Revolution 2020

Title: Revolution 2020, Cinta, Korupsi, Ambisi
Author: Chetan Bhagat
Translator: Reni Indardini
Publisher: Penerbit Bentang
Published date: October 2013
436 pages

I found this book at Big Bad Wolf Books Sale with a very friendly price, it's only IDR 20,000. Curious about this book when I read at the book cover, 'One of the author's novels was adapted into 3 Idiots the movie. As we know that 3 Idiots is still one the best Indian movies so far. 

Chetan Bhagat is quite popular in India. Lots of his books are best-sellers and even have been adapted into movies. 

Revolution 2020 is a story concerned with a love triangle, corruption and a journey of self-discovery. It follows childhood friends Gopal, Raghaf and Aarti who struggle to find success and love in a small town in India, Varanasi. Varanasi is one of the holiest places in India. Therefore it's a kind of irony to see the corruption takes place before people eyes in almost all aspects of life. Gopal gives in to the system and Raqhav fights it, who will win? Who will take the revolution?  And also who will get Aarti's heart? 

In India becoming an engineer is a life goal (if you watch 3 Idiots the movie, you get it). Parents put their lifetime's earning on stake for their children entering faculty of engineering and pray that they pass with flying colours and at last change the fortune of the family. This is the dream. But the reality sometimes sucks. Some students accomplish their dreams while others sink into disaster. 

This hard conditions leads some people to find a way to make money. When there is a will, there is a way. It's going to be good if it is done honestly. But it's a fishy business here. There are many new private universities opened. They try to promote and do whatever they can (sometimes in a very unethical way) to get new students. Some parts of this book remind me of our beloved country, Indonesia, since we also struggle now to combat the corruption.  

Inspiring story. An eye opener for the educational system, and how to encourage our children to follow their own dreams instead of following their parents' obsession. Yes, it's never easy to become parents.

Find more of Chetan Bhagat's website here

Kerumunan Terakhir

Title: Kerumunan Terakhir
Author: Okky Madasari
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Published Date: May 2016
360 pages

"Betapa kasihannya anak-anak zaman sekarang ini. Di usia yang masih sangat muda, mereka sudah dibuat haus perhatian. Semua ingin disukai, semua ingin punya banyak pengikut, semua ingin terlihat dan dikenal. Apalagi yang lebih menyedihkan selain menggantungkan kebahagiaan kita di tangan orang?"
Okky Madasari is one of the best Indonesian authors. Since her first novel Entrok in 2010 that tells about the brutality of New Order era continued with 86 about corruption in Indonesia then Maryam about an Ahmadi girl and the transgender discrimination in Pasung Jiwa, I think I fall in love with her writing. She always delivers different stories with different themes and unpredictable plots and usually leaves me with a hole in my heart and my mind. That serious? Yes, her works always haunted me for days but since I am addicted to it, I still read it over and over again.  

In her fifth book, Okky tells about the massive phenomenon, the social media (socmed). How this socmed has a great influences in people lives. Why do people now seem to disclose everything --even the most personal things to public? Why do people need to impress everyone about how good their lives are? Why do existence and self recognition become their goals now? What's wrong with people???

Let's meet the lead character in Okky's latest novel,  Kerumunan Terakhir, he is Jayanegara, a total looser. He does not finish his university study nor have any job. He plans to take revenge for what his father did to his mother. He just stares at the laptop the whole day, impresses people with his new identity as Matajaya, lies about how great his life is and at last becomes a totally new person who have lots of followers.

Yes, in this socmed era, it's very easy to create a new you, even the fake one. People just like to get into one crowd to another. Being a solitaire is a big no no now. In this rapid changes, people need to adapt as fast as possible however in real life lots of people are still not ready yet to absorb and adjust with the new things. Therefore we see many negative impacts are here now. We can't stop the technology or block the internet, etc, we just need to be wise in using it. There's always some limits in everything we do. And just be YOU. Remember what Kurt Cobain said, "I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."

Again, Okky is trying to be honest with the latest phenomenon and she made it. As she said, "Writing is about courage and freedom. Without both of those we say and stand up for nothing." Couldn't agree more. 

Check more on Okky Madasari's website here.

Book Review: O

Title: O
Author: Eka Kurniawan
Published Date: March 2016
Publisher: PT Gramedia Penerbit Buku Utama
470 pages

O is a story of a female monkey that wants to get married with a king of dangdut. Absurd? Yes, as usual Eka Kurniawan again will fascinate his readers with an awesome story.

Eka still delivers his story with  lots of characters, several of them are animals such as monkeys, birds, dogs, rats and even pigs, they all will mingle and share their lives with human. Not only the characters, the plot is also unpredictable. Every time you turn into a new page, you mostly will meet a new character with  his own life story. No worries, all of these characters are quite strong, you will easily involve with them, and they  have proportional portion in the book. You just need to enjoy each of the page. Don't think too much. Let it flow. When you finish reading it, you will get a big picture of the story and feel amazed.

After reading almost all of Eka's works, I admit that I love his works. It's a well-prepared stories with strong characters, rich plot, a philosophical message, adventure and even a love story. Eka is a complete author. One of the best among Indonesian authors. No wonder if he's nominated in the Man Booker Prize 2016. He created great works. Even some people said that Eka is our next Pramoedya Ananta Tour.

Check Eka Kurniawan's website here.

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2016

Long weekend and good books are a lethal combination. So grateful to find one of the biggest warehouse book sales in Malaysia, Big Bad Wolf is finally here in Indonesia. Yes, please welcome the First Big Bad Wolf Book Sale (BBW) at ICE, BSD. BBW has been held in Malaysia since 2009. It was Andrew Yap and his wife, Jacqueline Ng, who started the program. Every year this book lovers go around US and UK to collaborate with several publishers while preparing the books supply for the next BBW. By the way, the Big Bad Wolf name was inspired by a classical story, Little Red Riding Hood.

As a warehouse sale, BBW provide tons of books with good quality and huge discount (up until 80%).  Lots of different genres of books are here, you name it, from fiction, children books, travel, cookery, art, design, business, and many more scatter around the place. What could be more fun than drowning in piles of books?  

Looking at the long line to enter the place and the long queue to get to cashier, I guess BBW in Indonesia just hit a big success. Hopefully this book sale will be held every year.

BBW is still on until Sunday, 8 May 2016. It opens for 24 hours. I recommend you to come early in the morning (7am perhaps), so it's still not too crowded and you don't need to spend long hours at the cashier. Happy hunting. It's totally worth it #siap bawa koperberoda&paremkocok.
What we brought home!

Venice, the Floating City

Venice has been on my bucket list for ages. When my friends and I decided to go to Italy, we realised that  our time (and money) were limited so we had to choose two cities only in Italy.  And without a single doubt, beside Rome, Venice was absolutely on the list. 

To save time, instead of using train (which will take approximately 14 hours), we flew within 1,5 hours by using Transavia airlines from Amsterdam to Marco Polo airport in Venice, Italy. There are many budget airlines (sometimes even cheaper than the train ticket) that we can choose to explore Europe. 
Hotel Al Bailo, Venice. Highly recommended

Arrived at the airport, we walked along the road to find our water taxi that we have previously booked online  then we headed to our Hotel Al Bailo, Venice. Although its is called hotel but this place is a kind of apartment. From outside the building in Venice look old and vintage but at the moment you enter the place, you will be amazed to see how modern the place is. Just like Hotel Al Bailo, very cozy place with a reasonable price. We booked it via The location is quite accessible.  You get pasta, gellato, tiramisu, cappuccino and souvenirs easily around the corner. Once we bought some raw pasta, meat and condiment and cooked them all for our breakfast. Super yummy. 

Moving on, what is the special thing about Venice? Well...No words could describe how beautiful Venice is. Consisting of 118 islands, it is also called as a city on water. No cars, no traffic jam since the available transportation here is Vaporetto (water bus) or the private one, water taxi or you can also ride along in the gondola with its charming gondolier.

Venice is surrounded by canals and bridges. As a UNESCO cultural heritage site, this city has a magical touch on everything. Living here must be like living in a fantasy world.

The sad part about Venice is that the city is slowly sinking under water. Each year water is rising about 2-3 cm. The houses by the water are slowly going under water. Therefore you MUST visit this place soon. I was lucky to come in March when the weather is a bit cool, not too many tourist so we can easily enjoy and explore the area.