Inconvenient Society

Convenience Store Woman
Sayaka Murata

When her friends were crying over a dead small bird, Keiko had no clue what their tears had anything to do with it. The bird was dead, it was a simple fact. So she put the bird and asked her mother to cook it for her dad once told her that bird meats are delicious.

She knew nothing about emotion. Everything was logical for her, uninvolved with obscure intentions people might wanted to convey by the way they talk and the subtlety of facial expression.

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Cengar-cengir Getir Manusia Timor Barat

Orang-Orang Oetimu
karya Felix K. Nesi

Di Oetimu, sekalipun warganya memiliki ladang jagung serta singkong, mereka makan nasi. Penelitian dari Barat menerangkan bahwa mereka tak bisa tenang-tenang saja santap dua pangan itu karena buruk gizi dan buat otak jadi dangkal.

Selain itu, Am Siki dibilang membela bangsa sekalipun hanya ingin selamatkan pelecehan seksual yang dialami kuda. Ia percaya sebagai mana keluarganya, nenek moyangnya adalah pohon lontar, dan memang ia menyambung kehidupan dengan mengolah malai.

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Waria, Penjual Jamu, dan Babi Berlumpur

Anak Gembala yang Tertidur Panjang di Akhir Zaman
karya Ahmad Mustafa

Beruntung membaca buku pemenang ke-2 Sayembara Novel Dewan Kesenian Jakarta tahun 2018 ini tanpa baca resensi pembaca lain yang kadang mengandung beberan akhir cerita. Karena itu di sini coba saya tulis tanpa bocorkan akhirannya.

Ada tiga tokoh utama dalam buku ini. Mbok Wilis si waria yang rutin “nyebong” demi dapat hidup selain juga puaskan birahinya atas lelaki. Lalu Pak Wo si penjual jamu yang pandai menyampaikan ajaran Islam. Terakhir, si Babi Lumpur yang gemar berbuat hal kotor di tempat kotor.

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Segurih dan Sepadat Daging Sapi

Raden Mandasia si Pencuri Daging Sapi
karya Yusi Avianto Pareanom

Eh, hai! Lama pula gak nulis di blog. Sebenarnya memang diniatkan untuk pertamakalinya menulis dalam Bahasa Indonesia di blog ini, namun saya ingin buku yang saya bahas juga memang suka banget. Untungnya, buku ini ada. Novel karya mas Yusi Avianto Pareanom ini.

Video pertama di Youtube. Semoga bisa rutin.
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A Modest Universe of The Pencil

The Secret Life of the Pencil: Great Creatives and Their Pencils
by Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney
foreword by William Boyd

Around my kindergarten to 1st grade, had seen my brother and sister started using pen at school made me wanting to migrate from a pencil to that ink-based tool. I felt being left as I saw it as one step into an adulthood especially since my dad and other adults seemed using pens in serious manners such as work and signing a paper. My nanny told me that there was this boy at same age as mine accidentally put the tip of sharp pencil into his eyeball because he had always sharpen the two sides of the pencil like I did. For that reason, universe pushed me to see a pencil far behind than how prestigious and safe a pen could be.

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A Friendship Through Books

The Gifts of Reading
by Robert Macfarlane
Reading this while walking around Lasem because…why not.

Reading, a hobby I love as much as walking. Hence I bought some of Robert Macfarlene’s books on Kindle, I left his books about walking and picked this book instead. I love books, and I love book that tells stories about books.

This is a short essay about how book-giving affects Macfarlene’s life and in hope, changes the life of us as readers too. The story started with his friend named Don who was an English teacher he met in Beijing. By him Farlane knew dozens of authors that influenced his writings. When Don visited him, he gave Farlene 3 presents: a copy of Snyder’s “Mountains and Rivers Without End”, a CD of West Coast jazz, and a copy of “A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh. Farlene really loved this Leigh’s book and convinced us to immediately buy or ask for a gift of it.

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An Offering to the Decades of Oppression

The Years of the Voiceless by Okky Madasari
translated by Nurhayat Idriyanto Mohamed
Started reading this while I was traveling to Pangandaran beach, despite it is anything but peaceful.

By a bra is how it all started. In 1950 an illiterate girl named Marni was no longer a little girl. Her breasts were growing. Her single-parent mother didn’t wore a bra, but Tina, her cousin did. She wanted to wear it to hold her breasts yet working with her mother in cassava seller wouldn’t gave them a penny. They had been paid with cassava which only enough to fill their empty stomach day by day. She prayed to her gods to make her rich so she could had many bras she wanted. So she stopped working at the same place her mother did and worked with her friend Teja as a courier where she had to carry someone’s groceries in the market. It was seen as an out of norm for a girl to work on men’s job yet Marni earned some money not only to buy a bra but also started her own business by selling groceries straight to the villagers.

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Realistically Unreal and Vice Versa

The Lion King (2019)
Image Source from Wired.com with modifications.

My first impression of the first minutes of this movie is “Wow.”, the animals and their habitats seems real. It was so mesmerizing, like watching Discovery Channel on a theatre while I used to watch it limited to TV screen. I and my friends sat beside a family of four, and both their two daughters were terrified by how realistic the jungle looks like.

I didn’t know that this remake would be primarily on the visual since I had not watched the trailer nor read the news about it long before I finally bought the ticket. So my expectation was it would be like Maleficent (2014) which gave some twists and and more depth into its characters. Undoubtedly other changes happened to other aspects such as audio, both its scoring and soundtracks. I wrote a quick review on my Instagram right after watched this movie where I used word “Upgrade”. Thinking about it right now, I won’t say it was necessarily an upgrade of 1994’s The Lion King. It’s more an updated version of its original film. Other update was the jokes on current issues such as Body Shaming, while the story hasn’t changed that much.

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Domino Effects of Family Favoritism

Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng

Lydia is the most favorite child. She has her mother eyes that makes her stand out among her siblings. Has many great friends, put a smile on his father’s face when he saw her talking to them on the telephone. Smart and has high enthusiasm on science, her mother cheerfully helped her to learn more. Lydia is far from being lonely and excluded, yet there are so many things she never told to anyone.

Lydia is Dead. But nobody knows it yet.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ngs

Those who haven’t read the synopsis as me might feel sorry for the tragedy happened in 1977 to this sixteen-year old girl. She is stranger to us yet death is universal and more often than not, familiar.

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The Vegetarian by Han Kang: Flesh and Blood of The Past

Mr. Cheong lives an unremarkable life: applied a college which he knew he would be approved in, got a conventional job, then married an indefferent woman named Yeong-hye. He believes that marrying her is a perfect decision. The only unusual thing about her is only that she doesn’t like wearing bra no matter where and what occasion. Apart from it, years of their marriage seemed just like what he thought: predictable—if not mediocre—as he always expects.

Until one day, his wife decided to stop eating meat right after having a bad dream. It’s really odd, because she and her family are really good at serving meaty South Korean dishes and it is one of the things that comes out of his mind while thinking about his family-in-law. How eloquent his wife’s and sister-in-law hands while cutting meats. That one bad dream leads to series of bloody nightmares which in turn distance her both to the world and her sense of self.

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The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells: The Universe of My Wounds

To fall in love with the title and the cover of this novel is easy. Those two match together unfortunately not with what they try to deliver. It’s far from easy to love the story they bring. I’m glad that I didn’t bought its paperback despite high rating it has. The cover should be a white man standing in front so he would seemed bigger, while there were people at his back and please make them blurry.

An eleven-year old Jule is the youngest of Moreau family. He has Liz; an outgoing eldest sister, and Marty; a rigid and smart older brother. From Jules’ point of view we will know all of the characters and their background stories. He was an outgoing boy until the suddent death not only took his parents, but also his upbringing and his relationship with his remained family off.

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Sate Kere: A Counterculture Cooked by the Poor

When I was solo traveling to Solo or also called Surakarta, in Central Java, Indonesia, the locals suggested me to try Sate Kambing Pak Manto. One of the most delicious lamb satay, they said. Unfortunately, the time I arrived there were already many customers so I should wait in a long line. Feeling bored and already craving for food, I thought that I could get many delicious lamb satay in Bandung anyway—such as ‘Sate Sudirman‘—so I decided to leave. I walked not far away from there until I found an old woman just opening her ‘booth’.

She’s selling satay, I didn’t know exactly what kind of satay she’s offering. There are many kind of satay here in Indonesia. Either from the main ingredients they are using such as chicken satay, lamb satay, and scallop satay to how they’re cooking or grilling it. Not to mention where the satay are originated from because it’s absolutely makes the difference especially in what kind of sauce they’re using.

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Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport: A Way to Maximize Your Attention Span on Things That (Actually) Matter

I know, the background is anything but minimalist.

In the age of distractions always in hand (quite literally), our minds became the victim. Thousand of things demand our attention in the matter of second. In the end, we lose attentions for things that really matter to us. 

This book by Cal Newport explains about how to maximize our own productivity, happiness, and anything that makes as human regarding to the use of technology

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Wild Ideas by Elin Kelsey: Let’s Tackle All of Our Problems Just Like Animals Do

One of the most beautiful book I have ever read. This book teaches us to contemplate on animal around us: from them we can learn how they tackle the problems we have. That each of us, whoever we are, including a whale, an orangutan or a squirrel, and absolutely, you, will find a way to solve the problems we have then move on, living our beautiful lives.

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Toy Story 4: Not All Toy Needs a Kid

Image source: People.com

I was afraid before watching this that I would get disappointed. This is one of my favorite childhood movies. It made me wanted to go to McDonald not for its meal but solely for the toys especially my favorite character: Buzz Lightyear. I don’t want to ruin it.

Andy’s toys now lives with their new owner: a girl named Bonnie. She loves to play with her toys, yet not as much as Andy. Woody knows that, especially him, since he’s being excluded from the play, being left in a dark closet.

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