How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie

How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie

I’ll blame it to engineering school for making me communicate with machine more often than with actual human being. But thanks to this book that helps me to be substantially more outgoing. Yes the title might look depressing, but I assure you that it’s not a book about how to take advantage of other people! 😅

Its a book about how to effectively deal with people – in business, at home, with friends, anywhere. Its a book about personal and professional development. People might say that because its first published in 1936 the stories told are kind of outdated or too cliche, but I find most of it is actually still relevant today.

Dale taught me important principles: from the fundamental techniques in handling people to the best way to make people like you, from how to win people to your way of thinking to how to change people without offense or arousing resentment. Its full of practical tips you can apply immediately.

My most favorite quote from this book that I still manage to apply in my everyday interactions with people are “to be interesting, be interested”, “talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours”, and “remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language so dont ever forget their names”.

This book is on sale! To keep this blog going and to support children’s literacy project in Indonesia, I’m selling the books I’ve read and reviewed. Stay tune on my instagram @lalalangit for further details 🙂


Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

Some of us believe in love at the first sight, have all butterflies in our belly just by looking at someone for 2 seconds. And some of us can decide that we won’t get along with someone just by meeting them for 2 seconds. This book by Malcolm Gladwell, Blink, tells us about those 2 seconds. He calls it intuitive repulsion or snap judgement.

Gladwell argues that decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately. He gave an example by doing a research on girls that go to a speed dating event. The kind of guy that they want on paper doesn’t match the kind of guy they are actually attracted to during the event. Its because the decision they made when they met the guy was made unconciously, it was a snap judgement. But if we let ourselves take our time and really describe the kind of guy we want to date, thats some concious logical thinking there, and it will be much different.

However, he also gave an example on how Cocacola changed their products based on product sample testing and failed in the market. The reason: because in real life customers drink a bottle of Cocacola, not only a sip. So liking a sip of one product more than another doesnt necessarily mean that they’ll like it more too when they have to drink a bottle of it.

The Cocacola experiment clearly tells the opposite story about snap judgement. Now it starts to become a bit confusing. Gladwell doesn’t tell us what really happen backstage when we do snap judgement, he also doesn’t really come into conclusion whether or not to choose snap judgement over concious judgement.

So I guess being a fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s works, I kinda expected more to this book and felt like I’m being left in limbo. Worth a read but not my fav. 😦

Ps. I found a book that supposedly explain about what happen when our brain doing some kind of snap judgement, and just generally about how our mind works really, its called “The way we think: conceptual blending and the mind’s hidden complexity” by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner. Will report back when I finished it and see if we will get some answer about the snap judgement theory.

This book is on sale! To keep this blog going and to support children’s literacy project in Indonesia, I’m selling the books I’ve read and reviewed. Stay tune on my instagram @lalalangit for further details 🙂


Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers is the 2nd book from Malcolm Gladwell that I read, and by far its my most favorite book. When I read the cover “the story of success”, I thought the content would be some cliche step by step on how to become successful, like “quit your job now and search for happiness” kinda crap. Apparently not!

It tells stories about how some people can do better than others in their field, an outlier, from a different perspective. More like showing flaws on the common success stories.

In one of the chapters he wrote about Bill Gates’s fancy high school that happened to have a computer club, almost no other high school had one back in the day. He also had the opportunity to use shared computer at University of Washington for some reason, so by the time he was 20 he already reached 10.000 hours of programming practice that made him an expert.

Gladwell argues that successful people are not the brightest but the ones that got opportunities and seized them.

Compared to the 1st book of him that I read before (The Tipping Point), this one is more political. At the end of the chapter he wrote “We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that 13yo to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But thats the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one 13yo unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?”

This book is on sale! To keep this blog going and to support children’s literacy project in Indonesia, I’m selling the books I’ve read and reviewed. Stay tune on my instagram @lalalangit for further details 🙂


Freakonomics – Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

Freakonomics – Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

This book is an absolute life hack! Read it and you’ll instantly sound 110% smarter in every conversation. 😀

This one I believe many of you already read. The-never-gets-old-so-called-noneconomics-yet-less-boring-than-regular-economics book. Every chapter of this book, Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt never failed to surprise me with their ideas.

From how they proved that the legalisation of abortion was the main factor in the US’s sudden crime drop in 1990 because it creates less unwanted children (This probably sounds like a stretch, but once you read their argument it will start to make sense a bit. I still think other factors were most likely also in play, this is perhaps because I personally still believe that abortion is morally wrong), to how they gave the answer on why anyone take a job as a drug dealer considering the risk they have to face and mininum wage for first starters, to how they showed us the perfect example of economics based parenting.

Then the most interesting chapter for me is (as dramatic as it sounds) “Would Roshanda by any other name smell as sweet?”, they analysed if its possible that names can cause people to lead different lives.

This book obviously has many controversial ideas that might be offending for some people, but its also thought-provoking and eye-opening. I’ve read all the series of Freakonomics so be prepared to read more about other shocking ideas from these brilliant authors. They also have a radio show with the same title that you can listen for free on Spotify. Plus a complete (again) life hack show titled “Tell Me Something I don’t Know”, that basically invites experts from various fields to tell us about something interesting they found that not many people are aware of. So if you’re going to a party or a date and want constantly sound smart and interesting through the night, make sure to check out that show! 🙂

This book is on sale! To keep this blog going and to support children’s literacy project in Indonesia, I’m selling the books I’ve read and reviewed. Stay tune on my instagram @lalalangit for further details 🙂


The best month to visit Adelaide

The best month to visit Adelaide

I just recently got back from a 2 week visit to Adelaide, South Australia. And let me tell you it was literally the best month to visit Adelaide, MARCH! It was my 2nd visit and I finally met actual people on the streets. 😀 They even got a catchy name for it, Mad March. Like basically everything happens in March: Adelaide Fringe Festival where you can watch a range of entertainment shows from comedy to dance show, from amazing light show to food feast; Adelaide Festival which is basically the more expensive version of Adelaide Fringe Festival; WOMAD (World of Music Adelaide) which is the even more expensive version of Adelaide Fringe with musicians coming from around the world; also Super Car Race which I don’t really care about but this year they have Red Hot Chilli Pepper playing after the race so thats nice.

As a cheap bastard, I only visited the Adelaide Fringe Festival among all, but it was still worth it! Mostly because I enjoyed the vibe of the city as well, people really went out together, the city felt so much alive than any other month in the year, which I assume they spend at home recovering from the Mad March hangover. And the weather was nice as well! It was a bit hot when I first landed, 40 degrees celsius, but it wasn’t humid. Coming from a tropical country like Indonesia indeed made it easier for me to adjust in such weather, I heard everyone complained about the weather when I got to Adelaide. But people, if you ever been to Indonesia, eventho the weather is never been as extreme as 40 degree celsius, its mostly like 35ish, its very humid so its much harder to breathe, pollution doesn’t help either. However the weather got colder couple days after I got Adelaide, so even nicer, not too cold but not warm either, just perfect – mini dress and light jacket kinda weather.

I also got to do a bit of a wine tour, a must thing to do in Adelaide! This time I went to McLaren Vale, which famous with one of their many wineries thats almost too artsy to be a winery really, d’Arenberg, or more famously known as The Cube.


So I guess you get it now why its called “The Cube” from the 1st photo. And the 2nd photo is ……… the too-good-to-be-true toilet!! Like literally the most decorated toilet I’ve ever seen in my life and trust me I’ve been to a lot of public toilets! lol

As you can see March is also perfect for a wine tour because in addition to the wine tasting you can also see the orchard, unlike in winter where you can only see some dry branches of grape trees.

This trip is also marked as the trip where I discovered op shops, I’m obsessed with it now! This dress below I got from a Red Cross op shop for only AUD 10! My partner, Greg, had to work for one day during our trip to his hometown this time and God how I enjoy shopping without a guy waiting for me with his grumpy face continuously asking if I’m done. I went home with a big bag full of craps from various op shops that day, including some books I found in a pop-up bookshop.


Oh and we love love loveeeee to do brunch in Jakarta, so we went to some brunch places in Adelaide too. Argo is super recommended, probably one of the best in Adelaide, just beautiful beautiful food, super lovely vibe as well. I also can’t recommend enough to go check out a coffee shop stall in Rundle Mall called “That Coffee Guy”, amazing coffee and really friendly guy (pic can be seen below). Exchange Coffee Shop in east terrace is also a gem. 🙂



The man who mistook his wife for a hat – Oliver Sacks

The man who mistook his wife for a hat – Oliver Sacks

This is an oldy but goody. Oliver Sacks was a neurologist in 1980s that told stories about bizarre cases he experienced with his patients. One of the most interesting stories is of course “The man who mistook his wife for a hat” – and yes you read it right! In this story, Sacks told us how incredibly scary our brain can be when it’s injured. The man in this story is a great musician, very sharp, but has difficulties in telling faces. Not only faces, he basically can’t differentiate any solid objects. So he would talk to a fire hydrant because he thought it was one of his pupils in his music class, he could not tell if he already wore shoes because apparently his shoes and feet look alike to him, and when he finished talking to Sacks he grabbed his wife’s head because he thought it was his hat.

I mean, how crazy is that?! Before I read this book, I did realise how vital a brain is for our body, but I never imagined the depth and length of complication that can be built up from a brain injury.

Another story that brought tears to my eyes was this ex-army that was stuck in the year of 1945. His brain basically has no capacity to store new memories since then. Almost like the movie 50 First Date! After reading this story, I can’t agree more with a quote that began the story:

You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realise that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all.

I couldn’t hold my tears when Sacks asked this patient if he enjoys his life and he said “I can’t say that I feel anything at all”, which makes sense because hey how could you enjoy your life if you couldn’t even remember what happened 10 minutes ago? Then Sacks continued asking “You feel alive though?” in which he replied – get ready for this! – “Feel alive? Not really. I haven’t felt alive in a very long time”. 😦

Indeed the whole book is a bunch of sad stories about people having rare brain problems, but trust me those tears you’re about to lose are totally worth it! With 24 beautiful well written real stories fresh from the neurologist, you’ll dive into the world full of gratitude of having a fully normal functioning brain.

However bear in mind that this is an old book, so many cases in this book sadly had no cure. I haven’t done any further research on this, but I do hope we’ve got these people covered with modern health technologies.

This book is on sale! To keep this blog going and to support literacy-related project in Indonesia, I’m selling the books I’ve read and reviewed. Stay tune on my instagram @lalalangit for further details 🙂

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

There is a bit of an Eleanor Oliphant in all of us. Someone who enjoys routine and comfort zone, who’d rather sit tight with a glass of vodka in front of telly than going to a party full of strangers. Someone who stays in a job for far too long despite the fact that she thinks all of her coworkers are complete idiots.

But Eleanor seemed to take it to the extreme. Her life is fine, she has a job that she goes to every Monday to Friday and vodka as a loyal company for the weekend. She has almost no social life, not that she cared about either. For years, she thought life couldn’t be any better. Until she met someone who showed her that there is so much more to life.

I find it really refreshing to read page after page the journey of Eleanor finding herself and how a small kindness can go a long way in helping her in the process. I don’t usually like fiction, but this one is one you can’t miss even if you always feel a bit sceptical about fiction. Eleanor’s character is just so relatable, she’s not that usual undeniably pretty heroine with bright career and great social life you can’t even imagine someone can manage so well. She’s so original. She’s funny but also weird sometimes, she tries to fit in a bit of social life but sometimes too lazy to do so, she enjoys being alone but also sometimes feeling so lonely. She’s just one of us.

This is the first book of Gail Honeyman, but it already makes me see a lot of potential in her to tell a story about unspoken issues like profound loneliness, something all of us once experience but never talk about.

These days, loneliness is the new cancer—a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.