Archive for the ‘Klaartje’ Category


What We’re Reading: Spring 2014

Friday, May 23rd, 2014



PeterL: The Farm – Tom Rob Smith.  A young man in London gets a call from his father in Sweden.  ”Things aren’t going well with your mother, she’s in the hospital, she’s psychotic.” One day later he gets a call from his mom: “I’m not crazy.  Your father is in league with dangerous criminals.  I’m coming to see you now.”  All this while the young man has been trying to find a good moment to tell his parents he’s gay.  Everything’s going to pot; this used to be one happy family.  But who’s telling the truth?  An exciting thriller, good pace, with subject matter that means a lot to me.

Ester: Pluto, vol. 1 – 8 (i.e. the entire series) - Urasawa X Tezuka

Simone: Secret Smile – Nicci French (ebook available here) and Bark – Lorrie Moore.

Renate: Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 – Francine Prose (ebook) and rereading Middlemarch – George Eliot (ebook).  It’s even more beautiful the second time.

Lilia: Star Trek: Spock’s World – Diane Duane.  Currently out of print, but copies are available through our supplier of second-hand books.  I’m also reading Inked Armour – Helena Hunting (ebook), actually the second part of her Clipped Wings series. I do intend to read part 1 (ebook) too… :-D   And after that will be Twelve Angry Men for my book club…

Maarten: Meriswin – Hafid Bouazza

Sophie: Tigerman – Nick Harkaway (ebook) and From a Distance – Raffaella Barker (ebook).  I’ve been waiting for Tigerman for ages, and am enjoying it very much.  It’s a rather subdued Harkaway book (compared to his previous two) but the friendship/father-son relationship he describes between a man and a boy is entirely believable, and very sweet.  But there are still exploding custard cans, masked vigilantes and it’s all set on an island about to be wiped off the face of the earth, so there’s still some crazy Harkaway action.  I’m only on page 5 or so of the Raffaella Barker book, but I know it will be good.  She’s one of those writers that should be read more by the general public, because her stories are always well told, well written and peopled with characters you really want to root for.

Tiemen: Lock In – John Scalzi.  It’s coming out in August but the editor was kind enough to send me an ARC.

JeroenW: Chronic City – Jonathan Lethem (ebook).  A bit of blather in New York City.

Nicki:  The Leopard - Jo Nesbø (ebook).  The Harry Hole series is AMAZING! (The Leopard is nr 8.)  Especially when compared to Mo Hayder’s Jack Caffery books (ebook). Which I also enjoy, but they are not as rich as Nesbø’s stories.  I think Mr. Nesbø is a superstar :-)

Martijn: The Deaths of Tao – Wesley Chu (ebook).  Part 2 after The Lives of Tao (ebook), which I thought was top notch popcorn (science)fiction.

Jouke: The Crimson Campaign – Brian McClellan (The Powder Mage, #2)(ebook)

Daria: Too Big to Know – David Weinberger.  About how “knowledge” (shape, content, realisation) has changed with the advent of the internet, the pros and cons of this change, and how to deal with it.  Really interesting!

Klaartje:  Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan (ebook)

Barry:  Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan (ebook). An absolute gem!  I can highly recommend this charming book, especially after reading The Circle (ebook).

ABC’s Favorite Reads 2013, part 3: Klaartje, Jesse, JeroenW

Friday, December 13th, 2013

It’s my favorite part of the blogging year: our favorite reads! The ABC staff has looked through all the books and magazines they’ve read over the past year, or games they played, or stationery they used, and picked out their top 5 (or 4, or 8). Every single item in these posts comes highly recommended, and we hope to add some ideas to your 2014 reading list.

Of course, we always love reading tips ourselves, too, and so we hope you will send in YOUR favorite reads of 2013 to us. They don’t have to be books published in 2013, just read in 2013. Please mail your Top 5 (and why these books were so good) to social@abc.nl by December 31st, and don’t forget to include your home address so we can send you an ABC gift certificate in the new year as a thank you. As has become a tradition, your Top 5s will be published in January.

This third Favorite Reads post comes courtesy of

  • Klaartje: lover of all things nature, especially plants.
  • Jesse:  graduated from the Rietveld Academy this year!
  • JeroenW: Master of accents.  Knows all the words to Dragostea Din Tei.

Enjoy!

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Gift Ideas: Animals, Nature & Gardening, Travel & Living Abroad

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Let us be your personal shoppers!

ABC’s booksellers don’t just sell books: as well as being voracious readers, almost all ABC staff members are personally responsible for buying the books for one or more sections in the stores. That means you’ll always find someone who can put exactly the right book in your hands when you need it. We asked our buyers for their tips for the best gifts for the upcoming holiday season, and they came up with some great ones: new books, classic books, magazines, games, merchandise, and stationery.

Today you’ll find gift ideas for Animals, Nature & Gardening and Travel & Living Abroad as supplied by Klaartje, Ester and Tom.

Even more gift ideas can be found here and here!

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Event Reports: Reif Larsen and Jacob Vossesteijn

Friday, May 11th, 2012

The past 2 weeks saw 3 events happening around the ABC stores.  Here’s a quick recap of two of them!

Note: If you want to be informed about our upcoming events, sign up for the monthly Events Mailing here, or regularly check the Events List.

Reif Larsen,  The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet:

About 20 people heard Reif Larsen speak on visual storytelling at the ABC Treehut in The Hague on April 27th. Mr. Larsen was a very engaging speaker, bandying about such terms as “info-erotic” when talking about charts and visual data, and he made us all laugh repeatedly. He admired Glen Baxter (Colonel Baxter’s Dutch Safari) for his visual gags, and mentioned Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics as a great source of information about visual storytelling.  He also urged everyone to see the exhibition The Printed Book: A Visual History at the UvA (May 13th is the last day, so I’m afraid you’ll have to be quick…).  After his talk, Mr. Larsen answered questions, admitted that a movie is in the works and signed books. Photographer Henry Arvidsson filmed it all; a link will appear to his work as soon as it’s done.  All in all, a great evening was had! – Sophie.

Jacob Vossestein, The Dutch and Their Delta:

About 17 people came to the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam on May 3rd for Jacob Vossestein’s talk on the geography of the Netherlands and the need for water control.  Mr. Vossestein was friendly and enthusiastic and his talk was well-received.  Happily not just Dutch people came to the talk!  With a bit of luck, Mr. Vossestein will appear at the ABC Treehut in The Hague at a future date, so keep an eye out on our Events List or the Treehut website. – Klaartje.

What We’re Reading: Both Stores

Friday, April 27th, 2012




Ester: Lover Mine – J. R. Ward
Hans: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams
Hayley: Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives – Richard Wiseman
Ilse: Hoog sensitieve personen – Elaine Aron (in English: The Highly Sensitive Person)
JeroenE: The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin – Masha Gessen
JeroenW: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Suzanna Clarke
Jesse: Swamplandia! – Karen Russell
Jilles: A Reliable Wife – Robert Goolrick and Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Days – Jared Cade
Jitse: In the Shadow of the Sword – Tom Holland
Karin: Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry
Klaartje: Lord of the Flies – William Golding and The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders – John E. Sarno
Lynn: The Keep – Jennifer Egan
Our Not-Irritating-Maarten-Of-The-No-Lists: Het spoor van de eenhoorn: De geschiedenis van een dier dat niet bestaat – Willem Gerritsen
Marten: Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire – Judith Herrin
Nadine: That’s What I AmAvo Kaplanian
Nicki: Demons Are Forever – Xenia Alexiou & Kim Baldwin
Nyjolene: The End of Illness – David B. Agus
PeterH: Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
Renate: Say Her Name – Francisco Goldman and Farther Away – Jonathan Franzen
Sander: De Kapellekensbaan – Louis Paul Boon (in English: Chapel Road)
Sara: Before I Go To Sleep – S. J. Watson
Sigrid: The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table – Tracie McMillan
Simone: Hush Money – Robert B. Parker
Sophie: Quicksilver – Neal Stephenson
Steven: Shockaholic – Carrie Fisher and And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft – Mike Sacks
Tom: Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson