Archive for the ‘Jilles’ Category

Staff Review: Life’s Operating Manual – Tom Shadyac

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Reviewed by Jilles

Life’s Operating Manual is a great read by a very unexpected author, Hollywood director Tom Shadyac, who is the man behind most of the successful Jim Carey movies like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar Liar, and Bruce Almighty.

And yes, this book is very entertaining, but also very serious about its subject. Contrary to what the title suggests, this is not a self-help book in the regular sense of the word that tells you how to become happy. This book talks about our society as a product of our collective consciousness and how we are slowly destroying ourselves and the earth. He doesn’t point any fingers at systems or companies, but at values underneath these systems and companies, which makes so much more sense because that brings the responsibility back to us again, to who we are as human beings and what our values are in our life.

The book reads like a spiritual book, but one from the outside in instead of from the inside out which is what you normally get with these titles. Very entertaining and insightful are the dialogues between his ‘love side’ and his ‘fear side’ that end every chapter. These two forces that are part of him are trying to battle out who is right and who is wrong, but in the end that is not the purpose of these dialogues. It is to show a different perspective on ourselves and the world we live in, and to see that we have the power to make different choices.

What makes this book also very personal is that Shadyac shares his own story of having had a brush with death, something that transformed the way he looked at society and the world. It inspired him to make radical changes in his own life. One of the things he did was giving up his mansion and private jet, bought a bicycle and started living in a double trailer. His company started distributing income to what people needed, not what the Hollywood system normally uses. There is more to Tom Shadyac than him just being a funny guy. He is paving the way to a new way of looking at ourselves and our life’s.

Jilles is ABC Amsterdam’s Consciousness and Film & TV buyer, and part of the Windows team that always produces such beautiful displays.  More staff reviews can be found here.

An ebook version of Life’s Operating Manual can be found here.

Store Bits: Out-of-print Crime, fascinating steps, an interview, find a new literary crush

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

“These out-of-print classic crime titles are once again available on our shelves at ABC Amsterdam in prestine condition (one copy per title only)! This month among the titles, the scary When Michael Calls by John Farris and the creepy Blood Secrets by Craig Jones.  All books are EUR 10.99.” – Jilles


Luke shot some proof that ABC always has something fascinating for you to discover, even if you can’t read yet.  :-)

(In case you were wondering: they’re looking at a step-stool.)


Former ABC customer Verushka interviewed Lynn, Avo and Karin for her eclectic pop culture website pop.edit.lit!  Check out the interview here.


And Sophie (that would be yours truly) hopes you’ll discover a new literary crush among the fresh batch of blind book dates she’s put up on the Romance shelf at ABC The Hague.  Hubba hubba!

ABC’s Favorite Reads 2013, part 1: Jilles, Marten, Lynn

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

It’s my favorite part of the blogging year: our favorite reads!  The ABC staff has looked through all the books and magazines they’ve read over the past year, or games they played, or stationery they used, and picked out their top 5 (or 4, or 8).  Every single item in these posts comes highly recommended, and we hope to add some ideas to your 2014 reading list.

Of course, we always love reading tips ourselves, too, and so we hope you will send in YOUR favorite reads of 2013 to us.  They don’t have to be books published in 2013, just read in 2013.  Please mail your Top 5 (and why these books were so good) to by December 31st, and don’t forget to include your home address so we can send you an ABC gift certificate in the new year as a thank you.  As has become a tradition, your Top 5s will be published in January.

Our first Favorite Reads post comes courtesy of

  • Jilles: Always expanding his world- as well as inner view.
  • Marten:  Knows everything about the life and times of Jesus and is still waiting for his religious epiphany.
  • Lynn: Owner and, more importantly, mother of the ABCs. Creative business spirit, redhead and still a hippie at heart.



Store Bits: DH sections, trams, giveaway, “legendary” & amazing books

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

If you’re planning to visit ABC The Hague, don’t be surprised if you can’t, at first, find your favorite non-fiction books.  We’ve done a MAJOR switcharound but no worries, all sections are still alive and kicking!  They’re just kicking in a different spot, is all.

The affected sections include: Ancient History, History, Military History, Law, Current Affairs & Politics, Science & Digital Age, Social Science, Business, Travel, Travel Literature, Religion, New Age and Poetry.

Just ask one of the staff to point you in the right direction if you’re lost.  Chances are we may need to do a bit of searching still, too.  :-)


The trams are running again, hooray!  The work on the road is all done and you can take your regular tram 1, 2 or 5 to the corner of ABC Amsterdam.


Did you know that Steven, one our of EBM operators, is also the author of a very popular book?  He is giving away 3 print copies of his book Gay and Happy over on Goodreads. Over 190 people have entered the lottery so far, but more are always welcome.  Only 12 days left to enter the draw, though, so best click over there now.


Author David Hewson (The Killing, the Nic Costa books) has us blushing thanks to this truly glowing article about last weekend’s launch of Colleen Geske’s Stuff Dutch People Like (pictures over here).  “Legendary” – wow.  Thanks for the praise, sir!


And Jilles sent in pictures of “some of the amazing and original books we carry” (that don’t get their own book launches or social media mentions).  Come browse, people, there’s always treasure to be found…  :-)

ABC’s Gift Ideas: Childcare, Children’s Books, Consciousness, Controversial Knowledge

Friday, November 1st, 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 you’ll find gift ideas for Childcare, Children’s Books, Consciousness and Controversial Knowledge as picked out by section buyers Sigrid, Shirley, Lília, Jilles, Nyjolene, Agnes and Maarten. 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.