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The Birdwoman's Palate

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2.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,157 ratings  ·  220 reviews

In this exhilarating culinary novel, a woman’s road trip through Indonesia becomes a discovery of friendship, self, and other rare delicacies.

Aruna is an epidemiologist dedicated to food and avian politics. One is heaven, the other earth. The two passions blend in unexpected ways when Aruna is asked to research a handful of isolated bird flu cases reported across Indones

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Kindle Edition, 358 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by AmazonCrossing (first published November 13th 2014)
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Joy Baas Do you like southeast asian foods? I was not even familiar with many of the dishes she describes. This book seems to be a lot more about the food and…moreDo you like southeast asian foods? I was not even familiar with many of the dishes she describes. This book seems to be a lot more about the food and traveling for the food than it was about birds or the bird flu. I couldn't finish it.(less)

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Siria
The Birdwoman's Palate has an intriguing premise and for the first couple of chapters I was thinking this would probably be a four star book. It tells the story about Aruna, an Indonesian woman in her mid-thirties who's a bit of a foodie and is working for a government agency during an outbreak of avian flu.

As it became clearer that there was no real plot arc or structure to the book, and that the avian flu subplot was an odd McGuffin, I revised my opinion to perhaps a 3 out of 5. After all, th
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Aya
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nonton video review di sini > https://youtu.be/S4WZCWEO1Yw
Biondy
Kalau disuruh menyimpulkan novel ini dalam satu kalimat, saya akan tulis: "Cerita tentang Aruna, seorang wanita yang melakukan wisata kuliner sambil menjalankan tugas kantornya untuk menyelidiki masalah flu burung".

Cerita utamanya, seharusnya, tentang Aruna, seorang "ahli wabah" (alias konsultan epidemiologi) yang diutus oleh kantornya yang bekerja sama dengan Direktorat Penanggulangan Wabah dan Pemulihan Prasarana, yang merupakan bagian dari Kementerian Kemakmuran dan Kebugaran Rakyat, untuk me
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Darnia
Sudah lama pingin baca ini, murni karena gw pernah baca Amba dan karena buku ini membicarakan tentang traveliner (traveling sambil kuliner). Buku ini...gimana ya....gw sama sekali nggak menyangka bahwa gw bakal disuguhi kasus Avian Flu! Jadi, mbak Aruna --yg bekerja di One World--, bersama Bono dan Nadezhda -- sahabat-sahabatnya--, serta Farish --kolega pada awalnya--, menjelajahi beberapa wilayah di Indonesia dimana terdapat suspect H5N1, yg anehnya, menjangkiti 8 wilayah dalam waktu yg bersama ...more
Audrey
Oh how I very much wanted this book to be better than it was.

Note how that doesn't say I didn't enjoy it, because I did, but there's really no denying that it's a hot mess of a novel basically redeemed by lyrical and passionate food writing.

As other reviewers have mentioned, trying to tie a culinary road trip around Indonesia with a subplot about avian flu epidemiology and government corruption is weird at best, and never fully gels. At one point the characters take a detour for a luscious duc
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Nagisa Paramita
Saya pertama kenal dengan Laksmi Pamuntjak karena novel Amba dan saya jatuh cinta jungkir balik dengan Amba, dengan cara menulis Laksmi Pamuntjak melalui Amba. Maka saya tidak tunggu macam-macam ketika novel ini dirilis, langsung saya beli. Terjun dengan penuh keyakinan.

Tapi mungkin saya berharap terlalu tinggi atau memang Laksmi Pamuntjak ingin menampilkan sesuatu yang berbeda di novel yang ini. Mungkin juga soal selera.

Pertama dengar soal Aruna & Lidahnya, saya memang langsung mengerti k
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Diann
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf-18, kindle, own
1 Star and a DNF designation (Did Not Finish).

I was drawn to the story line. I like epidemiological mysteries and I enjoy food writing. It seemed an intriguing combination.

I made it through 40% and could not read any more. The writing is good, but drawn out and laborious. There were several chapters that developed characters, which I thought could have been significantly condensed without losing the plot.

The author seems to be forcing together several disparate items together, i.e. champagne
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Peter Baran
So my second Read Harder book and I am initially unsure of how to classify it. I think it would like to be literary fiction, and I initially thought it would be a culinary infected thriller about bird flu in Indonesia. It actually is a romance, both of the standard type and one of food - the heroine is a bird expert travelling Indonesia with her stuck up colleague trying to help cure or quarantine the 2011 SARS outbreak. Joining her are her best male and female friends, a chef and a food writer ...more
Nhaz Montana
Jun 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collection, random
Sampai ke beberapa halaman terakhir masih dibuat bosan saat membaca novel ini, bertahan karena penasaran semacam "serius nih gini doang? duuhh mana deh klimaksnya, mana deh serunya?". lalu kemudian mengendalikan diri sendiri dan meyakinkan bahwa tak semua novel atau tulisan yang masuk best seller harus SERU. di beberapa halaman terakhir mood saya yang sudah kebosanan terselamatkan oleh beberapa quote di buku yang yaah bisalah di-share. yap!! ragam kulinernya juga sungguh terbatas menurut saya, b ...more
Paskalis Damar
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I read ‘Aruna & Lidahnya’ in anticipation to the upcoming movie directed by one of the finest Indonesian directors. I had the pictures of the characters in my mind and I had known the synopsis a little before going through the book.

‘Aruna & Lidahnya’ revolves around a gastronomical journey around the most exotic cities of Indonesia, which goes hand in hand with an expedition to unravel a strange Avian flu epidemic—with a hint of conspiracies. Aruna, the main protagonist, mostly becomes a
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Wim Van Buitenzorg
Premis sangat menjanjikan. Kemasan menarik. Cerita mengalir. Detail sangat mewah. Kerenlah pokoonya. Cerita tentang dunia kuliner tentu akan membuat lapar pembaca sastra kita. Hanya......


Hanya saja, harus ada unsur politik ya dalam karya sastra? Kenapa harus ada isu dlu burung? Memang flu burung menyimpan trauma di meja makan. Tapi sebenarnya kedalaman konflik semua tokohnya sudah sangat sastrawi. Barangkali benar, kalau buku sastra mau dihargai di luar negeri harus ada unsur cerita politiknya.
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Ming
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was almost a "DNF" (Did Not Finish) for me. The English translation is solid. The tone is snarky, in fact, very snarky, but overly artificial and uncomfortable. Flippant but not witty. (Was the author or the translator trying to do a poor imitation of Carrie Bradshaw or Samantha Jones from "Sex in the City"?) Aruna, the main character, seems like an adolescent with displaced or misplaced anger.

The main reason I read this book and slogged through it was because of its focus on Indonesia
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Ayu Lestari Gusman
Hampir dapat 5 bintang. Tapi menuju halaman akhir, ada yang membuat saya berubah pikiran.
Wahyu Novian
Hal yang paling menarik di novel ini (sesuai judulnya) adalah cara Laksmi Pamuntjak menceritakan tentang makanan. Jelas sih, tambahan “gelar” Penulis The Jakarta Good Food Guide di covernya terbukti. Aduhai sekali, bikin air liur menetes dan lapar. Narasi tentang kulinernya, dari makanan (dan warungnya) yang sudah sangat familiar sampai yang namanya saja susah disebutkan pun yang tidak disukai oleh karakter-karakternya, membuat penasaran ingin mencicipi. Kecuali pembahasan tentang wine yang agak ...more
Sri
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
** spoiler alert **

Pertama, Aruna bukanlah tokoh yang gampang disukai. Nyinyirnya luar biasa. Bahkan kepada makanan. Padahal dia mengaku sebagai pecinta makanan.
Yang asalnya super nyinyir ke rekan kerjanya lalu tiba-tiba dia bobok bareng gitu aja? Memang wajar ada yang bernama witing tresno jalaran soko kulino, dan juga gething nyanding. Tapi ini prosesnya ga keliatan. Kalau iya Farish cinta, sejak kapan? Kok orang yang dulunya sangat mengganggu sehingga yang (merasa) terganggu jadi anti pati,
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Lisa Mahardika
Ini buku yang sangat ingin aku baca ketika pertama kali terbit. Konsepnya terbilang megah; menggabungkan kekayaan kuliner nusantara, politik, konspirasi. Terlebih profil si penulisnya memang menjanjikan bahwa karya ini enggak bakal kopong--dan memang tidak.

Sayangnya, terlalu padat rupanya juga tidak baik. Ambisi untuk membuat karya yang padat rupanya malah bikin ini buku jadi semacam jalinan infodump; belum sempat menghayati satu hal, eh mendadak pindah ke hal lain.

Aku lebih merasa kayak baca t
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Erika Miller
This is a painstakingly told tale of one woman eating her way through her own country. She does this while acting as a consultant epidemiologist, trying to prove that an outbreak of the avian flu is actually occurring. As she journeys through her homeland...accompanied by her two best friends, we see her grow professionally and romantically. By the end of the book, she has found a balance between real-life, where relationships feed us and her tendencies to isolate herself, only finding joy from ...more
Abiyasha Abiyasha
Saya punya ekspektasi tinggi dengan novel ini mengingat Amba adalah salah satu novel paling luar biasa yang pernah saya baca. Namun, Aruan & Lidahnya terbukti sebagai novel follow-up yang cukup mengecewakan. Premisnya cukup menarik, tapi eksekusinya buat saya kurang rapi. Saya berharap isu flu burung justru dihilangkan dari buku ini dan fokus novelnya adalah perjalanan Aruna beserta Farrish, Nad, dan Bono mengeksplorasi makanan di tiap daerah. Tanpa isu flu burung yang menurut saya cuma jadi ...more
Arfan Putra
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Salah satu paragraf yang mana, Laksmi dengan apik menceritakan kegaduhannya saat berada di suatu tempat makan yang ada televisinya dan persis seperti saya yang tidak terlalu suka bola.

"Pada dasarnya, menurut Nadezhda, obsesi terhadap pertandingan fisik itu hanya melahirkan celotehan tentang olahraga. Dengan kata lain, sesuatu yang dangkal, yang semu, hampir menyerupai parodi obrolan politik: strategi apa yang seharusnya dimainkan oleh tim A atau pemain B, mengapa mereka salah langkah, apa yang t
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Ardina Rahma
Ini nih efek karena bukunya akan diangkat ke layar lebar dan pemainnya adalah Disas dan Nicsap. Well, Rangga dan Cinta berubah menjadi Bono dan Aruna.

Setelah membaca buku ini, saya pribadi merasa pening. Pening kepala. Beneran.
Buku ini bercerita dari sudut pandang Aruna yang seorang epidemiolog/ahli wabah. (Saya demen nih sama profesinya Aruna, salah satu profesi yang antimainstream, betul?)
Di buku ini kita bakal mengetahui pikiran-pikiran Aruna yang menurut saya random sampai membuat saya penin
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Mandewi
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isu serius yang diangkat adalah upaya menjadikan suatu fenomena sebagai bencana nasional supaya anggaran pemerintah turun untuk ‘menangani’ fenomena tersebut. Tapi isu itu bukan topik utama novel jadi nggak perlu berharap tinggi.

Sebagaimana judulnya, novel ini fokusnya ke wisata kuliner (dan beberapa isu menarik soal makanan). Bila berhasil menggeser fokus dari ‘isu serius’ ke kuliner, novel ini akan jadi bacaan yang menyenangkan untukmu. Nikmati saja sajiannya.
Magen
Did not finish. While some reviewers indicated that this book would be enjoyable for non-foodie's, it is way to heavy on detailed descriptions of food dishes to keep my interest. Maybe if I had a better sense of the dishes described, I would be more interested, but mostly, I'm not interested enough in food culture to invest more time in a book I didn't connect with 2 hours into an 11 hour audiobook.
Racysteed
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I made it about halfway through this one. It's not terrible but feels like an absentminded conversation between friends or being able to read someone's self-absorbed thoughts. There wasn't enough plot to keep me motivated.
Patricia L Kerr
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too much food

Seriously, the characters should weigh 300 pounds with all the food they eat. Got tired reading about it. I had hoped to learn about their culture but they sound more like Americans obsessed with food and sex.
Hanny Wulandari Yasin
Unpredict. Cool.
Fahri Rasihan
Euforia film Aruna & Lidahnya yang sebentar lagi akan tayang di bioskop membuat saya tertarik untuk membaca novelnya. Sebenarnya saya sudah tahu akan keberadaan novel dengan sampul mangkok ayam ini jauh sebelum filmnya dibuat. Namun pada saat itu belum ada ketertarikan sama sekali untuk membacanya. Dan saya sangat menyesal baru mencicipi buku yang sangat mengenyangkan ini. Ahli wabah, flu unggas, kuliner, dan romansa merupakan bahan baku dari cerita Aruna & Lidahnya. Premis yang ditawark ...more
Viki Holmes
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laksmi Pamuntjak's trademark lush prose and sparkling dialogue shine in this culinary journey through Indonesia from the perspective of epidemiologist Aruna. It's no surprise that the author of Jakarta's Good Food Guide should produce a novel suffused with the love of intense flavours and dishes, but it is Pamuntjak's discipline as a poet that makes the depictions of her home country so vivid and enticing. A novel to be savoured!
Amy Jones
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Compelling

The descriptions of food are transporting, especially as someone who has never been to Indonesia. The gradual blossoming of the protagonist simmers through the book and the ending is both a shock and comforting.
Linda
I wanted to like this. As other reviewers have said, the plot just falls apart. The food descriptions were interesting but I would have gotten more out of an illustrated cookbook. I liked Aruna at the beginning, but then the relationships between characters just made less and less sense. I kept on until the end, but can't say I recommend.
Happy Dwi Wardhana
Seperti membaca gabungan kolom features di koran Minggu. Tokoh-tokohnya hanya sebatas pemanis rangkaian deskripsi kuliner dari daerah-daerah di Indonesia. Sejatinya, saya suka. Banyak makanan-makanan khas daerah yang baru saya tahu dari novel ini. Nama-nama daerah di dalamnya juga membangkitkan hasrat traveling saya. Andaikata pengemasan ceritanya lebih menarik, akan lebih mengasyikan lagi.
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Laksmi Pamuntjak is a bilingual Indonesian novelist, poet, food writer, journalist and co-founder of Aksara Bookstore. She works as an art and food consultant and writes for numerous local and international publications including opinion articles for the Guardian.

She is the author of two collections of poetry (one of which, Ellipsis, appeared in the 2005 Herald UK Books of the Year pages); a trea
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“In the end we all must return to the earth, so is there any greater act of devotion than surrendering your entire life to it? And is there anyone more shameless than someone who kills innocent creatures?” 0 likes
“How does it feel living life every day with such attractive faces in a place where women are forced to take responsibility even for the worst outcomes that spring from other people’s lusts?” 0 likes
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