WWW Wednesday (13-12-2017)

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

WWW

Three W’s:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I recently finished :

This one is getting a lot of attention and I heard it’s predicted to become THE thriller of next year. It was a good read with an unreliable narrator who suffers agoraphobia, a condition which I felt was described quite realistically, but the story didn’t stand out for me so much that it’s worthy of becoming a hype. I’m not always spot-on with these things though so don’t take my word for it :-).

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window

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What I’m reading now:

OK this is me going a little out of my comfort zone (just a little bit) because the world-building is not exactly realistic. I’ll let you know how that ended ;-).

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

The Both Die At The End

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

More than excited to read this one because I loved Six Stories! I never saw the twist in that one coming and I’m very eager to find out if he can deliver an equally stunning story. I’m on the blog tour for this one beginning of January so I hope to start reading very soon!

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

HydraBefore Scarfell Claw, there was Hydra… One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the ‘Macleod Massacre’.

Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation.

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess…

Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

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Book fair : Boekenfestijn

Boekenfestijn

I always look forward to a visit of a book festival called Boekenfestijn. It’s basically a big hall and there are rows and rows of books. There are banners placed above the tables and in front with the genre (romance, thriller etc.) but apart from that you just have to go and make your rounds because several books from the same author won’t be placed together. Doesn’t matter to me though, I loooove walking these aisles :-).

Oh and I haven’t even told you the best part yet… the prices are the lowest you’re ever going to find here. As books are sold here for almost 20 euro most of the time, this feels like hitting the jackpot.. new paperbacks are often 4,95 euro, sometimes as low as 2,99 euro even and hardbacks around 10 euros. Before I was blogging this was without a doubt THE place where I bought most of the books.

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Now I do have to tell you that you never know what you’ll find, sometimes there are a lot of English books, sometimes there aren’t…

The only ‘downside’ if you can even call it that is that you won’t find newly published novels at these lovely prices but usually older novels or first or second editions of a series.

It’s no use having a list of what you really want so I picked up these books at random, mostly because I remembered seeing the title in the past. Even if I didn’t know whether it was a good or a bad novel I just added them to the pile.. at these low prices I figured I just couldn’t leave empty-handed.

Here’s this year’s book haul of 9 novels. And the good part is that they are all quite recent as well. I’m calling it a Christmas present for myself:

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Killing Kate by Alex Lake

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

A Tapping at My Door by David Jackson

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Torn by Casey Hill

The Good Daughter by Alexandrea Burt

Passagier 23 by Sebastian Fitzek

Afgesneden by Sebastian Fitzek

The last two novels are from a German writer and translated in Dutch. Lots of people here really like his novels and they do sound pretty good so I added them out of curiosity. Passagier 23 or translated as ‘Passenger 23‘ is a novel about a woman and her son who disappear on a cruise ship and a man who investigates their case and others. There’s also Cut (Afgesneden) about a forensic pathologist who finds a message hidden in a mutilated body. The author worked with the most well-known pathologist in Germany for this novel.

I also had a copy of Lily and the Octopus in my hands but it was also a Dutch version and I know this is supposed to be a very emotional read so I only want to read it in English.. I feel like I can get more emotional when reading something in English :-). I wish I could have added some YA reads but I didn’t find any. It wasn’t me ignoring them, honestly.

Oh and in case you’re wondering about that first wrapped up parcel on top… I met the lovely Kathy from Books and Munches at the book fair who personally hand-delivered the giveaway prize I won! Meeting another book blogger is officially checked off from my bucket list and I couldn’t have met a nicer one. I know what’s in the parcel too (it’s a copy of Turtles All The Way Down) but I’m only going to open it on Christmas Eve. I know, I don’t know where I get the willpower from either :-).

So that’s it. Have you read any of these novels? I do hope I made a few good choices. 

The Silent Children by Carol Wyer #BookReview

Blank bookcover with clipping path

What’s it about?

The boy studied the bruise turning yellow at the base of his neck. With quick fingers his mother tightened his tie, and pulled his collar high above it. Her eyes alone said, We will not speak of this…

Years later, a man is found shot dead in a local park. On his phone is a draft text: I can’t keep this secret any longer. The recipient is unnamed.

Detective Robyn Carter knows this secret is the key to the case, but his friends and family don’t offer any clues, and all her team have to go on is a size-ten footprint.

Then a nurse is found in a pool of blood at the bottom of her staircase, and a seemingly insignificant detail in her friend’s statement makes Robyn wonder: are the two bodies connected, and has the killer only just begun?

When another body confirms Robyn’s worst fears, she realises she’s in a race against time to stop the killer before they strike again. But just as she thinks she’s closing in, one of her own team goes missing.

Buried in the past is a terrible injustice. Can Robyn uncover the truth before another life is lost?

amazon uk amazon com

Review

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I’m not up to date usually reading a series but DI Robyn Carter is one of two exceptions I’ve made thanks to this author’s great writing. Carol Wyer just never fails to deliver an extraordinary story with every new novel that is published. All four books are entertaining, engrossing and if you like to read police procedurals then this series is absolutely one of the best and shouldn’t be missed out on. I adore police procedurals that are construed this way, with plenty of investigation, lots of possibilities to go through and where every tiny piece of information they gather seems to be a part of one big puzzle but can’t be pieced together right away. Robyn Carter is such a star in finding out how they all fit together.

Suffice to say, I very much liked this fourth novel and I believe it was the meatiest storyline yet, one which came with a whole slew of different characters that emerge one after another throughout the story and provide new questions and suspects. When starting this novel absolutely nothing gave me an indication where this story was going to wander off to and I was stunned when I saw the direction this took and the implications that came with making one important but – there’s no other way to see this in my opinion – quite immoral decision. Never did I suspect the people in the story to be connected in this way but it was fun to discover their connection and see the possibilities opening up. I did have an inkling of what might have been a motive once their connection was revealed but then I still didn’t know one hundred percent who was behind it all, even though I could follow someone’s story told from the time he was a child to the present day interspersed through the novel. I was really invested into these alternate chapters but still couldn’t figure out who he was and if this person was in fact responsible for people’s untimely deaths. I couldn’t predict the killer for a very long time which is what I love in these type of novels.

With every new novel I also get to know Robyn a little better and there are mysteries in her own life that continue to puzzle her as well, even though it wasn’t really explored very deeply yet. My only wish is I could have heard a little more about what happened on her late husband’s last day, I was so looking forward to it. Luckily she gets some diversion from little Schrödinger, a little black cat who reminds me of my own little furry friend and stole my heart from the minute I read about him. The novel ends with an interesting storyline in sight that could give some serious dilemma in the future for Robyn so I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m definitely continuing this series, it’s so good!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

I’ve put up my Christmas tree!

christmas-tree

 

I don’t know if you know but I really don’t like Christmas. I don’t read Christmas reads, I don’t draw attention to it in any way and I won’t share (literally) the Christmas joy. I’m very sorry but I have to stay true to myself! Now I do understand people who get caught up in this festive spirit. Honestly, I was once like that as well, it just lost its shimmer a bit now.

What I really don’t like are all the things you HAVE to do. I’m sure I don’t need to give examples. I put up a tree last year simply because I wanted to see what Poes (the cat) was going to do but she wasn’t even interested. All that effort and then she disappoints me like that, not even pawing once at the Christmas ornaments, and even the lights couldn’t mesmerize her. Nah this year I’m taking it very easy, there isn’t going to be a traditional tree.

Here’s this year’s Christmas tree. All you need is an old book (I got this one at work because it’s not up to date anymore) and a wooden stick..

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You cut paper squares of different sizes…

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All you need to do next is make a good solid base by taping the stick on a piece of cardboard

 

 

And you slide your paper squares over the stick and tadaaa.. my mini-book tree is ready !

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So what do you think of my funny mini project? Anyone who’d consider making one as extra decoration? I kind of like the first picture with the stacked open books as well… maybe I could make one like this as well :-). Two Christmas trees this year!!

Help out Santa! Christmas gift ideas for bookworms

Christmas gift ideas for book lovers

Here are some cool gift ideas that I came across and wouldn’t mind getting myself :-).

Blossom Books

Gifts don’t always have to be expensive. Also, as long as it has the word book on it I’d be happy 🙂

book-money-small book-jar-book-money

Back to Realitee

Lovely home decor, right? RIGHT!

Lumio Book Lamp

Lumio Led Novelty Book Lamp (28,47 EUR)

Books and Cupcakes

A Redbubble shop for bookish items! From clothing over home decor to stationary, plenty to choose from

Bookscupcakes

Litographs

They print the words of the book in the shape of a design. You can actually read the book on posters, t-shirts, totes and scarves!

Litographs

Rosegal

While you’re at it, why don’t you treat yourself to a new shower curtain? Getting up in the morning and seeing books right away, isn’t that the best idea possible ;-)?

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Wish

Wish

Applesandspindles

Apples

Rugs, throw blankets, bedding and shower curtains… there’s plenty of inspiration on this site.

Boekenpoef

If you know someone who still likes to read paperbacks or hardbacks you might want to take a look at this. You can rest your book against the ‘Boekenpoef’ while you read. I particularly like this cat design but there are a lot of designs to choose from.

Boekenpoef

The FB page is in Dutch so I’ll hereby inform you that it costs 14, 95 € excl. shipping. You have a pyramide shape for books and e-reader/tablet and an egg-shaped one suitable for e-reader/tablet only. You can choose whatever colour and fabric.

It kind of reminds me of the Bookbuddle-sleeve that I purchased last year for my paperbacks and where I chose format and design as well.

KleverCase

CleverCase

Do you want your own personalised cover case? YES! This site is wonderful, even if you don’t know which case is suitable, you can search which device you have (I have a Kobo Glo HD) and you can find all the cases that match. They ship worldwide too and there’s a wide variety of cases, if you like classics or Harry Potter. Oh and they even have cat prints on their storage files.

I’m in love with this one but I haven’t ordered yet.. I don’t know how much longer I can keep myself from doing so though 🙂

A Court of Candles

This site sells candles, bath products and teas. Whether you like Game of Thrones or Harry Potter, there’s something to choose from for everyone. Everything looks so lovely and I love the deep and rich colours they use! I’m pretty confident someone’s going to be very happy if you give them something from this site ;-).

The Book Brush 

OK this is ridiculously expensive (60€) but I like the idea and it does look cooler than the thing that I use to clean 😉

 

How does it work?

  1. The Book Brush is stored amongst your books, like a novel. Once in place, you only see its pretty binding, attractively lacquered in black and silkscreened with silver ink
  2. Since it is permanently tucked into its workplace, you can give in to any sudden urge to dust your books that comes upon you as you look through your shelves

In case you need more inspiration, you can check out my post from last year here

So what’s going to be on your Christmas list? Only books or accessories too? 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris #BookReview

The Tattooist of Auschwitz def

 

What’s it about?

Based On An Incredible True Story

What makes a survivor?

Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies’ man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport of men from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tetovierer – the tattooist – to mark his fellow prisoners, forever.

One day as Lale is tattooing the arm of a young woman, he looks into her eyes and falls instantly in love.

His life given purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.

This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.

amazon uk amazon com

Review

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No matter how many historical novels of this nature I read – and I’ve read about a dozen books about WWII already – it’ll never ever be enough to grasp the entirity of monstrocities that fell upon those held captive and how they found the strength to survive these atrocities. The number of testimonies from survivors is unfortunately dwindling fast as time goes by and I’m very grateful that Lale Sokolov found the courage to revisit his past and share his personal story. It’s a cruel legacy of an era but so important that we never forget.

I’ve actually met Lale as a character in plenty of books before, without him ever being named. He was always someone in the periphery of a story but I never thought about the person who actually saw everyone still so unknowing of what was waiting for them when they entered those gates of Birkenau or Auschwitz, and gave them their camp number. Lale has the job of Tettovierer, one of the better jobs that gives him a better place to sleep, more food and a little bit more freedom to help others. He has a guard with him every time he goes to work called Baretski but he was able to talk to his guard and was treated fairly well by him given the circumstances.

He’s such a gentle soul and Lale felt particularly bad tattooing old people and young girls because he knew the first group’s fate was sealed and that Mengele had an unhealthy interest in the second group. Mengele often came by to inspect the new arrivals and to select new girls for whatever he had in mind. Lale didn’t want to hurt the girls so he did his best to be tender. He grew up with respect for girls and women, his mother taught him well.

However barbaric and hellish life was, there is beauty to be found in this novel as well. It’s hard to believe but in these grisly circumstances, where there’s nothing left to enjoy and happiness is nothing but an alien feeling, two people were able to find love. Lale falls in love the moment he lays eyes on a girl waiting to be tattooed. It’s quite incredible that the ability to still feel so much for someone never dies. The contrast with his surroundings couldn’t be bigger and made me feel it even deeper. Lale falls heads over heels for Gita and it strengthens his resolve to go on another day and another… I don’t think I’ve ever felt happier about a love story than now. I wished it so hard for them, they were so deserving of each other and I could only hope with all my heart it wouldn’t come to a cruel end. Loving someone when you don’t have the power to safeguard them, when you don’t know if they are still going to be there the next day, is dangerous but a risk Lale is willing to take. The heart can’t be dictated and I found tremendous joy in the fact the SS weren’t able to take that away at least.

I really admired Lale from the very start of this novel, his positivity and his determination to survive shine through from the very beginning and it was wonderful to see how he tries to give Gita hope when she sees none. He’s her light at the end of the tunnel and she means everything to him too. Heather Morris did a brilliant job writing Lale’s personal story, and even though it was a very compelling testimony and there were still many sad moments to get through, the overruling feeling after I finished it is one of warmth and contentment for these two individuals. Lale and Gita’s love story was a perfect counterweight for the predominant harshness of this novel.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

Netgalley says NO! My saddest book rejections

Netgalley says no

I saw this post on The Misstery‘s blog and it showed me that I was not alone in being rejected. I was quite surprised really because I thought other bloggers would have a much higher approval rate than me and I thought they were practically accepted every time. So I don’t want to hide mine anymore but instead show you a few of my many, many rejections.

I have 50 reviews up till now and I’ve been rejected 29 times so I’m used to not having my hopes up too much. It could very well be 30 today or tomorrow because I have 2 more requests pending for the same book – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – and I’m not very hopeful anymore if they have to think about it this long (more than a month for the first request). I’m at 96% so that’s not the problem, but I don’t know what is. But, on the bright side, I did get to read 50 books for free and some of them were brilliant!

Anyway here are my saddest rejections :

 

Far from True by Linwood Barclay (my oldest book rejection)

I Let You Go by Clare Macintosh

Find Her by Lisa Gardner

Little Boy Blue by MJ Arlidge

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker (tried twice, rejected twice)

Before I Let You in By Jenny Blackhurst

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon

The Caller by Chris Carter (OK so I don’t live in Australia..)

Rattle by Fiona Cummins

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

I did get myself an e-copy of I Let You Go and The Caller and I even bought the paperback copy of Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land (okay that was partly because of the gold cover too). It is rather exceptional though because I’ll still want to read it of course but it won’t be very high on my buy-list.

I also managed to get a paper copy of Rattle by Fiona Cummins from the publisher once her second book was about to be launched and it turned out quite a good read so I’m happy I got the chance!

So were any of these books on your list? Did I miss out on anything ;-)?