5 Adult Colouring Books for Book Lovers

If you are, like me, a book lover who also likes adult colouring, then you might want to have these 5 colouring books.

This is a list arranged by my order of preference. Since I won’t provide much description for each colouring book, please watch the flipthrough videos provided to find out which one you’ll like!

#1. The Mysterious Library – Eunji Park

One of my top favourite colouring books. I’ve finished colouring some pages of this beautiful Korean colouring book:

Flipthrough video:

Where to buy: BookDepository (English version)

#2. Fantastiches Malbuch – Colin Thompson

This is a grayscale German colouring book, and the illustrations are, I think the most appropriate term is, mindblowing!

Flipthrough video:

Where to buy: BookDepository

#3. Wuthering Heights: A Coloring Classic – Elisabetta Stoinich

This book belongs in A Coloring Classic series. Other titles include Pride & Prejudice, A Christmas Carol, Dracula, and Romeo & Juliet.

I’ve only finished one page from this colouring book:

Flipthrough video:

Where to buy: BookDepository / Periplus

#4. Harry Potter Colouring Book – Warner Brothers Studio

There are a lot of other titles of Harry Potter colouring book series too. I’ve finished colouring some pages from this book:

Brewing the Polyjuice Potion 🍵 📖: Harry Potter Colouring Book @studiobooks 🎨: Faber Castell classic colour pencils, Lyra Skintones, Derwent charcoal pencil, Prismacolor pencil black, Faber Castell marking pen black & blue. 📝: Derwent blender pencil, paper stump. P.S.: Yes, this Hermione Granger is a Ravenclaw AND a redhead. #hermionegranger #polyjuicepotion #harrypottercolouringbook #harrypottercoloringbook #coloringbookforadults #coloringbookindonesia #coloringbookforadultindonesia #coloringforadults #arte_e_colorir #bayan_boyan #coloring_secrets #moncoloriagepouradultes #coloringmasterpiece #desenhoscolorir #beautifulcoloring #majesticcoloring #livrocoloriramo #boracolorirtop #colorindolivrostop #coloringbookindonesia #zenartis #mainwarnasurabaya #shadyas #jardimsecretolove

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Flipthrough video:

Where to buy: BookDepository / Periplus / Gramedia.com (Indonesian version)

#5. Color the Classics: Beauty and the Beast – Jae-Eun Lee

Other titles include Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, The Snow Queen, and The Wizard of Oz.

Flipthrough video:

Where to buy: BookDepository / Periplus

Bonus: Arthur Rackham’s Fairies and Nymphs: A Vintage Grayscale Adult Coloring Book

I have no experience in colouring grayscale before, but this one looks interesting, all because it’s Arthur Rackham, whose illustrations usually graced old fashioned fairy tale books!

Flipthrough video:

Where to buy: BookDepository / Periplus

New Hobby, Blogger’s Block and (Almost) Reaching my Classics Club Goal

Hello guys.

As it so often happened before, I find myself having blogger’s block. It’s not just about boredom this time, but also because now I have a new hobby that takes up a lot of my time and energy: colouring! I started colouring almost a year ago but right now, you can say that I’m more enthusiastic of it than ever.

Now, I’m not going to rattle on too much about colouring, because reading and colouring are quite different (though, there are a lot of colouring books based on novels/literature). But in my defense, I love it. Isn’t that what you should do to spend your free time, something you love? So forgive me if I sort of abandoned this blog. I still read, of course, but at this time I just don’t find the spirit to write book reviews. Yes it sounds bad, but this sort of thing happens, I guess. Maybe next year I will get tired of colouring and will get back into book blogging and reviewing with full force, who knows.

However, I have good news too. Back in March 2012, I joined The Classics Club. My original list (which contains a number of classic books I should read in the course of 5 years) contained 100 titles. Then I shrunk it into 60, and by now (September 2016) I have finally read 50 titles. Yay! I’m quite proud of this achievement, even though I couldn’t keep up with writing the reviews (I’ve only written 30 reviews out of 50 books so far), and even though I still have 10 books to read (which honestly I don’t think I will be able to finish reading before March 2017 ends), and even though there are people out there who are more successful in reaching their Classics Club goal (for example: read 100 books and wrote reviews for every single title). Jeez, that was a lot of even thoughs. No matter, I will still read classics, maybe 3-5 titles every year.

And lastly, soon I will review a self-published book in this blog. It’s something I’ve never done before, but the book’s theme is quite interesting and hopefully a lot of people will like it.

Now I will leave you with a “bookish” colouring work I did some time ago.

Cheers!

“Not all those who wander are lost” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

The Classics Club Project – 20% to go!

classicsclub

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”
― Italo Calvino

On March 24, 2012 I started joining the most ambitious reading project ever—The Classics Club Project. At the beginning, I challenged myself to read 100 classics in 5 years, which meant I needed to read 20 books every year. Well, on the first two years I only managed to read 18 and 16 books, respectively, and the number declined significantly in the following two years to only 5 and 6 books.

Being aware of my own limitations, I made a huge cut in my Classics Club list—now it only contains 60 books. As of today, I have 12 books left to read (that’s the last 20% of the list) before the end date of this project: March 24, 2017.

Here are the books I plan to read to finish off the 5-year-long Classics Club Project, in no particular order:

  1. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  2. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  3. The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
  4. The Diary of A Young Girl – Anne Frank
  5. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
  6. Villette – Charlotte Bronte
  7. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
  8. Good Wives – Louisa May Alcott
  9. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
  10. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
  11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
  12. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ – Lew Wallace

Alternatives, if I’m unable to finish any of the titles above:

  1. Book 3-7 from The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
  2. A play from Oscar Wilde (looks like it’s going to be An Ideal Husband)
  3. Mary Poppins – P.L. Travers

Of course the books on the above list are subject to change whenever I feel like it :D.

I will also read some Indonesian classics that I don’t include in the Classics Club list:

  1. Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang (Dutch: Door Duisternis tot Licht) – Raden Adjeng Kartini – currently reading
  2. Bumi Manusia – Pramoedya Ananta Toer
  3. Harimau! Harimau! – Mochtar Lubis

To see the books I have read and reviewed for The Classics Club Project, go to this post.

Now, I have a lot of books to read work to do! Wish me luck!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

alice puffin chalkIt’s strange that even though I have been familiar with the character Alice since childhood (thanks to Disney), I have never actually read the book. While both of the Disney adaptations—the old-school animation and the latest one—are weird, I think the book was even weirder!

Curiouser and curiouser! Alice would say.

Alice, a curious child of seven, thought it was very strange indeed that on a hot day, she should see a White Rabbit that talks and wears a waistcoat and has a watch which he took out from his waistcoat-pocket. Piqued by her own great curiosity, she followed the frantic White Rabbit down a seemingly endless hole. Through the Rabbit-Hole, she was transported to Wonderland, a world in which everything is absurd, fantastical and even ridiculous, and nothing makes sense.

Why is this book so well-loved? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I know that I like this book because:

1. You can never guess what happens next. And Alice as the main character will keep you fascinated. When I decided to read this book I was in need of a sort of escapism, and little did I know that I was in for a treat. This book is a wild journey of imagination.

2. True, this book falls into the “literary nonsense” category, but you can’t help but admire Lewis Carroll’s wordplay. And some parts are just so funny.

Let’s take a look at a passage from The Mock Turtle’s Story:

“I couldn’t afford to learn it,” said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. “I only took the regular course.

“What was that?” inquired Alice.

“Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,” the Mock Turtle replied; “and then the different branches of Arithmetic – Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.”

“…Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seography: then Drawling—the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: he taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.”

“And how many hours a day did you do lessons?” said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.

“Ten hours the first day,” said the Mock Turtle, “nine the next, and so on.”

“What a curious plan!” exclaimed Alice.

“That’s the reason they’re called lessons,” the Gryphon remarked: “because they lessen from day to day.”

3. The cover of the edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland I own (published by Puffin Books under the Puffin Chalk series). I mean, the cover alone would have been enough to rate this book 3 stars at least.

To wrap up this nonsense review, I only want to point out that even though I read this book for the first time as an adult, I read it with a mind of a child. I didn’t search for symbols and hidden meanings while reading, because the child in me didn’t need to understand to enjoy the journey.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”


Book details:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
160 pages, published 2014 by Puffin Books (first published 1865)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

Reading is What Brings Us Together, Not What Tears Us Apart

Very recently I’ve just had an upsetting experience which led to a decision to quit a book community. This was because one person within the community insists upon greeting fellow members in a certain religion’s way (this person did this not once or twice but daily, and it’s not a simple greeting), and even sometimes brought up religious topics in conversations. I found this both annoying and inappropriate, so I voiced my thoughts to the rest of the community: I think one should use neutral expressions in a public community. I thought that this (community) should be a public place where everyone from every religious and cultural background could belong and feel welcomed. It turned out that (probably) I was the only person objecting the matter, so leaving seemed like the best decision. Maybe you think I should be more lenient, but I see no point in holding my place in a community I no longer feel comfortable in.

I don’t know about you, but the more I read, the more I am able to be tolerant towards people who are different from me. But I have my limits, just like everybody else does. In fact, I never had this kind of problem in any communities I have been a part in. In book communities, people come from every religious, cultural, economic and social background to gather for one common purpose: the love for reading and the mission to spread that love. We are different in many, many ways, but the love for reading is what makes us one. Being a part of a book community enables me to learn and accept other people’s views and opinions (even though I may not always agree with them), to place myself in another’s shoes and to maintain friendships in spite of differences. I’d like to think that diversity is an asset to a public community. Think of a rainbow without the color blue. It would not be called a rainbow.

Just a few days ago, on 17 May, Indonesia celebrated National Book Day. But this celebration was tainted with the current sweeping and banning of books that are considered leftist/promoting communism.[1] I don’t think that the banning would be a wise action considering the fact that Indonesia stands on the 60th position from 61 countries in world literacy rankings, according to the study conducted by Central Connecticut State University.[2] Sans the banning, only 10% Indonesians show interest in reading and average Indonesians only read 2-3 books per year. Compare this to developed countries where people read 20-30 books a year.[3] Book banning will only worsen Indonesia’s already low literacy rate.

And how, you may ask, can reading bring us together while there are millions of books out there and each one of them is different? We read to improve our minds, and with the right books, our entire person can also be improved. As an improved person, we are able to place ourselves in our surroundings and act accordingly, while using our minds to contribute to the common goal. A nation will benefit more if its people are well read. And since Indonesia is a developing country with a pitiful literacy rate, I’d say it is urgent for the people of Indonesia to start loving reading today.

Read this also: http://www.dw.com/id/pramoedya-srigala-jahat-dan-pemberangusan-buku/a-19251651?maca=id-Facebook-sharing

And watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o2DylQ3sDY

This post is also published for the event Posting Bareng BBI 2016: #BBIHariBukuNasional

Banner Posbar 2016

The Princess Bride – William Goldman

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt comes to this: I was in need of a light read after spending one and a half month preparing for IELTS. I don’t know exactly why I chose this book—maybe because I suddenly remember my history with The Princess Bride. I first bought The Princess Bride on impulse. The truth is I don’t like fantasy books all that much, and I also didn’t really like the cover, so I sold it to Mbak Dewi (it was a copy with this cover, anyway). Some years later, while casually browsing a pile of used books in a bookshop, I found another copy of The Princess Bride. Having watched the film and seeing that the book has a vintage-looking cover, I decided to buy it. Ha! This time I didn’t regret buying it because in addition to the eyecatching cover, it also has a map. It would make a splendid addition to my collection!

Now, moving on to the story. I will list the characters first.

Buttercup, a Florinese village girl of unmatched beauty.

Westley, an orphaned farm boy who worked (or slaved) for Buttercup’s father.

Prince Humperdinck, a scheming and power-hungry prince who loved hunting above all else.

Count Rugen, Humperdinck’s sidekick and confidant who was obsessed with pain.

Vizzini the brainy Sicilian.

Inigo Montoya the sword-wielding Spaniard.

Fezzik the Turkish giant.

All the Farm Boy ever said to Buttercup was, “As you wish.” Of course what he meant was “I love you” but it took Buttercup some time before she realises this. Not until a visit from Count and Countess Rugen when she saw the Countess seemingly took a fancy of Westley. But just after them realising their true feelings for one another, Westley sailed off to America to seek his fortune, in order to become a man worthy of Buttercup. Buttercup waited and waited, but news came one day that Westley’s ship had been attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts and he never takes prisoners, which means Westley was dead. Heartbroken, Buttercup accepted marriage proposal from Prince Humperdinck (confused? Hang on a bit) with “I can never love him” in mind. Well, it means death if she said no. So began the preparations of the royal wedding, including months of making the village girl into a princess. One day while riding her horse, a weird trio consisted of Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzik kidnapped her. But the trio’s plan (or more accurately, Vizzini’s plan, since he was the head of the trio) was threatened by the man in black, who followed them as they were sailing to the neighbouring country of Guilder, up the Cliffs of Insanity to the ravines that led to the Fire Swamp. (I’m going to leave it at this moment, there are so much adventures thereafter, but I don’t want to ruin your fun by spoiling them all.) 😉

Thoughts:

This book is the abriged version of S. Morgenstern’s The Princess Bride, the “good parts” version by William Goldman. (SEE UPDATE AT THE END OF THE POST) I don’t think that this book belongs to the fantasy genre, let alone a fairy tale, even though my copy says “a hot fairy tale”. I think it’s an adventure book with bits of fantastical elements. My copy of The Princess Bride starts with a 29-page introduction, rather too long for my taste. I was tempted to skip it altogether but later realized that it was somewhat necessary to read, that is if you want to know the background on the abridgement of S. Morgenstern’s work by William Goldman. Goldman’s “commentaries” are also scattered all over the book, but mostly they are short so it wouldn’t be a burden to read these additional paragraphs typed in fancy italic. As someone who’s seen the film first then read the book, I must say that I think both are equally entertaining. The film adapted the book very well, from Westley’s wittiness (performed gorgeously by Cary Elwes) to the memorable lines of Inigo (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”)

inigoand of Vizzini (“Inconceivable!”).

inconceivableInigo and Fezzik making rhymes is also my favourite part of both the book and the film. Miracle Max and his wife Valerie were hilarious. The one character I like the least is the princess bride herself, in both the book and the film. However, the book can give you much more interesting scenes that didn’t make it to the film. For example Fezzik and Inigo’s adventure when they went through all five levels of Prince Humperdinck’s Zoo of Death to retrieve Westley was thoroughly explained in the book, while in the film it was reduced to short scenes in the Pit of Despair. The writing feels modern, so it easily falls into the “light reading” category. Of course you need to ignore some stuff if you want to enjoy the book, for example Buttercup accepting Humperdinck, the torture scenes, and how a lump of clay coated in chocolate could bring someone back from the dead. All in all, this is a delightful read. You should read it then watch the film. Or vice versa, I don’t really care. Just read it and watch it, in whatever order you’d like. 🙂

P.S. : I know this review is crap but it doesn’t make the book any less entertaining.

Here is the movie trailer:


Book details:

The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
283 pages, published 1987 by Turtleback Books/Del Rey Books
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


UPDATE (15 Mar 2016):

I have just found out that S. Morgenstern is not a real author, thanks to Fingerprinttale and Chiipurai who kindly informed me of this. Explanation on Wikipedia: Simon Morgenstern is both a pseudonym and a narrative device invented by Goldman to add another layer to his novel The Princess Bride.[26] He presents his novel as an abridged version of a work by the fictional Morgenstern, an author from the equally fictional country of Florin. The name may be a reference to Johann Carl Simon Morgenstern, who coined the term Bildungsroman. (Read the rest on Wikipedia).

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

all the light we cannot see

What to expect when you read a historical novel set in wartime? A display of brutality, a spectacle of bravery or cowardice or both, an atmosphere terrorized by bombs and soldiers, and, inevitably, tragic deaths, traumatized survivors. It would be stupid to expect a happy ending from a historical novel set in wartime.

But All the Light We Cannot See is unlike any war-themed historical novels I have read. Some books focus on the relationships (which usually make the tragedy even more depressing), some others on the desperate efforts the characters were making in attempt to get out of a situation, and some books reveal the reality of man when faced with fire; the worst and the best. This book combines all that, and more.

The story revolves around two major characters. First is a sightless French girl named Marie-Laure LeBlanc, daughter of the locksmith of the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Her father made her a model of their neighborhood in Paris and later the city of Saint-Malo, and got her Jules Verne books in Braille for her birthday. When German airplanes began to bomb Paris, she and her father fled to Saint-Malo, a walled city in northern coast of France to stay with her great-uncle, Etienne LeBlanc. It was unknown to Marie that they carried a dangerous treasure with them; an exotic blue diamond worth millions of francs known as the Sea of Flames.

The second major character is Werner Pfennig, a white-haired German boy who grew up in an orphanage with her sister. He liked to fix radios while her sister Jutta was busy making sketches. His intelligence and talent earned him a place in Schulpforta, a special school where the best German boys were trained for the war. Despite the brutality he faced everyday at Schulpforta, he had a heartwarming friendship with a boy named Frederick. Later he was sent for missions to several cities and finally, to Saint-Malo where he crossed paths with Marie-Laure, as the vague details of the story was being unwrapped one by one.

I am usually fascinated by war-themed books, and by the time I saw the cover of this book I was instantly attracted. On the cover it shows a photograph of a walled city by the sea and big skies. It is blue, my favorite color. And the fact that it won Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015 made me set my heart to read it. But what makes this book different? It was very detailed and rather slow-paced that it took me 25 days to finish it. I have never read anything by Anthony Doerr before, but after reading this book I would like to think that he is a scientist with the soul of a storyteller, or maybe the other way around. He poured little details about locks, mollusks, diamonds, radios, birds, light, and science into the story and brought all of them together with a style of writing I find rather romantic.

The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with color and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?

War-themed books usually left me emotionally wrecked, but it’s not the same case with this book. It didn’t make me cry, but I am deeply moved by how the characters showed kindness toward each other, even in unlikely times and situations. I found more spark in the minor characters like Frederick and Madame Manec than in characters with bigger roles, but I love Werner Pfennig with all my heart, and wished that somehow, he could be spared of premature death. I am a little irritated when the characters “sees” or “hears”, as if they were relentlessly reminded of the past, whether it was in their near or distant past. Maybe if this happened only to several characters and not almost all of them, I would not be as annoyed. However, I love the way the author wove together the little stories of each characters into one epic and exquisitely written tale of courage and humanity. Five stars for this book.

“You must never stop believing. That’s the most important thing.” – Madame Manec


Book details:

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
531 pages, published May 2015 by Simon and Schuster
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Very Good Lives – J.K. Rowling

very good lives

The first thing that crossed my mind when I found out about Very Good Lives was: “What? She has written another book? But Career of Evil will be released soon! I haven’t even read The Casual Vacancy! She positively wants to keep her readers surprised!” And so on… But then I found out that this is a commencement speech she delivered at Harvard, in 2008. Why did it take so long to be published, I do not know. I am thankful it finally got published anyway.

As the title suggests, she pointed out two things in her speech: the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination. Ms. Rowling undoubtedly is no stranger to failure; she endured a failed marriage, rejections from publishers, she knows what poverty means and how it feels. And yet she spoke of the benefits of failure. Seriously, what benefits can you gain from failing?

She wrote (and spoke):

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeed in anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena where I believe I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

The second thing she pointed out was the importance of imagination. She was not talking about the magical world of Harry Potter here, but rather about “the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.” Here she shared her experience when she worked at the African research department of Amnesty International, where she caught glimpses of the cruelty, torture, and horrors some people has gone through, people who had the temerity to speak against their governments. She spoke about how the power of human empathy can truly save lives. That human beings have a choice between thinking themselves into other people’s places—the not so fortunate ones—or not to exercise their imaginations at all and close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally.

“If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to transform our world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

She encourages us to not shrink in the face of failure and to do more for our less fortunate neighbors. Truly, this is an inspiring piece of writing, one you can reflect upon, one that has the power to stay with you for years to come, even if you only need about 30 minutes to read it.


Book details:

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, by J.K. Rowling
80 pages, published April 2015 by Little, Brown and Company
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

20 Bookish Facts About Me

  1. I am terribly picky when it comes to books.
  2. The two genres that I love the most are classics and historical fiction (obvious, if you paid attention to my blog’s menu).
  3. The book that made me fall back in love with reading is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
  4. Starting from last year I’ve been trying to balance my reading. Last year I read 65% fiction and 35% non fiction, and this year I plan to adjust that percentage to 60:40.
  5. Popular authors that I can’t say that I like: William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Haruki Murakami.
  6. Speaking of Jane Austen, I don’t like her books but I love watching adaptations of them. I think I have watched adaptations for each of her major works: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.
  7. I have a weak spot for World War II-themed books, and books about books (for example: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon).
  8. I have 10 copies of Jane Eyre, most of them were bought during 2015.
  9. I have a “harta-karun” shelf on my Goodreads account, consists of books I love dearly, books with a history of acquisition, books I bought at a crazy bargain price. I would not lend any book from this shelf to anyone. 😀
  10. One of my most prized possessions is Jane Eyre with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg, published in 1943 by Random House. This edition appeared in the movie Definitely, Maybe (2008) and one major character in it even had a whole collection of Jane Eyres.
  11. One time I dreamt about Richard Parker. Yes, that was the name of the Bengal tiger in Life of Pi, but in my dream he was an annoying colleague, and I was playing golf with him. 😀
  12. I often read until I fall asleep, leaving the lights on until morning.
  13. I have a bad habit of reading multiple books at the same time, often resulting in half-read books that I would not pick up again for a long time.
  14. Back when I was a little girl, some of my friends got mad at me because I was too engrossed in a book that I paid no attention to them.
  15. Almost everyone in my household have their own personal library/book collection.
  16. Paperback is my favourite format of physical book.
  17. I have more than one hundred unread books.
  18. I just started my own bookstagram account @surgabukuku on late October 2015. I am not a professional photographer, I don’t even know how to take proper photographs, I simply love to share pics of books. 🙂 As of today (January 12, 2016) my account has 272 followers.
  19. I’d rather reread the books I love than trying out books that I’m not sure I would like. Life’s too short to read bad books ;).
  20. This year’s World Book Day is also my birthday. (Yes I’m preparing something special for the event! ;). )

20 bookish facts

You can also join #20BookishFactsAboutMeGA hosted by @niafajriyani (open to Indonesian residents only). See the full information here.

2015: How My Year Had Been

Before I go on, I wish you all Happy New Year 2016!

Now, I’m not going to lie, I have done a pretty bad job in reading and reviewing and book blogging last year. In 2014 I read 30 books, but last year I only managed to read 17, with several months gap in between some books. And I have done almost next to nothing in book blogging.

Well, what can I say; it had been a rough year. I’ve been through some struggles—in achieving one of my life goals, in my work. Also there were financial struggles and emotional struggles, the first is hardly over yet, but thankfully for the latter I can say that I am so much better now and I had not been dispirited to move on and start anew in 2016.

Let me tell you a thing or two about what 2015 was like for me. One of my life goals is to pursue postgraduate study. It’s been some years since I had my undergraduate degree and I think it is time to improve myself. So starting from late 2014 I have applied to several scholarships, without much success, I might add. But I am still grateful for these failures because I learned a lot from them, and this time I hope I can make it right. I applied for Chevening Scholarships 2016/2017 (the application period had closed on November 2015) and I really hope that this time my application will be successful. If it’s not, I will keep trying year after year, because this is something I really want. The thought that I’m not good enough, that I’m not cut out to get it still haunts me every day, but I believe only the best will happen.

Work had been jumbled and chaotic. There were times that I honestly think that I do more than I’m paid for. In the turn of the year I have been thinking about it and I have come into a conclusion. Asking for a raise would be fruitless effort, and trying to get another job is out of the question, at least for now. So I will have to be content with what I have now and at the same time put my best and hardest effort to my work. Appropriate compensation will follow after.

As for emotional struggle, there had been something that occupied my mind so often that I could not concentrate. My priorities got all messed up, promises and resolutions broken, books left unread. But now I’m happy to say that I have overcome most of it, and will try better this year.

Now, my 2015 wasn’t all gloomy—there were pleasant experiences as well; which I’m going to share a few with you now. Some are book-related and some are not.

  • On March I celebrated 500 likes on my blog’s Facebook Page and new URL (changed from https://surgabukuku.wordpress.com to http://surgabukuku.com) and also my first-ever translation job. I have over 1,150 likes on Facebook now, it’s quite a miracle because I really don’t post that often. Nonetheless, thanks to all of you who have liked my page!
  • On June, I went to watch Pentatonix concert in Jakarta, and what’s more, I won the Meet & Greet tickets! (Meet & Greets are limited to about 30 persons per day, and Pentatonix held concerts for two consecutive days in Jakarta). Their performance was mindblowing and I was really happy to get the chance to meet them in person, despite it being SO VERY BRIEF (and I got tongue-tied when I met them, I know, it’s a shame T_T).

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  • On July, I participated in Batch of Kindness event. So there is this guy, the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch, who has birthdays every 19 July. And he told his fans to do kindness to other people instead of giving him birthday greetings and gifts. (Heart of gold, he has). Some of his fans responded to his plea and #BatchofKindness was born. 2015 was the first time I joined it, and I decided to give away books for 2 people in my community, the Indonesian Book Bloggers (BBI). Why did it have to be members of BBI? Because I wanted it to be surprising and somewhat intimate. So those who wanted the chance to get a book from their wishlists registered their names, and I would then pick two winners randomly and send the books without any announcements. And yes the recipients were surprised (and happy) to get the book they wanted.

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    Nana and Akhfhin, recipients of #BatchofKindness 2015

And I printed out the bookmarks. Let’s not forget about the bookmarks.

  • Starting from midyear (I don’t remember exactly when) I started to take a huge interest on collecting books. (It is COLLECTING, you hear? NOT hoarding!) I started collecting Jane Eyres, antique books, and illustrated books (these are not exclusive categories).

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    My Jane Eyres

I am really fond of these books, but from them all maybe I love these two the best:

Jane Eyre with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg, published in 1943. The oldest book on my shelves to date.

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The Secret Garden with illustrations by Inga Moore, Walker Classics. This book is just so beautiful. It’s the kind of book that makes you wish you could be flattened out and absorbed to the pages and become a part of it.

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Still waiting for the illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, it hasn’t arrived yet.

  • I’ve also taken to colouring, but I will talk about all that in a different post, at the end of January ;).
  • Just 11 weeks ago, sometime in mid-October, I started a bookstagram. Yes, it’s partly for the purpose of showing off (isn’t that what Instagram is for?) and I am not a professional or anything, I simply love sharing pictures of books. According to #2015bestnine which was generated on 28 Dec, I have 1,564 likes for my 69 posts in 2015. Not really that bad, innit? Compared to other bookstagram accounts mine is merely flecks of dust (“butiran debu”) but I really don’t mind. 🙂 You can follow me here: http://instagram.com/surgabukukusurgabukuku_full
  • And precisely on 31 October, I moved to a new house. Leaving behind my childhood home, where I had lived for almost the rest of my life was hard and saddening, but this is life. With new beginnings, come new blessings, right?

So that was my 2015. As for 2016, I have only hopes and faith. It is going to be a so much better year!