A Modest Universe of The Pencil

The Secret Life of the Pencil: Great Creatives and Their Pencils
by Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney
foreword by William Boyd

Around my kindergarten to 1st grade, had seen my brother and sister started using pen at school made me wanting to migrate from a pencil to that ink-based tool. I felt being left as I saw it as one step into an adulthood especially since my dad and other adults seemed using pens in serious manners such as work and signing a paper. My nanny told me that there was this boy at same age as mine accidentally put the tip of sharp pencil into his eyeball because he had always sharpen the two sides of the pencil like I did. For that reason, universe pushed me to see a pencil far behind than how prestigious and safe a pen could be.

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A Friendship Through Books

The Gifts of Reading
by Robert Macfarlane
Reading this while walking around Lasem because…why not.

Reading, a hobby I love as much as walking. Hence I bought some of Robert Macfarlene’s books on Kindle, I left his books about walking and picked this book instead. I love books, and I love book that tells stories about books.

This is a short essay about how book-giving affects Macfarlene’s life and in hope, changes the life of us as readers too. The story started with his friend named Don who was an English teacher he met in Beijing. By him Farlane knew dozens of authors that influenced his writings. When Don visited him, he gave Farlene 3 presents: a copy of Snyder’s “Mountains and Rivers Without End”, a CD of West Coast jazz, and a copy of “A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh. Farlene really loved this Leigh’s book and convinced us to immediately buy or ask for a gift of it.

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An Offering to the Decades of Oppression

The Years of the Voiceless by Okky Madasari
translated by Nurhayat Idriyanto Mohamed
Started reading this while I was traveling to Pangandaran beach, despite it is anything but peaceful.

By a bra is how it all started. In 1950 an illiterate girl named Marni was no longer a little girl. Her breasts were growing. Her single-parent mother didn’t wore a bra, but Tina, her cousin did. She wanted to wear it to hold her breasts yet working with her mother in cassava seller wouldn’t gave them a penny. They had been paid with cassava which only enough to fill their empty stomach day by day. She prayed to her gods to make her rich so she could had many bras she wanted. So she stopped working at the same place her mother did and worked with her friend Teja as a courier where she had to carry someone’s groceries in the market. It was seen as an out of norm for a girl to work on men’s job yet Marni earned some money not only to buy a bra but also started her own business by selling groceries straight to the villagers.

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