t finished all I’ve bought before. And there’s always so much books I want to have and so little time to read them. This first book seems to keep being overlooked, lost the competition against the never ending list of what I found as more interesting books.

There are time for every book. So one day came the time for the first book to come to my attention. My sister said that it’s an okay book. She doesn’t seems to be interested enough to read the next books of the series. With that low expectation, I start reading the book.

It was not as intriguing as “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins (I know, this one is dystopia, so it might not be an apple to apple comparison) or as enchanting as the legendary “Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling (but what does, right? And again this is not a YA, so again maybe is not a very fair comparison). But, I think, especially “The Hunger Games” effect, had its contribution on my sister’s less interest on this book.

However, I found the book interesting enough that I want to read the rest of the series. Thankfully, each book keeps getting better.

Clary (the main character of the series), her boyfriend/ brother Jace (you have to read the book to find out), her best friend Simon, The Lightwoods, and other interesting character ini this book, will bring you to another side of New York, where shadowhunters (warriors with angels blood in their vein that protect the world from demons) and the Downworld (with warlocks, vampires, fairies, and werewolves) exist. The side that a regular human being, of course, can not see.

If you’re into romance there’s some dose of it in this series (obviously, since it’s a YA Urban Fantasy).  There are many interesting character in this book and I enjoyed being introduced to each kind of creatures with their unique character and how they interact with each other.

Again I reminded that no one can live by their own. We need the help and cooperation from other people.. or creature. And differences is not to be destroyed, make us feel superior or inferior. It just there so we could learn from each other, to create great things together.

I’m sorry that I made a fantasy novel sounds so serious. It just that I always learn so much from them.

There’s a prequel to this series and another series based on one character in it. It’s in my book-to-buy list. Here are the covers of the sixth books of the series that are published in Indonesia. If you decided to read them, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.

The 6th Book Combo

I’m in the middle of reading these two books. Both are the 6th also the last book of the two series I’ve been following.


It took more than a year to wait for the translated version of these books to be published. So once they came out, I don’t wait too long to grab them from the book store. Well, I actually bought them online, like most book purchasing I did in the last few years, so I click the button right away to bought them both (not at the same time though).

“Terminal”, from the Tunnels Series by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, were available first. I just start reading it when I bought the second book, “City of Heavenly Fire” from The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. I’m not the type of reader who would read two or more books at one time. I would usually finish one book before start to read another one. Then one day, I left “Terminal” at the office…

I work on flexible hours, which means I only have to go to the office three days a week. The day when I left my precious book is the day before my schedule to work at home for two days. So, what happen next in the underground? And what am I going to do for two days?? (beside of working of course :p).

There is when “City of Heavenly Fire” saved my life ;p

Now that I’m back to the office, both books were reunited. I do have a strong feeling which one I’m going to finish first. Feel free to guess, just to make it a bit more interesting ;D

Books I Read in 2014

It’s crazy how the time passed isn’t it? I can’t believe the first month of 2015 is coming to an end and the last time I post anything on this blog was May 2014 -_-”

There were so many things happened last year, a life changing ones.

Well, this is my first post this year. Hopefully an opener to more posts and updates.

Apparently, I also read less book on 2014, like 9 books less than 2013.

I don’t know if I could read more this year, since one of so called life-changing-event I might going to tell you in another post, but I will keep updating it on the “Book List” page. And I will try my best to create more post.

Well, this is my 2014 book list:

[To continue what I did here, this page is now will make a note of the books I finished reading on 2014. Feel free to share your own list or your recommendation of books worth reading on the comment below. Enjoy your reading! :)]

books 2014
Oh, the joy of reading…

Books I read in 2014:

>> January:
1. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
2. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
3. Siomay Pink: Sebuah Perjalanan untuk Menemukan Cinta – Nidya Febriani Utami
4. Otobiografi Malcolm X: Sang Negro yang Merevolusi Dunia Islam dan Kemanusiaan – Malcolm X & Alex Haley

>> February:
5. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
6. Please Look After Mom – Kyung-sook Shin
7. The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes – Cassandra Clare
8. The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass – Cassandra Clare
9. Pulang – Leila S. Chudori
10. Gadis Jeruk – Jostein Gaarder

>> March:
11. Cahaya, Cinta, dan Canda M. Quraish Shihab: 70 Tahun Membumikan al-Qur’an – Mauluddin Anwar, Latief Siregar, Hadi Mustofa Djuraid
12. Cinderella in Paris – Sari Musdar
13. Berguru kepada Sang Mahaguru: Catatan Kecil [Seorang Murid] tentang Karya-karya dan Pemikiran M. Quraish Shihab – Muchlis M. Hanafi
14. Catatan Indah untuk Tuhan – Saptuari Sugiharto
15. Six Suspects – Vikas Swarup
16. Ibrahim Bapak Semua Agama: Sebuah Rekontruksi Sejarah Kenabian Ibrahim AS. Sebagaimana tertuang dalam Taurat, Injil dan Al-Qur’an – Iqbal Harahap (penyadur)
17. The Chronicles of Ghazi #1 – Sayf Muhammad Isa & Felix Y. Siauw
18. The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick
19. The Homecoming – Shashi Warrier
20. The Jilbab Traveler – Asma Nadia, dkk
21. Sepuluh Anak Negro (And Then There Were None) – Agatha Christie
22. One Amazing Thing – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
23. Mirror Image – Sandra Brown

>> April:
24. Always the Bridesmaid – Sarah Webb
25. Kau, Aku, dan Sepucuk Angpau Merah – Tere Liye
26. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
27. The Tales of Beedle the Bard – J.K. Rowling
28. Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time – Karen Armstrong
29. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
30. Antologi Rasa – Ika Natassa
31. Kisah-kisah Tengah Malam – Edgar Allan Poe
32. Birrul Walidain: Wawasan al-Qur’an tentang Bakti kepada Ibu Bapak – M. Quraish Shihab

>> Mei:
33. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
34. The Miracle of Enzyme – Hiromi Shinya, MD
35. The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels – Cassandra Clare
36. Creative Writing – A.S. Laksana

>> Juni:
37. Leafie: Ayam Buruk Rupa dan Itik Kesayangannya – Hwan sun-mi
38. The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls – Cassandra Clare
39. Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
40. Melunasi Janji Kemerdekaan – Muhammad Husnil

>> Juli:
41. Divergent – Veronica Roth
42. Insurgent – Veronica Roth
43. Allegiant – Veronica Roth
44. Run, Dear, Run – Corrine Morgan-Thomas, Gary Brozek

>> August:
45. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – Kate DiCamillo
46. My Life As: Film Director – Haqi Achmad
47. Cecilia dan Malaikat Ariel – Jostein Gaarder
48. Financial Stories: Kisah Inspiratif Pengelolaan Uang, Utang, dan Usaha – Erlina Juwita, dkk

>> September:
49. Mari Lari – Ninit Yunita
50. Sabtu Bersama Bapak – Adhitya Mulya
51. The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand – Jonathan Stroud
52. The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Golem’s Eye – Jonathan Stroud

>> Oktober:
53. The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Ptolemy’s Gate – Jonathan Stroud
54. Beautiful Liar – Dyah Rinni
55. Menjadi Djo – Dyah Rinni

>> November:
56. I Will Always Love You – Jo Chang-in

>> December:
57. The Story Girl – Lucy M. Montgomery

[] >> I think I’ll keep the opener as it was just for the sake of nostalgia ;D

Please Look After Mom

Can you hold your tears up while thinking about your mother, all the love she’s been giving you through every little things she does? I think most people can’t. I know I’m one of those people.

The story begins when a wife was separated with her husband in Seoul train station. A few stations after, the husband realized that his wife wasn’t following him into the train and rushed back to pick her up, but never found her.

The entire family, the husband and their children, were looking after her. Day after day, week after week, month after month…

“You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone” could be used to describe this story. Only after their mother (and wife) were gone, they started to remember everything about her. How she took a very good care of them. How she sacrificed lots of things, done things that they can’t even imagine doing half of.

Please Look After Mom (goodreads)Of course they always love her, but they were almost too busy with their own lives to really think about how much she meant in each of their lives. While looking for her, they were thinking about her as a person, about her life and dreams. They were asking themselves if she was happy, hoping that she’s okay, wishing that they have done better things for her.

The writer, Kyung-sook Shin,  were using different point of views to write each chapter of the book (the first person, the second person, and the third person point of view all together). It’s pretty confusing at first,  but I kind of enjoy it after a while. I think it helps me to see through the characters eyes better and relate to the story even more.

Back to the first sentence of this post, the answer to that is exactly why I wet my eyes more than once while reading this book. While each character were bringing up memories about their mother, I’m thinking about mine.

When it comes to mothers, what they’ve done for us seems never ending while what we’ve done for her feels like never enough. Still, we tend to take it for granted from time to time, forget to appreciate it as well as we should.

The highest gratitude for all mothers in this world, especially for my own mother. Reading the book, I ended said to myself and pray to God to, “Please Look After Mom”.

Malcolm X

The original title was “The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley”. I read the translated version.

I heard his name for quite a long time but know very little about him. He’s an African American, he’s a moslem, and the Indonesian version title said that he “revolutionized the world of Islam and humanity”. That’s what made me interested to know more about this man.

Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) were born in the time when racism was in a horrific condition. His entire life was basically influenced by it and was then dedicated against it.

Before Malcolm was born, his family had to move out of their house because the threat of the Ku Klux Klan, since Malcolm’s father was an activist of UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association).

Malcolm X

His father was killed when he was six, his mother was placed in a mental hospital seven years after. In his teenage years, he started to spent most of his life on the street, get involve with alcohol, drugs, became a thief and trafficker, until he got into jail.

As he grew, he watched and experienced how the black people were treated differently by the white people. Not always in a ruthless way, but even the nicest white people (sometimes maybe without realizing that it was some form of racism) doesn’t seems to see black people equally as human being. Yet, not until heard about Elijah Muhammad and his teachings, he realized how terrible racism has and still destroying black people.

I learn from this book how oppression and negligence could grow inferiority in someone. That when a human being treated less than he should be all his life, he would be eventually think less of himself. He would started to believe that he deserved it.

In this case, racism had led the African American to forget who they really are. The oppression and in equal treatment they got since the first time they arrived at the country as slaves had effecting them mentally, spiritually, socially, and economically. It was led them into low self esteem, the helpless feeling, and self destructive attitude. They got to believe that they were lower than the white people and the only way they could succeed was by their mercy or by following their way. The worst part of it is that most of them didn’t even realize this.

MAlcolm X Quote

This self esteem and the pride of being black men was what Elijah Muhammad with his Nation of Islam tried to revived. The movement want black people stand on their own feet and began to fight for their success. Malcolm who was born as Malcolm Little changed his last name into X like the other member of the religious movement. He became National Representative of the Nation of Islam, second in rank after Elijah, before he found the real Islam, that gave a new perspective in his fight for the rights of blacks and about racism itself.

Trough his speech and his own journey to find the truth, Malcolm woke a lot of people, black or white, about the racism problem in America and how it was the roots of lots of problem in the country.

Malcolm was stating the truth that was making people, white or black, uncomfortable. His passion and frankness might also made some people feel threaten. But I think that’s also how he inspires even more people across races in different countries, even long after he died as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

Books I Read in 2013

>> Since 2013 was over, I moved the contain of the page into a new post. So I could use the page for the list of books I read in 2014 while still be able to review the 2013 book list. Let’s keep reading, folks! :) <<

Just like I wrote on this post, this page contain the list of the books that I’ve finished reading in 2013. Some books I might already start reading on previous year. If you decided to make this kind of page too, please put the link of your page/ post on the comment column below to share what you have read. Hopefully, we could motivate each other to read more books. It will be fun! ;D

Let’s read them all! ;)

Books I read in 2013:

>> January:
1. Berani Mengubah – Pandji Pragiwaksono.
2. Filosofi Kopi – Dewi “Dee” Lestari.
3. Dream Catcher – Alanda Kariza.
4. Waktu Aku Sama Mika – Indi

>> February:
5. Life Without Limits – Nick Vujicic
6. My Life As: Actor – Haqi Achmad
7. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse – Rick Riordan
8. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth – Rick Riordan
9. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Last Olympian – Rick Riordan

>> March:
10. Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
11. 2 – Donny Dhirgantoro
12. Ketika Mas Gagah Pergi dan Kembali – Helvy Tiana Rosa
13.Sebelas Patriot – Andrea Hirata

>> April:
14. Brand Gardener – Handoko Hendroyono
15. The Naked Traveler – Trinity
16. Rindu – Sefryana Khairil

>> May:
17. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
18. Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
19. Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
20. Belajar Hidup Kaya dari Si Miskin – Matahari Timoer

>> June:
21. My Life As: Writer – Haqi Achmad and Ribka Anastasia
22. Notes from Qatar – Muhammad Assad
23. Kastana Taklukkan Jakarta – Soleh Solihun

>> July:
24. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
25. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
26. Marginalia – Dyah Rinni
27. Divortiare – Ika Natassa

>> September:
28. Unfriend You – Dyah Rinni
29. Honeymoon with My Brother – Franz Wisner
30. Rantau 1 Muara – A. Fuadi
31. Food Combining di Bulan Ramadan – Erikar Lebang
32. Hitam Putih – Budi Satrio

>> October:
33. Pencerah Nusantara: Best Practices untuk Mencapai MDGs – Tim Redaksi
34. I Can (Not) Hear – Feby Indirani and San C. Wirakusuma
35. Red Riding Hood – Blakley-Cartwright/Johnson
36. The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes – Jennifer Cruise, Eileen Dreyer, Anne Stuart
37. Nge-Blog dengan Hati – Ndoro Kakung
38. More About Nothing – Wimar Witoelar
39. How to Be a Pirate – Cressida Cowell
40. How to Speak Dragonese – Cressida Cowell
41. How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse – Cressida Cowell
42. Snow Country – Yasunari Kawabata
43. Detektif Imai dan Rahasia Pesan Api – Dyah P. Rinni
44. Magical Seira #1: Seira and The Legend of Madriva – Sitta Karina
45. Magical Seira #2: Seira and Abel’s Secret – Sitta Karina

>> November:
46. Magical Seira #2.5: Sand Castle – Sitta Karina
47. 100% Wolf – Jayne Lyons
48. How to Train Your Dragon – Cressida Cowell
49. How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale – Cressida Cowell
50. Annie Sang Manusia Kalkulator (Calculator Annie) – Alexander McCall Smith
51. Bukan Bid’ah – Prof. DR. Ali Jum’ah
52. Tunnels – Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams
53. Deeper – Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams
54. Freefall – Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams
55. Closer – Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams
56. Spiral – Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams

>> December:
57. Ayahku (Bukan) Pembohong – Tere Liye
58. Tangisan Langit – Imam Sibawaih El-Hasany & Yunan Askaruzzaman Ahmad
59. Pohon Permen Karet (The Bubblegum Tree) – Alexander McCall Smith
60. Sila ke-6: Kreatif Sampai Mati – Wahyu Aditya
61. Inferno – Dan Brown
62. Muhammad Al-Fatih 1453 – Felix Y. Siauw
63. Food Combining Itu Gampang – Erikar Lebang
64. Manusia Setengah Salmon – Raditya Dika
65. The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith
66. Pena Beracun (The Moving Finger) – Agatha Christie

Brand Gardener, The Naked Traveler, Rindu

Ok. For some effectiveness reason, I’m going to review three books in one post this time.

1. Brand Gardener

Brand GardenerA book by Handoko Hendroyono, an advertising practitioner, about how everyone that works with brand need to change their paradigm and attitude to communicate in the world that change even faster than it used to.

Consumers today are well informed. They not easily believe in commercial or falls right away to a bombastic advertising. The pond has changed, so the fish has to adapt and transform to survive. In this book, Handoko is offering one concept to deal with all those changes. He thinks that everybody should be  a brand gardener.

Being a creative storyteller, as he called himself, Handoko share his thoughts through more than 30 stories in the book.

He keeps each of the story short and simple, so it’s easy to comprehend even if you are not in advertising or marketing business.

To be a brand gardener means that you need to really understand what a brand is represents. What is the idea behind it and what is the purpose of the product. Than you could choose the right medium and ways to communicate the brand to the consumer. Creativity is of course needed here. But a passionate heart, a sincere will to share, and the ability to connect rather than just to build awareness is the most important.

The book describes what the world society has change into, specially in its way to communicate. How the information travels, how everything become more personal than ever, and how to understand that creates more challenge yet also more opportunities to grow your brand. How interesting.

2. The Naked Traveler

TNT 4This is the fourth book of The Naked Traveler Series by Trinity. It’s always interesting to read Trinity’s  traveling stories. Not just about some monuments or spot worth visit in a country, but also about the people there, the habit and culture, and some specific experience that you can not find only by browsing about the place (except perhaps you read her blog :p).

In this book, Trinity puts one chapter about Indonesia. Like before, she mentions how beautiful Indonesia is, how many place that you can visit, and how we, as Indonesian, should start with Indonesia when it comes to traveling. This chapter reassures that.

She also shares some tips to travel and shows that what you need to start traveling is a strong will. She was able to backpacking to Europe when she was still a college student, with her own money. So, what are we waiting for? 😀

I don’t travel a lot myself  (I actually never really going anywhere). The entire series of The Naked Traveler encourage me to travel more. Go out there, see the world. Information, inspiration, insights. That’s what this book offers.

3. Rindu
RinduThis novel is about lost and how it could shock someone’s life so greatly it affects all aspects of it. The death of their only son changes everything in Krisna’s and Zahra’s life.

For me it’s a pretty nice novel. I think the writer, Sefryana Khairil, did a good job in describing the pain of loosing someone close to your heart, of missing (rindu) the one who’s gone and the life you have when he still around.

Reading through the pain and the healing process of the characters in this novel, I learn that everyone could have experience this kind of lost at least once in their life. It’s nice to share the feeling and see it from other people eyes. :)