If you’re secretly a geek and/or secretly love geeky boys, you’ll love these two books.

 

I don’t know what is it about men who function with 99% logic that fascinates me, but I love them. I find their machine-like response and exceptional attention to details quite entertaining.

Perhaps it’s that immaculate sense of security (and I really mean super attentive) you feel around them, or that you respect how they’ve managed to stay true to themselves even if they’re often perceived as losers, but that’s how you feel when you follow the protagonists of these two books:

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#WordlessWednesday Vol. 2 | Growing up Murakami.

 

 

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Kinokuniya Jakarta Store


Senayan
Plaza Senayan
SOGO Department store, 5th floor
Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8
Jakarta Selatan 10270
+62 (0)21 5790 0055, 5790 0075
Visit Facebook page at Kinokuniya Jakarta Store
Follow @kinokuniya_jkt on Twitter
www.kinokuniya.co.jp

Operating hours:

M – S 10:00am – 10:00pm

Other location(s):

Thamrin
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
Seibu Department store, LG floor
Jl. M. H. Thamrin No. 1
Jakarta Pusat 10310
+62 (0)21 2358 0100, 2358 0106

Pondok Indah
Pondok Indah Mall 2
SOGO Department store, LG floor
Jl. Metro Pondok Indah
Jakarta Selatan 12310
+62 (0)21 7592 0655, 7592 0675

 


 

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Post the link to your picture for #WordlessWednesday on the form below.

Don’t forget to say hi at the bottom of this post ;)


 
 
 
 
 


Stace

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5 reads currently on my nightstand

 

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If you’re an avid reader yourself, I’m sure you’re currently reading multiple books at once. Admit it – times have changed. Our attention spans have gotten a lot shorter, but hey, it doesn’t stop us from loving good stories, right? Here’s the stuff I’m digesting right now:

 
 

1. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Maybe I’m the only one here who hasn’t read #TFIOS (though I’ve seen the movie and it was sweeeet), but I’ve finished the best-selling YA author’s debut, Looking For Alaska, which won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2006. I loved Green’s unembellished style and simple storytelling, and after subscribing to vlogbrothers and learning that he used to work for Mental Floss, I was piqued. An Abundance of Katherines instantly went into my to-read list after I learned about the simple, straightforward, yet unique plot, and that it’s something of nerdom. So far I found the protagonist Colin Singleton really endearing, sarcastic at times, sensitive and naive, yet fun to follow around. He’s a 17-year-old child prodigy who just got dumped by the 19th girl he’s dated named Katherine, and his goal in life is to become a genius by means of a Eureka moment. How cool is that.

 

2. The Giver by Lois Lowry

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I’ve actually been wanting to read this ever since I was a kid back in the days I was studying in Singapore. I’ve seen this cover so many times before whenever I’m in the bookstores. Very often, I find The Giver under the classics section, right next to L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time, but I’ve never picked it up to see what’s it about. Now that I’ve learned it’s going to be made into a major motion picture (featuring Taylor Swift, people) this summer, I finally stopped hesitating and started venturing out to Lowry’s dystopian world. She’s the mother of the genre after all, and I’m sure the recent popularity of it is sure going to bring a huge success for the movie this August. So far I’m loving how she’s conveying so much with such concise sentences. I’m sure this is going to be a fast read so I’ll quickly follow the rest of the books in the quartet: Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

 


 

3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Like I said, my family is a bunch of introverts, so it comes naturally that I want to know how our minds work in order to foster better communication and keep our relationships strong. Although I’ve seen this book about a million times in bookstores, reckoned it’s been on the top spots of major bestsellers lists, and watched Susan Cain’s talks and interviews on the topic across all media, I wasn’t planning on reading the book because I already know that the thesis for Quiet is basically stating that introverts, unlike previously thought, actually possess more favorable traits than extroverts for them to thrive in the modern-day world (the title says it all). Then I found this book lying on my brother’s bed while I was visiting him in June. He told me to read it, as it’s helped him a lot in both his personal and professional lives. So here I am reading it now, finding it extremely insightful so far. Now I can see what’s the hype …

 

4. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

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I still consider myself a newly baptized even if it’s only last year that I accepted Jesus as my Savior. It seems that the more I get to know him, the more I want to understand him. By understand, I mean his speech, his demeanor, his deeds, and all of his practical and human ways that I can follow. This book provides the historical perspective of scholars with a blend of the mythical and enigmatic Jesus as told across cultures. They all piece together beautifully under the backbone of the author’s matured faith and understanding of the Jesus of the Gospels, so you can expect to witness the raw conviction and passion Jesus had during his time on earth.

 

5. BBC Knowledge Asia Edition Vol. 6 Issue 7

So this is my latest discovery while I was making a transit in Singapore. It’s a relatively new magazine by Regent Media Pte Ltd, and it’s quickly become an instant favorite for me. Unlike most science magazines out there, BBC Knowledge has practically all fields of science (physics, biology, chemistry, psychology, astronomy, you name it)  as well as their relating departments (namely history, anthropology, zoology, engineering, and more) condensed into one tight magazine. I can understand if you think the magazine covers one broad and dangerous arena, but I assure you, they’ve really gone in-depth across every topic. I think if I leave this magazine lying around the living room when I have a kid later on, he or she will outsmart the science teacher at school and then go score all tests with flying colors.

 
 

Now it’s your turn to share: What are you reading these days?

 
 
 
 
 


Stace

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My thoughts on About A Girl by Lindsey Kelk

 

“This will not be the first time anyone’s said this to you, but there isn’t enough time to waste in this life. So don’t.”

About A Girl
 
Page Count: 416
Release Date: July 4, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-0074-9798-0
eISBN: 978-0-0074-9799-7
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Chick Lit
 

Official blurb:

Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when the Plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider. After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, she might try being Vanessa. With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right? But Tess is soon in big trouble. And the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster. Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run …

 
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Perks of dating a guy who reads

 

10 and I are currently reading Dan Brown’s latest opus, Inferno. We’re late, we’re aware of that, but it doesn’t make the book any less interesting.

 

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This is not the first time he and I read something together. Toward the end of our LDR, we read the Fifty Shades trilogy together. We’d catch up on each other to see whether we’ve reached a particular point in the plot, and we’d share our opinions on the characters involved. He’d wish he was Christian Grey on his helicopter ride to SF, and I’d bitch about Elena. It was fun.

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Booksmart: Upcoming releases to look forward to this fall

 

Summer is officially over. As fall looms, my wish list is bombarding me with the season’s most-anticipated literary heavyweights. 

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This fall will have you sticking to your reader 24/7 – whether you’re the local bookstore frequenter or the one practically glued to your Kindle.

With the likes of bestselling authors Malcolm Gladwell (“Blink”, “Outliers”, “The Tipping Point”, “What the Dogs Saw”), Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray, Love”, “Committed”), Mitch Albom (“Tuesdays with Morrie”, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”, “The Time Keeper”), and Dave Eggers (“What is the What”, “Zeitoun”, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”), I’m filling my nightstand with to-reads that the publishing world has been buzzing about.

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What I thought about Sophie Kinsella’s Wedding Night

 

“Young people! With their hurrying and their worrying and their wanting all the answers now. They wear me out, the poor, harried things. Don’t come back, I always tell them. Don’t come back. Youth is still where you left it, and that’s where it should stay. Anything that was worth taking on life’s journey, you’ll already haven taken with you.”

US cover of "Wedding Night"

US cover of “Wedding Night”


 

Page Count: 464
Release Date: April 23, 2013
eISBN: 978-0-8129-9385-1
Publisher: Dial Press
Genre: Chick Lit

When I pre-ordered the book back in April, I was having high hopes for another round of Kinsella’s frolicsome adventures. I mean, when I read her previous standalone, I’ve Got Your Number, which was released on Valentine’s Day last year, I consumed all 448 pages within less than 48 hours. I was hooked – as I’ve always been to her novels after Madeleine Wickham decided to get herself a pseudonym. Wedding Night was nothing short of a fun ride, but the plot was unexpectedly weak.

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Something of great value, and its 4 creative powers

 

By now, it’s blatantly clear that I love to explore the human mind and learning the best ways to mind my brain for optimum function.

Even though for a while now I’ve finished reading Earl Nightingale’s record, The Strangest Secret, I’m still taking my time to re-read every word written on it in order to guide me through life as I apply the invaluable skills I’ve learned from the author, because I believe real learning takes place by doing.

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As a creative by vocation, and having earned a Bachelor’s in the fine arts, most people I know would think that I’d go spending the rest of my life wandering about the world in complete rebellion with myself, trying to sell and to protect the abstractions I deeply hold at heart, and promptly assume that these abstractions I profess come in the form of hand-drawn sketches, digital illustrations, or canvas paintings.

The statement above is true – except for the latter clause.

My medium is the written word, and I’ve long committed myself to it without my noticing that it has chosen me, instead of me choosing to write. Perhaps one day when I’ve left this world, a curious biographer would paint the abstract picture of my life, but for me, words were always there long before I entered high school and college, and today, much as for as long as I’m present, I’m just going with Czikszentmihalyi’s flow.

In the midst of chasing deadlines and baking ideas for stories in my head, I come back now and then to the chapters of Nightingale’s manual. It occurred to me that for as much as, I dare say, 99%, the book makes a claim that the human mind is the source of all the things you truly need to fulfill the deepest desires in your life.

In an individual chapter wholly dedicated to the mind, “Your Most Valuable Creative Tools”, Nightingale argued that even though technology has, in the last century, developed at a speedier light than human intelligence, computers can only remain as good as the person who programmed them.

Technology has superior mechanical skills, but it does not have the unlimited cognitive reserve humans are blessed and endowed with.

In other words: We can think. Machines cannot.

This is why I love the three-pound sponge in our head: The brain is where you hold the potential to create anything you wish for in your life, materialize it into reality, and continuously solve problems to make better decisions as you go conquering challenge by challenge.

In the aforementioned chapter, Nightingale postulated that there are 4 basic powers of the human brain:

 
 

♥ The Power to Absorb

The ability to take information, knowledge.

We do this by looking, listening, touching, tasting, and smelling, by using all five of our senses and keeping the gateways of our mind always open.

 

♥ The Power of Retention

The capacity to retain knowledge and recall it.

Our brains are like endless rows of filing cabinets with relatively few packed file drawers full of all sorts of information. There’s always much room for more.

 

♥ The Power of Judgment and
Logical Thought

The more facts we feed our brain, the more able
it is to reason and judge intelligently.

 

♥ The Power of Imagination

The ability to think creatively.

 
 
 

Don’t these powers look old school to you?

As a self-proclaimed self-help junkie, there really is nothing new to every book I’ve consumed since the first Chicken Soup for the Soul that I’ve read when I was 9 (stacked dustily in the decks of Popular Bookstore in Singapore).

Except that now, with this post, I conclude that the brain is your biggest tangible asset above all – even above money, goods, and shelter.

Lately, I realized that when we truly open ourselves up and take advantage of all of our senses to their fullest capacity, you start picking up a deeper level of insights you’ve never thought you could pick up.

You start paying double attention to your surroundings, particularly to those that interest you, and you start baking them into your mental cabinet for a certain period of time before you decide they should be promoted into the long-term memory or not. While you decide, you reason. Every time you decide, you exercise reasoning, using sound, critical thinking and logical thought. Should you be left with no choice in the face of indecision, the power of imagination opens you up wide to new ways of thinking things through.

I decided quite some time ago that I am a lifelong learner and will always be. It is logical to think that because I’m still 23 years of age. I don’t know how arrogant I’ll become in the next decades to come, but I know what I don’t want to be: The know-it-all – simply because I believe I don’t know better.

 
 
 

* * * * * * * * * *

 
 
 

A valuable lesson I learned today

9ce3bd6d452c77e22a1b704c003259c4This afternoon, I learned something noteworthy from someone that is only a couple of years my senior, but have accomplished so much more than even older folks: People tend to dislike difference – doesn’t matter if it’s a good difference or a bad difference. Why? Because it is a natural inclination so often practiced today to choose the lazier way to think – to stick within the comfort zone of your own thinking pattern rather than taking a leap of faith and step out of fear, the fear of believing that something other than your own truth is equally true.

So I asked, how do you deal with that kind of pressure, that kind of thoughts from people who’s holding you back?

Well, inertia is not the solution, that’s for certain. You may have asked a thousand questions in your head that’s causing you to struggle, finding all the right reasons why you are the way you are, thinking about all the things that could go wrong and all the negative things that people would say about you if you are not behaving like other people who have grown comfortable behaving robot-like within society’s unwritten rules, all the while you are hindering yourself from living out your full potential.

But what’s more important than all that thought is this: Be your own person.

The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd,” Albert Einstein once said. “The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before,” and along with that, you have to accept that it’s inevitable to come across those who are displeased with your difference and your uncompromising will to conform.

It’s the price the creative person must be willing to pay in order to realize her impact to the world – by using all the 4 freely-given powers of the mind, and by having the courage to, just, be.

It’s an imperfect world after all, isn’t it? At the end of the day, there’s nothing really for you to lose if you would just be who you truly are, other than those discouraging thoughts others conjure up about you when you bravely take the road less taken.

 

What do you think?

 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 
 

via Cabbage RoseKay Frost on Pinterest