Can't Get Enough of Books

Gramedia publisher is celebrating its 38th birthday this month. There is a 38% discount for 38 special chosen books and 25% discount for any books published by Gramedia and its subsidiaries and still additional 10% if you pay the book by using certain credit card. The discount will be available until April 1, 2012.

Yesterday I went to Gramedia bookstore at PIM and bought six books:
  1. Princess Bedtime Stories;
  2. Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (Isabel Allende);
  3. The Painted Veil (W. Somerset Maugham);
  4. Never Let me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro);
  5. Gadis Kretek (Ratih Kumala);
  6. The Lifetime of an Early Teenage Girl (Aurelia Prinisha Madjid).
However having so many books to read sometimes puts me into a dilemma which one to read first. The books are just so tempting. Well....just drop everything and read. A good book is the best of friends.

Quote of the Day

The beautiful thing about learning is no one can take it away from you

Coloured Lights

Author: Leila Aboulela
Translator: Rahmani Astuti
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Pages: 222

Second book of Leila Aboulela, a Sudanese writer, that has been translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Gramedia (the first book is The Translator). This time the writer published her short stories collections. There are 13 stories with different characters. The writer still tells about Sudanese people caught in between the home they long for and the contrasting country and culture in which they live. As the muslims who live in west, most of them have dilemma related to their beliefs and their non-westerns ways of living.

Although the theme is actually serious and 'hard' but the writer again fascinates me by writing the story deeply moving and beautiful. She could deliver her message about the religious identity, Islamic culture and her hometown, Khartoum, Sudan without being preachy. A unique voice, give us a new insight about a COLOURED world.

Travel City

Author: Sonson Nurusholih
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Publication date:2012

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings
--Moslih Eddin Saadi--

Do you have a plan to have your own traveling without joining a tour group? Do not worry, just read this book carefully and you will have a complete info about how to travel by yourself. This book is divided into two sections, the first part talking about the preparation before we explore certain countries, such as: how to buy a plane ticket, how to book a hotel, how to apply for a passport or visa, what to bring, etc. While the second book tells about the review of 30 destinations in South East Asia, i.e. where to go in Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, etc.

Unlike other travel authors who tell about their experiences while visiting some countries, this book focuses more on the tips and info about traveling. A useful book for travelers. More info about the author and his traveling's experiences, check his website here.

Good Morning, Vietnam

I spent the last four days in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. At the time I arrived there I suddenly felt like I was transferred back by a time machine to the year of the 80s. All is old. The airport, the road, the building, the way the people dress, the interior design of the hotel, all is vintage.

With millions of motorcycles on every road and since they drive them like crazy, I guess it really needs big courage to just cross the road. Finding halal food is also another challenge. Nevertheless I just had a good time there. Beside enjoying the beautiful park, the peaceful lake, the legendary Halong Bay, the cheap price of everything there, I just found out that almost every place is exotic. Perhaps the vintage ambience that cause that feeling. No wonder Hanoi declares its city as 'the city of peace'.

How Starbucks Saved My Life

Author: Michael Gates Gill
Translator:Ratri Prakoso
Publisher: Penerbit Literati
Publication Date: February 2012
Pages: 385

Michael Gates Gill is a high-level advertising executive with J. Walter Thomson (JWT) and also the son of famous writer Brendan Gill. After 25 years working at JWT, one day morning he was abruptly fired. He was shocked, realizing that part of his life was over.

That was just the beginning of his misfortune. In a few short years, at the age of 63, Gill -the Yale-educated man closed his consultant business he started after he was laid off, got divorced and was diagnosed with a brain cancer. His life turned upside down.

A trip to Starbucks changed his life. One day a manager asked if he would like to apply as a barista. Gill said yes. Now he would be responsible to handle the coffee shop, not only preparing the drinks but also sweeping the floor and scrubbing the toilets. As an old man, Gill said that he still has trouble with some of the drinks. So many things to remember, such as the size, the ingredients, the name of the drinks, etc. Therefore he prefers to do the cleaning. He said he can make a toilet shines like a Ferrari.

According to Gill, losing his job turned out to be a gift in disguise. He adds more, "when I lost my job, I didn't realized it was just the beginning. I may have a part-time job but I have a full-time life."

This memoir became a New York Times bestseller and the actor Tom Hanks has plans to produce and star in the film version. This book has given me a new perspective in life. What are we looking for in life? Is it money? Can money buy happiness? This memoir leave me with certain things to ponder. Highly recommended.

Cerita Cinta Enrico

Author: Ayu Utami
Publisher: KPG (Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia)
Publication Date: February 2012
Pages: 241

Cinta tak perlu diuji atau dikatakan.
Cinta akan tumbuh dengan sendirinya jika memang mau tumbuh.

This time Ayu Utami wrote a memoir. A story about his husband Prasetya Riksa aka Erik Setyawan aka Enrico. Enrico was born on February 15, 1958 at the time PRRI riot in Padang, West Sumatra took place. Perhaps he was the youngest baby who joined the riot. At age of one day he started to live in a wild jungle.

The riot failed. Enrico's life then continued. Let's see him as a little boy. He used to play with his friends here and there until his mother lost her temper and called him a naughty boy, a rebel son. His mother was a religious person especially when she joined a sect called Saksi Yehuwa, she avoided any worldly things and focused on waiting for the end of the world, the doomsday, that was predicted would happen in 1975.

The bigger Enrico was, the more disagreements he had with his mother. Finally after graduating from his high school, Enrico decided to continue his study in ITB, leaving his parents and all old memories in Padang. He thought that Bandung was his ticket to freedom. No more his mother, no more rules to follow.

Nevertheless life doesn't always turn out the way we plan. There are rain and sunshine in every one's life. It's interesting to read Enrico's life story. Many elements are mixed here, the politics, the religion, the relationship between the son and the mother, the life style and at last his love and the reason behind their marriage. Ayu wrote it very detailed. All is disclosed. Even things that for most people probably will be considered as very personal but not for Ayu and Enrico, they tell everything.

Honestly I enjoyed the story. I laughed for some parts and pondered for the other parts. Since I love reading people's memoirs, I guess this one is worth to read, the unique one.

Daughter of Fortune

Author: Isabel Allende
Translator: Eko Indriantanto
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Publication Date: December 2009

I felt so lucky to find this Allende's novel with 30% discount at Gunung Agung bookstore. An amazing novel about family saga. Daughter of Fortune is Eliza Sommers, a young Chilean girl of mysterious origins. Left as a baby on the doorstep of an English siblings, the Sommers, Rose, Jeremy and their sailor brother, John Sommers. Eliza is finally adopted and raised in part by Rose Sommers and also by Mama Fresia, the Sommers' servant and cook who teaches her the art of cooking.

The novel takes place in Chile during the 1840s, at that time news of gold being discovered in California reaches Chile and people go out to California in search of a fortune.

As other Allende's book, you will find story about love, true love versus 'fairy tale' love, freedom and of course the gold fever. Allende spent seven years of research on this novel. She says it is a story of a young woman's search for self-knowledge. She also wrote the sequel of this novel entitled Portrait in Sepia (has been translated and published by Gramedia on February 2012).

If you love Allende's debut novel The House of the Spirits, you will also love this.

The Artist

Casts: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman
Writer & Director: Michael Hazanavicius

A good story will always be a good story. It does not need a dialogue, a high-technology or even a color. This happens to a 2011 French romantic comedy drama The Artist that has won five academy awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. It's a silent cinema and screened in black and white.

The story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932 and focuses on the relationship of an older silent film star and a rising young actress. But more than that the story tells about one big moment, the cinema revolution. Farewell to silent cinema and welcome the talkies. One thing to learn is if we want to survive, we must move on. Don't get carried away with the old golden time. Do something, at least try to adjust.

The cinema is just awesome. I enjoy every scene, from the beginning until the end. Even without any dialogue, I can feel the cinema's soul. It easily made me laugh and touched. Perhaps it's just the magic of silent cinema and I suddenly come to think of watching other silent cinema. A must see. One of a kind. Highly recommended.

Can't Get Enough of Tumblers

I dropped by at Starbucks yesterday morning and found out that the tumblers and mugs are on sale with 50% discount for only two hours, 10 am-12 am. Whew.. it's really something. Feeling so excited and suddenly busy selecting which one to buy, finally here they are my new members of tumbler collections *smiling*

Long Live Vintage

I have never realized that I am so into vintage stuff until I bumped into Fossil products couple years a go. Every time I happen to visit its store, I always end up buying something *sigh* I don't know why my heart is just so weak towards those unique handbags and wallet. Even its Spring Catalog cover has made me fall for it and when I check its content, I fall in love even more.

Turning 7

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.
Enjoy the trip.

Najla is turning 7 today
Happy birthday our sunshine

We wish you nothing but the best

--Endless love:
Ayah, Mama, adik Zea

**auntie Bimbim, thanks for the birthday cake