Archive for the ‘Our Favorite Things’ Category


Our Book Drive for BetterWorldBooks

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Have you finally received that hard-earned degree, and are you wondering what to do with your old textbooks? Are you ready to move on from your childhood reads? Or have your bookshelves – once again – reached critical mass, and you either have to find a way to change the space-time continuum to squeeze in that new Billy bookcase or say a tearful goodbye to some of those paperbacks?

We can’t think of a better organisation to give your old books to than BetterWorldBooks (BWB). To date, BetterWorldBooks has raised millions of dollars for literacy, saved millions of books from landfills, created jobs for hundreds of people, and provided wonderful books to millions of readers worldwide. The story is still being written, and you can help write it.

Over the past years, ABC has donated thousands of books to them, and now we invite you match us, book for book. You can bring just one or a whole box. The books can be English, Dutch, German, French or Spanish, but please be sure to also check the BWB Donation Guidelines.

The book drive starts on Thanksgiving Day and will last until January 5th, 2015.

November 27th is Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

THANK YOU for being our customer again this year!

We’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 27th) by giving an EXTRA 10% discount to EVERYONE who buys something at ABC on this day. If you normally already get 10% off with us, you’ll get 20% discount off all your purchases in our stores in Amsterdam and The Hague!
(Please note that the extra discount is only off items in the brick stores – so no extra discount on books ordered that day, special orders that have not yet arrived, anything you want mailed to your home, or ebooks.)

Our €7,- Thanksgiving gift voucher, another tradition, should arrive in your mailbox within the next few weeks (if you have a valid and registered ABC discount card). It’s valid in both our stores on any purchase made from November 27th thru December 31st, 2014.

What else is going on?

  • Runic divination with Fiona Peel in Amsterdam.
  • Thanksgiving Dinner at the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam. Please reserve your spot.
  • There will also be a Thanksgiving Dinner in ABC Treehut in The Hague this year for the first time (reserve your spot here). Our favorite American Netherlander Greg Shapiro will do his Greg thing (talk lots and be funny!) and sign copies of his book How To Be Orange. This year Greg celebrates 20 years of being in The Netherlands and 20 years of Pulp Fiction! He’ll be in the ABC Treehut in The Hague for Thanksgiving dinner from 18.00 – 20.00 hrs.
  • Meet and greet Sehrazad Ayse Uslu, the author of The Roots That Clutch from 12.00 – 14.00 hrs in The Hague.  The Roots That Clutch tells the haunting true story of how a young woman discovered, through her PhD research on T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, that her grandmother had had an affair with the other great American Modernist, William Carlos Williams. She also discovered that her father may be the biological child of Williams.

YOU can say THANKS yourself this year by donating your old books to Better World Books (more on that in a separate post here). You can just bring one book or a whole box with you when you visit us in Amsterdam or The Hague from November 27th until January 5th, 2015.

All June Crime Prize Draw Winners

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Last month, in honor of June Thriller Month, we had 3 prize draws. Thanks to everyone who took the time to mail in and answer our questions. Congratulations to all the winners, and we hope everyone’s answers (see below) will help you pick out your next favorite book.  :-)

Win a FREE copy of Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King: Paula Imans

Q: In the original version of Misery, what material was to be used for the cover of the book Paul Sheldon has to write?.

A: Paul Sheldon’s skin.  Annie originally wanted to sacrifice her pig Misery, and use the pig’s skin for the book, but by the end of the store the pig is still alive… and Paul Sheldon is nowhere to be seen!

This was the ending of the short story that was never published, but that became the Misery we all know and love (or fear).  A really tricky question for the true King adept.  :-)

Win a Pile of Thrillers:  Alex Hoogendoorn, Saskia de Korte, Saartje Kuijs & Mandy Fischer

Q: What is your favorite thriller (or thriller series) and why?

“What is my favorite thriller (series)? That will be all the thrillers by Nicci French, but especially the Frieda Klein thriller series. Why? Those beautifully written stories with the well-known three or so plot-twists at the end who literally, every effin time, make my jaw drop, looking like a complete fool, those stories made me wanna be a psychologist in the future. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I’m definitely going to be one, but every writer needs stuff to write about. They ought to be intelligent, wise, philosophical. That’s what I wanna be, WHO I wanna be.”

“I’ve never read a thriller in my life! I’d like to win these books, because it’s healthy to leave your comfort zone now and then.”

“I don’t know if you would classify the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon as a thriller series, but I experienced them as thrillers. I read them one after the other up through the seventh book and only stopped because I had lots of books on my shelves that I hadn’t read, yet. Maybe I’m waiting until there are a few in a row to read one after another – the way I like them!”

“I read my favourite thriller series while I was studying abroad in Rome. My dad had sent me a package of books and included the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. Funnily, they didn’t grab my attention at first and it took me quite a while to get through the first few chapters. My father’s encouraging words: “It will pick up speed”, “It’s just a bit of essential information you need for the rest of the book” and “Believe me, you’ll love it” helped me to not lay it down and never pick it up again.
And he was so very right. I loved it! I spent days in class not being able to concentrate, trying to figure out what had happened to Harriet and asking my Swedish friends (I went to an international school) to help me pronounce the names of people and places. Within the span of two weeks I read all three books. Sitting in front of the Pantheon, on benches in little squares shadowed by trees and on the edges of fountains that not many tourists visited.
When I finished the books I called my dad and asked him if this amazing writer had written any more books and was saddened to find that Stieg Larsson had died in 2004. Now all that is left is to read those three books many more times and to watch the extended Swedish filmversion of Män som hatar kvinnor, Flickan som lekte med elden and Luftslottet som sprängdes.”

“My favourite crime thriller series are the Lily Pascale books by Scarlett Thomas. There are three of them: Dead Clever; In Your Face; Seaside.
I love them because they combine the British tweeness and comfort of Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie with genuine scares and gore, a cracking good mystery, a reluctant and obsessive heroine, exceptional writing, and unexpected twists and turns.”

“My favorite thriller book series are the Pendergast novels by Preston & Child. I really like the personalities (especially Pendergast and secretly his insane brother too), the interesting subjects and the ghoulish setting. I can’t put these books down when I start them!”

Ebooks available for Frieda Klein 1, Outlander 1, and Millennium Trilogy 1 (and further parts in all these series, too, but generally people start at the beginning!).

Win a SIGNED copy of After the Silence by Jake Woodhouse: Em Angevaare, Mandy Fisher and Enny Muin

Q: What crime fiction book are you reading right now?

“I’m currently reading Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths (for the second time), although I must say I prefer the earlier books in the series.”

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.”

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy.  Cozy crime FTW!”

“At the moment I am reading Stephen King’s Mr Mercedes.”

“The crime fiction book I’m reading right now is Undone by Karin Slaughter. I’ve been re-reading all of her books before I’ll start the new ones.”

The Anonymous Venetian by Donna Leon.  Took me 20 years to get around to the Guido Brunetti series; glad I finally did.”

Ebooks available for Dying Fall, Gone Girl, and Mr. Mercedes.

Win a SIGNED COPY of After the Silence by Jake Woodhouse!

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

A murdered policeman, a dead businessman hanging from a hook, a building burnt to the ground in an arson attack and a missing girl – identity unknown.
It’s up to damaged, world-weary Inspector Jaap Rykel of Amsterdam’s finest to piece it all together. Alongside him he’s got an inexperienced female detective wrestling with the ghosts of her past, and a Sergeant with a drugs habit. And then there’s the internal affairs investigation . . .
A rich cast of characters, a sinewy, complex plot and a starring role for Amsterdam are the highlights of this brilliant debut police procedural.

Introducing After the Silence by Jake Woodhouse, a new thriller series by a promising debut author set in Amsterdam.  We can’t think of a better way to end June Thriller Month than by highlighting this book with its orange connection.  Wait, actually, we can!

Thanks to the lovely folks at Penguin we have 3 SIGNED copies of After the Silence to give away!

All you have to do is answer this question:

What crime fiction book are you reading right now?

Mail your answer to win@abc.nl by Monday, June 30th.  Please put After the Silence in the subject.  Please note that you must live in The Netherlands to enter.  :-)

The winners, along with the winners of the other June prize draws, will be posted at the beginning of July in one big round-up post – including ALL received answers (not just those the winners sent in).

An ebook of After the Silence is available here.

Spotlight on… Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art is a series of anthologies.  Each volume focuses on a specific theme or subject that has been a major influence in contemporary art. Each subject is edited by a different critic, curator, scholar or artist who provides texts by voices from different fields, defining the specific theme of the volume.

MIT Press, in combination with Whitechapel Gallery, has already published over 30 volumes with subjects such as Colour, The Archive, Chance, Documentary, Nature, Sound, and Appropriation.  Any reader interested in art will get a lot out of these books, not only students and professionals in the field.  Later this year the series will expand with Sexuality and Exhibition.

Personally, I think this is an excellent series of theory books that deserves a wide audience.

- Jesse, Art buyer at ABC Amsterdam