Archive for the ‘PeterL’ Category


Gift Ideas for Sleuths

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Ready or not, the gift-giving season is upon us! Whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any other opportunity to give presents during the dark days of the winter solstice, we’ve got ideas aplenty. As in previous years, the ABC Staff has looked through their sections and hand-picked various choice literary jewels for your gift-giving pleasure.

We will present these titles in a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month. We hope you will find some inspiration in them, but please remember that these titles only represent a tiny fraction of the books on offer in our stores. Be sure to stop by to see what else there is in the area of your interest!

“Just one more thing…”  For those of you who are always wondering whodunnit, howdunnit, and whendunnit, here are some gift ideas from our Crime/Mysteries & Thrillers, True CrimeEspionage, Historical Fiction and Horror sections. If you want more tips, meet our Crime/Mysteries & Thrillers buyers: Pleun, PeterL and Jouke!

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

Crime / Mysteries & Thrillers

Ebook available of Gray Mountain, The Mistletoe Bride and other Haunting Tales, Gone Girl, By Its Cover and The Monogram Murders.

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Gift Ideas for the Socially Aware

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Ready or not, the gift-giving season is upon us! Whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any other opportunity to give presents during the dark days of the winter solstice, we’ve got ideas aplenty. As in previous years, the ABC Staff has looked through their sections and hand-picked various choice literary jewels for your gift-giving pleasure.

We will present these titles in a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month. We hope you will find some inspiration in them, but please remember that these titles only represent a tiny fraction of the books on offer in our stores. Be sure to stop by to see what else there is in the area of your interest!

Today we have some gift ideas for those active and engaged members of society that you know, from our Social Science, Political Science, and Gay sections.

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

Social Science

Ebook available for This Changes Everything and Exodus.

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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.)