"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

November 28, 2013

Muhammad Al-Fatih 1453 by Felix Y. Siauw (Book Review)

Hello, dear readers :)
Some of you might have known the fact that I'm interested in history thingy (I wrote about it on my Goodreads account). I got bunch of history books --not bunch, actually, only a little, like Prophet Muhammad's biography (see the review here), the Chinese Kingdom history, and the one that I love the most is Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe (I only read book i, ii and iii though).
Well, I just finished reading a good --a real good one, if not great-- book, book that recently has made me fallen in love with history even more, and I really want to share it with you.
I want to inform you that this maybe not just a review, it's also a quick summary, so it's gonna be quite long post hehehe. I hope you are enlightened by this post. :)

November 24, 2013

Book Review: The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Sean Covey (Part Two)

Night, friends. Remember when I wrote about 4DX?
Now, I'll share the continuance of the post. :)
If you haven't read it, you can read it here.

Feel a bit confused of what I'm sharing? Let's take a look at it this way.

November 23, 2013

Book Review: Sleepover Party by Jacqueline Wilson

It all starts when Daisy moves to a new school. She finally fits in with a group of other four girls: Amy, Bella, Chloe and Emily and they name the group the Alphabet Club. They do different things every week, like collecting things which initial name is as the same as theirs, and so on, and so on. Daisy feels happy befriending those new friends. 

However, she doesn't actually fit in with all members. Chloe, the one whose hair is curly and blonde, doesn't like the fact that the other girls let Daisy join them in the club. Daisy feels it too and sometimes she's afraid of being dumped out of the group, since she still got no one to be her bestfriend (Amy has Bella and Emily got Chloe), eventhough Emily's so nice to Daisy and Daisy hopes she could be Emily's bestfriend.
look at the cute illustration!

One day, Amy announces that she'll have her birthday on the weekend and she invites all members of Alphabet Club, including Daisy. And it's not just a party, it's a sleepover party!
Soon all members are having their birthday and they all make a sleepover party too. When it comes to Chloe's birthday, at first Daisy is not invited, until Amy and Emily and Bella say that it's unfair, then Chloe agrees to invite Daisy. But nightmare happens when Daisy joins the sleepover party.

After Emily's party, it's time for Daisy's. Daisy is confused whether to make a sleepover party or not because she actually has a big sister, Lily, who has had special needs since born, and is afraid of the reaction of her friends about Lily. Daisy's mum encourages her not to be worried because if they really are Daisy's friends they'd understand.

In short, Daisy's party was a success aaaaandddd Emily becomes Daisy's bestfriend! Yeay! Chloe is not a member of the Alphabet Club anymore. A happy ending. The end.

This novel is Jacqueline Wilson's first novel that I read. And I LOVE IT!
I basically love all Wilson's writings. I love the way she lets people know children's problems and also tell children who read her books how to overcome their problems. I love the way she concerns on kids and their life. I love the way she writes in kids' point of view.
Also, I love the illustrations given in the book! Nick Sharratt is awesome! AAAAAAA LOOOOOVE!!!!! <3<3

November 22, 2013

My Kind of Childhood (Book Review: Famous Five by Enid Blyton)

Talking about childhood memories, for me, won't go far from books. I was raised watching my parents read lots of books. The first word that I tried to read (and fortunately I made it! hahaha) was "KOMPAS". Yes, that newspaper lol.
Still clear to me when I was four (or younger, or older, I forgot hehehe) my parents would take me to the bookstore and let me play in the child books section. By 'play' here means I would open the plastic wrapping of some books and then read it. Not actually reading it though, I was just busy looking at the pictures because words were boring to me (at that time).
By the time I was six, I was introduced to Detective Conan comic series and boom! It made me afraid to take a pee at night and I stopped reading it until I was in fourth grade. LOL.

November 21, 2013

Book Review: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens (Part Two)

Night, pals. :)
I've promised you to write the Part Two of 7 Habits (you can read part one here).This is more like a quick summary than a review but I think it's ok. I hope it's ok for you. Hope you are enlightened by this post. :)

Part Two: Private Victory
Personal Bank Account
Habit #1: Be Proactive!
Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit #3: First Things First

November 19, 2013

Book Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Hola amigos! Another great book is coming into this blog! :3
Yes yes Imma share a review about the second book of one of my favorite authors: Malcolm Gladwell's Blink! :D

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking contains lots of mindblowing facts from Gladwell's researches of how we think.

From the prologue, we've already served by the story of Getty Museum in California, which was cheated by an art seller -- Gianfrancho Becchina, who said that he got a statue from the 6th century (Kouros).
The statue, however, looked almost perfect. The Getty then did an obsevation on the statue and called a geologist (Stanley Margolis), who looked at the statue and then also fastly believed that the statue was really an old thing one. Later, Getty decided to buy it.

But then, an Italian art historian, Federico Zeri realized that there was something wrong with it.
Evelyn Harrison, an expert in the Greek sculpture, was in Los Angeles visiting Getty right before the Getty finished the deal with Becchina. When looking at it, Harrison said, "What a pity."
Harrison said that she didn't know what made her say that. She just thought that there was something that wasn't in the right place.

With that short story, Gladwell starts to make us see the importance of the first two seconds when we see something. About rapid cognition or thin slicing. How we know that there's something wrong or something bad's gonna happen.

taken from Google

It also reveals the danger of not being aware of our own guts. Of not being aware of our own thin slicing.
Like, how most Americans, in the early 20th century got a wrong choice choosing Warren Harding as their president. (Harding was stated one of the worst presidents America ever had by the critics and political observers).

To me, this is such a great book to know how we think and how we respond to things subconsciously.
Like I've said, mindblowing! The media always says that Gladwell always provokes us with his thoughts; they're true.

November 15, 2013

Book Review: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Hello, friends. How are you?
I hope everything's going well with you. :)
Today's review might be a bit serious -- since the book is serious too, hehehe.
But I promise you that's it's going to be exciting, so please keep scrolling. ;)

Some of you might have known the fact that I'm interested in psychology/self-healing thingy. The book that I'm gonna give a review is the book that I had been longing to read.
Someone special (:p) lol I mean my mom recommended this book to me. She said that it's one of the best psychology/psychotherapy books ever written. Burt when I looked for it on the shelves in house, it wasn't there. Sad. But then again, a year later, I iseng-ly looked for some books on shelves.
Tadaaaaa! There it was, I finally found it! :""") I was so happy hooray hooray I finally could read it without having to buy the English version one. Alhamdulillah :)

Here's the cover of the book:

taken from google

Book Review: Girls & Tech by Ollie (@salsabeela)

Good day, guys!
I just read Ollie Salsabeela's Girls & Tech. Got lots to learn from it whoa ><

Ollie Salsabeela is the owner (co-founder) of Kutukutubuku.com and Nulisbuku.com. She's also the author of 26 books -- including this book.

What's this book is all about?
It's about girls and their potentials in the tech world. Ollie says there are so many girls/women who are still afraid to jump into tech thingy (because they claim theirselves as "ga gaul", "takut eror" etc).
Padahal, potensinya besar sekali untuk perempuan bisa maju dan stand out from the crowd, karena perempuan punya keunggulan-keunggulan tersendiri dibanding laki-laki.
Ollie mencontohkan, sudah banyak perempuan yang terjun ke dalam dunia teknologi and do mark their presence there -- including herself.

So then she encourages us, girls, to do the same.
She writes about the reasons why girls can really deal with tech and entrepreneurial thingy.

What I love from this book is that, Ollie bermurah hati untuk berbagi rahasia-rahasia.
She also reveals some secrets, including how to make a startup, how to make a business plan, how to bravely speaking in front of public, etc.

Such a good book for girls who have dreams to be caught --
especially those who want to be entrepreneurs. :)

November 13, 2013

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Hooray! This time I'm gonna share a review about a novel!!! Finally, right? ;)
I know you guys have been craving for reading some fictions, so here is one of them. :3
Just so you know, I'm more interested in reading meaningful stories than the easy stuff ones. No, no, doesn't mean that reading other genres is bad, everyone has their own interest, no? :)
Let me start ya, dear readers. :3

So so, To Kill a Mockingbird is a fiction contains law-thingy and mostly philosophy things.

The book tells the story of Scout Finch (actually Jean Louis Finch)'s life as a daughter of a lawyer.
The story starts when Scout's father, Atticus Finch decides to be the defense attorney of a black man. (The setting of the story is on 1945, so yes, there's still racism there.)
So many people in Maycomb County (where Scout lives) don't like what Atticus do. Scout and her big brother, Jem (Jeremy Finch) have to deal with what people say and do to them.

To me, the story in this novel is great.
It is written from the perspective of a eight year old girl so it's kind of fun to read how Scout Finch is being witty, honest and clever at the same time.

And we can see how meaningful the story is. It taught me many things. As I said before, the setting in the novel is on 1945, when the World War II was being held. That explains why Scout's faher, Atticus Finch, doesn't go to war. He's a lawyer in a small town. Plus, he wears an eye glasses that makes him unable to go to war.

Atticus is a smart man. He loves to read and he teaches Scout and Jem to read too. So Scout, at the age of 8 --which i9s such an early age to read at that time-- can already read, while her classmates still can't. That's why Scout is not permitted to read in class, because her classmates are still learning to read.

When Atticus decides to be defense attorney for Tom Robinson, the black man, --who is being accused for raping Mayella Ewell, Bob Ewell's daughter-- he takes all that he got with him, including his children, his career and his life, at stake.
Racism was still happening there, and Atticus decision makes everyone shocked. They think Atticus has gone crazy.

And then the Finchs' hard life begins.
I don't know what happen to Atticus when he's at his office but I do know --from the story of course-- that Scout and Jem are having hard times. So often their classmates, their neighbors, and even their cousin say bad things about them or their father.
At first times, they lose control and will surely get them even. But then as time goes by, and after they tell Atticus what happen to them, they learn --from Atticus-- to be proactive, to hold their anger, because it's their own family they're trying to survive, because it's their own hearts they're trying to keep.

The most exciting part is when they attend the court to see the "fight" between Tom Robinson and the Ewells.
Saya suka merasakan atmosfir saat pernyataan-pernyataan masing-masing saksi dan terdakwa mulai dibacakan, lalu pertanyaan-pertanyaan disusul argumentasi kedua belah pihak di cerita ini.
Ikut deg-degan juga bacanya, and I feel a bit sad too, when the judge decides that Tom Robinson is wrong (bersalah maksudnya, hehehe).
I mean, like seriously, where's the justice?

The best that we can learn here is that, Atticus' decision to defend Tom Tobinson, it wasn;t anb easy decision to make, but then as he says, he has to make that choice, to achieve his calling, to teach Scout and Jem about life.

I love how Harper Lee puts it in such gorgeous line:

"You'll never understand someone until you see every thing from his point of view. . . . Until you infiltrate into the back of his skin and live life his way."

November 1, 2013

Currently Reading: The 4 Disciplines of Execution

This book actually belongs to my mom. But because I recently need the knowledge given in this book, jadilah saya "terpaksa" membaca buku ini.
Kalau boleh jujur, ini non-fiksi yang paling berat yang pernah saya baca sejauh ini. Bukan berat sih, hanya saja bagi saya agak membosankan. Makanya ketika baca selalu saya kaitkan sama hal-hal yang saya butuhkan juga, biar tetep nyambung hahaha.
But then, although it's boring, bisa juga digunakan buat kehidupan sehari-hari kok :)
Now I'm gon' tell you a bit about the book ya... I'm gonna use easy examples so that it's gon' be easier for you to understand..

As individual, we must have once had that great goal that, in time, so often we end up don't execute it.
Why do we do that?
Apparently, it's because we're too busy doing our routines. This routine --that absorbs approximately 80% of our energy, money and time-- is usually called whirlwind.
Ok, so The 4 Disciplines of Execution is the disciplins we need to execute our strategy in the middle of whirlwinds.

And the 4 disciplines are:
Discipline #1 Focus on the Wildly Important
                #2 Act Towards Lead Measure
                #3 Present a Motivating Scoreboard
                #4 Creating the Accountability Rhythm

The book is divided into three parts. Since I've only read the first chapter of part one, at least for now Imma share it first ya :)

So, discipline #1 Focus on the Wildly Important

There are few rules we must follow when doing this discipline, they are:

1. There are only one or two WIG(s) that can be focused on at a time.
Why is it just one or two? Because, if it's more than two, we'll get unmotivated and then we'll get easily distracted by the whirlwind. This is why we need to know what our WIG(s) actually is/are.
What to do, then? Well, we can prioritize.

2. The battle you choose MUST win the war.
The book says the only reason we are in to the battle is to win the war.
Our lower-level WIG must not only support but also make sure the success of the higher-level WIG.

3. Senior leader can do veto, but is prohibited to dictate
It needs engagement of all parts of team to make the execution succeed. This is why senior leaders must permit the leader in the level below them to define the WIGs of their team.

4. All WIGs must have "End Line" in a form "from X to Y when".
WIGs must be measurable.

*due to time limit, this post is not done yet but still gonna be posted. To be continued. I'll add the examples here when I get the time. Thanks for reading this post, have a lovely day :)

Book Review: The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Actually, I once got interested in reading this book not because it's a book about travelling, but because of the word 'bliss' on it. As you know, I was interested in the how-to-be-happy things.
It's a book about an NPR correspondent (it's Eric Weiner himself) who travels around the world looking for what 'happiness' means.

The journey starts when he decides to go to Netherland. There he meets a professor, Ruut Venhoven, who's doing researches about happiness. But Weiner pictures the building as "tempat yang tidak terlihat seperti tempat berkumpulnya kebahagiaan".
And tyhen, still in Netherland, Weiner spends his time sitting in a cafe and he starts to think "So this is why biggest philosophers are mostly European. They just sit and drink coffee and apparently doing nothing thennnn they found some philosophies. Like Existentialism for example." LOL look at the sarcasm =))

Another funny part is when he tells the readers about how he's been badly addicted to bags. "My wife even said 'Eric why don't you just be like normal man?' when she caught me secretly looking at bags' pictures on the internet." Oh well if you could just see his writings =))

I didn't really enjoy reading the part when he's in India and Bhutan (especially Bhutan, it's so boring if you ask me). Maybe because I'm not really interested in knowing about those countries hehehe

Reading this book can also enrich your knowledge about other unusual-to-be-talked-about countries.
Like, Moldova. Baru di buku ini saya tahu bahwa Moldova adalah negara miskin (termiskin di Eropa) yang di-'bully' oleh negara-negara tetangganya. Moldovans claim theirselves as Russians, whereas Russians point them as Romanian, and vice versa.
When Uni Soviet splitted, many of Moldovans lost their job, and many of them also don't have other skills to survive. Moreover, we all know that Uni Soviet believed in the communist ideology, which means that it applied command economy. Di era ini, orang-orang yang sebenarnya skill-nya mumpuni tidak akan terlihat karena disamakan dengan orang-orang yang skill-nya biasa-biasa saja bahkan cenderung tidak mumpuni. Baru ketika Soviet pecah, seleksi alam berlaku.
What makes it even worse is the fact that Moldova's belief is atheism. This puts such dryness -or emptiness- in their hearts and minds Wajar jika mereka kaget dan down.
But apparently they think that it all has changed sice Soviet splitted and they believe that someday someone will help them. This is such a wrong mindset, if you ask me.
Weiner describes Moldova as "orang-orang yang berwajah murung dan seperti tidak punya harapan."

I personally favorite this Moldova chapter, some because of personal reasons.
I know there's still a lot of us who act (and react) the way Moldovans do. I sometimes still do that--becoming reactive and blame all that I can blame.
What I want to remind ourselves is that: What's in the past is in the past. What is done is done. Kita bertanggung jawab atas hidup kita sendiri. Kita bertanggung jawab atas pilihan-pilihan yang kita buat setiap harinya.
Now, we must move on and star thinking: "What do I really want? How to reach it?"
Let's be empowered and be empowering, people! :)
*kenapa jadi gini tulisannya hahahahaha* 

Last, when in Qatar, Weiner puts a joke on Islam: "Umat Islam shalat lima kali sehari. Kenapa bukan empat atau enam kali, hanya Allah yang tahu." =))
*Now for you who are extremist/religious person or whatever, I still respect Islam. Please see this in a humorous way. Also, if you're jeli enough, di buku ini ada kalimat di mana Eric Weiner bilang kalu suara adzan itu indah. :)

This book is damn funny. I don't know why but I always find Jewish writers are funnier than the others. They always show their intelligence by writing such sarcasm sentence and it's just way way too funny. Anyway, back to the book, I burst out laughing every time I open new page.

Well, if you want to know a lil bit better about the world from a perspective of such weird-funny-yet-intelligent person, to know more about unusual countries where happiness is relative, you realllllllllly should read this book!!