My love for bookmarks

Bookmarks

I love books ergo I have a serious love for bookmarks too! Before I start a novel I choose a bookmark first, it’s a little bit of ritual (it wasn’t always so but I’m a bit older now and I can’t always remember the page I was on any more). It’s all a bit for show really, sifting through at all my bookmarks because I usually go for the same fav ones but I don’t care, I like looking at them and having lots of choice.

So I thought I’d share them with you. Here’s the whole lot :

Bookmarks 01

I’ve grouped them together and the first category are the postcards (that I bought myself on vacation or that I received from friends). I also do postcrossing which means I exchange cards with people abroad and in my profile I have mentioned that I love cards with a little pink on them and cards with cats and dogs most of all, so I’m always happy if I get one of those, I love to use them as a bookmark. There are also cards that came with books I received from authors/publishers and use them in the book they came with. I love collecting them but find it not done to use them in someone else’s book, it just doesn’t feel right, so they’re still in good condition.

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The second group are actual bookmarks. I received some of them from publishers, some were inside books and I printed a free one myself from the internet. And I see I totally forgot to add the ones I received from Bookdepository the last time. They’re all ok but not what I prefer using most of all.

Bookmarks 03

The next few are bookmarks I actually bought and really like. Two of them are even among my favorite ones to use… I’ll let you guess which ones they are :-). I bought the two Gorjuss bookmarks Sugar and Spice on a UK site btw, in case you’re interested.

 

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These next ones are the special ones. I love these. I bought the four on the top right last year for one euro each (I posted about them here – btw I already lost one and I have turned my libary upside down and I can’t find it anywhere, it drives me crazy. It was such a lovely one too so I’m a bit sad about losing it).

The heart is one I received when I was staying in a hotel in Austria. The bottom one is a heavier metal one that has a text in German (Wünsch Dir was) on it which means Make A Wish.

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Here are the ones I use most of all. My absolute favorite one is the one with the cat.  There’s no reference or any text on it sadly, if there was I’d even buy a spare one (or two) as back-up.

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Voilà, there you go. So what do you use as a bookmark? I’d love to know!

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Dark Pines by Will Dean #BookReview

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SEE NO EVIL

Eyes missing, two bodies lie deep in the forest near a remote Swedish town.

HEAR NO EVIL

Tuva Moodyson, a deaf reporter on a small-time local paper, is looking for the story that could make her career.

SPEAK NO EVIL

A web of secrets. And an unsolved murder from twenty years ago.

Can Tuva outwit the killer before she becomes the final victim? She’d like to think so. But first she must face her demons and venture far into the deep, dark woods if she wants to stand any chance of getting the hell out of small-time Gavrik.

amazon uk amazon com

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star three and a half

Dark Pines is the first instalment in a new series where Tuva Moodyson takes the lead. Tuva is definitely an interesting character, not only because of her profession – she’s a journalist – but because she does this job, quite successfully, while she’s also deaf. It just doesn’t seem an obvious combination and I’m happy she put in me in place by showing me there’s nothing extraordinary about it. I was positively surprised she never comments on her deafness in a negative way. Even better, she tells she’s able to cut out all the noise and work in perfect silence and describes it so lovingly that it almost feels as if she’s to be envied. Wonderful! Being deaf really doesn’t hinder her in life apart from always having to think about having extra batteries for her hearing aid with her. She’s in fact much less positive about her life in Gavrik and would rather live in bustling London. Unfortunately, she’s stuck in this tiny town because it’s allowing her to be closer to her bed-ridden mother and the local paper happened to offer her a job there. The things she considers negative are what other people would consider positive and the other way around really, but you can always move of course, her condition is much harder to deal with. Much as I admire her for this, I did feel she was defined so much by it, it makes it harder to come up with other traits she has character wise.

I had one or two other things I would have perhaps changed a bit as well. The first is that the story was sometimes a bit too repetitive. Tuva drives up the hill so many times and she also turns around so many times from when she’s going to visit her mother that it frustrated me a little. Did I mention I don’t have a lot of patience? I couldn’t help it, I just wanted her to get it over with and visit her mother. The second point I’d like to make concerns an incomprehensible train of thought Tuva had which involves going into the big dark forest all on her own. If there’s a killer out there on the loose, I really don’t know why anyone would think it’s a good idea to walk in the woods alone ‘to confront your fears’. It felt utterly foolish and it was also too soon in the novel to start thinking she could be killed so it didn’t immediately create a lot of tension for me ;-).

That being said, I really enjoyed its wonderful cast of suspects. There are 5 houses on the hill and each resident seems kind of dodgy. There’s a hoarder, a taxi-driver with kid, two woodcarving sisters of creepy trolls, a ghostwriter with a checkered past, and a couple where the husband might have a hidden agenda. Every single one of them presented the possibility of being a ruthless killer. They kept me well entertained and I made two guesses where I soon knew I was on the wrong track, before I finally made the right one nearing the end.

I think Dark Pines is a good debut of the series. I’m definitely curious to see where Tuva Moodyson will take me in the next novel, Red Snow and I look forward to getting to know her much better.

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

New BFF: FromBelgiumWithBookLove

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Happy hump day!

I am so pleased I can introduce you to an amazing fellow blogger from my own country today: Kelly is a super nice girl whose blog is called FromBelgiumWithBookLove ❤ and we definitely share more than a geographical place… we both love Italian food, we both have a cat and love to share pictures of them, we both read thrillers most of all and we dabble in different genres a little bit on the side but we’ll always come back to it, and when we read a novel we don’t really like we both still try to ride it out till the end!

Even if we’re blog friends, I can still be a little jealous of her library, right? Look at this beauty! I just want to sit there myself and read 🙂

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Kelly’s a rising blogger who invests a lot of time and energy in her blog and the interaction with others. I love her blog and wish I could write my reviews like her, she has a great writing style and she makes me want to rush over to Amazon to get the books she reviewed. She deserves lots of lovely friends so pop over to her site and show her some blog love K?

Oh before you do just that, continue reading if you want to get to know Kelly a little better right away!

QandA

Name: Kelly Van Damme

Age: 36 (but only just!)

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Birthday:  17 February

Sharing with:
Basketball superstar Michael Jordan in 1963 (age 56)
Paris Hilton 1981 (age 38)
Singer Ed Sheeran in 1991 (age 28)

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job?

I have a masters degree in Translation Studies (Dutch/English/Spanish) and I work in the international admin department of a large company, so part of my job is admin, part is translating all sorts of documents.

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Do you have any other hobbies?

Uhm… Besides reading??? *scratches head and frowns* Well, most of my free time not spent with the hubby, or family or friends, is spent reading, or blogging, or chatting books on Twitter. I also like exercising on my crosstrainer while watching Netflix or reading (yes it is doable with an e-reader if I put the font large enough!)

Your favourite color? Purple

Do you collect anything (besides books)? 

Not really. I fold little origami cat book marks and I have a whole collection of those, but I don’t think that counts

 

This is a design by Jo Nakashima and you can find his tutorial on YouTube here [NOTE: ok I tried this and I failed big time, I got stuck on the ears, so waw Kelly much respect you get them to look so good! I’ll try again though, I’m not giving up just yet!])

What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it? I think that must Anne Frank’s diary, I got it as a present when I was about 12 years’ old and yes, I’ve read that multiple times

1. Anne Frank

Have you ever regretted a book you purchased? A book that sounded so promising but you wished you’d have spent your money on another book after reading it?

Yes, that happens every once in a while. I’m not naming them though, I’m about book love not hate.

Do you listen to audio books?

Definitely! I’m a big fan of audiobooks! I spend at least one hour a day in the car, and I’m so much more chill if I can listen to an audiobook in the meantime! Boring household chores are also much more fun if I’m listening to a book while doing them.

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Do you have a favorite genre? I love (psychological) thrillers but I like to mix things up a little, with some horror, fantasy or YA.

What is the book highest on your wishlist right now? Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce (The Silent Patient and Two Can Keep A Secret were very high on my wishlist too, but then I bought them… Oops!)

How is your library organized? Mostly by genre. Some authors have their own crate, if I have enough of their books, like J.K. Rowling, Jeffery Deaver, Kelley Armstrong. However I do love rainbow libraries so I organised my chick lit by colour.

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Do you read more ebooks or physical books? I read more ebooks, they’re so easily accessible, they’re cheaper, I can adjust the font, I can read anywhere in any conditions. I do love my paperbacks, and the occasional hardback though!

Do you have a favorite book? Not really, there are many that I’m fond of but my favourite book of 2018 was The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech.

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What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of? Proud is not the word, but I love Sea Witch the most. I read the ebook, and then bought the hardback solely because of its cover. And then I had my mum-in-law made this little purple amigurumi jellyfish to go with it!

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The fairy tale you thought you knew…

The story of the Sea Witch, the villainess from Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale The Little Mermaid, told from the viewpoint of the Sea Witch when she was a twelve-year-old girl…

Evie has been wracked with guilt ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned. So when a girl appears on shore with an uncanny resemblance to Anna, Evie befriends her in an effort to make amends. And as the two girls catch the eyes – and hearts – of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at happy ever after. But is Evie’s new friend really who she says she is? Or will Evie discover, too late, the truth of her bargain? A gripping story of friendship, betrayal and the power of hope…Because ‘though magic can shape life and death… love is the one thing it cannot control

Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …? I have no clue! But counting physical books, ebooks and audiobooks, I must have more than 1000.

What’s the title of the last book you purchased? I don’t know! I bought the March Fairyloot box and it will contain 2 signed books, I’m soooo looking forward to finding out what they are!

Fairyloot

What was your favorite author when you were a child? 

Pinkeltje

I was partial to Pinkeltje, a series about a gnome the size of a pinkie finger.

Tiny

I also loved Tiny, who got up to lots of adventures and mischief with her friends, and

Pietje Puk

Pietje Puk, a series about the adventures of a postie.

When I was a little older I devoured The Babysitters Club books, and then at about ten years’ old I moved on to Goosebumps. At eleven or twelve, I also had this strange fascination with Gone With The Wind, my mum had it and I read that book a billion times! That’s also when I started reading Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Yes, I have a very chequered past Apparently I’ve always read a mix of age-appropriate and age-inappropriate books, and I still do!

From which author do you have most books? I think Kelley Armstrong. I own most of what she’s written and she’s written quite a lot.

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Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times?

I used to reread a lot of books, but I hardly do that now, I have so much (too much) to read as it is. A recent book I first listened to and then read was Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. Another was Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton. I loved those so much I had to see the words too, hearing them was not enough. Two feel-good stories I’ve revisited many a time are The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella and Jemima J by Jane Green. And The Host by Stephenie Meyer is one of my favourite books, I’ve read it at least 4 times. And Gone With The Wind of course I’ve been meaning to read it in English for the first time.

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already?

Same as last year: 175 of which I’ve read 48 at this moment

Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case? I sure can! Many times over, except for the Y, which seems to be a rare first letter in titles! (I should have bought the YOU paperback instead of the eBook )

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I can even spell my name with just one book too, but that feels like cheating

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Euh maybe that would have been just a bit too easy, so thanks for sharing those other wonderful titles that I need to check out! 

Thanks for your answers Kelly, it was wonderful to have you!!

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In case you missed it, here are the 5 last BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about. If you want to read the previous posts, you can find the tab with links on my home page.

Zoë – What’s Better Than Books
Umut – Umut Reviews
Luci – Lunarlucibooks
Chloé – Review by Chloe
Alex – Alexandra Wolfe

I don’t want my BFF club to be complete just yet! There’s still room for plenty more so give me a shout if you want to be featured in June! 

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary #BookReview

TheFlatshare def

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Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

amazon uk amazon com

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I really don’t read these kind of novels often enough, I forgot how much fun they are! The Flatshare is a perfect novel to lift your mood and I couldn’t think of a better timing.

The main characters are Leon, Leon’s brother Richie and Tiffy. Leon is an introvert and might come across a bit awkward at first. At least I had to get a little used to him and his use of stocky sentences but I either got used to it or he changed gradually while I wasn’t aware because that all fell away at some point and I can’t even pinpoint where it happened exactly. As for Tiffy, she’s the opposite really of Leon, extraverted, full of energy, sociable and she has a bit of a special taste in clothes and furniture. Her idea of decorating a place is a lava lamp and a bean bag :-).

Their agreement to live together without ever being in the apartment at the same time was original and I was impressed how well it was organised, it really works and they never meet. How to get them to interact then? Well the author opened up their communication with a single little post-it note. Soon enough I was reading their exchanges like they were sparring in a game of ping-pong and the further along the more they share with each other and the more personal it gets. I loved how they were their true selves in the notes, how they open up to each other. They are attentive and interested, they get to know each other really well and so was I, falling for both characters a little more as I went along. What I really wanted then was for them to finally meet and then preferably to fall deeply in love at first sight. The anticipation of that moment of meeting one another was excruciating! It was bound to happen but how and when? Well I won’t say much about it but the moment was golden! Oh my lord, their moment made me grin from ear to ear.

I felt it was all quite romantic even if the messages didn’t even contain romance, I just quite enjoyed the old-fashioned way of writing to each other and I felt their connection. Leon and Tiffy were also both very likeable characters that I enjoyed reading about. I’m not going to talk about the one person who made my toes curl or the hurdles they also faced in the novel, because overall it’s a feel-good novel that will put a smile on your face.

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

WWW Wednesday (06-03-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

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

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

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What I finished reading:

This sounded like a fun chicklit rom-com type of novel and it totally is. It’s a perfect escape if you’re in the mood for a feel good novel, I really enjoyed this!

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

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What I’m reading now:

I received Dark Pines and the sequel Red Snow from the publisher in January. I really wanted to read the first one while it’s still winter. Call me crazy but I think it adds to the reading experience if it’s cold here too :-). I’m really enjoying it so far.. there is someone who looks very suspicious but I don’t know if there’s another secret to find there or if it’s the killer.

Dark Pines by Will Dean

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I really had to restrain myself not to dive in right away but I’m on the blog tour in May so I told myself to hold off reading The Passengers a little longer. I think I won’t be able to do that much longer really because I’m dying to read this! John Marrs is one of my must-read authors and I loved all of his previous books so that’s a really good omen, right ?

The Passengers by John Marrs

ThePassengers def

 

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

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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 !

Book recommendations: 10 locked-in novels

Locked In

One of my absolute favorite tropes is the one where there’s more than one or two main characters but you have a whole lot of them (the more the merrier like they say) and where there’s really nowhere to go or run to! Lots of times the killer also hides in plain sight and everyone involved is a suspect (lots of suspects yay!). I love secrets and lies and you’re guaranteed to be entertained when reading such a novel.

If you happen to share the same love, here are 10 recommendations. These are a mix of books that I already read and ones that are on my readlist for the future.

  1. Guess Who by Chris McGeorge (reviewed)
  2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (I watched the mini-series on tv)
  3. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena (reviewed)
  4. The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley (reviewed)
  5. Sleep by CL Taylor (reviewed)
  6. Halfway by B.E. Jones
  7. No Exit by Taylor Adams
  8. The Passengers by John Marrs (Pub date April 1, 2019)
  9. The Escape Room by Megan Goldin (out in PB in August 2019)
  10. The Holiday by TM Logan (Pub date June 13, 2019)

PS: There’s also a YA novel by CL Taylor to come (I heard about it via the author’s newsletter but the novel is untitled).

It’s difficult to say which one(s) I liked most because I liked the ending more in this book and the villain more in another, but the one novel that still stands out for me most is Guess Who by Chris McGeorge because it’s literally a locked room they’re in. I think the top 5 are basically just sort of my order of preference 🙂

So over to you! Any of these you read or want to read?

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths #BookReview

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Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

amazon uk amazon com

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The novel starts off with with an excerpt which had me hooked me right away. I was actually ready to read a whole story told by the man on the train and was grumbling when the storyline jumped quite abruptly to Clare but soon enough I was invested in both stories and I didn’t mind switching between them. I enjoyed how Ms. Griffiths wrote this book into a book and not only that but the Victorian tale and the gothic elements also bled right into the other storyline. I liked how she incorporated these elements of the Victorian tale also in a present day setting and the cross-references unified the whole story. It’s only at the end of the novel that the police procedural work really takes over and it lost its gothic feeling a bit but I didn’t mind at all. Even though I really should have known, I obviously didn’t think it through enough – probably too caught up into the story or that’s what I’m telling myself – and missed the clue about who the killer was completely.

I believe this is my first read of a gothic novel and I quite liked the literary elements of the genre. There are some sightings of a ghost but it was all left very mysterious and in uncertainty so she certainly got away with that on my part, there’s the mysterious family history of R.M. Holland, there are abandoned and dark buildings for extra eerie and spooky atmosphere, oh and Clare’s cute little dog also happens to be mentioned in the story The Stranger.

The present story is told by Clare, Clare’s daughter Georgia and DS Harbinder. Three very different and distinctive characters. I enjoyed and sympathised with Clare the most although I also liked how she and Harbinder seemed to connect over time. If it weren’t for Clare’s new love interest I would have thought she was actually interested romantically. I didn’t really understand at first why daughter Georgia was involved as a POV or what she could contribute to the story but I soon realised that she opened up lots of possibilities and suspects with her interest in the supernatural, her ties to a woman known as a white witch and her dodgy classmates.

I don’t know if this is a novel for everyone to enjoy, it is quite special and it wasn’t even easy for me to rate this but the more I think back on it, the more I appreciate it. Overall I found this an interesting and puzzling read and the author definitely showed her love for the gothic genre. The mix of a past and a present gothic story was really well done, and she kept me guessing till the end about the mysterious messages appearing in Clare’s diary.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  in exchange for my honest opinion.