Books I Finished in January

9 Feb 2017

Books I Finished in January - Hola Darla
In my previous post, I talked about my goal to read 12 books this year. To make it official, I logged in to my Goodreads account to set my 2017 Reading Challenge. I checked my Currently Reading shelf & I'm very embarrassed to say that I had nine books there. Five of them are the ones I started reading in 2013 & 2014. They've been sitting in my Currently Reading for more than three years! That's how bad of a reader I've become. So in January, I read like crazy. I read whenever I had the chance. I read while eating, before going to bed, and even while watching TV (multitasking, yo!). I managed to finish four of them. They are all the more recent ones; the ones I started reading last year. I figured it would take longer time to finish the ones I had abandoned for years because I might have forgotten the story so I would need to re-read at least a few chapters back.

Alright. So here they are:

1. The Lola Quartet by Emily St John Mandel
Finished in January The Lola Quartet by Emily St John Mandel - Hola Darla
I just realised that I've never written my review for Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. I don't know why I haven't done that because I really liked that book & it was one of the most amazing & well-written books I've ever read. Station Eleven was my very first Emily St John Mandel's book, so naturally I looked for her other books and my next choice fell upon The Lola Quartet. It's a story about four high school friends who were in a jazz quartet. On the last day of their high school, they played a concert on the back of a truck. That was the last time Gavin, a member of the quartet, saw his girlfriend, Anna. Ten years later, Gavin sees a photograph of a little girl who looks like him and has Anna's surname. Gavin tried to find out what really happened these past ten years and why his fellow quartet members keep it a secret all these years.

The written style is as beautiful as that of Station Eleven. The story is entirely different because there is no worldwide catastrophe in The Lola Quartet, unlike in Station Eleven; there are only personal disasters and how growing up can be very different for everyone. Ditching the traditional structure of narrative, both Station Eleven and The Lola Quartet are more like recounts rather than narratives. Reading these two feels like reading someone's diary. It's very flat, yet (again) very beautifully written so it broke my heart anyway. Not recommended if you want more dramatic conflicts.

2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Finished in January Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - Hola Darla
I ditched this book after reading about 85% of it for a very silly reason: I don't like how Jacob (our main character) is going to leave his parents. See, this is perhaps the reason why most heroes in stories are orphaned. Parents are a burden. I'm not very comfortable reading about a young character goes on a journey to fight evil while their parents wait at home, scared shit about their kid's well-being. But I finished it anyway, for the sake of eliminating it from my Currently Reading. The story is very good and interesting. The idea is quite fresh, including that idea of the hero having both parents alive. I don't like the part where Jacob falls in love with his grandfather's old girlfriend, though (yeah they're the same age now but I still think that's kinda creepy LOL).

3. Filosofi Kopi by Dee Lestari
Finished in January Filosofi Kopi by Dee Lestari - Hola Darla
Oh look... Ungil!
Dee Lestari is a prominent author in my country. All her books are best sellers. The most famous is perhaps the Supernova series, a series I tried to read once but couldn't because it was 'too hard' for me who is not really into 'heavy literature' (get it?). I've only read one more book by Dee and that was Recto Verso, which is a short stories collection. It tore my heart apart and broke it into pieces because the stories are all heart-wrenching. I picked Filosofi Kopi because it is another short stories collection and I felt that I wasn't ready for a book-length-story-commitment so short stories were nice at that time. Not as wonderful as Recto Verso, though. There are only a few stories I like, the rest is just so-so (I'm sorry!)

4. Corat-Coret di Toilet by Eka Kurniawan
Finished in January Corat-Coret di Toilet by Eka Kurniawan - Hola Darla
This one is also a short stories collection. I've read another collection by Eka Kurniawan, entitled Perempuan Patah Hati yang Kembali Menemukan Cinta Melalui Mimpi, and really liked it so I tried reading another one. Corat-Coret di Toilet is, however, not as good as Perempuan Patah Hati (the title is very long!). Eka Kurniawan is a well-known author; some of his books have been translated and published in English. You can find them at Amazon. Just search for his name.

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Now I still have five books to cross off from my Currently Reading list. I'm gonna do it. I know I can do it!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

2017 So Far

19 Jan 2017

Dengue Fever's a bitch | Hola Darla
I started 2017 very late because earlier this year I contracted Dengue Fever and had to stay in bed for almost two weeks. We were in Pesawaran at my in-laws' place for the long holiday and I got ill just 2 days before our schedule to go back to Bandung. We had bought the bus tickets & there was no way we could reschedule it, so I had to bear the 24 hours bus ride home while also being super sick & having no appetite at all. It was a torture :(

But I'm all well now & I've started working again this week. The hoouse is no longer a mess & the cats are all happy because their litter boxes are cleaned regularly again (husband kept forgetting to clean it hahah)
Ungil the little kitten | Hola Darla
Speaking of cats... My dad adopted a little kitten two months ago. We call her Ungil (literally means Smol). She is the kitten of either Ojon or Omin (Jessi's stray brothers) & a female cat that lives in my parents' neighbourhood. She was abandoned by her mother since she was very little, so she still lacks basic cat skills like using the litterbox & grooming. Because of that, she has been staying with us so that she can interact with Jessi & Chop-Chop. Jessi hates her, obviously, but Chop-Chop took her like his own kitten. They play chase all night & Ungil has learnt how to groom herself from Chop-Chop.
Read more books in 2017 | Hola Darla
I don't make a formal list of resolutions for 2017, but I will try to read more books this year. I didn't read many books in 2016 & I honestly didn't feel like myself because of that. I used to finish at least one book a month, so for this year I promise myself that I'm gonna finish at least 12 books.
Wisata Hutan Kota Talang Indah Pajaresuk Pringsewu | Hola Darla
Happy 2017!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Thank You, 2016. And Good Bye!

25 Dec 2016

Lunch at Magic Wok, Jalan Kesatriaan Bandung | Hola Darla
We all agree that 2016 has been very hard for most of us, but I'm not gonna lie; 2016 has plenty wonderful things too.

It's the year I met Chop-Chop. It's the year I went through my quarter life crisis. It's the year of good movies. It's the year that my blog grows in terms of sponsorship.

It's been a challenging year, but surely God knows what we are worth and how strong we are, and look at us now! We're alive. We're breathing. And that's the most important thing to be grateful for.

I've made several plans for 2017, but mostly I'll leave it up to fate. Wherever 2017 will take me, I'm ready to adjust my sail. If 2016 has taught me a thing, it's to not force anything.

Have a nice holiday & a happy new year!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook