Category Archives: Bookish

[Book Review] Laughing All The Way to the Mosque

Hi, Assalamualaikum. Ramadhan Mubarak everyone ! It has been a joy to get know this book and read the whole hilarious memoir of Zarqa Nawaz. The book tells about her life experience as a Canadian Asian-Muslim living in the twenty-first century. No, this book isn’t like motivational or educational type. This book more like a witty honest confession of Muslimah. I couldn’t put down this book until I finished.

I picked up this book from my favorite bookshop (Harper Bookstore) for some reasons. I want to know how to live as a Muslimah in Non-Muslim Country based by a real Muslimah’s point of view. I want to know how they are living at different society. I want to know, how Muslimah can get a higher education and freedom to do career or business in the foreign country. Because all I heard is so many Muslimah that live in Non-Muslim Country get ‘a special treatment’  after September 11th attacks. I just can’t close my eyes when the world turn to be Islamopbhobic, and like everybody seems in high alert to Muslim or maybe just because we looks “different”, a stranger which isn’t a white-skin, and covered all over of the body.

Zarqa Nawaz is best known as creator of the TV show Little Mosque on the Prairie. She is also celebrating her first book, Laughing All the Way to the Mosque. Source :

Zarqa Nawaz is an honest and sharp-minded. She can write ever detail small her deep thoughts and daily experience with a funny way. She had so many question about religion and she just can’t stop to get the answer. She is a truth-seeker. Maybe for some other conservative Muslims (include me) as woman her act is too far. But I appreciate it. Sometimes you need someone to speak your mind when you are too coward (or shy) to do it. Right ?

My favorite parts in this books are :

  • Medical school rejects. She talks about when she get rejection letter from the University of Toronto’s med school. It destroy her family dreams to see her become a doctor then she takes a chance to be a journalist and ended become a filmmaker.

  • Meeting Sami. In this part, she reveals getting pressure from her family to get married ASAP. She is so struggle to find the right man to be a partner of life. And how she met her husband, Sami. It’s so cute !. I quoted the satire conversation about Zarqa and her mom, because i think her mom got a point about marriage issue.

“Both of my parents firmly believed an arranged marriage was why they were still together. “Dating is the reason relationships fall apart,” she’d tell me. “All this talking and getting to know each other in a love marriage. And what happens ? You’re still dissapointed. If you have an arranged marriage, you don’t call it dissapointment, you call it a husband.”

“How could you marry someone you never saw before ?” I asked her. It just boggled my mind.

“That’s the way things were back then,” she said. “Love come afterwards.”

She had a point. They had been together for twenty-five years.

“Why can’t love come first?” I asked.

“White people fall in love beforehand,” said my mother, “and they still get divorced. So one method isn’t superior to the other. I had a suspicion that she thought her method was superior”(Nawaz 61).”

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[Book Review] Eleanor and Park

Last month, showered by fierce afternoon sunlight I went to my favorite book shop in town to hunt a new book. I saw Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell which is a popular book, it got high rate in Goodread and people said it superb. Then, I bought it. I had a habit to check my wish-list book in Goodread to convince me that book was worth to buy or not. Because, I didn’t want to make my every single penny spent useless if I didn’t like the book content.

So, I took about two weeks to finished the whole book. Eleanor and Park present the unusual first love story with extraordinary protagonist. The author brings us to travel back to the past at 1986. There’s no smartphone to play digital song, but Walkman. And I love it. It feels vintage. So, let me give you a quick introduce for our protagonists :

Eleanor Douglas is a big girl with freckles skin and crazy flaming red hair, beside that her fashion taste so ‘different’. She wears men’s clothing. She is a broken home family member, her mom married again with an evil man, Richie. Her stepdad is a terrible guy who act like a King just because he feed her mom and her siblings. The fact is her family so poor even they couldn’t supply her with shampoo or a toothbrush. Eleanor spends most of her time at home trying to be as invisible as possible. But his step-dad never let her in peace. He constantly make her family in horror state.

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” ― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

Park Sheridan, he is mixed blood (Irish dad, Korean mom) and unlike his younger brother Josh, he looks more Korean than anything else. Park thought he is an outsider. He hates sports but he takes taekwondo, and he’s great at it. He doesn’t like partying, girls, or the social scene at his school, and he’s just popular enough not to get teased by other kids. He’s obsessed by music, he loves comic books, something that he will share with Eleanor. Continue reading

Dimana Membeli Buku Import Murah di Pekanbaru ?

Pertanyaan diatas cukup sering saya dengar, terutama dikalangan penyuka buku bacaan berbahasa Inggris. Selain Gramedia, salah satu toko buku yang menjual buku-buku berbahasa Inggris/import di Pekanbaru adalah Paperclip. Harga yang dibandrol cukup mahal bagi saya. Untuk buku keluaran baru harganya bisa diatas Rp. 200.000.

Sebenernya, untuk cari buku import sekarang sudah mudah ya, ada banyak toko buku online seperti, Open Trolley, Books&Beyond, Periplus, dll. Tapi, kendalanya di saya ya itu tadi, kesediaan dana yang terbatas. Memang sih ilmu itu mahal harganya, tapi kalo bisa diminimalisir, ya kenapa nggak ?. Teman saya menganjurkan untuk download aja e-book aja, kan banyak yang gratisan. Nah itu yang saya hindari. Kasihan mata saya berlama-lama menatap layar smartphone. Bisa-bisa minus saya nambah. Lagian baca buku paling enak digenggam lah, menikmati sensasi membacanya lembar demi lembar.

Karena terganjal harga yang cukup mahal, saya mulai rajin kepo-in Instagram dengan menggunakan hashtag #jualbukuimporpku #tokobukuimporpku #bukuimporpekanbaru, absurd nian dah !. Hahaha. Terus, dari hasil cerita-cerita sama Cece Manajer di tempat les, saya dapat informasi kalo di Pekanbaru ternyata ada yang jual buku-buku import dengan harga cukup miring , yaitu Harper Bookstore !. Yang mana tagline mereka adalah Quality Imported Books for Less Price. Awalnya, toko buku ini agak membingungkan posisinya, ada yang bilang di Jalan Jati, ada yang bilang di Pemuda Citywalk, ada yang bilang di Sadira Plaza. Nah terus aku harus kemana dong kakak ?. Selidik punya selidik, saya menemukan akun Instagram toko buku tersebut @harperbookstore. Dari Instagram juga-lah saya mendapatkan alamat pasti toko buku-nya.


Dari kepo-kepo Instagram saya mengunjungi toko buku-nya yang beralamat di Jalan Jendral No. 12, Kec. Labuh Baru, posisinya pas di depan IndoMaret. Yang ternyata cukup dekat dengan lokasi tempat kerja saya. Padahal tiap hari saya lewati, tapi kok nggak ngeh. Posisi tokonya memang agak menjorok kedalam. Jadi nggak terlalu keliatan, apalagi buat saya yang kalo lagi naik motor pandangan lurus kedepan pantang celingak-celinguk. Takut nabrak orang kan.

Begitu sampai di tokonya, saya langsung kalap pengen beli semua bukunya. Gimana nggak, harga buku-bukunya sangat terjangkau. Buku-bukunya baru, bagus, dan bahkan ada yang hardcover dijual dibawah Rp.200.000 aja. Tapiiii, saya nggak beli langsung banyak dalam satu waktu kok. Belanja buku memang salah satu prioritas saya tiap bulan, tapi tetap saya membatasi diri dengan belanja satu buku saja dalam sebulan. Kenapa ?, karena sayang aja beli buku banyak-banyak tapi nggak dibaca. Jadi dalam tempo satu bulan, saya harus selesai baca satu buku. Kalo bacaan saya sudah tamat kurang dari sebulan, solusi saya adalah pinjam buku teman. Jadi, intinya tiada hari tanpa baca buku sih. Azik !. Continue reading

[Book Review] Beautiful Disaster


Beautiful Disaster, 319 pages.

Last month I purchased this book, it’s just because the title looks appealing. Something beautiful but bring disaster. What was that ?!. And do you know ?, this book is very readable, addictive, and captivating. Completely page-turner !

When I read the synopsis, I thought it just like usual love story, about a bad boy that falling in love with innocent girl, decorated by little bit contravention and intrigue, then they would happily ever after. But, this book offered you roller-coaster conflicts. Even I felt exasperated with the characters but in the end I’d turn back to love them. Because Abby and Travis were just too cute to be true. Here’s the synopsis :

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

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I Start to Read English Books

Assalamualaikum, dear readers.

Am i still have readers ?… Ha !

So yeah, I’ve been starting to read English book since last November. And i thought it’s like an improvement for myself, because I’ve never read English book before. I only read novel in Bahasa or the translated version. But recently, I want to know how the taste of reading foreign books, the original one. I believed reading books could be a great way to gain new vocabularies. I wanted to see and learn how the author use grammar in actions. And, I had an intention to develop my understanding of a language. Some people said learn English by reading it may feel like a slow process, but in my oppinion it would be effective.

Thus, from November until January i finished 3 books.

In November I had read The Secret Ingredient by Laura Scahefer. I chose this book because i want to read something easy and light, like warming up before you do exercise. That time I wish that I wouldn’t to be dizzy after read so many words in foreign language. Then, after I read through the pages and finished it in 2 weeks. I felt the utterly joy of reading. I would like to continue it. I made a target that I must to finish reading an English book (or more) in a month.


My very first English novel…

In December, I  borrowed The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm from my friend Miss Sabar Hernika (I wish you all can check her amazing blog HERE), and I accomplished it in 2 weeks. The story was talk about Ellie an eleven years old girl and his grandfather that obsessed to be a forever young. I like the story very much, and i thought to make a review in another post. Continue reading