Monday, July 30, 2018

Seven Books To Read Anytime

A few months ago, a friend tagged me to post photos of seven favorite books without any explanation on FB. I did it on IG, but then I thought, I would like to keep them in one post here in Blogspot. Also, a week ago was National Children Day, and in my humble opinion, these books are perfect for every kids. Without further ado, here they are.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

The story follows Stargirl, a new girl in Mica High School, as told by Leo Borlock who is fascinated by her. Things that make Stargirl different from the other girls: (1) she doesn't wear make up, and (2) she cares about other people in her own ways. She drops coins because she knows there are people who will be happy to find coins. She reads obituary columns in newspaper and comes to the funeral to offer condolences and moral supports. She dreams of running a food truck because food makes people happy. 

The students in Mica High School are starstruck by Stargirl in the first place, but things soon change as they are not ready for her genuinity. How does Stargirl face the situation? You can read the book to find out😉.

I bought the book around 10 years ago, so I was already in the working force. But I think the book remains relevant for people of all ages, that one should always be kind and have courage.

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

To welcome the first day of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, which falls on June 21, here is another favorite reading material of mine, book #2: A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. 

The comedy brings together humans and fairies, noblemen and commoners, as well as love and rejection into the play. There is also a play within this play, which never fails to make me laugh everytime I read the dialogs of Nick Bottom and his fellows.

My favorite character is Puck, the jester of Fairy King Oberon. But if I have to choose between the two female characters, my heart goes to Hermia. She is the girl described as a "gypsy", an "Ethiope", a "raven" and a "tawny tartar", due to her dark skin tone, but also the girl with "lode-stars eyes" and "tongue's sweet air" that is "more tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear". Hermia also refuses to marry Demetrius, and chooses Lysander. When Lysander is under the influence of Puck's love juice and chases after Helena, she tries to bring him back into his senses. Ok, let me stop here before this post becomes too personal. 

Which Bard of Avon's work do you like?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I read The Alchemist for the first time in 2005, when my colleague Defa lent me her book. It took me more than 10 years later to finally buy a copy for myself. There are many reviews on the book, so just go google them. Not helping, I know, hahaha.

A bit of random fact: after reading this book, I recommended it to a friend. A few months later, we hiked Mt. Gede with a hiking group and then she resigned from her office job to work for a non profit organisation. This book is quite a life changer, I'd say.

While the storyline is quite simple, Paulo Coelho's path to reach his dream as a writer is quite complicated. He had wanted to be a writer since young age and was put in mental health institutions twice by his parents, who wanted him to be 'normal'. He tried many kinds of jobs, before going back to his passion: writing. And even then, this book was not that successful, not until an English language publisher showed interest on the book.

The Book of Forbidden Feeling by Lala Bohang

I saw this book for the first time two years ago, because the title is intriguing. The author-illustrator was an Architect graduate of Parahyangan University, which was another reason behind the book purchase. Apart from the#ArchitectureBabesCoalition (ha!), I had heard about the artist and just wanted to own one of her works. 

All illustrations are made in black and white, while the texts mostly explore feelings, relationships, and other philosophical ideas. On this book, Lala said,"This book is meant to be a good friend, the one you can keep by your side, the one you can be honest with."

By the way, I notice that currently, there are many illustration books in the bookstores.

The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé

I can't pick just one. I read the comic books since elementary school. D would give me one every semester if my school report was good. I had always wanted to have at least one of Tintin comic books in the world's most used languages. But the German one, bought in 1995, has been the only non-Indonesian language Tintin book in my possession so far.

Totto Chan by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

The best gift we can give to children is the interest to pursue life-long learning, and this book on Totto's daily activities in Tomoe School is all about that. 

As a product of Indonesian education system, I wish there were more Indonesian schools taking example from Tomoe School, which embraces all children, including the difables, and allows them to explore interests. If you work with children or in Children/Inclusive Education sector, then this book is a must.

I read the book the first time when I was in elementary-junior high school, and have been re-reading it over the years. That copy was probably missing during the house moving processes (please note the plural noun) between 2008-2010. This book on the photo is a birthday gift, and the person thought I would like it because the spine was pink.

Around The World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

Anything by Jules Verne will definitely take your mind away. But this one has been a favorite. If money and time were not an issue, I would try to walk the route that Phileas Fogg walk on, just to prove that it is feasible to complete the journey within that timeframe.

I have many hard copies of this book, but since it's #PlasticFreeJuly, why not featuring an e-book? And this classic book, along with many others, can be downloaded for free.

Do you have any favorite books? 

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