August 2016 Wrap-Up & Favorites


Hi, hello. I know it’s September already but I haven’t really got the time to sit down and write monthly wrap up and favorites. I’m participating in a 3 weeks long read-a-thon but I’m not doing well on the second and third week. I got so distracted. Instead of reading, I spent my time watching TV show and movies. That’s okay though, because I ended up watching an anime that I love. But I wish that I read many books in August since I wasn’t that busy. So here’s what I read in August.


Books read in August


some_text Hujan Bulan Juni – Sapardi Djoko Damono (★★★.5)
Like I said in my previous wrap up, I’m not a poetry reader. I don’t know how to appreciate them, simply because most of the time I don’t understand them. Damono’s poems however, use easy everyday words that we could interpret as it is; or we could see those words as metaphors. Really, it’s open to our interpretation which is why I enjoy reading this poem collection. I do aware that this collection has more somber tone than the one that I read before, Melipat Jarak. For instance, there are several poems that revolved around death. Some of them are romantic though, such as the infamous ‘Aku Ingin’ (‘I Want’) poem. If you’re intimidated by poetry form, I would recommend you to try reading SDD.
some_text Kissed – Cameron Dokey (★★★)
Kissed is a bind-up of three retellings which consists of Belle, Sunlight and Shadow, and Winter’s Child. I read retellings by Cameron Dokey last month, and I quite enjoyed it. These retellings are quick and fun to read. Some even give a new take on the original tale. I wrote a full and long (at least longer than usual) review of this book which I will post next month, probably.
some_text The First Phone Call from Heaven – Mitch Albom (★★★★)
The First Phone Call from Heaven is the fifth Albom’s book that I’ve read. This book is a bit different from Albom’s other books. The First Phone Call from Heaven is more of a mystery book, because basically in this book we follow Sully Hardings, the main character, investigates a series of mysterious phone calls that claimed to be made from heaven. I’ve written a review of this book which will be up in late September, I guess. It’s in Bahasa Indonesia though, since I read a translated version of this book.
some_text Batman: The Killing Joke – Alan Moore (★★★★)
It’s unusual for me to read a graphic novel about superheroes. It’s not that I’m not interested in superhero graphic novels, it’s just that I’m intimidated by how long the volumes/issues often they have. They also tend to have many story arcs and I don’t know where to start. Now it seems like superhero movies are all the rage, so I decided it’s time to try reading a superhero graphic novel. Batman has always been my favorite superhero. I grew up watching Batman. There have been many Batman movie adaptations, but my favorite is the Christopher Nolan’s one. Mainly because of the relationship between Batman and Joker in The Dark Knight is so fleshed out, that I can see them in a different perspective than I did before. This leads me to the iconic graphic novel The Killing Joke by Alan Moore which tells one of Joker’s many origins. This graphic novel is brutal and depressing. In The Killing Joke, Joker is trying to prove a point to Batman that everyone can be like Joker. All it takes is just one bad day because that’s how Joker became the Joker, which actually mirrors Batman’s origin too. One bad day that results in Bruce’s parents’ death is what leads him to be Batman. This is also a point that Joker in The Dark Knight was trying to prove too. To quote Ledger’s Joker, ‘Madness, as you know, is a lot like gravity; all it takes is a little push’. There’s still a lot of things that I could talk about, but it would be better to read it yourself because this graphic novel is that good. Man, Batman-Joker relationship is just fascinating. They are so alike, despite of the fact that they hate each other. The ending is so sad, especially the flashlight joke. It’s so absurd that I feel bad for them. I say, just read this graphic novel, more so if you like watching Batman movies. It’s a one shot anyway, so it won’t take much of your time.
some_text I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson (★★★★)
I’ll Give You the Sun is a popular book. Most people who’ve read it love this book. As for me, I did enjoy reading this book. It’s quite emotional to me. Although I had a teeny tiny problem with this book, I still give this book a high rating. I won’t talk much about this book because I’ve written a full review of it. The review will be posted in this blog sometime in September (probably).



August Favorites


Books

I’ll Give You the Sun

TV shows/ Anime

Stranger Things
I don’t think this one needs further explanation. It's Netflix's original horror/science fiction show. This show is getting a lot of buzz lately, especially after there’s an announcement that the show is renewed for a second season.

Cowboy Bebop


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I’m a longtime anime fan. I’ve been watching anime since I’m in elementary school. I haven’t watched many anime lately because I’m trying to catch up with TV series such as Castle, Orphan Black, and Criminal Minds. I miss anime and I thought, why not watching one? So I picked Cowboy Bebop. This anime has been on my to-watch list for years. It’s a classic. I have to watch it and oh boy how could I just watch this anime now?? Like oh my God this anime is soooo good.
A quick synopsis, Cowboy Bebop is set in 2068-ish, people can now travel in space. Years before the story takes place (fifty years, I believe), there’s an accident with a hyperspace gateway causing the earth to be inhabitable. People then live on the planets in the solar system. The crime rates are high, so the Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) set bounties on criminals. We follow four people (and a dog) who are bounty hunters and they travel with a spaceship which is called Bebop.
Okay, I love the characters. The first episode introduces us to only two characters actually, Spike and Jet. The rest of the Bebop crew are kind of tagging along as the story progress. When I started watching Cowboy Bebop, I was a bit skeptic. I was afraid that it would be one of those boring anime with too much action sequence. But noooo, the first episode surprised me. I was just thrown into the Cowboy Bebop world without actually knowing anything. I didn’t get to know who these two characters are, like who they really are and why they’re doing what they’re doing, but I was hooked. I found out in later episodes that this anime is focused on these main characters’ past. Yes, I thought this anime would be an easy, light-hearted, fun, and full of action anime. I was wrong. This anime is actually a bit depressing and darker than I thought. The show talks about loneliness and the whole existentialism. It even shows in the first episode and that’s what made me hooked to the show.
Also, can we talk about the music? Because oh my God, I love love love the soundtrack of this anime. It’s an example of how music can really complement the story telling. Try looking up Seatbelts, who is the musician that did the soundtrack. The most popular songs are of course Tank! and the Real Folk Blues which are the opening and ending song of the anime. But my favorite one is Space Lion, which is played on one of my favorite episodes of Cowboy Bebop, episode 13 Jupiter Jazz (part 2). The soundtrack of this anime is in blues and jazz genre which I think fits the anime; because the anime is stylized like film noir. I understand why this anime is recommended as a gateway into the anime genre. I could go on and on about this anime, but enough rambling, hands down Cowboy Bebop definitely has become one of my favorite anime of all time. Whether you’re a first time anime watcher or not, I highly highly recommend Cowboy Bebop.

Sweetness and Lightning

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Swetness and Lightning is an anime about a single father who is learning to cook for his daughter. It’s a slice of life type of anime. Nothing dramatic really happens. But that’s why I love this anime. It’s just fun and easy and makes me happy. I believe this anime is still ongoing. The last episode that I watched is episode 8 and the newest episode that’s aired is episode 9.

Music 

Unlike other months, I didn’t make a playlist for August. So there’s no spotify playlist in this post. I basically just listened to Selena Gomez’s Revival album and The Chainsmokers’s singles. They’re so catchy and easy to listen to.

That concludes my August Wrap Up and Favorites. I didn’t read as much as I wanted to. I finally read I’ll Give You the Sun though, which I enjoyed. It even becomes my favorite book of the month and I think it’s on my top 10 books I read in 2016. I also watched an anime that becomes my favorite anime of all time. So that’s kind of awesome. What about you? Did you have a good reading month?

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