Archive for the ‘Marten’ 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!”

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.



ABC’s Gift Ideas: Philosophy, Photography, Plays, Poetry

Monday, November 18th, 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 Philosophy, Photography, Plays and Poetry as picked out by section buyers Ester, Marten, Martijn and Tom. 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.


Store Bits: Section changes, bargains, ABC’s Rick in the papers

Friday, May 24th, 2013

First off, a few section changes at ABC The Hague!  Penguin has decided to discontinue their Penguin Popular Classics series.  *sniff*

As a result, ABC The Hague’s remaining popular classics stock has been redistributed to the Fiction, Drama, and Poetry sections.  You will now find our Digital Age books where the popular classics used to be (near the beginning of the SciFi/Fantasy section), and the Nature/Animals section finally has some breathing room again, where the Digital Age books used to be (near the Information Desk).  Hooray!

Lynn loved this article about Sarah McNally, bookstore owner / purveyor of the life of the mind.  Who loves her EBM like we love ours.  :-)

Marten has a new bargain for you:  Footprints by Co Rentmeester.  “This World-renowned Dutch photojournalist’s book, spanning his entire career is now available for the bargain price of 29.99 euro! This book is bound to become a classic, don’t leave till it’s too late! Buy it now and you won’t regret it!”

Sign up for our irregular bargains mailing if you want to keep up-to-date.

And finally, a proper version of the Parool article celebrating our Rick’s 25th ABC Anniversary!  The article is by Lorianne van Gelder for Het Parool, translated by Alexander Moust and edited by Bryna Hellmann-Gillson. March 12, 2013.  Below is the first part, after the break you can read the rest!

That Canadian with one sweater.

Rick Lightstone, the enthusiastic PR-person at the American Book Center, has close to 5,000 Facebook friends. He remembers anyone who’s been in the shop longer than merely dropping in to find and pay for a book. Without his presence and efforts, many international stars, like Stephen Fry, Dionne Warwick, Ziggy Marley, Spike Lee and David Sedaris, would not have come to the bookshop on the Spui.

ABC’s PR-man is a real networker, so his friends and colleagues say, but not in the tedious ‘good-for-business’ sense of the word. “He’s the man through and with whom people come together,” says Gary Goldschneider, writer and dear friend to Lightstone for years. “He often says, ‘This is someone you need to meet,’ and he’s always right.”

Recently Lightstone celebrated his 25 years’ jubilee at ABC. “It was a beautiful party,” director Lynn Kaplanian-Buller says. “We sang for him and gave him a Holtkamp pie and a blank-paged book in which we spur him on to finally write his autobiography.”

Born in Montreal in 1954, Lightstone is a man with a story to tell. Even the way he came to work at ABC is a narrative worth sharing. In 1987, his Dutch wife Yvonne walked into the shop and asked if they had a vacancy for her husband. Kaplanian-Buller hired him after one phone conversation. Lightstone was still employed at a bookstore in Vancouver, Canada. “He sent in a fantastic resumè in which he described his extensive experience in the book trade. Getting a work permit was no problem, as he was married to a Dutch woman.” With so many good references, she simply couldn’t refuse him.


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!