I've always loved to read, for as long as I can remember. But with enough tasks and distractions, it's astounding how I can completely neglect my books for months on end. However, upon taking a week off of social media, I started to re-connect with this bookworm inside of me. 

Since then, I've been catching up with several books kept on my bedside table, and started to continue my "book flow" (reading, finishing, buying more books, and repeat.) Re-incorporating reading into my daily activities is one of my best decisions. I'd forgotten how much I missed being lost in the pages of a good story. Listed below are the books that I'm currently in the middle of and still reading through to this day.

Indonesia, Etc. by Elizabeth Pisani
This is one of those books that's very complex to explain. Every time someone asks me what it's about, I end up talking a whole mouthful. That's because Indonesia, Etc. features Elizabeth Pisani's many, various, eventful experiences surrounding Indonesia. When she was working together with Indonesia's Minister of Health on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS more than a decade ago, she visited the country frequently, mostly spending her time lobbying or finishing up jobs in Jakarta (including being exposed to the prostitutes, drug users, and transgenders living in the capital city's slums.) For this book, she'd flown back to Indonesia; this time with her journalistic skills, determined to travel to its islands and experience every part of the country, immersing herself in the different cultures and norms found all across Indonesia. Seeing Indonesia through her eyes and through her writing is both relatable and revelating, so much so that it got me scribbling on some of its pages.

As an Indonesian, I have so much love for this book. It's so fascinating that through reading about her travels, I could learn so much more about the parts of this country that I'd never even heard of before.  When she talks about the social situation, or the little quirks Indonesia has, I would laugh and think "how true!" I also love how she entertains the readers by providing well-written summaries of Indonesia's history, government, and chaotic bureaucracy. Now, I'm still in the middle of the book because it becomes hard to keep up with some of the challenging vocabulary, and her chapters surrounding heavy politics, finances, or import-export policies. But through this book, I'm re-learning about my own country in a very interesting, unconventional way.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just For Teenagers
Believe it or not, this book was actually given to me by one of my favorite teachers on my 17th birthday. That's more than a year ago. It's been sitting in my room, untouched, for more than 365 days. How the hell have I been spending my life?

But when I finally picked it up and started, I read through probably 20 stories before stopping. The  diction and tone of the writing are very simple (probably because it's meant for teenagers), but I quite enjoy the short stories packed into this book, and it makes it easy and weightless to read. The stories are parted into different segments (like "love and relationships", "reaching your goals", or "liking yourself".) They're all written by different contributors, and each one gives a different lesson to learn. 

I think that's the important part of the book; that's also why I keep reading it despite its lack of details or climax. It simply inspires me. It's not the most ~*fascinating*~ book I've ever read but some of these stories managed to make me smile. Now, it's usually the book I read every morning during breakfast, and if not, I basically just read at least one story a day. It doesn't "change my life" but little by little, it helps me re-evaluate.

Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Library by Brittany Rubiano
As an avid fan of Beauty and the Beast and a loyal, inspired follower of Belle, purchasing this book was a biased move. But it's one I do not regret. I didn't know what to expect when I bought it, but the hard cover was not only pretty, but- alluring. It intrigued me so much that I ended up buying it, rather spontaneously.

It turns out that the book is this very adorably-illustrated curation of quotes and thoughts, all strewn together as if you're flipping through an actual literary journal that belongs to Belle herself. I loved the concept, even though I still haven't really delved into it yet. The words are presented in these very whimsical, pretty, animated layouts; giving you that storybook essence you can expect to find in any Disney children's book. Looking through it felt very lighthearted and entertaining, but still, I want to get the most out of this book. I've thought about doing so by looking up all the stories/books that are referred to (at the very start of this book.) I've always wanted to learn more about literary pieces from all over history anyway, so this book gave me a good start. So once I finish my two other books and get into this one, I'm determined to broaden my literary horizons by looking up the origins of these quotes one by one. Who knows? I might just become a Shakespeare know-it-all by the end of the book. I guess we'll see.


What are some books you've been reading lately? Are there any you'd recommend?
Leave your comments below, I'd love to hear what you have to say!

I'll write again soon.