My Most Memorable Books of 2015

First of all, merry Christmas to all of you! Although it is unlikely for me to work on holiday - or, to be more precise on Christmas Day but I try to stick with my commitment of posting daily article as often as I can.

Ray is still hibernating and only God knows when he will return. We had some chats and he admitted that he has difficulties finding interesting topics for the blog. I keep encourage him to write again, especially when now we have our own dot com address. I'm sure that his comeback will be huge. He signaled me that he is not too keen to write mediocre topics and still in search for a bombastic one. I told him to take his time.

Yesterday on Christmas Eve, my good fella Michelle just return to our town after years living in Melbourne. She brought me some books: Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follett (literally a mammoth) and Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones' Diary. These awesome gifts instantly made my day, considering they are rare books and no longer published in Bahasa. So I'm inspired to share you some books that give me new perspectives in 2015. None of these books are new, but I really recommend them.

1. Gone with The Wind, by Margareth Mitchell
Gone with The Wind by Margareth Mitchell
Gone with The Wind
by Margareth Mitchell
Image source: Google Image
Another mammoth. I saw this book first in my high school library back in 2006 and keep procrastinating myself to read it considering its thickness. Ray however had the gut to read it. He said it was pretty exhausting but worth the time.

So by late June I bought Gone with The Wind, decided to peek on some  pages and cannot stop turning the pages. It took me a month to finish the book. Yes, it is a romance but not the kind of cheapo-plastic boy-meets-girl type of romance so hype these days. Its rich cultural background of slavery in Southern America and the Civil War are the things that make this book superior. Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin giving me the glance of race issue in past America and the notion seems rather ghastly (but the story is thrilling). Gone with The Wind shows me another side of it. I find it surprising that the O'Hara's slaves are living quite the opposite life of Beecher's description. It's very thick though, you can bang it to someone's head and kill him.

A Short History of Tractor in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
A Short History of Tractor
in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
Image source:
2. A Short History of Tractor in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
The title is tricky, you might think that it is a book about tractor's history, written in Ukranian. I had the same thought at first. Unfortunately I ran out of readings that time and this book was on sale so I just picked it. Apparently the story is not about tractor at all.

It's a modern drama of an Ukrainian family living in America. The story is very funny, I found myself laughing my head off while read it. This book changed me because it truly reflects the words "Don't judge the book by its cover".  The Ukraine background of the story was a bit baffling at first, probably because my insufficient knowledge about it but in the end I salute Lewycka for successfully delivers a common family drama in a very entertaining way. The point of this book is: family sticks together and have each other backs, no matter how peculiar things become. Buy it and see for yourself.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Image source:

3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
This book is the one that spurred me to eventually buy all Albom's book. His books are good, but Tuesdays is rather special. In general, this book tells a story about preparation of death. The main character, Morie, is a professor who is diagnosed with ALS. As Morrie becomes weaker and gradually paralyzed, he does a lot of meaningful things to "prepare" himself for the death. No, it is not a horror story. Despite its gloomy atmosphere, it opened my eyes to the inconvenient truth that us mortals will all face: death. When live, we have the opportunity to do something meaningful as well contributive for our own, the people we love and the world. This book styled a little in self-development but also has a narrative plot which I find less patronizing but still effective to alter minds.

4. Travelling to Infinity: The True Story Behind The Theory of Everything
by Jane Hawking
Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking
Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking
Image source:
You must have seen the movie. Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for playing the Stephen Hawking in the film. Apparently, such a touching film was made based on this book.

The book is a semi-biography written by Stephen Hawking's first wife, Jane. Unlike the film which featured Hawking as the "hero" character, this book also portrayed his "less-heroic" side. Even in parts where Hawking married for the second time, I had lost my sympathy for him and thought he's a jerk. In this book, the author Jane managed to indirectly present herself as a wife and also someone who is intellectually able to match Hawking. The physics parts are also described in not-too-scientific ways which will not perplex readers. The drama is quite touching and logical at once. It is unique because it arguably is a blend of biography, drama, and scientific reports. It also provides a deeper knowledge base of Hawking's life so I advise to read the book before watching the movie.

I read another interesting books like Neil Gaiman's Fortunately The Milk and Interworld. They're good but not very inspiring, especially Interworld with all its techie words that require me to check on my dictionary every few pages. I also read Rhonda Byrne's The Power and Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habbit (yes I'm into that stuff). The Power is powerful enough, but somehow I found Byrne only pulling identical notion about the gravity law from The Secret. Habbit is more informative and scientific rather than inspirational.

Eventually I must admit that I read less books this year. For me these three books are the most memorable. I hope you guys enjoy them .

Merry Christmas!

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