National Book Day

I’ve been trying to finish reading “Mangun” for more than a month now. I won’t talk much about its contents, though. You should read it on your own.


What’s certain is that I admire Romo Mangun’s sense of humanity in the way that he was able to blend in to his surroundings and communicate formal knowledge to society and the marginalised who are prone to discrimination and removed from education institutions. He devoted his life to humanity. For me, the way we speak highly of humanism while still discriminating and looking down on the poor or those who are different smells of hypocrisy.


The books that I’ve read always triggered me to read more books. So that I could continue to learn and expand my horizons. Here the list of my favorite books


PEREMPUAN DI TITIK NOL (Nawal El Saadawi)

One of the books that opened my eyes to the cruelness of the patriarchy in moulding behavioural patterns of men and women. It has affected women to the point where they have become the more inferior of the species. In reality, women are not second-class creatures. We are not mere objects that exist simply to be oppressed and be unfairly treated. Hence, gender-based discrimination in every aspect, be it social, economic, or even political, must be eliminated as much as humanly possible.


TETRALOGI PULAU BURU (Pramoedya Ananta Toer)

I consider the four books that make up this series – “Bumi Manusia”, “Anak Semua Bangsa”, “Jejak Langkah”, and “Rumah Kaca” – to be one whole story in one book. From the four, there have been a few things that left a mark and became important learnings for me. You do not always need a spear or a gun to fight, but you can do it with a pen. Those who made their voices heard at the time did not just save lives but also the pride of their nation. They were able to move even the weakest to stand up and fight for their rights. One memorable message that made an impact on me was at the end of “Anak Semua Bangsa”, when Mbah Pram wrote, “Educate the people with organisation and educate the rulers with resistance.”


BUKAN PERAWAN MARIA (Feby Indirani)

I was probably very lucky as the author gave me this book herself. And for free. When I first read it, I muttered several times, “Turns out I am not the only who feels this way…”. There is a sense of representation in every story. In the end, we were inspired to write a series of lyrics as a result of reading this book and through discussions with Abah. I admire Teh Feby in the way she criticises discrimination against women and extremists: scathing yet wrapped in light and casual humour. It is something that I have found difficult to find in the books that I have read.

And these are two authors that I admire the most

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

I fell in love with the late Mbah Pram ever since I first read his book. From his style to the stories themselves, he always manages to calm the hearts of his readers to great success. Every time I finish reading one of his masterpieces, I tend to forget the distance between him as the author and me as the reader.


Nawal El Saadawi

An extraordinary female figure. She consistently fought against oppressions of class, gender, and religion. Through her courageous and critical works of literature, I am sure that she has played an important role in sparking courage and humanity in the hearts of her readers. Even more so if we are reminded of where she originated from. Surely her works are deeply rooted in her knowledge and experience as a woman that probably resonate with women from other parts of the world. Happy National Book Day and have fun looking at the world from a different perspective!


482 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

Jakarta