Siblinghood of the World Blog Award

I’ve amassed quite a few pending posts and tags considering I was absent from this blog for four weeks (Meh, what else is new? I’m often MIA). This is one of my overdue tags, tagged by Books and Strips. I love tags, I personally think they’re super fun. I do think that doing too many, too often dilutes the heft and substance of your blog. My review on Kazuo Ishiguro’s An Artist of the Floating World is up next, I promise.

(Plus, my reading life was awfully meager and insubstantial in 2015 so HAHAHA this blog needs padding)

Thanks for tagging me, Books and Strips! Your chosen questions were both fun and interesting.

So, the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog in your post.
  2. Answer the questions the blogger who nominated you provided
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers
  4. Create new questions for your nominees to answer

Books and Strips’ Questions:

  1. What country are you from? Tell me something about your place that is not a commonly known fact.

I’m from Indonesia. A little-known fact about Indonesia? Hmm, I think Indonesia in general is a little-known country despite its considerable size. During my travels abroad, I’ve heard people talk about Indonesia and Malaysia interchangeably. How about a common fact then? Indonesia is the country with the world’s second richest biodiversity, behind only Brazil, which has the Amazon forests. Indonesia has dragons, yo!

Not the exciting, fire-breathing monsters of lore but hey, a Komodo dragon is still a dragon!

Yawn! Not thrilling enough? I get you. Who wants dry facts when you can have most-likely-untrue, salacious historical gossip? Rumor has it that once, the KGB tried to blackmail our first president Soekarno with a sex tape starring him and a Soviet honeypot spy. Soekarno was delighted and requested extra copies for himself. Foiled gambit, KGB. Foiled gambit.

The venerable father of our country, first Indonesian president Soekarno

2. What do you normally do while eating breakfast?

Nothing? I’m usually too busy stuffing my face and I’ve never been good at multitasking.

3. What is a New Year resolution you are determined to fulfill in 2016?

I used to write every day and I really fell off the wagon the past couple of years. There’s nothing I want more than to rekindle my love. More specifically, I’m determined to complete good drafts of at least two of the three well-formed fiction ideas in my head.

4. Do you collect anything?

Alas, my stamp collecting days has set long ago. Shame, really. I had some really good ones. My most precious acquisition was a Tintin stamp from Europe. The image took a panel off Explorers on the Moon, which is my very favorite Tintin issue.

Also, I’m a book blogger, yo! Obviously I collect books. And bookmarks (I’ve got hundreds, most of them freebies). You can say that I collect lipsticks, I guess? I don’t set out to collect lippies, but somehow I have ended up with more lipsticks than one person with one set of lips actually needs.

5. Do you listen to any podcasts? Recommend some to me. If not, why?

Nope, not an aural person. I think I choose to process information strictly through reading and writing. Really, it’s you who ought to be recommending podcasts to me.

6. Are you part of a physical book club? (Off Goodreads)

Only one, a book club devoted to Indonesian literature. Sad thing number one, most of the members are expats. Sad thing number two, my attendance has been abysmal as of late.

7. What was an unexpectedly great book this year?

I’m gonna assume ‘this year’ means 2015 since 2016 is still too young.

Runaway by Alice Munro, reviewed here. I gave up by the third story when I first attempted to tackle it. It was too mundane, too flat, too pointless. I picked it up again last year with fresh eyes and was awed by Munro’s talent. Munro will always be slightly too clinical and perfect for my taste, but Munro’s dissection of life’s complexities and her grand theme of how things beyond our control are often (and unfairly) life’s turning points are a marvel.

8. Do you have other bookish hobbies? (Cosplay? Wizard poetry? Are you secretly a member of the order of the phoenix?)

An utter cliché, but it’s writing. I love writing as much as I do reading.

9. If you could change one thing about your favorite book, what would it be?

Nothing. It’s my favorite book for a reason: somehow, through pure alchemy, someone out there touched my life, exposed my flaws, wrung out my emotions simply through faultlessly chosen words on paper.

10. Have you met your favorite author? Did you like them or did you hate them?

I have met Ahmad Tohari, my favorite Indonesian writer, a couple of times. Lucky for me, he is nothing like the stereotypical diva. Tohari is lovely, courteous, very kind, and deeply humble.

I am the blogosphere’s worst tagger. I tag anyone interested in doing this. Hopefully my chosen questions are fun enough to sway you. Oh, and I’m totally going with the world theme of this tag.

  1. Is there a book from your birth country (or country of residence, whichever) that you would recommend to others? Why would you recommend that particular book?
  2. What country/planet/imaginary world is your favorite book set in?
  3. Who is your favorite author and where are they from? Do you think their geography has affected their writing?
  4. What is the book you are most excited to read in 2016 and why?
  5. Are you good at practicing self-control when buying books or are you a hoarder?
  6. How many Wonders of the World have you visited? Which ones are they? Which ones do you want to see most?
  7. Favorite country or region to read about and why?
  8. Snark and sarcasm: funny and refreshing? Or unnecessary and nasty?
  9. Do you follow any literary prizes? (Ex: Nobel, Booker, Pulitzer)
  10. What is the most necessary life skill according to you?
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8 thoughts on “Siblinghood of the World Blog Award

  1. Thanks for doing this tag. I loved answer one. (That’s such a cool response toms threat!) and dragons are cool no matter what they breathe. Lol. Why haven’t I heard of Indonesian authors here! Any good recommendations with translations in English?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To no one’s surprise (and all of my friends’ eye rolls), my first recommendation is Ahmad Tohari’s (coincidentally the answer to question #10) The Dancer trilogy. Beautiful prose? Check. Grand themes? Check. Simultaneously epic and personal narrative? Check. An exploration of a dark episode in Indonesia’s history? Check and check again (Tohari was skating near thin ice with the authorities over The Dancer trilogy)

      It has an English translation but the price on Amazon is quite pricy (sadface)

      http://www.amazon.com/Dancer-Ahmad-Tohari/dp/6029144219/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453627783&sr=8-1&keywords=ahmad+tohari

      A recent great Indonesian novel I read is Pulang (titled Home in English translation) by Leila S Chudori. It was only published in 2012 here in Indonesia, so it is a relatively new novel. Multi-generational, with multiple points of view and spanning several countries, the scope of this novel is pretty epic. Like Tohari, Leila tackles the less savory aspects of Indonesian history. The novel was recently brought out by Deep Vellum Publishing and the price on amazon is saner.

      http://www.amazon.com/Home-Leila-S-Chudori/dp/1941920101/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453628277&sr=8-1&keywords=leila+s+chudori

      Please, please, please gimme Indian fiction recommendations! I actually love books set in India and I need MOAR!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s great. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll see if I can find it somewhere here else I’ll ask friends in Singapore or Malaysia to get me an English copy.
        Indian books…… Well popularly people read The Immortals Of Meluha. It’s pretty much the most popular mythological book set in India. Would you like to connect on goodreads? It’s easier to recommend books there. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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