Archive for the ‘PeterL’ 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: Free Comic Book Day, Ziggy Marley, Power Couples and Spotlight on Romance

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Were you one of the people that came by our stores on May 3rd as part of Free Comic Book Day?  Our Luke snapped a few pictures of the ABC Amsterdam First Floor Crew getting into the spirit of things…  :-)  If you missed it, no worries: the next one is on May 2nd, 2015!

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Our Rick got Ziggy Marley to sign his copy of I Love You, Too (ebook available here).

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Luke spotted Batman and Cleopatra on ABC Amsterdam’s Film & TV shelf.  I think he’s spot-on in thinking this could be the perfect power couple!

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And not one but two Romance tidbits!  First of all, I have to blush a little bit because Suzanne from Kattebelle.com wrote a lovely blog post about one of the Blind Book Dates from my Romance section at ABC The Hague.  So fun to read the book’s journey, and I really hope she’ll enjoy the incendiary book…  ;-)  (There’s an ebook here, although we can’t quite wrap those up, so it won’t exactly be a blind date!)

Also, at ABC The Hague there’s a bit of a spotlight the coming month on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  If you’re like me you’ve been impatiently awaiting the new instalment, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.  It’s due out in June, so that’s just enough time to complete your series, reread all the previous titles or else get someone else hooked, don’t you think?  The first part of the series, Outlander, is now only €8,99!  (Ebook available under its UK title, Cross Stitch.)

ABC’s Gift Ideas: Travel, True Crime, Young Adult Fiction

Wednesday, November 27th, 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 we’ve reached the end of our alphabet and you’ll find gift ideas for Travel, True Crime and Young Adult Fiction as picked out by section buyers Tom, RonG and PeterL. 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.

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Store Bits

Monday, April 8th, 2013

My lovely fellow booksellers frequently send me short notes about a new book from their sections that has caught their fancy, or a website that highlights a particular series of books they’ve seen fly off the shelf, or a picture with a subsection change.  We tweet them often enough, but I thought they warranted a special spot here on the blog, too!  So I’m introducing a brand-new series of posts, Store Bits – kind of a Lit Links mixed with a Bookbits mixed with ABC News.  Enjoy!

PeterL has spotted a new subgenre in the Mysteries & Thrillers genre: personal growth/mind-body-spirit crime.

“Bestselling author Gay Hendricks, well known for his books about personal growth and the mind-body connection, has, in collaboration with Tinker Lindsay, written a new crime-series.  In The First Rule Of Ten, Tenzing Norbu (“Ten” for short) – ex-buddhist monk and soon to be ex-cop – takes on his first case as a private investigatorin L.A. Growing up in Tibetan monestery, Ten dreamed of becoming a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. So when he was sent to Los Angeles to teach meditation, he joined the LAPD instead. Set in the modern-day streets and canyons of Los Angeles, The First Rule of Ten is at turns humorous, insightful, and riveting—a gripping mystery as well as a reflective, character-driven story with intriguing life-lessons for us all.”

There are currently 2 volumes in this series, The First Rule of Ten and The Second Rule of Ten, and both are available in the Crime section on the first floor of ABC Amsterdam.

Jitse wants to direct your attention to the Gotham City Archives, where Chip “Iconic Book Designer” Kidd’s Batman: Death by Design is discussed.  Be warned if you’re a Batman fan, though, because the site is loaded with great Batman material, including maps of Gotham City and articles by people like philosopher Slavoj Zizek about the Christopher Nolan movies.

He’s also very happy to be able to say that the Art & Animation section has been revamped at ABC Amsterdam.  See the bottom of the post for a picture.  You can find the section on ABC Amsterdam’s first floor.

Jilles is really excited about a great new book by Nick Ortner, The Tapping Solution, “about Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT as they all call it. The technique is very easily explained and it’s applicable to almost every problem with often very quick results. Everybody is using it these days, so check out this very practical book.”  You can find The Tapping Solution in the Consciousness section on the second floor at ABC Amsterdam and in the Psychology section at ABC The Hague.

On our Facebook page we found the following message last week: “Hi there! I discovered ABC online and can’t wait to pop by to see your bookstore in person when I’m next in Amsterdam! :) I devised a Bookstore Bucket List and included you guys in it! Please read & share the article. Thanks, enjoy! – Ashlea Green

Thanks for including us, Ashlea!  We hope you manage to visit all the beautiful stores mentioned – and hope you can pass by ABC The Hague, too.  :-)

Lastly, Marten reminds me to let all of our customers know that both stores have David Byrne’s How Music Works back in stock!