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Archive for the ‘my bookshelves’ Category

Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How did I know this book?

From blog-walking. The blog author was reading it for the n-th time and it is one of his favourite. And I thought the title is a thought-provoking for a moment. This book had been adapted to a famous 80’s movie, Blade Runner.

Any pre-reading thought?

Since the book is from 60s and the setting is around 1990, I was wondering what could be the thought/prediction from someone from the past? Even though it is only a fiction but still it came from one’s imagination. I read that the author died in 1982 so he didn’t get a chance to see if any of his came true. But I bet he had a lot of fun trying to create the future.

What kind of mood this book is setting me while reading it?

Gloomy and suffocated. I don’t want to live in the earth described in it. But from the viewer’s seat, it was nice, I just waited for the next action to come.

And after reading?

This book is 102 pages, I have the Oxford University Press version. It’s a short novel, yet it’s packed. There are many characters and I feel like every few pages I was turning could result in some questions. I think this book is a good resource for discussion in a literature class or book club.

Anything else to add?

Yes, I regret that I stopped in the middle of the story and then continue it after a while. I keep thinking it cuts me a big portion of impression. Hm. Maybe next time.

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Written by Elfira Y S

January 24th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

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Review: Kafka on the Shore

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Kafka on the ShoreKafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book leaves me stunned and in hunger for another Murakami’s works. I just have to read other titles to make sure whether the reading has really found a place in my heart or it’s all just a confusion that I will never understand.

The early chapters got me used to various ways of story telling. In fact, I think it lasted till the end. It was also rich in references. Most of them were about world famous literatures which was understandable and made me wonder how many he had read.

At first, I thought Kafka was only a weird name used to capture the readers’ attention. But apparently, it was from the German novelist, Franz Kafka, and it was a Czech word for an animal, an animal which had certain role in the story. I found several of this kind of connecting detail and I love it.

Back to references, it seems like that almost every characters in this book had made one at some point. It might be one of the drawback of this book because no matter what the background was, whether the character’s 15 year old boy or a truck driver, they eventually could get engaged at heavy topics in which the references helped perform a good analogy.

I said almost every characters because I think the only one who didn’t do that was the old man who couldn’t read. So, I think it has a good point because it teaches me to look pass people or even my own background and take reading as a powerful tool.

The other drawback was few pages here and there that I skipped reading. I took them as accessories to the story and to me they were horrible or gross or things I didn’t like to read.

Last, there are holes in my understanding of the story. There are questions like ‘what exactly happens?’ or ‘what’s the point of that event? why does it seem like a changing course?’, questions like that. But when I came to the last page of the book, I felt satisfied with the whole package and didn’t want to have the story changed for a bit.

.. The drowning girl’s fingers Search for the entrance stone, and more. Lifting the hem of her azure dress, She gazes – at Kafka on the shore

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Written by Elfira Y S

December 27th, 2010 at 10:09 am

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Review: The Name of this Book Is Secret

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The Name of this Book Is SecretThe Name of this Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The narrator is a bit peculiar and that is exactly why I will definitely read all the books in Secret Series! He maintains two-way communication with the reader throughout the story and he is addicted to chocolate.

The series are a pentalogy since there are 5 senses. This first book is about smell.

I think the book is educating (especially for children) in a very entertaining way. There are a lot of notes of various common knowledge including one big point about synaesthesia, a neurogically-based condition which makes people experience sensory mixture. This book makes me wonder how life feels like when I adopt synaesthesia.

Can’t wait to run into the book store and grab the rest!

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Written by Elfira Y S

December 12th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

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The Purpose Driven Life

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This is my second book I own for the same title. The first one, an Indonesian-translated edition, is in Bandung. I had never got a chance to finish it. I bought the English edition last year. This book is by Rick Warren. Asides from this book, I have read his tweets and his daily article and I adore the way he writes. His writings are quotable for me.

This one is special because it’s the first book that I read together with 2 others, Astri and LDK. We read and discussed a chapter for our weekly sharing time. It’s not always weekly, sometimes we had to cancel it and postpone it for weeks but overall it was a special experience and experiment.

The Small Group

I don’t exactly remember the detail but I guess it started a year ago around the time we had the Menjangan trip. We shared common desire to have a small group, to share, to grow, and to pray together. We even did rather awkwardly pray together at our stay in Singaraja.

The detail on how we came to pick this book has escaped my mind, too. But I think it’s a good choice to help us prepare what’s so called the quarter life crisis. :D

The Purpose Driven Life

Most people struggle with three basic issues in life.
The first is identity: “Who am I?”
The second is importance: “Do I matter?”
The third is impact: “What is my place in life?”

According to this book, the answers to all three questions are found in our five purposes.

The book is designed to be read in 40 days, a chapter a day. But I guess that’s too fast a pace in reading something that holds a lot. Every here and there I find something that reminds me or tells me in a gentle way. I feel like reading it again in even slower speed. Scriptures are quoted a lot. That’s a good sign and another reason I should revisit the pages.

As it is a self improvement/self growing book, I’m grateful to read it not on my own. My friends can hold me accountable for each lesson I need to apply and that helps. Looking at the past experience, self improvement book is a nice reading but not quite a strong push to change. At least for me, it is necessary to have friends watching over me.

To finish this book does not mean I can answer those 3 questions above firmly. What I have from reading the book is a good start to calm the uneasiness for the future and to really live.

Living on purpose is the only way to really live. Everything else is just existing.

Written by Elfira Y S

September 25th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

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3 Cinta 1 Pria

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I promised myself to finish reading a book today when I decided to buy Sherlock Holmes The Complete Novel and Stories Volume II. The lucky book is in Bahasa Indonesia, 3 Cinta 1 Pria (bluntly translated: 3 Loves 1 Man) by Arswendo Atmowiloto.

Why This Book?

Not why I chose to finish reading this book but why I bought it. The synopsis. It said that this one man had special relationship with 3 women, the grandmother, the mother, and the granddaughter. So. I bought this book. The author was quite famous in Indonesia. I had never read his books so I picked this one to satisfy my wondering about both the author and the story. How can he craft story like that?

Spoiler alert!

Written by Elfira Y S

September 19th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

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The Book Of Lost Things

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My second book this year. SECOND! Yeah, I know, I’m keeping the dust in my bookshelves. Anyway, it’s a novel by John Connolly. I read the Indonesian translation. My sister recommended it to me. She liked it and even bought the other book from Mr. Connolly (I can’t remember which one). The book is, the story is, well, it’s scary and sweet. I mean it.

Spoiler flood alert!

Written by Elfira Y S

July 25th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

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Book No 1 Year 2010

This is the first book I finished reading in 2010. My manager at work recommend this French satire by Voltaire.

I downloaded the e-book at ManyBooks. The site was like a treasure cave to me. Most of the e-books there were from Project Guttenberg but more organized. The site also provides various file types that we could download.

The wikipedia article about this literature can be found here.

Spoiler Alert!

Written by Elfira Y S

February 17th, 2010 at 7:02 am

Posted in my bookshelves