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
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
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
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!)
|Oh look... Ungil!|
4. Corat-Coret di Toilet by Eka Kurniawan
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!
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Labels: 2017 Reading Challenge, books, EN, Recent Reads, reviews, short reviews