recent blog entries
|You Review: Solomon Creed - Simon Toyne|
|Events in October|
|This Just In: Religion|
|Help Dutch Kids Learn English Early|
|Book Review: The Sparrow Sisters - Ellen Herrick|
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In This Issue:|
|Skype with Patrick Ness|
On Thursday, October 29th, you are invited to a Q&A session with award-winning author Patrick Ness in the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam. Patrick will answer all your questions about his new book The Rest of Us Just Live Here via Skype! |
Sign up with a friend or your class, but be quick as we only have room for 60 people to attend this first-ever Skype-with-a-famous-author event at ABC! This session is organized together with Epic Reads, the vibrant online community of Harper Collins's Young Adult (YA) imprints.
Other events in October: Why the Dutch are Different - Ben Coates, Hieronymus: The Graphic Novel - Marcel Ruijters, M Train - Patti Smith, and Open Mic on Sunday Afternoon. We also want to give an early notice of Eschacon, our very first in-house speculative fiction festival at the beginning of November!
To stay informed about all our events, sign up for our monthly Events Mailing, like our Facebook page, and check our Upcoming Events page.
|ABC partners with The Little English Library|
In the Amsterdam area, primary schools are planning to invest heavily in dual-language education in the coming years. In our summer news mailing we asked for interested schools and volunteers to help Dutch kids learn English, and many responded. A first meeting between parties was just held this past week.|
We are thrilled to announce that we've partnered up with The Little English Library to help bring English education to primary schools. The Little English Library in Breda is a free library service offering English children’s books for children 1 to 16 years who are already bilingual or who are learning English. With our combined expertise we hope to support these children and those teaching them.
If you want more information about helping Dutch kids in the Amsterdam and The Hague areas, contact Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want more information about The Little English Library project, check their website and Facebook page.
|Patti Smith signs M Train|
Legendary singer and award-winning writer Patti Smith returns to ABC Amsterdam to sign her new book M Train and the updated Collected Lyrics, 1970-2015, on Saturday, October 24th. |
This event filled up in record time. You can still make a reservation, but you will be put on a waiting list.
M Train is an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as “a roadmap to my life.” Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, it is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable multiplatform artists at work today.
M Train goes on sale October 6th; preorder it here.
|(Shhh... Share your Joe anecdotes with us!)|
Joe, if you're reading this, look away now! Skip to the next bit. Nothing to see here.|
Our Joe, who's been with ABC for almost 40 years, and who set up ABC The Hague in 1976, is retiring. (We hope he only retires to a corner of the store, with a cup of - well, Joe, of course!)
We would love to mark the occasion with lots of anecdotes about this ur-ABC-er. We have many of our own, but we just know that a lot you who have visited the The Hague store throughout the decades have lots of stories to tell, too. So please share, and we will make sure to pass them on to him on the big day (and the G-rated ones with the rest of the world). Please mail your anecdote to email@example.com (put "Joe anecdote" or something similar in the subject header).
Also, Joe has a soft spot for old ABC bookmarks, so if you have any lying around that you can bear to part with, mail them in to Simone Bal, ABC, Lange Poten 23, 2511 CM, Den Haag.
One thing, though: we want this to be kept as secret as possible from him. So don't tell Joe if you see him, and let him be surprised on his last day at ABC! ;-)
|Your favorite quote on our ABC Booklover Bag|
Our Booklover Bags are a firm favorite, and no wonder: they are pretty, sturdy, roomy, and they fold up neatly into quite a small package.|
We intend to design limited editions of the Booklover Bags with book-related quotes in 2016, and would like to ask you now for favorites (much like we did a while back for our bookmarks).
Just think of proudly showing your love of books through your bag with a quote like "Reading a good book helps us to feel un-alone" (John Green), or a simple "Eat. Read. Sleep." Goodreads has a great list of quotes, if you want some inspiration.
Mail your favorite quotes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maximum word length is 10 words. Please include "book quotes" in the subject header.
If we pick your quote, you will be the first to receive "your" Booklover Bag (and 2 more to give to a pair of lucky fellow bookworms). We'll share the winning quotes (and all the others) on our social media.
|Sign up for our new Fashion, Design and Lifestyle mailing|
Jesse, ABC Amsterdam's Fashion and Art buyer, sent out her first ever Fashion, Design and Lifestyle mailing in September to everyone who signed up for it. |
It features the most anticipated titles of the coming three months, like Brooklyn Street Style, Becoming by Cindy Crawford, and The Vintage Showroom, to name but a few.
You can sign up for the mailing on this page by typing in your email address in the "Manage Your ABC Subscriptions" field and then checking the box next to "Fashion & Design News".
|ABC on Instagram|
You've already found us on Facebook and Twitter, but now we've joined Instagram, too! |
Follow us @theamericanbookcenter for pictures of ABC books, scenes, and people. Also, please tag us if you are visiting one of the stores of if you run into us "in the wild". We really love seeing your pictures!
|What We're Reading|
Daria: "The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Intrigued by reading about Between the World and Me so I thought I would check out his memoir first. It was a fast-paced read, lots of references to hip hop, basketball and Dungeons and Dragons, seems to me that if you weren’t young in the nineties all the metaphors and namedropping might get to be a bit much. For me it was mostly a trip down memory lane, I enjoyed it."|
Jesse: "After reading Angela Carter’s The Magic Toyshop (one of my favorite reads this year so far), I also started reading her books Nights at the Circus and The Bloody Chamber."
PeterL: "The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. About cheating couples with money and killing urges and double identities. A little like Gone Girl, “leest als een trein”. :-)"
Renate: "The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips: I just can’t stop reading this book. It’s agreeably strange and reads like a thriller. It’s about a woman who starts working for a mysterious company, hired by a person with no face and bad breath, entering names in what’s called The Database, about which she must know nothing. Oh, the mystery of it all!"
Check our blog to see who else is reading what, and our recommendation lists for more staff picks.
Ebooks are also available for Nights at the Circus, The Bloody Chamber, The Kind Worth Killing, and Gone Girl.
|Book reviews by staff and customers|
The Festival of Insignificance - Milan Kundera|
"Taken in and of itself, this book is not his finest – it carries the result of some heavy thinking with it, but not so much as his previous works. Taken as a continuation of dialogue, or another chapter in the autobiography of Kundera, it feels like an autumnal contemplation, as he releases the pressure of his foot on the gas pedal and finally enjoys the ride."
- Katherine Matthews
Borderlines - Michaela Wrong (ebook here)
"...history is a theme that comes back in different elements in the story. It is important for both the reader and the characters in the book to understand the past and how it can influence them in the present. It shows you that when you miss certain details about the past, it can make a huge difference in the future. This was very subtly done, which has again a big impact on both the characters as well as the reader, which I really liked."
- Iris Veldhuizen
Undermajordomo Minor - Patrick DeWitt (ebook here)
"If I were supreme ruler Patrick DeWitt would be apprehended, and remanded locked in an esthetically pleasing room where he would be for the rest of his life forced to write, write, write for the enjoyment and benefit of us all, the reading public."
- Dennis Menard
More book reviews by customers and staff can be found on our blog.
|Best of the Bits|
What books made the 2015 Man Booker Prize shortlist?|
What publisher doesn't know what the Dutch flag looks like?
What author used a Chinese pseudonym to get his poetry published?
What theme is Joe trying to express here through some spot-on character acting?
What books were crowned the 37 Best YA books?
Have you visited the Georgi Trifonov exhibit in the ABC Treehut in The Hague yet?
Did you know this classic crime author was also a mean surfer?
What books have recently arrived in which store?
September was full of some great events, and here are some pictures to prove it. Thanks to everyone who came to these events and made them so much fun!
Check our blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Instagram posts regularly for more bookish facts and frivolities.
You may have spotted them already: 2016 calendars. |
Wall and day-by-day calendars can be now be found in both stores! Please note that our selection differs from store to store.
Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles: Read a Book-In-A-Year Calendar by Arthur Conan Doyle|
'Sherlock Holmes 2016 Read a Book-in-a-Year Day-to-Day 'offers a new literary treat every day and an exciting way to engage with one of the world's most celebrated stories, whether you're discovering 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' for this first time, or revisiting an old favorite.
Imagine a day-to-day calendar that includes the complete text of one of the world's most famous books, broken more
Keep Calm Carry on P W by Stapled|
Keep Calm Carry On Family Planner 2016.
Get organised - there's space to write up to five family members' appointments and reminders every month!
Pin-Up Girls Studio Redux Calendar by Gil Elvgren|
Pin-Up Girls Studio Redux Mini Calendar 2016.
Gil Evergren's delightfully daring pinups are brought to life each month with this calendar that features 13 of his leading ladies caught in some rather precarious situations. Elvgren's pin-up girls will take you back to a time when soft curls, bold curves, and unabashed femininity were in demand and on display. Spend a playful year getting to more
Alchemy 2016 Square Calendar|
Alchemy Official 2016 Calendar.
A sixteen month calendar that traces the enigma of the raven and the rose through a gallery of darkly beguiling alchemy artwork that will both inspire and unsettle, with its manifestations of uncanny omniscience and dark decadence.
Garden Birds Calendar 2016 by Avonside Publishing Ltd.|
Perfect for the bird lover in your life, the Garden Birds Wall Calendar 2016 features colorful backyard birds. The images bring you up close to the birds that often fly by so quickly you don't get a good look. They make a beautiful addition to any room's decor. The spacious organizing grid provides plenty of room to record important life events.
|...see more Calendars titles|
|New & Notable Titles - Non Fiction|
|Some of these books may not be in stock yet. You can pre-order them by clicking on the title and then on "Add to Cart".|
Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 by Sir Max Hastings|
From the acclaimed military historian, a new history of the outbreak of World War I: from the breakdown of diplomacy to the dramatic battles that occurred before the war bogged down in the trenches.
World War I immediately evokes images of the trenches: grinding, halting battles that sacrificed millions of lives for no territory or visible gain. Yet the first months of the war, from the more
Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton|
Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future.
"All of us face hard choices in our lives," Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the center of world events. "Life is about making such choices. more
Holland Handbook 2014-2015 by Stephanie Dijkstra|
This indispensable expat guidebook offers practical information on everything you need to know if you're moving to Holland: the educational, social and medical systems, infrastructure etcetera, and life in Holland in general. Updated edition.
Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton|
In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project -to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog "Humans of New York." His audience steadily grew from a few hundred followers to, at present count, over twelve million. In 2013, his book "Humans of New York, " based on that blog, was more
Lost Ocean : an Underwater Adventure & Colouring Book by Basford J.|
On sale date: 22 October 2015.
With intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, colour and embellish, this book invites colour-inners of all ages to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden within the depths of the sea.
Love Style Life by Garance Dore|
More new Fashion, Design and Lifestyle titles in our new quarterly mailing. Subscribe here.
“The guardian of all style” (The New York Times Magazine) shares stories on life, love, style, and career, from Paris to New York, and inspires readers to cultivate an effortless chic that is all their own.
Garance Doré, the voice and vision behind her eponymous blog, has captivated millions of readers worldwide with her fresh and appealing approach to style through storytelling. This more
No Place To Hide - Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald|
"No Place to Hide "is a groundbreaking look at the NSA surveillance scandal, from the reporter who broke the story
Investigative reporter for "The Guardian" and bestselling author Glenn Greenwald, provides an in-depth look into the NSA scandal that has triggered a national debate over national security and information privacy. With further revelations from documents entrusted to Glenn more
Swimming with Sharks : My Journey into the World of the Bankers ( Dit kan niet waar zijn - Onder Bankiers ) by Luyendijk Joris|
If you could peer inside a megabank what would you see? Cigar-smoking, sharp-suited Masters of the Universe striding about the Square Mile like it is the Olympic village? Joris Luyendijk shows us that the truth is very different.
Speaking to over two hundred City insiders - from the elite investment bankers and private-equity staff to graphic experts and interns, as well as therapists and more
The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World's Finest Actor by Robert Schnakenberg|
He’s the sort of actor who can do Hamlet and Charlie’s Angels in the same year. He shuns managers and agents and once agreed to voice the part of Garfield because he mistakenly believed it was a Coen brothers film. Bill Murray’s extraordinary career is rich with fascinating anecdotes, contradictions, and mystery, from his early success on Saturday Night Live and the biggest blockbusters of the more
The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World by George Prochnik|
An original study of exile, told through the biography of Austrian writer Stefan Zweig
By the 1930s, Stefan Zweig had become the most widely translated living author in the world. His novels, short stories, and biographies were so compelling that they became instant best sellers. Zweig was also an intellectual and a lover of all the arts, high and low. Yet after Hitler's rise to power, this more
The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson|
Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that more
The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships by Neil Strauss|
Neil Strauss became famous to millions around the world as the author of The Game, a funny and slyly instructive account of how he transformed himself from a scrawny, insecure nerd into the ultra-confident, ultra-successful "pickup artist" known as Style. The book jump-started the international "seduction community," and made Strauss a household name-revered or notorious-among single men and more
The White Road: a Pilgrimage of Sorts by Edmund De Waal|
Ebook available here.
‘Other things in the world are white but for me porcelain comes first’
A handful of clay from a Chinese hillside carries a promise: that mixed with the right materials, it might survive the fire of the kiln, and fuse into porcelain – translucent, luminous, white.
Acclaimed writer and potter Edmund de Waal sets out on a quest - a journey that begins in the dusty city of Jingdezhen in more
The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War by Tim Butcher|
On a summer morning in Sarajevo almost a hundred years ago, a teenager took a pistol out of his pocket and fired not just the opening rounds of the First World War but the starting gun for modern history. By killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Gavrilo Princip, started a cycle of events that would leave 15 million dead from fighting between 1914 and 1918 and more
War and Gold: a Five-hundred-year History of Empires, Adventures and Debt by Kwasi Kwarteng|
In the sixteenth century, Spanish conquistadors discovered the New World. The vast quantities of gold and silver would make their country rich, yet the new wealth, which was plunged into multiple wars, would eventually lead to the economic ruin of their empire. Here, historian and politician Kwasi Kwarteng shows that this moment in world history has been echoed many times, from the French more
Who Invented the Bicycle Kick?: Soccer's Greatest Legends and Lore by Paul Simpson|
The ultimate collection of soccer's greatest lore and legends, by two of the world's most knowledgeable soccer journalists
Who Invented the Bicycle Kick? is a rollicking run through 100 years of global soccer history that will surprise and delight fans old and new. Veteran soccer journalists Paul Simpson and Uli Hesse bring together the sublime feats, legendary personalities, neglected more
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling|
Ebook available here.
Mindy Kaling has found herself at a turning point. So in Why Not Me?, she shares her ongoing journey to find fulfilment and adventure in her adult life, be it falling in love at work, seeking new friendships inunlikely places, or attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behaviour modification whatsoever.
In “How to Look Spectacular”, she reveals her more
You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter by Joe Dispenza|
Throughout history, many cultures have experienced the effects of verifiable healings, along with hexes, curses, witchcraft, voodoo and other mysterious phenomena. This title explores the history, the science and the practical applications of the so-called placebo effect.
|New & Notable Titles - Fiction|
|Some of these books may not be in stock yet. You can pre-order them by clicking on the title and then on "Add to Cart".|
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms - Being the Adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall, and His Squire, Egg by George R. R. Martin|
On sale date: October 6th, 2015.
Taking place nearly a century before the events of "A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms "compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin's ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last more
A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk|
A Strangeness In My Mind is a novel Orhan Pamuk has worked on for six years. It is the story of boza seller Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years' worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul.
In the four decades between 1969 and 2012, Mevlut works a number of different jobs on the streets of Istanbul, from selling yoghurt and cooked rice, to guarding a car park. He observes more
Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan|
The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan s gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation s troubled more
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith|
Expected in the third week of October.
When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.
Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.
With the police more
City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg|
The all-too-human individuals who live within this extraordinary first novel are: Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city's biggest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Sam, two Long Island teenagers seduced by downtown's nascent punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter; his spunky, West Coast-transplant neighbor; more
Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell|
Expected in the third week of October.
Ruth Rendell's final novel!
When Carl sells a box of slimming pills to his close friend Stacey, inadvertently causing her death, he sets in train a sequence of catastrophic events which begin with subterfuge, extend to lies, and culminate in murder. In Rendell's dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense, we encounter mistaken identity, kidnap, blackmail, and a cast of characters more
Submission by Michel Houellebecq|
Ebook available here.
In a near-future France, Francois, a middle-aged academic, is watching his life slowly dwindle to nothing. His sex drive is diminished, his parents are dead, and his lifelong obsession - the ideas and works of the nineteenth-century novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans - has led him nowhere. In a late-capitalist society where consumerism has become the new religion, Francois is spiritually barren, but more
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher|
Ebook available here.
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has more
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood|
Ebook available here.
Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as "The Handmaid's Tale" and as richly imagined as "The Blind Assassin."
Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They more
The Marvels by Brian Selznick|
In 'The Marvels', Selznick crafts another remarkable artistic and bookmaking achievement that weaves together two seemingly unrelated stories—one in words, the other in pictures—with spellbinding synergy. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 more