Archive for the ‘JeroenW’ Category


Store Bits: Staff Choices

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A new round of Staff Choices of both new and old books. Happy reading!

The Girl With All The Gifts – M. R. Carey
Recommended by JeroenW

“Zombies have been done to death (pun intended), and this might easily slip under your radar as Just-Another-Zombie-Book, and to be fair, to a certain extent it is. But this just happens to be a really well-written one, with well-fleshed-out characters, some nice twists and a great ending. Highly recommended for anyone looking for an exciting and satisfying read.”

Foreign Fruit – Jojo Moyes
Recommended by Simone

“Daisy and Celia are raised as sisters, in a very protective environment, when they are suddenly confronted with the new owners of the luxurious villa in their small town. Artistic people are “not to mix with”, however, Daisy and Celia cannot stay away.
When Celia brings home her new beau, the son of a rich man who imports exotic fruits, Daisy falls head over heels in love with him, and the complications begin.
Halfway through the book the story jumps forward in time, and page by page, the two storylines become one.
A wonderful and intriguing read.”

The Thousand Names – Django Wexler
Recommended by Tiemen

“There is a distinct possibility after reading this book you will yell ‘Form square!’ at random people in public.
This is a fun and exciting read. Instead of the same old, same old medieval fantasy setting this is so called Musket fantasy; a story deeply inspired by the age of the Napoleonic Wars.
And even though this is fantasy, Wexler has grounded it in a firm foundation of military history and knowledge. Wexler knows his musket from his bayonet and the way he portrays how an army in the Napoleonic age would function is done in a marvelous and interesting way.
Add in a few heartpounding battles – FORM SQUARE! – a Holmes & Watsonesque relationship between the commander and his second-in-command, a mystery about a magical artifact and you get one very entertaining and thrilling read.”

Every Day is for the Thief – Teju Cole
Recommended by Renate

“Previously only published in Nigeria (2007), but now
available for everyone. Yes!

This is a sad and funny book about going home
and trying to make sense of the journey and yourself and
the world along the way.

Cole’s prose is sensual and vivid and clear”

Nostalgia: The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II – Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Recommended by Marten

“Behind the somewhat offensive title lies a truly a incredible body of work. These color photographs have been taken between 99 and a 110 years ago. The encounter with people and the world of more then a century ago has never seem more vivid! The silence of a world without automobiles more condemning!”

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, April 23rd, 2014

A new round of Staff Choices of both new and old books.  Enjoy!

A History of Future Cities -Daniel Brook
Recommended by Sigrid

“A pioneering exploration of four cities where East meets West and past becomes future: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai. The cities share an important characteristic: they were planned as cities of the future. The premise of the city of tomorrow is a fascinating one, and this book is a wealth of information.”

Redeployment – Phil Klay (ebook here)
Recommended by Renate & Reinoud

“Honest and brutal and moving stories about war and coming home and
life as you knew it”

The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway (ebook)
Recommended by Sophie

“What a debut!
A post-apocalyptic world gone mad, featuring Heroes, mimes, kung-fu, Stuff, and a massive plot twist that throws the entire story on its head.
I loved it.”

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison
Recommended by Tiemen

“Warning, do not read this book. You will read it in one go and then curse the author because you do not want the story to end.
This is one of those stories where everything just works. A well thought out world: elves, goblins, airships and a incredibly detailed and intriguing Byzantine-like imperial court. An very likeable protagonist who you can’t help but root for. And a smart story about politics, doing the right thing and deadly court intrigue.
All I hope is that Katherine Addison will write a second novel soon.
In the meantime I’ll be rereading The Goblin Emperor again.”

Hyperion – Dan Simmons (ebook)
Recommended by JeroenW

“Don’t let the cover fool you into thinking this is a fantasy novel. In fact, it’s a love letter to science fiction. It’s a frame story about six travellers who are going to meet the The Shrike, a supernatural being covered in razorsharp blades.
During their travels the companions each tell their reason for doing so, and each of their stories is representative of a science fiction sub-genre (military SF, cyberpunk etc.).
A great introduction to SF, and a great read.”

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.”

Store Bits: Staff Choices

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

A new round of Staff Choices!  You can find these on little inserts in the books around both stores (and on separate Staff Choice shelves), and they can now also be found online on the books’ respective detailed pages (just click on one of the titles below and look at the bottom of that page).  Full integration, slowly coming together!

Bitter Seeds (Part One of the Milkweed Triptych) – Ian Tregillis (ebook)
Recommended by JeroenW

“I never would have thought that a story that basically amounts to ‘British Cthulhu-zealots versus Nazi X-Men’ could be anything but schlock, but Ian Tregillis proved me wrong.
The setup: the beginning of WWII coincides with the coming of age of Doktor von Westarp’s surviving test subjects, who have battery-operated powers such as walking through walls, telekinesis and – most importantly – seeing into the future. They succeed in almost bringing Britain to its knees, until the top secret Milkweed department decides to call in the warlocks. But the price for their services is quite dear…
Once I started reading this, I couldn’t stop. It’s a dark story with great characters, exciting action sequences and a suitably grim ending, which serves as the set-up for the two sequels.”

Grain Brain – David Perlmutter (ebook)
Recommended by Sigrid

“After all the bad news about carbs & gluten neurologist Perlmutter takes it one step further and talks about the connection between gluten and your brain.”

I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes (ebook)
Recommended by Martijn

“Great espionage thriller!
Big read, loads of story & background.  Aside from a plot-hole or two, this was a whole lotta fun!
Believable character- building, lots of action and all over the planet (but mostly in Turkey).
Loved it!
8,5 out of 10.”

The One Plus One – Jojo Moyes
Recommended by Sophie

“Heart-warming romantic story rooted firmly in real life. I especially loved Jess; she felt like a very real person that I probably cross paths with every day without knowing it. There are some great passages about what it means to be scraping by, literally counting pennies every day, and what that does to you. But then there were also some lovely scenes about how finding someone that you can connect with – instinctively and by getting to know them – increases you. I thought it was a wonderful book!”
Blogmistress’s note: this title is due out in February 2014.  I was one of those lucky people that received an Advanced Reader’s Copy.  :-)   You can pre-order it now, if you like!

Up Against It – M. J. Locke
Recommended by Tiemen

“Clever and charming hard SF novel. A modern version of the golden age space opera, but without the sexism.
Who knew that living on an asteroid could be that interesting?”