Túrin Turambar and “Spiritual Burden” behind Javanese Naming Philosophy


Strongbow and Dragonhelm, by Elena Kukanova

When listening to an episode in Prancing Pony Podcast about Of Túrin Turambar chapter in The Silmarillion, I was struck with one particular notion emphasized in the podcast: the fact that Túrin changed his name several times (or bestowed a name by others). Each name reflects different aspect of his life, such as Neithan (“The Wronged”), Gorthol (“The Dread Helm”), Agarwaen, son of Úmarth (“Bloodstained, son of Ill-fate”), Adanedhel (“Man-Elf”), Mormegil (“Black Sword), and the infamous Turambar (“Master of Doom”). These names reflect changes that happened in Túrin’s life.  Continue reading “Túrin Turambar and “Spiritual Burden” behind Javanese Naming Philosophy”


What It Means to Read “Roverandom” after My Grandmother’s Death

tales from perilous realm

A week ago, after suffering from years of chronic illness, my grandmother finally passed away.  Continue reading “What It Means to Read “Roverandom” after My Grandmother’s Death”

Comparing the Indonesian Edition Covers of Lord of the Rings

Gramedia Pustaka Utama, a Jakarta-based publisher, has announced the republication of Indonesian edition of Lord of the Rings on 29 August 2016. The books have new covers like these:  Continue reading “Comparing the Indonesian Edition Covers of Lord of the Rings”

Random Thought: I’d Love to See a Play with Black Hermione


Ever since the announcement of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out, we knew what has made many people clamor: the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione, and Cherrelle Skeete as Rose (Hermione and Ron’s daughter). Many people were used to see Emma Watson as Hermione in all Harry Potter movie adaptations, so the change is understandably jarring. However, while I was honestly a bit taken aback when I saw the news several months ago, I say this loud and clear:

I’d love to see a play with black Hermione.  Continue reading “Random Thought: I’d Love to See a Play with Black Hermione”

A Casual Reader’s Thought of “Baptism of Fire: The Birth of the Modern British Fantastic in World War I”

I have grown from a lanky schoolgirl who watched the first Lord of the Rings movie in an almost-dilapidated local cinema with my mouth gaped in wonder, to a serious book hoarder who read books that I had never imagined I would’ve read, such as The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J. R. R. Tolkien, and finally this one: Baptism of Fire: the Birth of the Modern British Fantastic in World War I. While I’ll forever envy the likes of Tom Shippey, Dimitra Fimi, Verlyn Flieger and John Garth for having a career that surrounds the works of Tolkien (not to mention the artists like Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith and Jenny Dolfen), I’m really happy to be immersed in Tolkien’s works, along with other books that help improving my understanding toward his modern mythology.  Continue reading “A Casual Reader’s Thought of “Baptism of Fire: The Birth of the Modern British Fantastic in World War I””

Indonesia’s Mobile Libraries: Bringing “Reading Virus” to Villages and Islands


The box says: “Horse Library (of) Mount Slamet”


In the late 1990s, Luis Soriano stacked books on the back of two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, and brought them to impoverished areas in Magdalena Province, Colombia. An elementary school teacher with degree in Spanish literature and huge love for books, Luis was inspired by a dedicated professor who visited his town twice a month when he was little. He also saw the powerful effect of reading on his students, who were not only from poor regions, but also had witnessed bloody conflicts in their fragile years. His mobile library, Biblio Burro (lit.”Donkey Library”), slowly added its collections through donations; from mere 70 books to more than 4,000 books. Although the activity experienced setback a few years ago because of an accident that required Luis’ leg to be amputated, he refuses to stop his mission in spreading the power of reading among poor children in his region.  Continue reading “Indonesia’s Mobile Libraries: Bringing “Reading Virus” to Villages and Islands”

Real World: Natsuo Kirino’s Take in Teen Psychological Thriller


Buy here, here or here

I once read a piece of review on Natsuo Kirino’s books that basically said: “she must write novels that are more suitable for women.” I laughed and imagined that reviewer sitting in front of me before I shot back: “let me tell you something: Natsuo Kirino knows her sh*t, and she writes it beautifully, even if she doesn’t make ‘women’s novels’ full of flowers and candies and beautiful star-crossed lovers and cute ukulele soundtrack.” No. Kirino writes books about deeply suppressed darkness that subtly appears in the hearts of regular people with seemingly mundane life. We are so overexposed to fictions full of psychopathic murderers with eccentric behaviors and bizarre fetish that we often overlook the hidden darkness in the hearts of regular people around us: whether they are that housewife who shops for vegetables at the market, that gaggle of school students chatting about homework and crush, or that plain office worker with tired face and boring daily job. Put them in specific situations, and you can see how they snap and do things that might sound unthinkable. That’s what Kirino did with her books.  Continue reading “Real World: Natsuo Kirino’s Take in Teen Psychological Thriller”