Searching Saturday is a new weekly meme I created. The aim is to search a book (or multiple books) that is new to you and fits the weekly theme. This could be a new book to add to your TBR, or just to address on your blog. It’s up to you! You can search as many as you want. You can find more information in the Introduction Post.
This week’s topic is “Set in a place you want to visit”
“A land far, far away… or your neighboring country… if that’s where you want to go. Search for books that are set in a place you want to visit in real life.” – Me
This topic was a little more challenging than last week. I have never been outside Europe, so where to start?! I actually want to visit the US first… I think… But that’s no fun. So many books are set there. I also really want to travel around Asia. I don’t know where I’d start. But I went with Indonesia!
The Rainbow Troops – Andrea Hirata, Translated by Angie Kilbane
“Ikal is a student at Muhammadiyah Elementary, on the Indonesian island of Belitong, where graduating from sixth grade is considered a signal achievement. His school is under constant threat of closure. In fact, Ikal and his friends—a group nicknamed the Rainbow Troops—face threats from every angle: pessimistic, corrupt government officials; greedy corporations hardly distinguishable from the colonialism they’ve replaced; deepening poverty and crumbling infrastructure; and their own festering self-confidence.
But in the form of two extraordinary teachers, they also have hope, and Ikal’s education is an uplifting one, in and out of the classroom. We root for him and his friends as they defy the town’s powerful tin miners. We meet his first love, a hand with half-moon fingernails that passes him the chalk his teacher has instructed him to buy. We cheer for Lintang, the class’s barefoot math genius, as he bests the rich company children in an academic challenge. Above all, we gain an intimate acquaintance with the customs and people of the world’s largest Muslim society.” -Goodreads
Chosen because: It’s on many ‘best books set in Indonesia’ lists I found. Also, the fact that it follows children is something that interests me. It sounds like you get to know a whole bunch of different children and how they all interact together in their society. This book seems like an interesting and informative book about a place I know very little about. SOLD. PS: It’s part of a series but it looks like the other books have not been translated.
This Earth of Mankind (#1 The Buru Quartet) – Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Translated by Max Lane
“Minke is a young Javanese student of great intelligence and ambition. Living equally among the colonists and colonized of 19th-century Java, he battles against the confines of colonial strictures. It is his love for Annelies that enables him to find the strength to embrace his world.” – Goodreads
Chosen because: Again this was one that popped up in a lot of places. It has great reviews on Goodreads. It is part of a quartet and all of them have been translated. So it must be good right? Reading from the perspective of a student might offer some different views.
Saman – Ayu Utami, Translated by Pamela Allen
“Saman is a story filtered through the lives of its feisty female protagonists and the enigmatic “hero” Saman. It is at once an expose of the oppression of plantation workers in South Sumatra, a lyrical quest to understand the place of religion and spirituality in contemporary lives, a playful exploration of female sexuality and a story about love in all its guises, while touching on all of Indonesia’s taboos: extramarital sex, political repression and the relationship between Christians and Muslims.” – Goodreads
Chosen Because: This one stood out to me because “feisty female protagonist” and taboo subjects.
In the Time of Madness – Richard Lloyd Parry
“In the last years of the twentieth century, foreign correspondent Richard Lloyd Parry found himself in the vast island nation of Indonesia, one of the most alluring, mysterious, and violent countries in the world. For thirty-two years, it had been paralyzed by the grip of the dictator and mystic General Suharto, but now the age of Suharto was coming to an end. Would freedom prevail, or was the “time of madness” predicted centuries before now at hand? A book of hair-raising immediacy and a riveting account of a voyage into the abyss, In the Time of Madness is an accomplishment in the great tradition of Conrad, Orwell, and Ryszard Kapuscinski.” – Goodreads
Chosen Because: This one isn’t translated but written by an author born in the UK, which I think will give yet another perspective. I would like to read this one and compare it to other books on the same topic. Seeing how this one, with a western perspective, compares to the perspective of the people who actually live there.
Have you heard of any of these before?
Have you read any of them?
Tell me in the comments!