Apa Isi Kindlemu?

Saya teringat di tahun 2000an, banyak orang bertanya, apa isi iPodmu? Isi iPod, pada waktu itu, dianggap bisa mencerminkan kepribadian seseorang, yang ‘ditafsirkan’ dari lagu apa saja yang terdapat dalam gawai tersebut.

Kini, mungkin pertanyaan apa isi Kindlemu? juga bisa jadi cukup relevan. Dengan semakin meningkatnya tren membaca buku elektronik, gawai seperti Kindle semakin laris di pasaran, khususnya karena kenyamanan yang dijanjikannya—semua buku, ribuan halaman, dalam satu gawai yang ringan dan mudah dipegang, bahkan bisa dibaca di mana saja dan kapan saja (tentu selama bukunya sudah diunduh dan baterainya masih ada).

Tangkapan layar dari Kindle saya, menampilkan enam dari sejumlah buku yang saya miliki dalam Kindle saya

Saya memiliki beberapa buku dalam Kindle saya, namun enam buku yang terlihat di dalam tangkapan layar di atas adalah buku-buku yang baru-baru ini saya baca atau selesaikan. Buku-buku tersebut di antaranya otobiografi Barack Obama, A Promised Land, buku sejarah umat manusia yang ditulis oleh sejarawan Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens, dan buku Simon Kuper dan Stefan Szymanski, Soccernomics—yang menyediakan ‘prediksi’ sangat menarik mengenai apa yang terjadi pada Inggris di Euro 2020 tahun ini. Saya masih menyelesaikan buku The World yang ditulis oleh Richard Haass, sebuah buku pengantar yang ditulis dalam gaya populer untuk memberi penjelasan umum mengenai dunia hubungan internasional (dan sangat bermanfaat untuk membangun literasi terhadap hubungan internasional), The Invention of China karya Bill Hayton, sebuah buku yang menjelaskan sejarah China sebagai sebuah gagasan, dan Strategy karya Lawrence Freedman yang menceritakan evolusi konsep strategi dari masa lampau hingga kini.

Saat menulis artikel ini, saya menyadari sesuatu: enam buku yang ada dalam tangkapan layar di atas memiliki ketebalan yang bervariasi, mulai dari 320 halaman (The Invention of China) sampai dengan 767 halaman (Strategy). Jika dijumlahkan, keenam buku ini memiliki lebih dari 3.200 halaman—semuanya tersedia dalam sebuah gawai yang begitu praktis!

Thoughts on “Origin”

As usual, I welcome Dan Brown’s new novel with joy. I’ve been reading his work since The Da Vinci Code (and the lovely prequel, Angels and Demons). This time is no different. Origin is Brown’s newest novel.

I purchased one for my Kindle, and I devoured the novel in 6 something hours—cover to cover.

The story was meant to tell us about the origin and destiny of our life. Out from the longstanding debate about the role of religion in human life, who is supposed to be rational, the main character Robert Langdon’s good friend—a scientist who perhaps tried to be a bit Musk and Jobs at the same time, thought that he has found the answer, that is, before he was murdered.

Then, Langdon, the claustrophobic, user of Mickey Mouse watch, symbologist professor of Harvard bound for a journey across Spain with who was the future queen of Spain. The journey was to find a 47-character password to open a presentation file.

Only, different from Brown’s other novels, this one fell flat on me.

Continue reading Thoughts on “Origin”

Completed the reading challenge!

I thought starting a full-time job should have been a significant hurdle to my hobby: reading books. Little did I know, I actually managed to surpass my 2016 reading challenge by two books. 

To add to that, I also read two non-fiction books, written in gripping fashion by the one and only, Ms. Agatha Christie. And Then There Were None was especially exceptional—the story was too captivating, and it was a non-stopper. 

Here are the books that I’ve managed to read this year:

  1. Dale Carnegie, Public Speaking for Success
  2. Ed Mickolus and Joseph Brannan, Coaching Winning Model United Nations Teams
  3. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  4. Roger Dawson, Secrets of Power Negotiating
  5. Peter Navarro, Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World
  6. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs—This was actually my second reading; I read the wonderful biography first in 2011, starting on the day it was published
  7. Michael D. Barr, The Ruling Elite of Singapore: Networks of Power and Influence
  8. Davis Shambaugh, China’s Future
  9. Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall—Definitely one of my most favorite readings for 2016, the book was quite thick (almost 900 pages I think), and it opened a whole new horizon in understanding the Israel-Palestinian conflict
  10. Scott Berkun, Confessions of a Public Speaker
  11. Dale Carnegie Training, Stand Up and Deliver
  12. Raj Raghunathan, If You’re So Smaer, Why Aren’t You Happy?
  13. Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Think Like a Freak
  14. Kurt M. Campbell, The Pivot: The Future of American Statecraft in Asia
  15. Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None—One of the best ever fiction works I’ve ever read in my lifetime
  16. Agatha Christie, The ABC Murders
  17. John McBeth, The Loner: President Yudhoyono’s Decade of Trial and Indecision—Also one of the best books I’ve read under the politics/biographies genre, and it was eye-opening

If you are reading this post, I do encourage you to read more. Reading books helps me to balance my sanity with the business of work. You may think reading non-fiction works burdening—sometimes it is. However, the new insights and understanding that you earn afterwards do make the activity worthwhile. 

Why Indonesians Have Failed to Embrace E-Books

This morning, Michael Kozlowski of Goodereader.com published an article, “Indonesians have failed to embrace e-books”. In that short article, he talked about the Indonesians’ apparent lack of interest in electronic books.

That is true, except that I was hoping to see a different set of explanation.

Being an Indonesian myself, and an avid reader of electronic books, let me give you my take on this issue. Continue reading Why Indonesians Have Failed to Embrace E-Books

Review: Alex Ferguson My Autobiography

I probably did a serious mistake by reading this book first instead of the “Old Testament”–there are two autobiographies of Sir Alex Ferguson: Managing My Life and My Autobiography. This book is clearly a sequel to complete the first book, and you may find yourself a tad disoriented without reading the first. Continue reading Review: Alex Ferguson My Autobiography