The year 2018 has been a quite nice year for my reading life. I didn’t read more than I did the previous year, but the journey was satisfying. As I said in my Instagram, I want to modify my TBR pile (ganti tahun ganti timbunan). Because there are so many books I bought 3++ years before that I haven’t read. I pick as many old TBR as I can, so I could change the appearance of my bookshelves and become less stressful about it. However, the temptation of new books is unbearable, new TBR are inevitable. So, without guilty, there will be much more to read.
In 2018, I read 60 books from my target of 55 books. Here is the record in Goodreads. As usual, I read from various genres, although I read less classics than I used to. Here are lists of impressive things in my readings in 2018 (by reading time sequence).
- Yang Fana Adalah Waktu by Sapardi Djoko Damono is the last book of trilogy by a well-known senior poet and author in Indonesia. His readers are either love this series or hate it, because of his different style. Some said it’s too old-fashioned, but for me, it contains many experiments, which I found interesting.
- Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, the fourth installment of Cormoran Strike series, is worth the wait. Although I prefer the third book, this book keeps being a great read.
- Eternity’s Wheel by Michael & Mallory Reaves. After surprisingly good sequel, I pick this third book with higher expectation. It’s not better that the second book, but I can close the book with enough satisfaction.
- The Return of the Young Prince by A. G. Roemmers. This book is meant to be the sequel of a masterpiece from Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince. I won’t compare them, since I don’t put my expectation that high. I found the characters are annoying, but I like many of their conversations and the general idea.
- A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. The story about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson great-great-great grandchildren. I ‘read’ the audiobook version of it, which was a new experience to me. I can’t quite accept Holmes stories other than Doyle’s, but over all, it’s okay for a YA fiction.
- The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman. As an Asian that lives in Asia, I’m not familiar with Punch and Judy puppet play. The first time I heard about it was in Dickens book, and I couldn’t understand how that kind of show is for children. Reading this book added my puzzlement, until I searched the show on YouTube, and yeah, I may understand a bit.
Authors I Long to Read:
There are so many authors I want to read but haven’t had the chance, or haven’t found the right book. Here are some names I was curious about:
- Ziggy Zezsyazeoviennazabrizkie (Di Tanah Lada), Indonesian young author. She gained some awards that are quite an achievement for a 20-something year old. I definitely won’t stop just reading one of her books, for she’s also writing across genres.
- Ursula K Le Guin (Catwings & Catwings Return). Some years ago, I failed reading her novel because of the bad timing. Reading these two books may not represent her writing fully, but at least I’ve read her.
- Terry Pratchett (The Carpet People). I have bought some of his Discworld series, but haven’t read it because apparently, I didn’t buy it in the right order. Luckily, I got the chance to read his first story first.
- Anton Chekhov (Gooseberries).
- Sheridan Le Fanu (Green Tea).
These two classics I read from Penguin Little Black, an excuse to collect them.
Books I Would Recommend:
- Laut Bercerita by Leila S. Chudori, Indonesian politic fiction. The setting is around 1990s, around Reformation 1998, when university students were starting the protests. It’s a heartbreaking story about the students that were being ‘vanished’ by a special force military, and their families left behind. At that time, the country was governed by one president for more than 30 years. Of course, it was far from democratic. This book is important because today, people that were involved in those past sins are trying to rule this country again. And our younger generation need to know the hidden history about human rights violations that happened in the past.
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo. A mini biography of 100 powerful and wonderful women, with great illustrations from women illustrators all over the world. The stories are simple and suitable for younger readers. It’s great for young girls to have women representations of their dreams.
- Monster Kepala Seribu (Indonesian translation of Un Monstruo de mil Cabezas) by Laura Santullo. I strongly recommend this book for all health care policy makers. It’s about a woman doing everything (even breaking the law) to make certain that her husband getting cure for his terminal illness. The politics of health insurance and policies are being the center of problem that would ruin people’s life.
- Aroma Karsa by Dee Lestari. Indonesian fiction again, a story about perfume makers in search for an ultimate formula. It involves hyperosmia, historical and cultural events. It’s a very exciting stories that makes 700+ pages didn’t feel so thick.
- Gentayangan by Intan Paramaditha. Another Indonesian page-turner adventure. This book has pick your own adventure format. A story about a woman seeking for an adventure, but have to make an agreement with the devil. The adventures could be disastrous, astonishing, or mundane, depends of the choice we (readers) take. I read somewhere that this book is going to be translated in English.
- The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson. This book had been on my wishlist for quite some time, but I didn’t prioritize to buy. Until one day I decided to order it online and read it, I was so grateful to find this splendid book. I love it as a health professional, because the author could incredibly deliver the concept of epidemiology in a middle grade book. The concept that maybe not all adults know.
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. Another heart-warming stories from an axceptional author.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This is quite a masterpiece, and I’m sure it would be a classic, and still relevant long after.
Of course there are still many good books I discovered last year. And I hope I could find more this year.