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Title: Pak Beye dan Istananya

Writer: Wisnu Nugroho

Publisher: Penerbit Buku Kompas (2010)

Pages: 256 p

Bought at:Kinokuniya Plaza Senayan (IDR 48,000)

Reading this book is a total pleasure for me. I’ve known Wisnu (or Inu) since I was still a journalist, several years ago. Unlike me, Wisnu is now still a dedicated journalist for Kompas, a major newspaper in Indonesia.

For five years he covered the news from President’s Palace or Istana Presiden, watching SBY going on his everyday life. This book tells us what Wisnu experienced when he was a regular visitor of the Palace. He doesn’t write heavy stuff, only some tidbits but very interesting. From the cook and gardener in the Palace, the lunch menu of Mr.President, to the fancy cars he often saw parked in front of the Palace. Wisnu also left some clues to the mysterious question: Who owned those cars? He has a guess, but he likes to have fun with the readers, by asking some tricky or rhetorical questions at the end of every chapter.

I like his witty style, sharp but funny at the same time. And I love how he could play with words, bringing the moral lessons without being pretentious. Every chapter was taken from his blog post in Kompasiana, a large blog network in Indonesia. The only thing I missed in this book is the color pictures. The pictures are nice but since they are black and white, there are some that not relevant with the story anymore (e.g. when SBY changed the color of the security team’s uniform into blue, like the color of his political party).

But that’s the only complaint I have =)

This book is actually one of the four books about SBY that Wisnu wrote (and he has one more book about the ex vice president, Jusuf Kalla) , and the rest of the books will be published later this year.

I read this book as a part of Twenty Ten Challenge, for Win!Win! Category