Round Ups

This page will show the monthly round ups of my readings, so I could remember what books I already read during the year…

January 2010

Libri di Luca : a mystery book about books and readers; good premises, bad execution.

The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie : a delightful mystery novel with a new favorite heroin: Flavia de Luce.

The Hunger Games : a gripping young adult thriller/adventure, with sequels to come!

Thirteen Reasons Why : a teen novel about suicide, a bit over the top but luckily with a good narator.

Madicken dan Lisabet : a classic Astrid Lindgren novel, heartwarming and enjoyable.

The History of Love : a haunting novel about the book called The History of Love.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn : a classic novel about poor society in Brooklyn pre World War I. Great book.

The Naked Traveler 2 : a compelling collection of short stories from Indonesian backpacker, Trinity. Funny and full of crazy scenes!

February 2010

The Keep: A so-so novel, a bit mysterious but not really well executed.

I Capture The Castle: a great book from my TBR pile. Very nice surprise, another classic.

ghostgirl: a funny gothic-teen novel, about a girl who’s dying to be popular…and really died!

*Hmm…not a really productive month. Hopefully next month is better.

March 2010

The Neverending Story : a classic fantasy, full of magical creatures and moral lessons. Love it.

The Magician’s Elephant : another lovely tale from Kate DiCamillo, about dream, fate, happiness, and an elephant.

*Ouch, another unproductive month!!! Really wish could spend more time reading my books…

April 2010

Twenties Girl: another hilarious-catchy book from Kinsella. Funny, a bit over the top crazy at times, with annoying ghost, but overal enjoyable.

Cruise on You: Indonesian teenlit, about following the dream. Sweet, funny, with lovable character. Ow, and I won a review competition from the publisher!! =)

*Hmm…I think I must be back on track next month…hopefully!!!

May 2010

The Elegance of The Hedgehog: A French phillosophical novel about life in a posh apartment from two point of views: a super smart girl and a concierge, both are hiding their true self.

Her Fearful Symmetry: Not my favorite book from one of my favorite authors. A twin inherited an apartment in London, next to a cemetery, but with their dead aunt still trapped inside of it! Good premises, bad execution.

Ford County: Stories: A collection of short stories from the master of storytelling, John Grisham. Love the way he wrote, love the stories, love the book.

*Not really proud about my productivity, but at least a bit of progress from last month! =p

June 2010

Okay, okay..I was left behind this month. But actually there were some books I’ve already read but never had time to review it yet…(Well, defence,defence…I blame the World Cup, then. hehe)

Metropolis: a good Indonesian suspense book, thrilling yet very real. Kudos to the writer!

Good Omens: crazy Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet, making it a dynamic duo. Very nice book about appocalypse with a doze of good humour.

July 2010

This is not an embarassing month at all =)

Harriet The Spy: A nice classic teenage book, about Hariet, a spy kid, learning to deal with life in a quite hard way.

Pesan Misterius di Water Mill: a sequel for Harriet The Spy, more from the point of view of Harriet’s friend, Beth Ellen.

Hutan Bayangan: A nice underrated fantasy book, a bit Neil Gaiman-ish, but in a more humble way.

The Tourist: if you miss Hollywood catchy-thriller and pop corn movies, read this book. You’ll be satsified, but don’t overthink it!

Daddy Long Legs: Another young adult classic, reminds me of Candy Candy story, but quite nice after all.

August 2010

Catching Fire: A sequel of The Hunger Games, still engaging and delicious as the first one!

The Knife of Never Letting Go/The Ask and The Answer: Dystopian series, crazy and brilliant. Can’t wait to read the final book.

September 2010

Midnight’s Children: Heavy and hard read. One of Rushdie’s masterpiece. An epic about India.

Pak Beye dan Istananya: Interesting book written by one of my journalist friends. Witty and sharp. Love it. Ready to read the next one in the series.

October 2010

Wilma Tenderfoot dan Kasus Jantung yang Beku: A crazy super fun book about an annoying little-detective wannabe, can’twait for the sequel!

The Forgotten Garden: Another classic, very beautiful and engaging story about family mystery in different generations.

Cheers, UK!: from my journalist friend’s blog, Citra DP, came this funny and energic story about her adventure while studying in UK.

November 2010

Woohoo, a productive month at last!

A House in The Sunflowers: A beautiful book about a family who found their dream house in southern France. Also a gift from a fellow blogger =)

Test Pack: A fresh, funny chicklit by a friend from internet. Engaging and entertaining.

The Inheritance of Loss: A nice introduction of Kiran Desai, story of India that is very insightful. And a free book from Bookmooch!

Your Job Is Not Your Career: A very inspiring book about career and how we find our passion.

The Sorceress: Part of Nicholas Flammel’s series. Still full of action, although lack of characterization.

Monsters of Men: Perfect ending of a perfect series. Enough said =)

December 2010

Holiday season is here!

C’est La Vie: a nice Indo chick lit written by an internet friend. Setiing in the Netherlands, I can relate much to the story!

Jane Eyre: an English classic by Charlotte Bronte. Mystery, romance, gothic style. Nice, but very long.

Januari 2011

Wuthering Heights: a gothic classic read from the other Bronte sister. A challenge to read, but also a finale for my Twenty Ten Challenge! So although this is not a productive month, at least I completed the challenge! Yeay!

Februari 2011

Theodore Boone, Pengacara Cilik: chillin book from Grisham, nice with a touch of humor.

The Lost Symbol: A very Dan Brown story, with Robert Langdon as main character, and pyramid, Capitol Hill, and crazy villain for the juicy stuff.

The Frog Princess: Not your usual fairy tale. Funny, witty and smart. Like it!

The Book: Untuk Indonesia Yang Kuat: a financial planning book, very practical and inspiring. A really great book.

Maret 2011

Mini Shopaholic: another Becky Bloomwood series from Kinsella, a bit boring and predictable compare with the previous ones.

Excuse Moi: a nice book about being an Indonesian-Chinese with all the implications. Very refreshing.

Sign of The Cross: a Da Vinci Code-ish book, but with a nice touch of humor and cute characters.

The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag: second book of Flavia de Luce! Still delicious and smart written. With lovable characters.

Prophecy of the Sisters: a fantasy book about twin sisters who fight on the different side: good and evil.

April 2011

Room: a tense and surprising psychological thriller about a mom and her kid who had been abduction victims. Engaging!

SMA Avalon: Meg Cabot’s unusual teen lit, with Arthurian theme and background. Interesting.

The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency: Cool series about Mma Ramotswe and her detective agency in Botswana.

When You Reach Me:another Newbery’s winner, very good book with clever story line and nice characters.

Gadis Korek Api: Anderson’s story collections, lots of great and classic fairy tales inside.

May 2011

The Journeys: a travel anthology from Indonesian bloggers. Some are exciting, but some just so-so.

How The World Makes Love: sequel to the famous Honeymoon with My Brother, but not as cool and refreshing as the first.

Scones & Sensibility: Cute little story about the helpless romantic Polly and her fail matchmaking efforts. Funny!

The Historian: My fave book of the month. Great historical fiction about Dracula. History never been this thrilling!

Dari Datuk Ke Sakura Emas: great short stories from Indonesian writers for a greater cause. Love it.

June 2011

Catalyst: not an ordinary teenage story. Bit intense with a big theme. My first introduction to Anderson’s book.

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat: a very sweet fairy tale about a girl and a rat. Like this book.

The Westing Game: a classic children gem. Reread it for the hundredth times.Mystery, fantasy, comedy. Perfect.

Four Seasons in Belgium: another Fanny’s chicklit about an Indonesian girl living in Belgium.

If I Stay: Mixed up feelings about this one. Nice theme, but a bit less dramatic than I thought it should have been.

One Day: a guy and a girl, twenty years of friendship. What could happen?

Sarah’s Key: a beautiful story about a dark history of France. Very well written.

The Count of Monte Cristo: first experience of BBI reading group! classic story about a sweetness of revenge.

*Wow…this is a very productive month indeed, after so many unproductive ones =D

July 2011

Knock Three Times: classic fairy tale from Atria, refreshing =)

The Day of The Jackal: BBI read of the month, a very detail thriller about professional sniper.

August 2011

The Janissary Tree: mystery/historical fiction, sadly it’s a bit bland and not so memorable.

Madre: the (not) so phenomenal book from Dee. Expectation too high, probably?

Jellicoe Road: crazy, brilliant and touching YA story setting in Australia. Fave of the month for sure!

Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother: controversial parenting book about chinese vs western mothers in the US. Treat it like a novel, and you’ll be fine!

Kuantar ke Gerbang: BBI read of the month, beautiful story about first president of Indonesia and his underrated wife.

September 2011

Perpustakaan Ajaib Bibbi Bokken: supposed to be in Gaarder Fest review contest, but too late to submit! Nice story though, a great new translation book about secret library and saucy letters =)

The Alchemist and The Angel: Flat fantasy/historical fiction. Not really clear about the genre, actually =p

The Magicians: adult version of Narnia and Harry Potter. I’m not a fan though.

Incarceron: new series about a living prison and how to get out of it. interesting, yet a bit unconvincing about the characters.

A Red Herring Without Mustard: Third installment of my fave detective girl, Flavia de Luce. Not as juicy as the previous ones, but I still like it anyway.

Letters to Sam: My BBI reading of the month. inspirational story about life lessons from an invalid grandpa to his autistic grandson.

October 2011

The Naked Traveler 3: latest book by Trinity, fresh and more enjoyable than the previous one.

Aleph: Paulo Coelho’s most personal book til now. Very memorable for me, because I was asked to be a speaker in Aleph’s book discussion with Times Bookstore n The Urban Mama =)

Treasure Island: classic children book about pirates. Original =)

Pope Joan: a very good historical fiction (or myth?) about the only female pope ever.

The Ghost: brilliant political thriller by Robert Harris. Based on Tony Blair? Maybe.

Dear John: my BBI reading for the month of romance. My first experience reading Nicholas Sparks, too! Quite good but not really my cup of tea =)

November 2011

Size 12 Is Not Fat: Cozy mystery-romance by Meg Cabot. Quite entertaining though a bit bland in parts.

Dataran Tortilla: a very good book from John Steinbeck, also my BBI reading for saving Pustaka Jaya.

The Queen Must Die: historical fiction for teens. Not really memorable, though has interesting premises.

Where She Went: very nice sequel of If I Stay. I fell in love with Adam Wilde! =)

Special Topics in Calamity Physics: My favorite book of the month. Smart debut novel, love the heroine Blue van Meer. And the heartbreaking ending. Ouch.

December 2011

The Other Hand: a flat, not interesting book about a quite interesting topic. False marketing ploy makes this book harder to be liked!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson: a funny, smart young adult book about LGBT. A fabulous glee-kind-of-read =)

Dunsa: fantasy book by a young Indonesian writer. Lots to be improved, but a very potential talent. Hopefully there will be more like this!

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares: a charming Christmas story involving a moleskin notebook, witty dialogue and New York City. Great combo!

January 2012

The Sherlockian: Great mystery book dedicated to Sherlock Holmes’s fans – or any mystery readers =)

Lord of The Flies: perfect classic allegory about a bunch of kids stranded in an island.

Replay: Kind of like Groundhog Day – without the silliness. Nice read.

Tales of The Unexpected: Great collection of short stories from the master of storytelling, Road Dahl.

Greyfriars Bobby: a bit slow, but still a touchy story about a very loyal dog named Bobby.

Theodore Boone, Abduction: book from secret Santa! second adventure of young Theo Boone.

February 2012

Middlesex: a fascinating epic story about a Greek immigrant family – and their long time sins.

Moon Over Manifest: my first 5 star book of the year! Newbery winner, sad, beautiful, and memorable.

Mockingjay: a sweet closure for Katniss and Peeta’s adventure facing the unbeatable crazy system, Hunger Games.

A Death In Vienna: historical mystery with Fraud theory as the solution.

The Old Curiosity Shop: my first Dickens book! Thanks to @bacaklasik who hosted a Dickens reading club of the month. It’s a worthy experience!

Lily’s Crossing: another Newbery setting in World War 2. A bit dark but still enchanting.

The Mysterious Affair At Styles: BBI read of the month. Nice Agatha Christie mystery, the beginning of Poirot-Hasting partnership. Not the best, but definitely one of the most important ones!

March 2012

Speak: Great young adult book about bullying and sexual harassment, Laurie Anderson strikes again!

The Road: Dark, grim, depressing, but a very very great book about the apocalyptic world. Crazy!

Matilda: BBI read of the month. Always love Roald Dahl’s story with its over the top and unbelievable characters. Matilda is one of favorites, for sure.

The Night Circus: an enchanting read about a mysterious circus. Good as a fantasy book, but I don’t care much about the characters and plots.

April 2012

Mockingbird: a lovable story about a girl who has Asperger’s syndrome and trying to overcome a tragedy in the family. Very heartbreaking.

Ape House: interesting novel about bonobos in the reality TV show. Sadly, the human characters are not that interesting.

Motherless Brooklyn: Murder/detective story, the heroine has Tourette syndrome. Good plot, bad translation.

May 2012

House Rules: Don’t get what the Jodi Picoult hype is all about. Can’t enjoy this story, about a boy who has Asperger’s syndrome and becomes a suspect of a murder case. Weak plot, weak characters. Blah.

Esperanza Rising: very inspiring. A wealthy Mexican girl becomes an immigrant in the US because of a tragedy in the family. Great character’s development, although a bit too easy in some parts.

The Dracula Dossier: great premises, with strange change of plot in the middle. Love the murder mystery part, and the Stoker’s dilemma, but hate the supernatural stuff!

Getting the Girl: earlier book by Marcus Zusak, about a boy struggling to overcome the shadow of his brother. Australian setting is quite interesting.

City of The Beasts: first from a trilogy. Great first experience of Isabelle Alende’s books. Adventure in Amazon, full with strange creatures, mysterious tribes, and I won #ResensiPilihan Gramedia with this review!

June 2012

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet: sweet and heartbreaking story about a Dutchman lived in Japan, working for VOC. With lots of interesting history, this book is highly recommended.

The Help: a very touching-brilliant book about racist issues and the true friendship. Leaving me speechless at the end of the book, and longing for more!

Midnight for Charlie Bone: bit like Harry Potter with more middle grader target. First in a series, not too exciting, a little too bland, but hopefully getting better in the next books.

Kedai 1001 Mimpi: funny reality story about a writer working in Saudi, lots of surprising details but really an eye opener.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children: Quirky book with amazing photographs, unfortunately the story is not as scary as I thought before.

The Postmistress: Historical fiction setting in World War II, nice story but forgettable.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Nice read for youngsters, an underdog story at its best.

July 2012

Life as We Knew It: a believable dystopian story, when the moon was out of its orbit and the Earth was slowly dying. Terrifying and felt real.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour: Cute book about an unforgettable road trip of a girl and a boy, decent romance and lots of interesting pictures.

The Dead and The Gone: sequel of Life as We Knew It, this time the setting is NYC. Not as engaging as the first one though.

Wizards: Short story collections about wizarding world, full of magic and unpredictable twist from many well known fantasy writers.

This World We Live In: Final book of Life as We Knew It series, the ending was not as real as the earlier plot, but making you thinking about the Earth anyway.

The Righteous Man: Da Vinci Code-ish book, mystery about religion and long lost tradition, predictable but likable enough.

The Swan Thieves: historical fiction from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Kostova. Not as good as The Historian, but quite interesting, lots of facts about art and paintings.

August 2012

Shakespeare’s Secret : small little story about life of Shakespeare and mysterious diamond. Cozy historical fiction for middle graders.

The Associate: another John Grisham’s work, thrilling, fast-paced but with a not so satisfying ending.

The Fault in Our Stars: I’m torn about this book. I don’t understand the hype!! But the story is quite beautiful, about a boy and girl, falling in love despite their cancer. Ow, and John Green replied my tweet because of this book =D

Never Let Me Go: My reading for 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. Slow, very slow. But the topic is quite controversial, about clones as a way to cure cancer. Who knows clones turned out have soul too?

September 2012

American Wife: Interesting story about an ordinary girl who became the First Lady of United States. What makes it less interesting is the story written based on the real first lady. Blah.

Misteri Sittaford – Malam Tanpa Akhir – Mayat dalam Perpustakaan: Agatha Christie without Poirot, for me is like soup without salt =) Or Hot Dog without sausage! But still, I love the Queen of Crime so much I can chew any of her works!

The Shadow of The Wind: a very very good historical fiction about lost books and love story behind them. Perfectly goth, I can’t wait to read the sequels!

The City of Dreaming Books: a very satisfying re-read! A city full of books, literally, with catacombs and lotsa bookstores. I love the book so much!

A Week in December: fat, slow book (British, what can you expect?) about life of 7 people in London. Reaaaallly slow I almost gave up.

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders: an absurd Japanese mystery book, refreshing but too out of this world sometimes.

October 2012

The Carrie Diaries: prequel of the famous Sex & The City. I like it, although not in love with it. Carrie Bradshaw evolved beautifully during the book.

The Railway Children: classic English children book, about 3 kids living near the railway. A good way to feel nostalgic.

Fahrenheit 451: another classic about banned books. A bit slow in some parts but very inspiring indeed.

The Sixty-Eight Rooms: fun reading about art & history, with enough fantasy inside. There are sequels to come for sure!

The Lady and The Unicorn: Tracy Chevalier is better here although there are still annoying characters inside the book. The details about tapestry making is interesting though.

The Naked Traveler 4: Not my favorite from Trinity, snob, and annoyingly boisterous, I expected more from her in the next books!

The Photograph: another slow British read, about love and affairs – unfaithfulness. Will be interesting if it’s not so slow.

Rufus M: newbery honor about a family lived duting World War I, Rufus is so funny yet naughty. A classic.

My Century: My read for Nobel winner, a very packed, yet a bit dry in the middle. 100 short stories are indeed very ambitious.

November 2012

Supernova series: four books from Dee, reminiscing the development and walking down the memory lanes. Ups and downs, but all in all I’m still waiting for the sequels =)

The Invisible Circus: catchy title, but unfortunately the story is indeed quite invisible. The Euro trip is not exciting as I hoped.

Lee Raven, Boy Thief: I enjoyed this book so much! Probably it’s more because of the perfect timing, but still =)

The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy: a great portrait about motherhood life, one of the few British books I love!

The Time Keeper: Mitch Albom could tell a so-so story with a very beautiful language, and that what makes this book feel so special for me.

Kepiting Bercapit Emas: Tintin’s adventure, when he met Captain Haddock for the first time. Very funny!

Negeri Para Bedebah: BBI project of the month, KLA books. The idea is great but for me the execution is not believable. I can’t feel the hype of Tere Liye.

December 2012

Before I Fall: a touchy story about death and second chance.. Sad ending though.

The Hobbit: beautiful prequel of Lord of The Rings, interesting story with great characters and cool poems. Good translation too!

The Beach House: first encounter with James Patterson, good light thriller, bit predictable but quite entertaining.

The Gift: a little Christmas story about second chance (wow, second time this month!). Very fairy tale but it’s okay.

The Sealed Letter: BBI Project for LGBT read. Setting in Victorian era about scandalous divorce and hints of lesbian relationship. A bit slow in the beginning.

Have a Little Faith: BBI Project of the month: Mitch Albom. Greaaat non fiction book, although I didn’t have much expectation at first. One of my favorite books this month!

January 2013

The Swiss Family Robinson: adventure of a family stranded in an inhabited island. A bit boring and too many details in some parts.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: super packed story about fuku or a curse of a family, with a very interesting Dominican Republic background.

The Confession: a very emotional story from John Grisham about the flaw of death penalty. Touching.

Harry Potter dan Batu Bertuah: A very nice re-reading for Hotter Potter Event. Revisiting Hogwarts and the wonderful way Rowling created her new wizarding world. Cool.

Up in The Air: unique story of a guy who travels a lot to collect his miles. Dark and gloomy, but intrigued me to see the movie.

Gone Girl: crazy read of the month! A rollercoaster ride about a marriage gone wrong. Full of twists, surprising turns, and thrills. Recommended!

The Ring of Solomon: a nice gift from my Secret Santa. Barty is as amusing as ever, the story and ancient background are great, and the sarcasm is hilarious. Love this one!

February 2013

The Heretic’s Daughter: interesting story about Salem Witch Trials, although a bit slow in the beginning but the historical facts are pretty accurate.

The Act of Roger Murgatroyd: a homage of the famous Agatha Christie’s title, very promising but turned out a bit bland and had a “meh” ending.

Little House on the Prairie: I can’t believe I didn’t read this series as a kid! Very cool family, moving across America and meeting all kinds of troubles. I love Laura!

Klik!: Ten short stories from ten different writers that became a complete puzzle at the end. Very very interesting, each writer has his/her own style, but can still composed a whole great story. Unique!

I am Half Sick of Shadows: Another Flavia de Luce’s mystery, this time the setting is Christmas time and involving movie people. Still crunchy although not as good as the second book.

Juliet: No,no,no. From historical background, this story is good. But when it jumps into the future, and tells a story about the modern Juliet, I lost my appetite. The characters are not believable, not likable, and not interesting at all. The ending is also bad. Not recommended!

Black Beauty: Beautiful story about the life of a horse. With simple plot that is so touching, no wonder this book becomes a classic.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Rereading for Hotter Potter event, refreshing my memories of why I love this series so much!

A Corner of The Universe: a Newbery book from one of my fave authors, Ann M Martin, about a girl in a small town who has an Autistic uncle. Setting in the 60s is cool, but too bad the book is very short.

The Godfather: BBI read for Oscar’s month. I have watched the movie and like it so much, and apparently the book has done the same thing to me. Packed with action and intriguing characters, no wonder it becomes one of the most talk-about sagas.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Victorian classic by the great Charles Dickens, quite good but unfortunately it is unfinished because he died before completing the book. I wish I could find out the end of this story!!

March 2013

Swamplandia!: Great premise with a unique setting (crocodile theme park in Florida), but I can’t connect much with the heroine, and I don’t really like the way the story is unraveling. Pity.

Just So Stories: Cute and clever fairy tales, a classic from Kipling. Lots of interesting stories, mostly about animals. And I love the cover too!

Memoar Sherlock Holmes: Never been a great fan of Holmes, but I decided to give the series a try. Turned out I quite like it, and probably will continue to follow the adventures.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society: A love story setting in the World War II, in the Guernsey island near England. Uniquely written in the form of letters, but I don’t really like the heroine, and the ending is just to cheesy for me.

Splendors and Glooms: Another Newbery book, setting in old London and a great combination of fantasy/historical fiction. The puppet theme is cool, and I love all the main characters.

Interpreter of Maladies: Oh gosh, I’m in love with this book! A beautiful, haunting collection of short stories, with similar theme of Indian culture in America. I would love to read other Jumpha Lahiri’s books!

Seraphina: Wow, a great dragon story! The imagination of the writer mesmerize me, the idea is quite fresh and Seraphina the main heroine is easy to be liked. Can’t wait for the sequel!

April 2013

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban: Hotter Potter helps me to reminisce about this lovable series. The ending is more twisted than the previous books and there’s my favorite teacher in this book, Lupin.

Cat Among The Pigeons: Poirot rules! This time, the mystery happened in a girl boarding school. Teachers were murdered, and there’s a precious jewels involved~ luckily, Poirot came to the rescue. Yeay!

Darth Vader and Son: A cute, funny, incredible story of Darth Vader- as a father! The illustrations are adorable, and this is a perfect book for Star Wars lovers- or any parents/kids.

Out: A gory, absurd murder story set in Japan. This book is actually cool, since the main characters are mostly females. But prepare your stomach before you read!

Charles Dickens’ Ghost Stories: A few Dickens’ classics in Christmas theme. Nice little treat, including the famous Christmas Carol.

Lima Sekawan, The Series: A loveable series from childhood, Lima Sekawan never bores me. After collecting the books in new cover version, finally I could read them all and make this review.

Nemesis: It’s time for Miss Marple’s case. I didn’t really enjoy this book, the plot is too slow for my taste, and there are lots of references to the previous book, Caribbean Mystery, that I already forgot.

Dongeng-Dongeng Grimm Bersaudara: 63 fairy tales from the Grimm Brothers. Some are good, some are so-so, and some are too absurd for me. But it’s good to know the original stories, aside from watching them in Disney movies.

Girl With a Pearl Earring: What’s wrong with me and Tracy Chevalier? The premise of this book is so good, but the characters are bland and flat. I could never like Tracy’s characters, I don’t know why. It’s a pity.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore: A very current and cool book about books and reading culture. Combined with a mystery involving secret society, this book is a gem!

May 2013

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire: My fave book so far of the series! Complete package – action, mystery, friendship, tension, twist, humor. I love it!

The View from Saturday: Another fave from EL Konigsburg. About four friends joining a competition, and each kid has a unique story that can help them to win the competition.

Summer and The City: I love this book! Better than the first one (Carrie Diaries), and the beginning of Carrie’s love of NYC was described really well here. I hope there’ll be the third one.

Sad Cypress: One of my most fave Poirot books. The sadness, heartbreaking story of Elinor – and the wonderful wonderful twist at the end. Thanks Dame Agatha for this marvelous book!

The Child Thief: an adult fairy tale, a retelling of Peter Pan story. Quite good, but the ending is just too much!

The Great Gatsby: the classic American Dream – with a touch of jazz. I love the way Fitzgerald wrote all the symbols. And can’t wait to see Leo as the Great Gatsby.

City of Thieves: a wonderful treat – great book about war and the story is full of dark humor. I love both of the main characters.

Echo Park: a mystery setting in City of Angels. Dark and complicated. Turned out it is a series! No wonder I can’t really connect with the characters ;p

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest: a great contemporary classic, setting in an asylum. The main character is phenomenal – as well as the main antagonist. But the ending! Oh, I hope to see the movie one day.

Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived: A strange collection of short stories. The settings are really interesting – traveling around the world. But the endings are too loose.

June 2013

Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix: the most difficult book of the series – and the darkest one, too! It’s pretty dense and has lots of villains, including the most annoying one so far, Umbridge!

Pippi Goes Aboard: the beloved classic by one of my favorite authors (who shared the same name with me, tee hee!). Pippi is fun, imaginative and very determined. And turned out, her father is like that, too!

The Thief: A very disappointing Newbery book. I don’t know if it’s because of the translation or what, but this book is very confusing, with a too complicated conflict and unimpressive characters.

The Casual Vacancy: I’ve read many not too nice reviews of this book, but unexpectedly, I like it! The character development and description are so good, it showed another proof of Rowling’s magical hands šŸ™‚

The House of Silk: Good Sherlockian story. The mystery is intriguing and the voice of Watson is pretty convincing. The ending is a bit too extravaganza for my taste, but I’d love to have another cup of Horowitz’s Holmes!

Imperium: Robert Harris is officially one of my favorite authors now. This incredible historical fiction captured the life of Cicero in Ancient Rome period really well. The narrator, Cicero’s secretary slave becomes one of the best narrators that I’ve encountered so far.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Gosh, Disney! You turned many fairy tales upside down and changed the endings into a nonsense happily ever after. I just found out about the real Hunchback story from this dark, gothic, sad classic story. Too dark in some parts, but a classic nonetheless.

The Paris Wife: Hemingway was a catch! That’s what I found out from this great historical fiction. The voice of Hemingway’s first wife kept haunting me long after I closed the book.

July 2013

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: Another favorite from the series. I love how Rowling combined the humor and the most heartbreaking ending ever into the book. And I love all the going-back-into-the-past part.

Norwegian Wood: my first taste of the famous Haruki Murakami and I’m not sure if I like it or not šŸ™‚ I love the dark and gloomy feelings I got when reading the book, but all the sexual tensions are a bit too much for me.

Little Women: a wonderful classic story from my younger days! I love meeting with the beloved characters – especially Jo – but turned out this book is only the first part of the series. A bit different than I remember from my childhood days. I need to find the rest!

The Queen of Attolia: The second installment of The Thief series. I like it better than the first book even though there are still some weird parts – especially with the translation. And I love Gen more in this book!

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake: Sadly, this book doesn’t live to my expectation, especially after reading so many good reviews of it. The conflict is predictable, the characters are flats, and some subplots are too bizarre. It’s a pity since I love the setting a lot!

Hickory Dickory Dock: One of my favorites of Poirot stories! I love the London setting, the details about student boarding house, the university and international ambiance. And Miss Lemon! She’s hilarious šŸ™‚

Secret Garden: Another childhood favorite. My feeling when reading it was still the same. The gothic description of the manor, the dark and cold moor, the incoming spring. And the secret garden. All is very well.

The Known World: a dense story about slavery in America before the Civil War. Interesting premise but too many unnecessary subplots with trivial additional characters.

August 2013

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: The finale of the epic series. The ending is so great, the mysteries solved, even though so much tears and broken hearts. I’m sure gonna read the whole series again one day!

The Ocean at The End of The Lane: The latest adult fantasy from Neil Gaiman. The dark, scary villain is very haunting – and I love it how Gaiman brought our nightmare into “real world”

Mary Poppins: I read this book without any expectation, and turned out it’s really enjoyable. Although a bit different than the movie (of course, Disney!), but the fantasy feeling is still there.

The Julius Romeros Extravaganza, Part I: The Bearded Girl: Underrated book! This is a very interesting story about a girl who has beard on her face – and joins a circus. A marvelous storyline, great characters, a bit straightforward but very intriguing. Can’t wait for the next installment!

The Angel’s Game: The sequel of the mesmerizing Shadow of the Wind. Still has the same ambiance – gothic, dark mystery, gloomy Barcelona setting – but a bit downer compare to its predecessor. Probably because it has a supernatural ambiance – that nobody expected.

The King of Attolia: Finally, the last book of the series. Pretty good compare to the previous ones. But still, not my favorite. Wonder why people seem to love the series so much?

Winter Dream: a beautiful story about American dreams – and an Indonesian who tried to reach it, as well as find out the meaning of his life. I like the setting of Boston and the ending is pretty good too.

Catch 22: A crazy, hilarious story about the meaning (or meaningless) of war and its bureaucracy. The humor is witty and the main character is truly lovable!

September 2013

Conspirata: Sequel to the great Imperium. Still very good, although a bit darker and more depressing. I can’t wait for the final installment.

The Cuckoo’s Calling: Another masterpiece by the great Madame Rowling (although she used a different name here). The mystery is good, but the winner is the main character, Cormoran Strike (my new fave!), also his sidekick Robin. Please please please give me the second book!

The Secret History: I have a mixed feeling on this one. Probably because my expectation is too high, I was a bit disappointed of the pretentious way this book has. Especially the conversations! And the characters do not impress me that much.

The Best of Nancy Drew, Classic Collection Vol 1: A hidden gem! Three best stories of Nancy Drew, came straight from the past. The simple plots and the predictable storyline did not annoy me at all. Enjoyable. Now looking for the second volume.

The Complete Christie: a must have for all Christie fans! Very complete, although the biography part is too short in my opinion.

A Clockwork Orange: a very difficult read of a very disturbing dystopian book. But it’s a genius work nonetheless. Wondering how’s the movie.

October 2013

Dead Man’s Folly: Dynamic duo, Poirot and Mrs. Oliver are back! This time the mystery happened in a murder game created by Mrs. Oliver. I love the setting and the interaction between Poirot & Mrs. Oliver.

State of Wonder: a sad story setting in Amazon jungle. A bizarre story with bizarre setting, and unusual ending. But somehow I like this story a lot.

Theodore Boone, The Accused: This time Theo becomes a victim, accused for a crime that he didn’t know anything about. I love the tension of the story and how Theo’s character kept evolving in the series.

Five Little Pigs: a difficult Agathe Christie’s read, but one of her bests in my opinion. Poirot traced back a murder that happened 16 years ago, tried to clear an innocent woman’s name. Or was she really innocent?

In The Time of The Butterflies: An incredible historical fiction set in Dominican Republic. I admire the Mirabal sisters and what they did for their country. A true gem!

Night Film: One of my fave reads this year! Marisha Pessl showed that she really have the talent. I love how she experimented with multimedia gimmicks, creating a convincing environment of the mystery. And New York City is a really perfect setting for this twisted unreal book.

The Twits: Another crazy story from the master of children’s books, Roald Dahl. A bit too gross for my taste but it’s hilarious at the same time.

The Moving Finger: a classic Miss Marple’s story, but a bit too similar with Murder is Easy. Miss Marple didn’t have too much portion in this book.

Me Before You: I’m an anomaly about this book. I don’t know what makes it likable for so many people because I don’t feel it. Yes the story is beautiful but I think the author is trying too much. And I don’t like most of the characters, including the main protagonist.

And The Mountains Echoed: a beautiful, enchanting story by one of my fave authors, Khaled Hosseini. He created another masterpiece, although not as epic as his previous ones. But still, I fell in love with the fragments of puzzle in this book, that blended into a whole beautiful story.

At Bertram’s Hotel: Not my favorite Marple story, but I love the setting so much, an old hotel in the middle of London. The crime and twist are not that convincing, but the vivid atmosphere remained timeless.

Amsterdam: An absurd, dark story about two bestfriends who became each other’s enemies. The twist ending is a bit too much, but the flow of the story feels perfect for the book.

The Age of Miracles: another post-apocalyptic young adult. Very convincing although a bit bland and slow at first. But it created a depressing feeling for me. It feels real.

The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side: One of my fave from Miss Marple! It’s really sad and melancholy, and it showed many changes that happened throughout Miss Marple’s long life.

Al Capone Does My Shirt: A cute Newbery book with the setting of Alcatraz in 1930s. Complete with Al Capone and a girl with autism, this book is very enlightening.

Singgah: a collection of short stories from Indonesian young writers, with one theme: a place for transit. Some of them are good, some are just so-so.

A Pocket Full of Rye: another favorite from Miss Marple. The story is so classic and the whole idea was based on children’s song. It’s typical Christie and it’s great!

The Postcard Killers: I tempted to buy this book because of its cover, but the story is not as engaging as I thought. The mystery is half-fried, the protagonist is not that sympathetic, and the only thing I love about this book is its various setting of Europe.

A Discovery of Witches: Twilight for adults. That’s what this book feels to me. It’s one of the hardest books that I tried to finish. The main characters are very annoying, the romance made me want to puke, and the plot is soooo slow. No need to say that I won’t read the sequel!

Skippy Dies: a pretty dark story about a campus life in Ireland. I thought first that this is a YA book, but actually it’s more suitable for adults.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter: Unexpectedly, I like this book. I love how Abe Lincoln was pictured as a badass guy, and I love the absurd, perfect ending.

Embroideries: a hilarious, funny graphic novel about women’s life in Iran. Full of taboos like talk of sex and emancipation, but really entertaining.

The Murder of King Tut: Interesting historical fiction slash murder mystery, combination of ancient Egypt history and the unsolved mystery of King Tut. Love the narration and the point of views.

The Pact: Again, a pretty disappointing Jodi Picoult. As usual, the idea is genius, but the execution, just meh for me.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas: One of the best of Poirot books!! The ending is very twisted you just have to scream :)) A nice Christmas read. Well, not warmly nice, but…nice šŸ™‚

The Invention of Hugo Cabret: Beautiful, genius illustrations – the pictures and words are weaving together and telling the story as a whole. I love Brian Selznick.

The Pale Horse: I’m partial of this book. I like how Mrs. Oliver works by herself without Poirot in it. But the story is too abstract for me, at first I didn’t even know where Christie wanted to take us to.

Tears of The Giraffe: the second installment of Mma Ramotswe adventures. Not as many mysteries as I’d like to, but lots of morale and contemplations here.

Skipping Christmas: a non legal/thriller from Grisham, but still full of twists and unexpected plots. Perfect little read for Christmas time.

January 2014

Noel d’amour 2: a sweet short stories collection with Christmas theme. Too bad the editing is so poor.

Hetty Feather: my first Jacqueline Wilson’s book and I quite like it. A bit like Candy Candy, but the Victorian setting is pretty good. Will read the sequel soon.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham: I expected more of this book, more historical facts and more details about the thing happened in 1963 in Alabama. But this book tells more about the Watsons and their daily life.

Life After Life: This book didn’t live to my expectation. Probably because I read so many good reviews about it that I put a too high expectation. Great historical setting, nice storytelling, but genius? I don’t think so. It’s not even that original.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: I wanted to like this book more, but since the story is about Holmes and a much younger girl who would become his wife….Well. Not my cup of tea.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: Hilarious, chaotic story about a girl who tries to find her mother- based on her last emails and correspondences. Where’s Bernadette? A page-turner, I found out pretty soon where Bernadette is.

Animal Farm: a political fable that I wished I’d read when I was still in school. The characters are so vivid and I can’t help to compare it to my country’s political state.

My Uncle Oswald: an absurd adult story by Roald Dahl. But since this is for adult, it seems more appropriate. Even though he mentioned sex. A lot of it.

Let The Great World Spin: beautiful, enchanting story about life in New York City. I can’t help but falling in love with the book – and with the great city.

The Silence of The Lambs: gift from my Secret Santa! It’s as tense as the movie, and I can’t wait to read all the series šŸ™‚

 

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