Archive for the ‘Aviva’ Category

Staff Review: In the City of Bikes by Pete Jordan

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Reviewed by Aviva

Pete Jordan is a bike enthusiast who has lived and cycled in a number of cities in the US. When he came to the Netherlands, sight unseen, to do a degree in urban planning, he found himself surrounded by a cycling culture beyond his wildest dreams. In In the City of Bikes: The History of the Amsterdam Cyclist, Jordan tells the story of his family’s immersion into this culture, and the history of the bike and cyclists in Amsterdam decade by decade. His love for his subjects, both personal and historical, shines through and the massive amount of time his must have spent in archives researching his subject truly payed off. The chapters covering the Second World War alone are worth the price of the book, which is not to say you won’t be entertained and charmed by all the other chapters.

I will admit that I read Jordan’s earlier work, Dishwasher, and wasn’t that impressed, but if this book is any indication, he seems to have matured into a fantastic storyteller and found his voice as a travel writer. It’s hard to imagine anyone writing engagingly for 400 pages about anything as specific as the history of biking in Amsterdam, but this is exactly what Pete Jordan has accomplished. In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist is a well-researched, entertainingly-written love letter to city of Amsterdam and its two-wheeled inhabitants.

As a committed pedestrian, I have cursed the lawlessness of Amsterdam’s cyclists on numerous occasions. After reading this book, though, I can’t help but admire the democratized anarchy of the two-wheeled Amsterdammers and what they represent. One of the reasons I picked this book is because I will soon be leaving Amsterdam, and reading it made me realize I’ll miss it even more than I thought.

What We’re Reading

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Simone: Sight Reading – Daphne Kalotay
Jouke: The Age of Voodoo – James Lovegrove
JeroenW: The Desert Spear – Peter V. Brett
Renate: Faces in the Crowd – Valeria Luiselli
Jesse: The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
Ester: The Bad Book Affair – Ian Sansom
Aviva: In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist – Pete Jordan
Pleun: How to Eat Out – Giles Coren
Martijn: Hounded – Kevin Hearne
Sophie: Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (pulp cover)
Nicki: American Gods – Neil Gaiman (“author’s preferred text “edition)
Tiemen: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke
PTRL: American Elsewhere – Robert Jackson Bennett
Tom: A Young ScoundrelEduard Limonov (English translation by John Dolan, but no longer in print)
Lynn: Dear Life – Alice Munro
Lilia: The Colossus Rises (The Seven Wonders Book 1) – Peter Lerangis

ABC’s Favorite Reads of 2012, part V

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Ready for a new entry in ABC’s Favorite Reads of 2012 series? There will be new titles, old titles, magazines, Dutch books, games, fiction, non fiction, anything and everything we read and liked in 2012. We are as diverse as our individual choices and that is what makes ABC unique!

Part V features Shirley, Simone and Aviva. Shirley is Amsterdam’s buyer for the Children’s Books section, and helps oversee the ABC Treehouse there.  Simone is one of ABC The Hague’s store managers, and buys the books for the Fiction, Cookbooks and stationery sections.  Aviva is Amsterdam’s buyer for the Travel, Erotica and Reference sections.

We would love to hear about your favorite reads of 2012, too. Please mail with your choices and a picture of yourself (optional). We will post your list at the beginning of the new year and send you an ABC Gift Certificate (so don’t forget to include your home address with your list!).


ABC’s Favorite Reads of 2011, Part H

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The penultimate installment of our Favorite Reads of the Year! Here are Part A, Part B, Part C, Part D, Part E, Part F, and Part G.

These favorites come from Mark and Aviva.  Mark has taken over as Supreme Head Honcho of the Warehouse at ABC Amsterdam (and was yours truly’s first ever trainee)(and he’s still here; surely a measure of success?).  Aviva is ABC Amsterdam’s Travel and Nature/Animal books buyer who loves to be serenaded.

We would love to hear about what YOUR favorite reads of 2011 were, too! They don’t have to be books published in 2011, just read in 2011. Please send your top 5 to, and be sure to include your mailing address so we can send you an ABC gift voucher as a thank you. We’ll be publishing your Top 5s at the beginning of 2012, so you have the rest of the month to hand them in. Thank you to those who have already mailed them in!

And now, without further ado… the lists!


What We’re Reading: Amsterdam

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011