2019 Reading Plan

Third week of January and (most likely) my mood is on the very top. It feels so weird because I am a person full of negativity and now I am finding myself with lots of smiles and laugh. I have finished 6 books up to today. With express reading on the first week, three installments of Cormoran Strike finished in a wink. As office works started to find the rhythm, I lost my reading pace and back to the the speed of diesel cars – minus the noisy. But 50 books to read in a year is not too pushy, it means about one book per week so pretty confidence it will be totally fine.

Another 2019 reading plan is to finished all-borrowed-from-friends- books. I also wish to buy 10 books only which too good to be true, I know. If 10 looks impossible, at least I wish I could be wiser on how to spend money on books by only buying ones I really really, repeat, really really want to have (or collect, no difference). Current status is 2 down, 8 to go.

There is one secret writing project I did last year, the final result isn’t presented yet, though. But I always hope the chance to do this kind of project will come again this year. And about writing on another platform like I did on Jurnal Ruang, that one is also unsure but one year has 365 days, and Roald Dahl also said: “However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.”


On December last year, I asked one group of men to tag me along… to join their podcast! Yep, you read it right, it’s podcast! In case you don’t know me, I am chatty. In other times, I am very chatty. like can do non stop chatting for hours and hours. And I have a big passion in books. And I like to try things new. Luckily they agreed to let me join them, so if you’re Indonesian, or you understand Indonesian, or you just wanna hear me babbling like there’s no tomorrow, go to SUARANE.ORG and join their segment titled #KepoBuku.

That’s all my 2019 reading slash bookish plan. Let me know yours too!




2018 Year in Books

Few months before the year ended, I lowered down the number of 2018 goodreads challenge to 75. Even with 25 books cut, I was thinking I wasn’t able to accomplish it. But somehow I finished 83 books with my very best reading speed on last four days. I even managed to finish more than 500 pages Jonathan Stroud’s Amulet of Samarkand in one day. This year I signed up for a premium subscription of Gramedia Digital, it helps me a lot to read during much free time I had.


Here are my top 5 reads:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee. This is the best book I read last year. I am sure everybody knows why. I signed up for a book discussion so I intended to finish before the meeting. The reading pace was very slow for about 100ish pages and it was hard to chew all the unfamiliar words but in the end it was very satisfying.
  2. Resign – Almira Bastari. This novel restored my faith in Indonesian chic-lit. The storyline is -OF COURSE- predicted but Bastari can deliver it neat and fresh.
  3. Xenoglosofilia – Ivan Lanin. No comment. I am a bias. Thank God I didn’t get starstruck the second time I met him AND TOOK A PHOTO OMG OMG.
  4. Lockwood & Co. The Streaming Staircase – Jonathan Stroud. I remember the thrill when reading it. So much fun!
  5. All the Wrong Question #1 & #2 – Lemony Snicket – The last one is two books because I count it as one installment. The series has 4 books but I still don’t have the third. I haven’t read a Series of Unfortunate Events so it’s very surprising to read his works. Each words twine smartly and enjoyable.

Oh I wish I could add more to add the list :)

Although this blog wasn’t very active I managed to publish 3 writings in Jurnal Ruang. They are all written in Bahasa Indonesia:

  1. Mengintip Pesona Haruki Murakami (Essay)
  2. Keadilan Absolut yang Membawa Kemelut (Review)
  3. Atraksi Lumba-lumba dan Kisah-kisah Lainnya (Review)

I must say 2018 wasn’t that harsh for me. Surely there are things I am disappointed or annoyed with, and feel bad about, but there are many new things I did and achieved. My bookish life is one of the delight.

I am going to write about 2019 plan in another post. Let’s end it for now.

The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima

Shinji, an eighteen y.o. boy, lives in Uta-jima (The Song Island), an island which the inhabitants are only 1400. Same as others, Shinji had became a fisherman after school graduation. One day, after a busy work from the sea, Shinji saw a beautiful girl he never met, her name is Hatsue.

As if born under a lucky star, Hatsue accepted Shinji’s pure love. When their story were just about to begin, Chiyoko, another girl who was studying in Tokyo and just got back to her hometown for vacation, showed both of them walking hand in hand. Chiyoko always had an eye for Shinji. So, she asked Yatsuo for help to spread the rumors about Hatsue and Shinji, that both of them already had sex. Such a worst rumour in the village, Shinji and Hatsue then couldn’t meet each other.

Yatsuo, the son of a leading family in the village was indeed Shinji’s rival ever since Hatsue’s arrival by saying he would be Hatsue’s husband. One day, Shinji was asked to work in a bigger ship owned by Hatsue’s father. Although he was confused with this circumstance, he took a job and sailed to another island. Yatsuo was one of the crew. This could be a chance to prove himself that he is the rightest man for Hatsue…

But perhaps it could be not?

I was ready for an absurd story but it turned out that this is a classic love story, or in Indonesian you can say “Roman Picisan”. I was like “Eeeaaa what is it I am reading now?” every time Hatsue and Shinji do flirting towards each other. The story basically just about love at the first sight, with the common obstacles and common solution. I am a fan of a bittersweet ending *laugh* so I was a bit disappointed with this book’s ending. No spoiler, it might be sweet, it might be bitter :p This book was first published in 1956 which I consider classic, so the living way of the characters were also different with current situation now.

Now that they were dressed, they could kiss in comfort… (Page 78)

Anyhow, I like this book. The pace is not slow which is good because I was quite not patient enough to know the development of the stories and to reveal the ending. The strength of this book are the beautiful words written, the simple and humble life of the people, and also the details.

Hatsue got to ger feet in silence and went around the rock to receive the prize. And the prize she returned with was the brown, middle-aged handbag, which she pressed into the hands of Shinji’s mother. The mother’s cheeks flushed red with delight.


“Because I’ve always wanted to apologize ever since my father spoke so rudely to Auntie that day.” (Page 146)

Yasuo quickly mounted the sloping street to the right, his sneakers making not so much as a footfall. He passed through the playground of the elementary school, enclosed in rows of cherry trees, their blossoms half-open. This playground was a recent addition to the school, and the cherry trees had been transplanted from the mountains. One of the young trees had been blown over by the storm; its trunk showed dead-black against a moonlit sand pile. (Page 88)

So far Japanese-English translation never be a problem for me. Some chosen words are indeed unfamiliar, I need to read slowly in some paragraphs, for example when Shinji was fighting alone at the sea, in a stormy night. Another nice point for Japanese-English translation is, I like how the translator made some Japanese words easy to understand.

The boy entered and, by the faint light of the windows, soon found his mother’s mark – red rags tied to several bundles, the name “Tomi Kubo” written on them in childish characters (Page 28)

I believe original word for this “childish characters” is “hiragana”. But if it was just written “hiragana”, some people probably wouldn’t understand.

The Sound of Waves (Shiosai)

Yukio Mishima | Translator: Meredith Weatherby

Pages: 183 p

Tuttle Publishing, 2001

Reading Haruki (Part 2)

It was hard for me to talk about Haruki thus I am glad I wrote the reason why I read Haruk in previous post. Actually, the previous post is a preamble, to practice my writing. A friend R asked me if I could write about Haruki on the website where he’s being an editor. I said yes. It is in Indonesian, please feel free to visit :)

haruki 2