Monday, November 24, 2014

The 2015 TBR Pile Challenge

This one challenge has proved to be one of the most useful tools in my reading life. As an organized reader, I usually created a reading list each year. Normally I would diligently follow it, but now and then there would be a new published book which is so enticing that I’d be tempted to kick out one or two books from the list to give place for the new comer. And this is why Adam’s TBR Pile Challenge has been very helpful. It helps me to keep on track. It would be hard to neglect a book that is listed in two challenges, as it means I would be failed in both, right?

So, I’m going to do this challenge again next year, and here is my list, complete with the publication date of my copies:

  • The Last Dickens – Matthew Pearl (2010)
  • True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey (2006) – Ind. translation
  • The Bleak House – Charles Dickens (1994)
  • The Ringmaster’s Daughter – Jostein Gaarder (2006) – Ind. translation
  • The Confessions – St. Augustine Hyppo (2002)
  • Empress – Shan Sa (2012) – Ind. translation
  • Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy (2012)
  • Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (2001)
  • The Fortune of Rougons – Emile Zola (2012)
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy – Irving Stone (1987)
  • The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood (2001)
  • The Golden Bowl – Henry James (2000)

  • The Call of the Wild – Jack London (1992)
  • Siddhartha – Herman Hesse (1999)

Will you participate too? Here’s the sign up page of Roof Beam Reader’s Official 2015 TBR Pile Challenge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wishlist Secret Santa 2014

Thanks to BBI, event Secret Santa kembali digelar tahun ini. Mungkin ini salah satu kegiatan BBI yang paling asyik bagiku. Di event Baca Bareng aku jarang bisa ikut karena biasanya aku sudah mengatur jadwal baca jauh-jauh hari, sedangkan BBI baru mengeluarkan daftar Baca Bareng belakangan. Jadi gak nyambung semua deh rencananya! :D

Tahun ini, alih-alih ‘mengisi rak di Goodreads’, kita diwajibkan memposting di blog, wishlist kita yang (semoga) akan dipenuhi salah satunya (semoga dua!) oleh Secret Santa kita masing-masing. Karena gak ingin mempersulit Santaku, aku hanya memasukkan 4 buku aja kok. *aslinya sih karena bacaanku kebanyakan English, dan buku-buku impor harganya mayoritas di atas harga maks :(

Ini dia daftarnya, diurutkan dari yang aku paling pengen… #kode

Dear my Santa, aku pengen banget dapat Dunia Anna, karena aku mengkoleksi karya-karya om Gaarder. Meski harganya dibawah batasan harga, gak pa pa kok…. Kalau mau ditambah yang urutan ke 2 boleh jugaa…. Apalagi kalau digabung sama yang no. 3…. *digetok Santa*

Semoga Santa mengabulkan keinginanku! ^__^

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

This might be the last book from Coelho which was still in my to-be-read pile. I have expected it to be good, as I have read many good reviews about it, and even my father recommended it to me. But it turned out to be a bit flat. It is the story of a Spanish young woman, Pilar, an independent woman who was searching for a greater life than hers at present, as a college student. One day a letter came from her childhood friend—on whom she had had a crush when they were at school—asking her to meet him. Eager to add sparks to her dull life, she decided to accept the invitation.

Pilar then learned that he has become a famous spiritual teacher who could perform curing miracles. He told her that he never stopped loving her; in fact he has entered a seminary, and now was in the middle of making an important decision, of to whom he should give his life for: the Church, or the woman he loved most. Pilar at first trusted her logical sense that he was just a childhood crush; that falling in love with him would ruin her perfectly-organized life. But this time her heart betrayed her sense, and she was soon falling in love with him. One only problem: he was going to be a priest; what must she do to keep him for herself?

While accompanying him for several days, Pilar—who had been cold towards God and her Catholic faith—started to learn his spiritual ideas about the feminine side of God. This part was where this book twisted to an unexpected theme, theology; and suddenly the atmosphere became slightly thicker. I am a conservative Catholic, and I am not sympathizing with Charismatic movement. Of course it is just my principle, and I can’t blame the author—any author—to have different branch of faith from mine; but in course of reading a book, this difference would make me uncomfortable, and it affects my whole view of the book. It cannot be justified, perhaps, but I just can’t help it.

On the last chapters, I just could not wait to finish this book. I just wanted to know, will he continue to become a priest or will he marry Pilar. After reading this, I feel that my taste is no longer with Coelho’s works, and I don’t think I would ever read his next books. His prose is still beautiful, but I believe it is me who has changed. Now I prefer books which are more down to earth; reflecting real life, and not just idea. With this book, I cannot relate my emotion or thoughts with the characters; they are too surreal and too far for me.

For all that, I granted three stars for By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.


I read Indonesian translation, published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama

This book is counted as: