Books I Finished in March

13 Apr 2017

Books I Finished in March - Hola Darla
My husband reminded me to start controlling my spending on books because I spent almost 1m for books alone last month! Isn't that crazy? He keeps sending mixed signals, though, because he's actually the devil behind it all. Whenever we are in the bookstore he's all like "Just buy it!" every time I touch a book. I hate him! (Also I love him for that LOL)

So, anyway... Here are five books I read in March:

1. The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie's Witness of Prosecution - Hola Darla
I normally loathe it when a good book gets its movie/TV cover, but this one literally caught my eyes right when I walked into the bookstore (they're so damned smart at displaying!) I regret buying this book because as I read on I realised half way that I actually had read all the stories. Compulsive book shopping is not good, kids!

2. 20 Cerita Detektif Diambil dari Majalah Bobo: Lukisan yang Dapat Mencuri
20 Cerita Detektif dari Majalah Bobo - Hola Darla
For Indonesian 90's kids, Majalah Bobo is a part of our childhood. It's a kids magazine with short stories, comics, science articles, etc. This book is a compilation of 20 detective stories taken from Majalah Bobo. I've been thinking about writing stories for children, so I read this book for inspirations. All of them are actually quite simple but I can see that children will get absorbed to the stories. I love all the stories!

3. Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries Series by Robin Stevens
Robin Steven's Murder Most Unladylike Series - Hola Darla
Oh my god this series! I'm so so SO in love with these books. I was looking for A Study in Charlotte at the bookstore when I saw these colourful books on display (again, they're so smart!) They didn't have A Study in Charlotte so I picked one of these colourful books to read the synopsis on the back cover. Turns out, it's a detective series too. It's about two school girls who form a detective society and solve murders together. I bought the first one of the series (the blue one), took it home, and finished it in 6 days. Then I bought the second one (the green one) and finished it in 2 days! I also finished the third one (orange) in 2 days. I was obsessed, okay?


That is all for March. As for this month, I've already finished two books so far. I'm currently reading two books and yesterday two more books I ordered online had arrived on my doorstep. It's gonna be a busy month!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Saat Jual Kaos Kaki Bayi Perempuan Online, Dapatkan Perhatian Para Ibu Terlebih Dulu!*

24 Mar 2017

Sebagai insan yang gemar membelanjakan uang, wanita memang sepertinya mempunyai daya tarik tersendiri untuk pelaku bisnis, apalagi ibu-ibu. Termasuk di dalamnya adalah pebisnis e-commerce. Wanita memiliki sikap belanja yang berbeda dengan kaum adam, contohnya untuk aksesoris buah hati mereka seperti kaos kaki bayi perempuan. Cara belanja wanita sudah pasti menimbulkan tanda tanya bagaimana cara agar bisa memuaskan dahaga belanja mereka. Ketika kepuasan belanja sudah mereka raih, pasti mereka akan terus menjadikan Anda sebagai tempat belanjanya.

This is what life looks/feels like lately

20 Mar 2017

Dara at Kedai Seni Djakarta | Hola Darla
It's been almost 2 months that Afief and I live separately. He landed a new job in Jakarta and had to move there immediately, while I still have to stay here in Bandung because I still need to teach my students at least until SBMPTN (uni entrance test, which is around May/June).

Everything happened so fast. Afief left his previous job on October and had been freelancing for a project with a community from Australia. All the while, he had been interviewed by this company several times since December. By the end of January, he had had about five interviews with them but still no news about whether he was going to be hired or not. And then, on Friday, 3 February, he got an email from them, saying that he was accepted and he would start on Monday, 6 February. So we went to Jakarta on Saturday to find him a place to stay and he moved there on Sunday. Just like that and I've lived alone since.
Empty bed | Hola Darla
Little Ungil | Hola Darla
I must admit that I've always wanted to live alone since junior high. But since I went to a uni in town, I didn't move out of my parents' house. And then just a few months after graduation, I got married and moved in with Afief, so I had never really lived alone. I adjusted to this solo living quite well, though. But it gets lonely sometimes, especially when I come home late after night tutoring and there are just cats greeting me at the door. There are nights I want to cuddle, but there's only Chop-Chop (the other two are not cuddlers) and then Ungil comes and bugs Chop-Chop to the point that he goes out of the house for the rest of the night :(
Argo Parahyangan Kelas Ekonomi AC | Hola Darla
Old carriages in Purwakarta Railway Station | Hola Darla
We visit each other every weekend. We take turns; last week was my turn to visit him in Jakarta, so this week is his turn to visit me here in Bandung. So, there have been a lot of solo train rides. Long distance relationship is expensive haha! But we will survive. It's only temporary and I'm joining him in Jakarta later this year. We only need to figure things out about where we are going to live in, because surely we can't live in a small room with three cats (I'm not going to give them up!) so we need to find a house. And finding a house in Jakarta won't be easy. All fingers are crossed and all prayers are sent.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Menikmati Bandealit, Eksotisme Kesehajaan Surga di Balik Belantara Jember*

16 Mar 2017

Bagi yang belum familier, ada tiga kemungkinan yang biasanya terlintas di benak saat mendengar nama kabupaten ini. Pertama, daerah ini akan selalu dikaitkan dengan seorang penyanyi dangdut wanita kontroversial yang bertubuh mungil itu. Kedua, figur seorang penyanyi sekaligus produser pria yang kini juga menjadi seorang anggota dewan juga tidak bisa dilepaskan dari kota kecil ini. Ketiga, bagi yang mungkin tidak terlalu menggemari urusan selebritas negeri, JFC sepertinya lebih dikenal. Peragaan busana terpanjang dan terakbar ini selalu berhasil menarik perhatian berjuta pasang mata baik nasional dan internasional.

Padahal, ada sangat banyak hal lain yang bisa dibanggakan dari Jember. Siapa sangka edamame alias kedelai Jepang itu rupanya ditanam dan diproduksi di kabupaten ini sebelum kembali diekspor? Siapa pula yang menyangka bahwa kualitas tembakau Jember juga sangat bersaing di kancah internasional, menyamai tembakau Kuba sekalipun—termasuk pula dengan cerutunya? Bahkan, satu-satunya pusat penelitian kopi dan kakao Indonesia berlokasi di Jember. Dari ujung Pulau Jawa ini biji kopi dan kakao berkualitas terbaik didistibrusikan ke seluruh nusantara dan tanah Eropa.

Tentang Hijab Instan*

12 Mar 2017

Beli Aneka Hijab Instan di Tokopedia | Hola Darla
Dari dulu, aku emang gak suka ribet. Pengennya segala sesuatu cepet beres, cepet selesai, gak bertele-tele & to the point aja. Sampe udah gede gini pun ternyata aku masih gak suka ribet. Boro-boro contouring, nyisir aja kadang enggak. Untung pake hijab. (JOROK!!! :p)

Books I Finished in February

8 Mar 2017

Books I Finished in February - Hola Darla
The reading craze still continues, friends! In February, I read another four books. I'm way ahead of my 2017 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I even edited it; I changed my goal from reading 12 books this year to reading 20 books. I'm halfway there & super excited. The last time I read this crazily was in 2012, I guess? I don't know. I may have never even read 12 books in a year. So, let's do this!

These are the four books I read last month:

1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - Hola Darla
I received this book a few months ago for the Travelling Novel Challenge. The pace is very slow that I eventually stopped reading after page 20-ish. I like Shirley Jackon's short story, The Lottery, that I read for a class in college, but reading her longer writing is kind of painful for me (maybe I'm just dumb haha). She took her time to describe everything in such minute details while the main plot itself is actually quite brief. I also found it hard for me to imagine the time and place setting; is it in America or England, 1800s or 1900s? (Again, maybe I'm just dumb.) I also failed to identify the climax. The novel seems to just end right there. Overall, this novel isn't for me.

2. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Dash & Lily's Books of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - Hola Darla
I really like Rachel Cohn & David Levithan's another collaboration, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, and I also like its movie adaptation (starring Michael Cera & Kat Dennings, so I had been wanting to read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares for years. The imported books shops in my city never have it in stock, so when I found out that a translated version of this book has been released, I bought it immediately. Just like Nick & Norah's, Dash & Lily's is a simple & sweet story about girl meets boy in a silly setting. Lily is bored during the holidays & his brother suggests that she leaves a journal in a bookshop. The journal, filled with clues & dares, is found by Dash, who decides to take the dare. The journal goes back and forth between the two of them & when they finally meet... nope, they don't instantly fall in love with each other. Haha! Go read it. You're gonna like it ;)

3. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini - Hola Darla
I first found out about this novel when I watched its movie adaptation. I read several pages of the ebook (which I pirated... oops!) The story is about a teenage boy who has depression and suicidal thoughts. When he almost jumps off a bridge, he decides that he needs help & then he checks himself in to a mental ward in a hospital. Since I liked it, I decided to order a printed copy. Right after I ordered this book, I found out that the author, Ned Vizzini, committed suicide a few years ago. It broke my heart. And it certainly made the book have deeper meaning and more authentic. Mental health is something that people in my country don't really pay attention to; even I used to think that people who commit suicide is stupid. I was very, very wrong. More people should read this book to open their mind.

4. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman - Hola Darla
(Technically, I finished this book just a few minutes after midnight on March 1, but... whatever!) I didn't really know about Terry Pratchett, but I've read Neil Gaiman's Coraline in junior high & really liked it. Good Omens was one of the book that I started reading for a readalong with the NovelTea Book Club, but I didn't finish it & completely forgot about it. I finally got around to continue reading it last month. It's very funny! It's a story about the several days before what is supposed to be the armageddon, but because of some errors made by both the 'good' & 'evil' the armageddon plan becomes hilariously flawed. The story relies heavily with Christian versions of the apocalypse, but I'm quite familiar with Christian myths (I like myths from different religions and beliefs; they're fun readings). If you're not, the book might be a bit confusing, but the footnotes help (or not? :p) & you can just find everything else in Wikipedia.


It's halfway through March & I've already read two books. I'm on my third one right now, but I have this project with a deadline around the corner, so I may read less this month. It makes me sad. I guess I've become an addict at this point!

Hi, I'm Dara, and I'm a book addict.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Mengenal Lebih dalam Tentang Blazer Wanita*

4 Mar 2017

Tampil cantik serta menawan bagi seorang wanita adalah sebuah hal yang sudah seharusnya dilakukan dalam segala situasi, baik formal maupun informal. Dengan tampil menawan, para wanita akan lebih memiliki rasa percaya diri yang tinggi, sehingga performa dalam segala kegiatan mereka dapat memperoleh hasil yang optimal. Salah satu cara agar dapat tampil menarik adalah dengan memperhatikan gaya berbusana mereka dalam segala suasana, baik untuk moment formal maupun informal. Blazer wanita sebagai salah satu busana formal wanita, agaknya dapat menjadi pilihan yang tepat ketika seorang wanita sedang bekerja. Meskipun blazer sangat cocok digunakan sebagai busana kerja, namun dalam pengaplikasiannya tetaplah membutuhkan perhatian khusus agar dapat membuat penggunanya tampil lebih menarik.

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.


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