Dance Dance Dance

Haruki Murakami again. The 12th book that I've read so far, still have 3 more books to finish. Enjoyable story as usual. This book is a continuation of another Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase. Similar characters appear again in this book, i.e: the Sheep Man, the Rat, and Kiki. Yet, it's still okay to read this book only without reading Wild Sheep.

But, compared to Wild Sheep, Dance is a lot more exciting. There's romance, detective story, funny and weird things, all packed in a special way.

It's a story about a 34-yr-old guy (Murakami didn't even bother to give name to the lead character) who looks for his vanished girlfriend, Kiki. In his quest, he comes across certain weird or should I say 'unique' people, such as: Gotanda, a well known actor who used to be his classmate in high school, Yuki, a 13-yr-old girl who is abandoned by her parents, and Yumiyoshi, a hotel receptionist who finally has special relationship with the lead character.

These 4 characters meet, involve, influence and end up with unpredictable ending. A complex story but..I love it, though.

Quote of the Day

"Kalau Anda melihat diri Anda melakukan sesuatu dengan buruk dan sudah tidak ada lagi orang yang mau repot-repot memberitahu Anda, maka tempat itu tidak baik untuk Anda.

Anda mungkin tidak ingin mendengar kritikan, tetapi pengkritik Anda seringkali adalah satu-satunya orang yang memberi tahu Anda bahwa dia masih mencintai dan memedulikan Anda dan ingin menjadikan Anda lebih baik"

("The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch)

The Rug Merchant

This book reminds me of Carson McCullers' book "Where All the Lonely Hearts Go" that I read sometimes a go. A book that tells about loneliness, sadness and despair in a beautiful way. I know those three conditions are not nice things to enjoy, but I have to admit that the writer, Meg Mullins is really a master in describing the negative feeling in a good way.

This story is about Ushman, an Iranian guy who leaves his country, his wife and his mother in order to get a better life in New York. But, dreams not always have a good ending. His wife leaves him and gets married with other guy. This condition really turns Ushman down. He breaks into pieces.

Out of the blue, he meets Stella, a 19-yr-old-American-girl who also has sad stories about her family. They get together and have a special relationship. Again, happy ending is not their friend. This relationship does not lead to a good ending. The differencies on age, religion and culture indeed become a serious problem between them.

Already translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Penerbit Bentang on May 2009.

La Tahzan for Mothers

Being a mother is definitely not a simple thing. Despite of blessing we get as a mother, we also must be ready to work hard.

This book's written by Asma Nadia and friends, consists of 16 stories. All tells about mothers, kids, and stuff related to family matters.

As a not-so-patient-and-also-a-not-so-familiar-with-kitchen-stuff-mom, I learn a lot from this book. How to handle the children, how to control our emotion *the hardest part*, and how to give our best in raising our children. To reach these goals, we do not have to be the most perfect mom, least we need to do something in order to become a better mom that our children can be proud of.

Quote of the Day

I am still reading Murakami's book "Dance Dance Dance", find this lines and love it:

"I enjoy shopping at Kinokuniya. You may not believe this, but the lettuce you buy there lasts longer than lettuce anywhere else. Don't ask me why. Maybe they round up the lettuce after they close for the day and give them special training. It wouldn't surprise me. This is advanced capitalism, after all."

Wish List

Some thoughts just come to my mind:

1. Taking my little girls to Pekan Raya Jakarta, Taman Safari Indonesia, Taman Buah Mekarsari, Rumah Keramik F. Widayanto at Tanah Baru, and Kampung Betawi Setu Babakan.

2. Taking my 2nd child, Nayzea, to Kiddy Cut, her Dora-look-haircut is getting more gondrong. Need to prepare myself seriously, incase she screams and scares other customers..:))

3. Visiting my parents' hometown and my place of birth, Banda Aceh and its surrounding.

4. Stop worrying and start enjoying everything.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

This book made me crying. Made me laughing. Made my feeling mixed up completely. Yup, this book, written by Marina Lewycka, not only telling about tractors but it is a story about Nikolai Mayevskyj, a-84-yr-old-widower,who falls in love to Valentina, a-36-yr-old-widow from Ukraine.

Nikolai's daughters --Vera and Nadezhda-- who used to hate each other after their mother's death, finally decide to make peace and try their best to save their father from his new materialistic wife.

This book's nominated for Booker prize 2005. It's deeply funny, witty, and all in all is enjoyable. Already translated into Bahasa Indonesia by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama on February 2008.

The Last Lecture

I came across this book several times at a bookstore, still no intention to buy it, until one day, my boss asked all group heads got together and watched the VCD and at that time, I experienced a very touchy story.

Yes, this is a true story about Randy Pausch, 47 yrs old, a Computer Science Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was dying of pancreatic cancer. Doctor said that he only had 6 months to live. When he was given the chance to deliver his last lecture at his campus, he didn't talk about death at all. In fact, he talked about life. His childhood. His dreams. He talked about "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". All things that lead us to a better life. This lecture had changed a lot of people's point of view about life. Randy's spirit and his positive attitude are very good example for us, to dream, to struggle and at last make it all comes true.

A very recommended book. Already translated in Bahasa Indonesia by Ufuk Press on February 2009 (4th edition).

The Sorrows of An American

I give up reading this book, written by Siri Hustvedt. I tried my best to finish it and eventually realized that this book was not my thing.

Actually, the story itself is interesting, but...I don't know, perhaps the flow is too slow or because a lot of psychological things spread in this book. The conclusion is I can't stand it. So sorry to see this book returned back to the bookshelf.

After the Quake

This book contains of six stories written by Haruki Murakami and set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, when Japan became brutally aware of the fragility of its daily existence.

As usual, all the six stories are superb. I can't even choose my favorite one since almost all are fascinating. Weird stories also come up, the most unique one is a story about a giant talking frog who says that he needs help to save Tokyo from destruction.

I enjoy the book a lot. Love it. Definitely.