Archive for the ‘Jouke’ Category

Meet the Buyers: Crime Fiction / Mysteries & Thrillers

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Last month we introduced you to the Fiction buyers. This month, because it’s the ‘Maand van het Spannende Boek’ in The Netherlands, it’s all about mysteries, thrillers and crime…  Meet Pleun and PeterL, Crime Fiction buyers at ABC Amsterdam, and Jouke, Mysteries & Thrillers buyer at ABC The Hague.

Should the section be called Crime Fiction or Mysteries & Thrillers? Or something else?

Pleun: There is always some kind of crime in the books so Crime Fiction it is for me. :-)
PeterL: I prefer Crime Fiction. I like the sound of that.
Jouke: There is probably no “one label to rule them all”. The section covers a variety of genres: from spy fiction to whodunnits to action/adventures to forensic investigations and more. When pointing the section out to customers, I usually refer to it as the Mysteries & Thrillers section.

How long have you been the section’s buyer?

Pleun: Since 2006. Darn, that’s a long time!
PeterL: I’m not sure but I think since 2010.
Jouke: Since 2011.

Which author or series of books should have a bigger audience, and why?

Pleun: I love Michael Robotham, especially his early work. He is a master in psychological crime writing. I also love the early books by Minette Walters. Such a shame she she hasn’t written a book in such a long time. She gets under the skin of her characters better then anyone I know.
PeterL: Personally I like the David Loogan series by Harry Dolan. There are only three volumes in the series until now. It’s well written, a good read. Something else I really appreciated was The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns, his latest release. I liked it so much that I orderded The Church of Dead Girls by him with our supplier of second-hand books, because a lot of his books are unfortunately no longer in print. For what it’s worth, both of these authors are recommended by Stephen King. ;-)
Jouke: Michael Connelly. What I especially like about his books are the police procedural (Harry Bosch series) and legal procedural (Micky Haller series) elements. And the plot twists.

What makes buying for this section interesting/fun?

Pleun: I am a fan of the genre, but after so many years I don’t read everything anymore. I used to read every book that the publishers sent to me, but now I am picky. Once in a blue moon you find a jewel – ahhh, how wonderful that is! To find something truly original is difficult. It may happen once or twice a year.
PeterL: It is my favorite genre. I am not sure what this says about me but I love to read about the perfect crime.
Jouke: It is a big section, which gives room to experiment with lesser-known authors and also with subsections. In our The Hague store, we permanently have a Historical Suspense subsection. I’m thinking about building a subsection of foreign language thrillers. That could be a home for the myriad of Scandinavian thriller authors, as well as some Italian, Japanese, German and French authors that have been translated into English.

What has been the best-selling title of 2014 so far?

Pleun: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is still going strong. What an amazing writer!
PeterL: Inferno by Dan Brown, altough the paperback edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) is also selling really well, not to mention Elizabeth George’s paperback Just One Evil Act.
Jouke: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which is one of ABC’s Favorites. It is also being made into a movie, to be released this year, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. An Officer and a Spy, by Robert Harris, was a De Wereld Draait Door book-of-the-month, which helped sell quite a lot of copies. Dan Brown’s Inferno has just been released in paperback and is picking up speed, as expected. The latest book from a big author, like Lee Child, is always a bestseller.

Please name some highly anticipated summer releases.

Pleun: A new Gillian Flynn would be nice, and a new S. J. Watson would be great, too! But those will take a while. As for the rest… they’ll come when they come. Oh, I do have one exception and that’s Mr. Stephen King’s newest, Mr. Mercedes.
PeterL: I am curious about The Spring of Kasper Meier by Ben Fergusson and looking forward to The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith.
Jouke: Robert Galbraith’s second instalment of the Cormoran Strike series, The Silkworm, the final part of Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, Edge of Eternity, and Michael Connelly’s The Burning Room. :-)

There are ebooks available for Michael Robotham, Minette Walters, David Loogan #1, Harry Bosch #1, Mickey Haller #1, Inferno, The Cuckoo’s Calling, Just One Evil Act, Gone Girl, An Officer and a Spy, S. J. Watson and Mr. Mercedes.

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).

Store Bits: Staff Choices

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Some more newly-added Staff Choices (not necessarily of new books, though :-) ).

I Didn’t Do My Homework Because… – Benjamin Chaud & Davide Cali
Recommended by Shirley

“I would have been happy if I had this book when I was a kid… A very funny excuse is: ‘I had to help my uncle build a high-tech do-my-homework-for-me machine, but when finally finished, it didn’t work.’”

Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer (ebook)
Recommended by JeroenW

“This book is really spooky. A Lovecraftian tale for the modern age, unsettling and surreal.
Already one of my favorite reads of 2014!”

Battle Cry of Freedom – James McPherson (ebook)
Recommended by Jeroen

“More than 25 years after its first publication, still by far the best overview of th American Civil War.
Excellent analysis of its causes and well-written.”

The Savage Altar – Asa Larsson (ebook)
Recommended by Nicki

“I re-started this after getting distracted years ago. It has been ’staring’ at me ever since and I’m so pleased that I pulled it out of my book case again.
Her descriptions of the Kiruna countryside, the Swedish winter and the people have me wanting to book my next vacation there!”

The Conqueror’s Shadow – Ari Marmell (ebook)
Recommended by Jouke

“Slick magic, dry humor, and brutal action is what this book is about.
It’s a welcome change of pace from the myriad of generic, dime-a-dozen fantasy titles.”

ABC’s Favorite Reads 2013, part 6: Pleun, Jouke, Tiemen

Thursday, December 19th, 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 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 sixth Favorite Reads post comes courtesy of



ABC’s Gift Ideas: Non-Books

Friday, November 15th, 2013

The gift-giving season is upon us – hooray!

The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.

In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject. :-)

Today you’ll find gift ideas for some of the Non-Books we carry, such as Games, Calendars, Stationery, Magazines, Audio Books and other Merchandise, as picked out by section buyers Ester, Simone, Jouke, Agnes and Sophie. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.

We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.