Archive for the ‘What We're Reading’ 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).

What We’re Reading: Summer 2013

Friday, July 19th, 2013

There are eBooks available of You, The Pale King, JPod, Unseen, All My Friends are Superheroes, Naked in Death, The Shining, Hammered, The Apartment, Tropic of Cancer, The Lives of Tao, Gemsigns, Into the Forest, Kiss Mommy Goodbye, Tell Me No Secrets, The Rain Before It Falls, The Pillars of the Earth, How Children Succeed, A Feast for Crows, The Seamstress, And the Mountains Echoed, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Edie Investigates and The Imperfectionists.

(more…)

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 Blogmistress

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Well, here we are, the last post of ABC’s Favorite Reads of 2012!  I hope you have enjoyed our recommendations – they have all been made with passion and a lot of pleasant memories of the joy that each book has brought us.

Part Blogmistress is traditionally reserved for those of us that work on this blog. Sadly you won’t find Hayley’s Top 5 here anymore though, since she left us earlier this year (she does write for us now and again though!).  Still, Ester and myself (Sophie) are trying to fill the void as best we can!  Ester has taken over Tweeting duties, and besides prettying up your feed there with her calendar model shoots she also buys the books for the Manga/Graphic Novels, Film & TV, Animals/Nature, Horror and Philosophy sections, and the merchandise and calendars, in The Hague.  I have worked on this blog since the beginning, and I write the monthly News Mailings now.  I also buy the books for the Romance, Military, Military Fiction, Crafts and Audio Books sections in The Hague.

We would love to hear about your favorite reads of 2012, too. Please mail blog@abc.nl 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!).

All of us at ABC hope you have a wonderful holiday this week!

(more…)