Thursday, June 9, 2016

Book Review: Stories for Rainy Days by Naela Ali

Author: Naela Ali
Publisher: POP (Imprint KPG)
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Published: May, 2016
Price: Rp88.000 (BukaBuku)
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Date started: June 4, 2016 - Date finished: June 5, 2016

It was a rainy day,
with a hot darjeeling tea,
warm striped blanket
and polka dot socks.
One perfect moment
to read stories
for cats.
Stories for Rainy Days is a collection of stories by Naela Ali. If you are familiar with Naela Ali then you must've known that a book with the same title had been self-published by her before. I'm not sure if the self-published version was different than this one since I didn't read that one. By the way, if you are not familiar with Naela Ali, she is an illustrator based in Jakarta with a penchant for writing and illustrating with watercolor as her tool. As the description implies this book is written and illustrated fully by herself.

The stories are all in English, some are a couple of pages long and some are only a page long. Starting into this book I didn't have a high expectation since I don't really read many short story collections and the ones I've read were either good or just fine. Among the other short story collections I've read this book definitely ranked in the top. The stories inside this book varies, mostly about love and life (even though there's random stories in here like the ones about a cat and a cactus). Some of my favorite stories from this book are: Lucky, Conversations and See a Better Day (not exactly in that order).
She was waiting for him to come.
Waiting with hopes and expectations.
But that was the kind of waiting that has no anger.
Waiting with pleasure for the arrival of the loved one.

-taken from Waiting.
The author's writing was great, her writing was honest. I can feel that the author is invested in each and every one of her stories, she didn't use fancy vocabularies that I need to look up first while reading and I like that. Don't get me wrong, the writing wasn't impeccable, I myself did notice a couple of mistakes in terms of grammar but who am I to judge? The stories were still enjoyable. When reading some of the stories in this book, I wondered whether or not those stories were based on true events or works of fiction because I certainly can feel the emotion of those stories.

The illustrations were great of course, I liked it, in fact I really liked it but it's no surprise for me since I've been exposed to her illustrations before having been a former follower of her instagram account (but I still open her account from time to time and also her other accounts, I know what a stalker right?). Her work is actually the source of inspiration for my citizenship subject's final project where my friends and I created a booklet on all things unique about Indonesia.

A little side story, I actually came to her book launch a couple of days ago in ak. 'sa. ra kemang. It was the first time I met her, and let me tell you she's such a nice person in an awkward-ish kind of way because it turns out she's a really shy person. I bought my copy there at the book launch and got a bonus postcards, a few stickers and of course I got the book personally signed to me. Oh, I almost forgot, I also got a T-shirt from answering a question during the event (wished I had gotten that signed as well).

I urge you guys to give this book a try if you like short stories and hey if you don't really like short stories at least the illustrations are top notch! LOL.

That's all for now!


  1. I was wondering where I could get this book? Thank you!

    1. Hi, you can get this book online through and other bookstores such as Gramedia and Aksara I believe:))


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