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Joined 3 months, 3 weeks ago

A humanities girl masquerading as an engineering student. 🎭

I am in love with the following things, in no particular order: wilted flowers pressed between book pages, Gameboy Advance emulators, unrequited affection, and writing. I pick up whatever books I get my hands on.

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2022 Reading Goal

42% complete! Ika has read 18 of 42 books.

User Activity

Kafka on the Shore (2006, Vintage) 4 stars

Kafka on the Shore (海辺のカフカ, Umibe no Kafuka) is a 2002 novel by Japanese author …

Review of 'Kafka on the Shore' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

At some point, you just have to accept Kafka on the Shore for what it is — a metaphor, a home of symbolism, an LSD trip in literary form.

After every few chapters, I'd theorize a possible explanation for what's going on. Every time I read on, I get debunked. The book ends with lots of strings untied, yet it doesn't feel unfinished. It's art for the sake of art — it doesn't make sense, and it doesn't have to. If that interests you, pick it up, and grab an umbrella while you're at it. Might rain cats and dogs, who knows?

After reading Kafka on the Shore, I swayed on my hammock and saw a rainbow form among the clouds. I watched the birds to ground myself back to reality.

Review of 'Education of an Idealist' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars


A detailed and vivid account of Samantha Power's journey as a child immigrant, a war correspondent, and a representative of America in the United Nations.

I come out of this book having learned that the government/UN is not an entity, but a building in which individuals come together and engage with complex decisions quite unlikely to be ideal to all. As such, changing the world is not accomplished by one grandeur act, but by doing good in individual events and enacting change in ways within one's reach.

The writing is blunt and very detailed, but I found that the strength of the storytelling waned as the pages went on. There were parts of the book that deeply engaged me, but others were difficult to get through. This inconsistency is my only concern. Aside from that, the content of the book was informative and positively calls for further introspection from …

克拉拉与太阳 (Hardcover, Chinese language, 2021, 上海译文出版社)

克拉拉与太阳 by ,



Bewilderment (Hardcover, 2021, W. W. Norton & Company) 4 stars

Review of 'Bewilderment' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

It explores everything in one book — space, existentialism, disability, environmentalism, and politics. It's the first time that my fixation on the Fermi paradox became useful to me, as the book referenced it a few times in its questioning of humanity's loneliness. This was a brilliant read, with references to past works and current events. I could not put down the first half of the book. However, exaggerations on the incompetence of the government (with ~everyone~ in authority seemingly against science, and the president having full-control on all three branches of the gov) chipped away at realism rather than contributed to it. The broadness of the book's themes is its strength as well as its weakness, as the development of its political aspect paled in comparison to the exploration of Robin's differences through his relationships with people.

The Confessions of Max Tivoli (Paperback, 2005, Picador) 5 stars

Today Show Book Club Pick

An extraordinarily haunting love story told in the voice of …

Review of 'The Confessions of Max Tivoli' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

"We are each the love of someone's life."

I first read snippets of this book at an age too young — when I was still in elementary school, in fact. I was eleven years old and had not come from an English-speaking household, so I neither had the proper language skills nor sufficient life experience to fully grasp the scenes described, much less the meaning behind them. Yet, it was one of the very few books in our house, so I sometimes found myself squinting at the pages, trying to extract meaning from what little words I knew.

Every few years since then, I've read and reread the story from front to back. Each time, it would reveal a secret to me — a message or another I had missed from my last reading. Maybe it is this constant revisiting that made me fall in love with the story much …

The old man and the sea (1996, Scribner) 4 stars

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in …

Review of 'The old man and the sea' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

For how much can you break the human spirit?

Ernest Hemingway starts by building up the story in a seemingly dry, straight-forward fashion — here, Hemingway starts, introducing the wise fisherman of the story, this is an unlucky old man.

During the first few pages, I found myself at odds with his way of writing. Where was the beautiful prose? It's my very first book from this author. I did not find his words as striking and vivid as I'd expected them to be. However, as the story continued on, I realized that the beauty was contained in the old man's experiences — not confined in the way of its retelling.The resilience, passion, hope, sadness, and suffering that made up the themes of the story were beautifully explored in a fisherman's experience at the sea.

Overall, this book has left me with various emotions to struggle with. I found parallels …