This is a very dark novel written by Natsuo Kirino (Out, Real World). You feel gloom spread on every page. A story about 2 sisters. They have a Japanese mother and a Swiss father. The youngest sister, Yuriko, is very beautiful while her unname elder sister is so ordinary. As usual people always compare sisters. Yuriko was embraced by many people. Her elder sister has nothing. This situation leads to a hatred. Deep hatred. To prove that the elder sister can do something, she studies hard and finally accepted in one of prestigious school in Japan, Q School. But things are still not her side. This school is not like she dreams of. She experiences horrible things there especially when her sister, Yuriko, finally got accepted in that school, too.

There is also a girl named Kazue. She is actually a brainy girl. She also goes to Q school and becomes Yuriko's elder sister classmate. The three of them got terrible moments there that at last put them all in a bad destiny.

After graduating from Q school, Yuriko's elder sister gets a job in a small company. At the same time Kazue is accepted in a big company and gets good position. But Kazue still feels not satisfied with her life. Therefore she at last does two totally different things in her life by becoming a 9-to-5 worker at her office and transforming herself as a prostitute at night. While Yuriko has never finished her school since she was dropped out from Q school. She becomes a prostitute since then. As they already expected finally they meet their tragic ending. They both are found dead by a brutal murder.

I feel sorry for all characters appear in this novel. They are all looking for love. Unfortunately they can't meet it. They have no one to support them, neither family nor environment. There is no one to talk to. No one listens. They are all victims. How poor they are.

This novel is told in a very detail way. It moves a bit slow. But I salute the author's great research about the night life of the prostitute. From her vivid description we might catch how the prostitutes thinks about their profession, how risky their jobs are, their worries and their fear. One thing that I learn from this novel is your surrounding is your everything. If you are raised by love and affection and surrounded by comfortable environment, you will end up as a caring and lovely person. A good lesson for parents.

Already translated in bahasa by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama on October 2010. A quite thick novel, 628 pages, but worth to read.


I love almost all of Marjane Satrapi's works e.g. Persepolis, Embroideries and Chicken with Plums. I was very much surprised when I found this children book in Gramedia. If usually we only see Marjane with her black and white illustration, now we have the opportunity to enjoy her fabulous colorful illustration. Look at the illustrations above, they're awesome, aren't they?

This is a special children book. The message is actually to love our earth. But as a very creative author and illustrator, Marjane can convey her story in an out-of-box style. Her imagination is amazing. I guess not only children even adult might enjoy this book a lot.

Thank you for PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama that already translated this book on June 2010, unfortunately I just found it on February 2011. Really hope that they will translate all Marjane's works.

Batik Najlazea: February Collection last our February Collections are here. My initial target is to produce minimal 20 items per month. But it seems it is getting harder everyday since I handle all i.e. batik hunting, production and promotion by myself *excuse*.

A friend offered me two projects last week with crazy deadlines. No, the projects had nothing to do with batik. I dealt with legal drafting and stuffs. Definitely not a fun thing to do but it is still okay as long as I don't have to deal with them everyday:)

Trying to do all at the same time is hard. Finally I come to a conclusion that I will not push it. I will not let myself getting stressful over my online shop or anything else. I will enjoy all and not consider them as an obligation. They are just hobbies. No deadlines. No target. is beautiful again^^... enjoy our lovely sackdress and colorful capuchon here.

Angel's Cake

"Aku tahu kau lebih suka kopi, tapi sungguh ketika seseorang sedang bersedih, hanya teh yang bisa membantu. Ketika seseorang tidak bahagia, teh adalah seperti pelukan seorang ibu."

A book with food theme always attracts me. It usually warms my heart. It is felt yummy to digest the story. Just like this Gaile Perkin's book, Baking Cake in Kigali. Penerbit Qanita has translated it in Bahasa on October 2010 and changed the title into Angel's Cake. Angel is the lead character in the book.

Angel Tungaraza is a Tanzanian woman who decided to move to Rwanda with her hubby and their 5 orphaned grandchildren. Perhaps for certain people, it's a crazy thing to do since Rwanda is just recovered from its war and horrible genocide.

But Angel has different ideas. In her opinion in every situation there is always something to celebrate. It's definitely true. Angel becomes a favorite person there. She is an ear to listen. A shoulder to cry on. From her sweet yet simple cakes, Angel colors Rwanda people life. All her customers tells their stories to her. From happy stories until the most tragic stories. All's there. I am very much entertained to read many different stories from her customers. Although Angels looks happy all the time, but she actually has her own wound and she is still trying to get over it and make her own peace.

An awesome debut novel. Highly recommended.

Lizzie in a Jar

I got a surprised package from this guy last Saturday. It was sent directly from Papua. A long journey for Lizzie in the Jar i.e. the package name. Yes, it's a used jar which already been beautifully painted and Lizzie (the cute little girl) is the bonus. She's in there, inside the jar.

I always love handmade item. Creative people always put me in deep amazement. This is one of the example. Thank you, Perez.

Traveling with Pomegranate

This book is unique. Why? Because this is a travelogue describing the duo's journeys of a mother and daughter through the sacred places of Greece, Turkey and France. The mother is a famous author, Sue Monk Kidd. She is the author of a touching novel The Secret Life of Bees, while her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor also follows her mom to become a writer.

This is an intimate dual memoir. Sue and Ann take turn in writing this book. Started by Sue first then the next chapter continued by Ann. It goes like that until the last chapter. We will have two different stories about the same places. One from a fiftysomething point of view, the other is from twentysomething.

But the book not only talks about the places they visit. It also talks about the authors' journey. The mother tells about her serious illness and her midlife crisis. While Ann tells about her depression when she fails to enter her dream college. Not all stories are interesting. Sometimes the story moves so slow. A bit boring. My favorite part is the story about how Sue got the idea in creating her first novel The Secret Life of Bees. From this book then I know the process of her first novel. It's not an easy thing. It took long process before finally published and became a big hit.

This book is inspiring me. I just love the idea of having my own travelogue with my girls someday. It's going to be exciting. Can't wait.

Ranah 3 Warna

As I said before, my hubby's students conducted a program called Gerakan Seribu Buku at their campus. Out of the blue the students asked me to become a moderator for Bedah Buku Ranah 3 Warna, the second book of Negeri 5 Menara trilogy with the author, A. Fuadi. How could I say no? I myself also a big fan of Fuadi. I love Negeri 5 Menara Trilogy. I label the trilogy as a must read book.

So this morning I got the opportunity to meet one of my favorite author. Never thought that he's so humble. We had a discussion about his latest book. What a wonderful moment. Not only for me but also for all students. Hopefully the author spirit could influence the students. At least they dare to dream and keep telling themselves that nothing is impossible.

The book itself still tells about Alif, the lead character of the book, after graduating from Pondok Madani. Alif has a very hard struggle before he can continue his study at Unpad Bandung. Another dream comes. Alif wants to have an opportunity to study abroad. He now tries his luck as a scholarship hunter. At first, Alif still holds on to a magic spell from his teachers at Pondok Madani 'man jadda wajada' (if you really fight for it, you will get it). But life seems not always on his sides. Life is getting harder everyday. Until finally he remembers the second magic spell 'man shabara zhafira' (whoever has patience, he/she will be lucky).

Still as excellent as the first book, the second book tells about Alif's life in 3 places, in Bandung, Jordan and Canada. Alif's experiences are a good example for all of us. As a guy from a small village in Indonesia, he finally can conquer the world. The key is only be persistent. Never giving up. Keep on trying. Just started with a dream, then try to make it happen. It's not an easy thing to do. It needs a long and hard sacrifice. But at the end of the journey, you will be amazed to see God's gift. It's just the fruits of your patience.

Warna Langit 3

The last book of Trilogy Warna is finally here. The author, Kim Dong Hwa still amazes me with his stories. A relation between a mom and her daughter that is told in a very poetic way and perfected with enchanting drawing.

Ehwa, the daughter, now already turns into an independent young girl. She finally experiences what her mom also does. They both are waiting for their beloved lovers. Her mom is waiting for the drawing man while Ehwa is waiting for her fiance.

This last book tells us about a beautiful journey of love. If you believe in the power of love, there is nothing to worry about. Just follow your heart. At the end of it, you will be surprised to find happiness is waiting for you. Yes...the happy ending is yours. Grab it. Just like what happens to Ehwa and her mom. They just believe in love. At last they just have it all. Love is great.

Gerakan Seribu Buku

Welcoming Lunar new year by tidying up my bookshelves . It's also related to my hubby's idea to launch Gerakan Seribu Buku at his campus. He wanted to spread the book freak virus among campus people, i.e. the lecturers and the students. He first asked his students to conduct a program in campus. This program will be associated with books. People may participate by giving their second books and they also can watch special pograms, e.g. Bedah Buku. The committee will invite several popular authors, such as: A. Fuadi (Negeri 5 Menara), Asma Nadia, and some others to come to campus and discuss about their books. The programs will be held within 3 days and it'll be started tomorrow. I wish them luck in their programs. I always love creative youth.

Back to my bookshelves mission, last night I succeeded in selecting my novel collections. Trapped among tons of books really put me into ecstasy. It seems that along with my age, there are some novels that are not suitable for me anymore. These including my Agatha Christies' collections, Sydney Sheldon's novels, Marry Higgins Clarks, and many more. Lately I am a bit choosy in deciding which books to read. I love a book with a humane mission or at least there is something that I could learn from the book. Not only a simple story without any message. What a wise middle aged woman. Ouch..I suddenly feel so old:)

This morning I asked my hubby to deliver the books to his campus. Really hope that my books will have great journeys, read by many readers and entertain them all. Just thinking about that stuff already make me feel warm. I guess it's just the magic of giving.