Stories that Made the News

The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
20Buku
From self-empowerment to fiction and economics, these books touch on issues that have in one way or another graced the pages of our paper. Read the full reviews here: https://goo.gl/Dc4rsm
In a world so rife with denial, especially when it comes to lifestyle choices, the combination of sheer honesty and sincerity of Stop Making Excuses and Start Living with Energy might just be what you need.
It may have been published 56 years ago, but it’s easy to see why To Kill a Mockingbird has been so widely acclaimed, a book that calls us to question the way we perceive and treat others around us, a point that serves as an important reminder of the simple, most basic lessons about life in a world as diverse as the one we live in. Do we put ourselves in other people’s shoes? Have we been too fast to judge, or too slow to understand?
“Sex is both alluring and terrifying… sex is life”, writes Erica Jong in Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex. This anthology of essays, stories and drawings by a group of highly prominent women explore the complexity of sex; unfiltered, unfettered and unapologetic.
Although suspiciously thin—just over 100 pages long—Signs Preceding the End of the World continues to receive acclaim. But it’s not just Herrera’s measured treatment of the sensitive subject matter that curries favor; it’s his take on language—his prose—which like the sinkhole in the story’s opening, gives way to some startling imagery.
In her fly-on-the-wall account of the Armstrong doping scandal, New York Times sports reporter and cycling correspondent Juliet Macur documents the twists and turns of drama, taking readers behind the scenes to bring the tale that has rocked the world of cycling—and indeed the international sporting community—to life.
Maybe our nagging self-doubt and occasional ineptitude can in part explain why publisher John Wiley and Sons’ popular For Dummies guides are so successful. The popular practice of Mind Mapping gets the Dummies treatment in this particular edition, as we’re invited to unlock our brain's potential and better process information.
There’s love, and then there’s strange love. Sexual desire and love sometimes manifest in different, bizarre ways. But unconventional doesn’t always mean depraved, nor does it instantly equate to being unhealthy or damaging. Love itself is a mercurial beast that’s as unique as those under its influence; as is protagonist Hector’s case in David Foenkinos’ The Erotic Potential of My Wife.
It's hard to be excited about a book set nearly 200 years ago, but Punke’s storytelling style makes The Revenant so easy and engaging to read. And the novel is rich with vivid detail about a time and a place that the movie simply couldn’t represent in the same way.
For those less acquainted with his wide body of work, the question remains: who is David Bowie? This book seems to have been written to answer exactly this question. At less than 30 pages, the short biography is the perfect way to get acquainted with the artist and read about his background, his upbringing, and the major life events that in time would impact his musical career.
David Bowie: A Biography, Davanna Cimino
Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore's Dilemma tells us one thing: our food choices don’t just affect us, but the health of the environment that sustains life on earth. It’s not enough to know where our food comes from, but we should be aware of how our eating habits are being shaped by the industry and vice versa.
Ken Liu may have only recently become a household name in the world of science fiction, but his work is nothing short of spectacular. His short story collection The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is no paper tiger; it’s the first work of fiction, of any length, to win the Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy awards in the same year.
Ashlee Vance’s extensively researched biography about Elon Musk is fascinating, to say the least. The book is not just a regurgitation of events in Musk’s life that have been so widely publicized. It features quotes and anecdotes from his associates and admirers—about what they saw in him and his working style. Vance takes it a step further, by placing quotes and events side by side.
Elon Musk, Ashlee Vance
Ashlee Vance
Elon Musk
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Bob Dylan was mostly known as a folk musician back in the 60s. When he performed at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963, he received critical acclaim. But two years later, when he showed up with a full electric band, he was sending a message loud and clear. Rock is here to stay. In Dylan Goes Electric, Elijah Wald doesn’t just retell the events of that time; he explores the complications of Dylan’s actions.
Inhabitants of a city, especially one like Jakarta, would almost always rather be elsewhere. But with an increasing number of people in the world migrating to cities, perhaps it is time to take a step back and reconsider our surroundings. In this book, Leo Hollis tries to see the good in the place we love to loathe.
With high-profile celebrity endorsements from the likes of Meg Ryan, Paris Hilton, Annie Lennox and Katy Perry, it’s easy to see why The Power of Now (and Tolle’s subsequent work) has enjoyed such phenomenal success. But hype aside, the book’s essential message of achieving personal fulfillment and seizing the day is something that, quite honestly, we could all sometimes use some advice on.
If you loved Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, or any of Levitt and Dubner’s other books uniting the sublime with the ridiculous, then When to Rob a Bank should be your next stop.
The inability to focus is a very real thing. As bosses increasingly call on us to multitask and as we juggle life’s multiple demands, it is too easy to get overwhelmed by different tasks from our busy lives. Two Awesome Hours shows us how we can create conditions for two hours of effective mental performance.
Ted Stevens, the late senator from Alaska, once famously described the internet as “a series of tubes”. And while he’s not really wrong, there is a lot more to the internet and its complicated set-up. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet is tech journalist Andrew Blum’s fascinating journey into the depths of the internet.
Distilling a lifestyle choice into a snappy one-liner has long been the curse of self-help book writers. In this one, journalist Mark Levine and life coach Stephen Pollan attempt to tackle what’s referred to as “The 8 Essential Ingredients To Living A Life Without Regrets” — in a mere 240 pages. And that’s exactly what happens.
You may have heard about the city, but you won’t really know what you’re up against until you get there. In this book, the famous etiquette and culture series does its best to shed light on this sprawling capital in a way that will both enlighten and entertain.
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