Same book, different cover #16

battle-of-the-books

Happy hump day! I’m here to bring you again 5 new book covers. It’s up to you to pick and choose your favorite one. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK then, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

Sleepless by Romy Hausmann 

Sleepless 02  Sleepless

These are very different and I normally always go for dark covers but – surprise – I’m more attracted to the second one this time. The second cover feels more original, and I also love that it fits perfectly with this author’s first book of Dear Child, which had a white cover as well with a matchstick house in the center.

Space Hopper by Helen Fisher

Spacehopper  Spacehopper 02

So apparently, since the US doesn’t know what a Space Hopper (bouncy ball/skippy ball) is, there’s a different title and a different cover (it actually shows the item whereas the UK version doesn’t, isn’t that funny). Anyway, I’m choosing cover 1. It’s colorful and it makes me expect a fun read.

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

GoodGirl Bad Blood US  GoodGirlBadBlood

There’s not a whole lot of difference between the covers but I still like cover 2 most of all. Maybe it’s the larger font, maybe it’s the blood red that makes it a more vivid cover, I don’t know but I’d reach out for that one first if they were next to each other.

The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

TheShapeOfDarkness 02  TheShapeOfDarkness 01 The Shape of Darkness 01

Cover 1! The second cover has a seventies spy-vibe for me and I’m not fond of it. The third gives me a historical vibe but it can’t compete with the more inviting first cover.

Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal

Circus of Wonders 01  Circus of Wonders 02

I have the paperback with cover 2 and it looks so much prettier than what you see here. It has a golden shine in the letters and is really amazing. I love that it shows the circus and the familiar stripes but that they chose green instead of red (and blue) on the cover, it makes it so much more elegant and beautiful. I didn’t see Nell there at first on the cover but it’s great to discover some little extra detail like this when you look closer.

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So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books – #15

This Is How We Are Human by Louise Beech #BookReview @OrendaBooks

ThisIsHowWeAreHuman def

whats-it-about-2

Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean. Sebastian is autistic. And lonely.

Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be happy … she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he desperately wants.

Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care. Getting through the dark.

When these three lives collide – intertwine in unexpected ways – everything changes. For everyone.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

Don’t mind me I’m only still mopping up my bleeding heart! Louise Beech has a bit of a reputation of making tissues a necessary evil when reading her books and she certainly pulled at my heartstrings with This Is How We Are Human. It’s obvious this is a novel written with heart which effortlessly speared mine!

I ended up loving The Lion Tamer Who Lost and I Am Dust, and this is now my third book by Louise Beech. I knew it was going to be amazing and touching before I even started it and that I might as well get myself a paper copy of this novel. I only buy those (or any book really) from authors I’m absolutely sure will deliver in the end, and I can assure you that she delivered everything I hoped for! So this face is now looking pretty smug about the fact that she owns a physical novel; it’s one I know I want read it again.

This Is How We Are Human, blimey what a perfect title, you can feel the premise of this novel by that title alone. Between its pages lies an amazing story of love and friendship without it being a textbook romance novel. This Is How We Are Human is at times gentle but at other times cutting deep and it took me by surprise how deeply I cared for all three main characters and how touched I was by the whole story.

From the start I was on the fence about Veronica’s plan though to secretly pay someone to sleep with her son Sebastian who has autism and is becoming a little obsessed with sex. There’s an unspoken rule not to talk about such issues normally but Louise Beech is brave and there are no taboos for her. Anyway Sebastian thinks nobody will ever want to sleep with him and it breaks his mother’s heart, hence her last resort resolution. I immediately felt it was morally wrong, the secrecy, the make belief, and I worried so much how it was going to end. A tiny part of me didn’t like her for what she was doing, however much with good intentions. She wanted Sebastian to get the feeling that someone could be interested in him but what if he became too attached to HoneyBee? What if he didn’t want it to ever end? Didn’t she think about the possible consequences? The bubble someone with autism lives in is already small and they don’t let just anybody in so my heart already broke just thinking about what could happen. Sebastian is so endearing, he’s a man and he can give some very poignant comments but at other times he’s disarmingly childlike too and it was stronger than myself but I felt a need to protect him, knowing from the very first pages of this novel that the world will fail him.

It mustn’t have been easy to know how to write about sex, let alone from the viewpoints from someone who hasn’t experienced it and from an escort’s point of view but Louise Beech gave the reader an idea of what was happening without making it too awkward or spinning it out. I usually avoid books that have a lot of sex in them but this book does not include those cursed hot and graphic sex scenes so I was able to enjoy it all. I didn’t even want anything else but to have Sebastian’s dream come true.

If there’s anything I take away from this story it is how we are all flawed, and that we are as prejudiced as the characters even if we say we’re not. I made up assumptions while reading this novel and I was wrong to have them. This novel shoved my nose in it and I can’t do anything other than admit this error, there’s still work to be done. I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

This Is How We Are Human is a beautiful and moving story, an eye-opener of a novel with a unique twist.

I bought a paperback copy of this book from the publisher OrendaBooks via their online webshop (only 6.99 £ for the paperback right now!). This is my honest opinion.

A Chill #Catshelf #Review

Cat Shelf Review

Hey everyone!

I know this IS a surprise but I exceptionally wanted to show you how I spoil my cat ;-). So I bought the CHILL catshelf from Cosy & Dozy when I moved to my new home last year (it was actually one of the first things I bought, before my own bed even I think) and after a year the shelf is finally mounted. My cat has been making it very clear lately she wanted to go on top of the cabinets (usually from my kitchen counter she was looking up but it was too high).

Cosy&Dosy 03  Cosy&Dosy 01Cosy&Dosy 04   Cosy&Dosy 03 02

If you go on their site you can see that you can customize it to your wishes: you can choose the shade of wood (maple – my choice -, walnut or wenge), the colour of the brackets and more than 10 types of cushions. I don’t see mine (PINK of course) between the choices now but let’s hope they bring that back because it’s really a lovely shade of pink, it’s subtle. The cushion is fastened to the shelf with buttons so it can’t slide and the cover is washable, there’s a zipper to easily take it off. They even send the necessary tools to hang this thing. All you need is a man who’s handy (turns out not so easy to find.. available).

Nope I don’t get paid for this, nor do I have any sort of cooperation, I’m just extremely happy with the quality (ok it’s not cheap I admit but worth it), and what’s more Poes (say Puss) is a fan too because it not allows her to lazy on it but also to jump up the bookcase and the kitchen cabinets. My father made a shelf to hang outside of my library and now she can jump – jump – jump onto the top and she loves it.

Cosy&Dosy 05

At least once a day she feels herself on top of the world :-). Only thing is that going down I still need to learn her to go the same way.. she usually jumps from the top to the white shelf down on the foot stool.. which is not how it should go!

I’m thinking of putting a row of books on top maybe too, if anything to keep her from trying to sneak into my library this way, I’ve seen her looking!

        Cosy&Dosy 06   Cosy&Dosy 07

So now my cat corner is all finished. I know it might look a little crowded but I don’t care as long as it keeps her happy. I’m afraid she hasn’t rewarded me yet with more sleep though ;-). In case you’re wondering, it is the only place in the house that I made especially for her. She doesn’t really play with anything but loves jumping on things and in my old place she could jump on the bedroom and living room cabinets… I know she missed it here.

Cosy&Dosy08

So there’s that.. only thing left in the house to do is putting up my metal birds.. but I guess that’s another project for another time…

Birds next project

So dear cat lover, what do you think? Do you have a cat shelf installed in your house and does your cat love to jump on cabinets so much too, or do I have a strange cat? 

Win by Harlan Coben #BookReview @PenguinUKBooks

Win def

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Over twenty years ago, heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family’s estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors, and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now.

On New York’s Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead not only on Patricia’s kidnapping but also on another FBI cold case – with the suitcase and painting both pointing them towards one man.

Windsor Horne Lockwood III – or Win as his few friends call him – doesn’t know how his suitcase and his family’s stolen painting ended up in this dead man’s apartment. But he’s interested – especially when the FBI tell him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism, and that he may still be at large.

The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades. But Win has three things the FBI does not: a personal connection to the case, a large fortune, and his own unique brand of justice …

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

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I’m not one of Harlan Coben’s long-time fans but I really want to become one! This novel is an absolute WINner (yes that couldn’t be helped)!

I haven’t read the 11 books in Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series where Win makes his appearance but that clearly isn’t imperative for enjoying this novel. I do have to say that I am a little curious about Myron himself because he’s talked about on several occasions but he doesn’t make an appearance in this novel. I’m mentioning this to keep the die hard fans from being disappointed ;-). I was happy though that the story really focuses on Win in the first novel of this brand new series.

Win (full name Windsor Horne Lockwood III) is as his name suggests as rich as croesus. He also has class and style and he might come across as a snob because who in the world answers the phone with ‘Articulate’, but aside from that I knew that deep down he is essentially a good guy, someone who will take action for the weak, even if his methods tend to be a bit violent sometimes. He’s charismatic, witty and he has a good dose of self confidence but he gets away with everything for me. Win is an awesome character to come across, he’s very well described and I enjoyed getting to know him throughout the novel.

I would not dare to say much about the complex plot except that it is kept intriguing at all times and I had no idea how the different subplots could end up fitting together. While there is progress on one front continually, other aspects of the story remain delightfully incomprehensible until Win’s tenacity pays off in the end. Over the course of the novel he dives into a story of terrorism in the seventies where a group of youngsters who became known as The Jane Street 6 threw a Molotov cocktail causing the deaths of several, as well as into his own family history and what happened with his cousin when she was 18 and the death of her father on the same night.

I marvel at the way the author used an abduction, an art heist and the murder of a recluse, all over the span of several decades, and made them very logically come together in the end. It’s a very clever and ingenious plot indeed!

I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this but I enjoyed this mystery novel decidedly more than I did the Netflix series The Stranger (I actually found it ok to watch at the time but it is nothing compared to this)! A very promising start to a brand new series! I for one can’t wait to read the next one!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Century. This is as always my honest opinion.

Same book, different cover #15

battle-of-the-books

Happy hump day! I’m here to bring you again 5 new book covers. It’s up to you to pick and choose your favorite one. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK then, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

Lost You by Haylen Beck

Lost You 02  Lost You

I don’t have to think long about this, I think the second novel’s title pops out more and the first one has mostly dull colours on the cover so cover 2.

The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale

TheStrangersWeKnow TheStrangersWeKnow 02

Cover nr 1. I know we’ve seen a lot of covers of buildings with lit windows before but I quite like this one, it makes me wonder who is in the window. The second cover makes me think about someone who isn’t who she says she is but I read the book and it’s definitely not the main character, she is the victim here, it is her husband who she suspects of lying and cheating so I might like it for another book but I don’t find it fitting for this one.

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

The Perfect Wife 01  The Perfect Wife 02

Hmm… I feel the second one has more sci-fi and a cold feel than the first but I like that the first one shows the woman in a mirror image, and in the novel there’s also a duplicate (robot) Abbie. I’m not entirely convinced but my ultimate choice goes to cover 1.

You Are Not Alone by Greet Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone 01  You Are Not Alone 02  You Are Not Alone 03

Definitely the second one! I like that there’s someone behind the first person, and I also like the yellow on the blue font, it gives the novel more of a contrast than the third one, which I also like but not as much as the second cover.

Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Dear Child 02  Dear Child

I’m going for cover 2, I find the grown-up version with the hint of a prison (at least I see bars) much more intriguing.Line

So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books – #14

Also don’t forget to check out the Secret Library Book Blog where Nicki holds a book battle with AUDIObooks (and she held a special Christmas edition in December).

My top 10 favorite books of 2020

My top 10 favorite books of 2020

Every single year it’s such a difficult decision to make! I read so many great books this year and I have at least 20 titles that I want on my list. I finally (after changing titles two more times) made a selection among my 4 and 5 star reads and here are 10 favourite reads:

My top 10 involves: Two romance novels and 8 thrillers OR 7 paperbacks and 3 e-books OR two young adult novels and 8 contemporary adult novels OR 7 proof copies and 3 books I bought myself (What Lies Between Us was in my Capital Crime book club box too so actually 4 books I bought myself then). A bit diverse but overall my favorite genre (thrillers) and format (paperback) takes up the majority again.

If you’re a fan of lists you can also check out my favorite books of the previous years: 2019201820172016

So any thoughts about my list? Are any of the titles I listed in your top 10 as well?

The Spiral by Iain Ryan #BookReview #Netgalley #DNF

TheSpiral def

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Erma Bridges’ life is far from perfect, but entirely ordinary. So when she is shot twice in a targetted attack by a colleague, her quiet existence is shattered in an instant.

With her would-be murderer dead, no one can give Erma the answers she needs to move on from her trauma. Why her? Why now?

So begins Erma’s quest for the truth – and a dangerous, spiralling journey into the heart of darkness.

With all the inventiveness of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and the raw brutality of Mulholland Drive, THE SPIRAL is a unique crime thriller with killer twists – and 2020’s most jaw-dropping ending.

amazon uk amazon com

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1 star

This doesn’t happen to me usually as I’m very careful which books to pick but you simply can never have everything in hand so it was bound to happen sooner or later that I would find myself struggling with a book. Giving up is something I normally don’t do either but I soon knew that this book wasn’t the book for me and if I tell you that half of the book is about a man called Sero The Barbarian roaming a fantasy world (in the form of Erma’s dreams) including orcs, witches, swords and mages, well this is not the kind of world I want to be reading about. I would have skipped these alternating chapters altogether but I couldn’t just ignore them, I felt there might be some important message or truth hidden in there, a metaphore for her current situation perhaps, but whatever it might have been it didn’t take very long to feel a reluctance to read those chapters and with them taking up half of the novel, I didn’t see this ending well for me.

If you’re into fantasy then this might very well be the book for you and if you like cross-over genres all the better but if you like a straight story anchored in the real world then this might be not your cup of tea. I did love The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and yes there was something unrealistic about that novel too but it was entirely different and not at all about a world inhabited by goblins and orcs with bloodshed and killings.

I wish I could also say that the plotline involving Dr. Erma Bridges – a full-time academic at The Centre for Creative Writing and Cultural Understanding – pulled me through but it was clear from the start that she might not be a very reliable character. Accusations at her address for sleeping with students don’t make her a bad person but nonetheless someone with jaded morals and not someone to sympathize with right away. That didn’t change over time for me either. I was interested in the mystery at the base of the novel, the missing research that Erma’s assistant had in her possession and that she’s looking for to finish her book, and a sideplot about some students that are missing which one of Erma’s colleagues is investigating but it was quite a contrast with this fantasy world full of action.

The book Dr. Erma Bridges is writing with the help of a postgrad has the working title Secret Interactions: A History of Reader-Deployed Young Adult Fiction. It involves the Choose Your Own Adventure novels, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, Archibald Moder’s Zone Mover series, spin-offs and extensions these books introduced to YA fiction in the eighties. Just reading the explanation about the title made my head spin. I don’t know about you but this all went over my head, I have not read a fantasy gamebook so I wasn’t even familiar with the concept. After some googling I know a whole lot more on the subject now so I do like that this book brought something new (well something that is clearly not entirely new but is not well-known) back.

I’m afraid I can’t say I know how this book ended. I read till the 50% mark and I’m not any further in knowing what happened, nor do I care very much about what happened to Erma or if Sero finds an answer to his quest. The novel wanted to be too much at once, original and quirky, fantasy and a thriller.. but it all but left me confused as to what was going on. The fantasy overshadowed the other side of the novel for me, maybe because I’m not used to it but it is what it is. If you feel yourself challenged, give it a go and find out if it’s the one for you!

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher Zaffre Books via Netgalley. This is still my honest opinion.

15 Christmas gift ideas for book lovers – edition 2020-2021

Christmas gift ideas for book lovers

Here we are again.. can you believe it’s almost the end of the year? If you don’t know what to get your loved ones this year, fear not, I have you covered and I have (more than) a few ideas that I’m very happy to share with you today:

1. Socks Dedoles

Christmas Dedoles Socks Books     Christmas Dedoles Socks library 01

I ordered from this site already so it’s a definitely legit company and they have many cute designs. If you search for key words library and books, you’ll find these! 

2. Hot Chocolate Design

If you can spend more money, then these shoes look pretty amazing. With a big thank you to Karin Slaughter for this great tip! 

Voodoo Women’s Mary Jane Flats or Crime Women’s Slip-On Shoes

Chocolaticas Voodoo Women's Mary Jane Flat   Chocolaticas Crime Women's Slip-On Shoes   

3. Rooby Lane

Voile Book Covers Scarf or an Antique Book Covers Blanket ooorrr a cool Cushion Cover?

RoobyLane 01 RoobyLane 02  RoobyLane 03

4. Harkel Clothing

How about some colour in your wardrobe? You can always put this dress on your list : Treat Your Shelf Dress

Harkel dress

5. Kabouter Boeken (gnome books!)

This site is in Dutch but you can always ask my help if you need it. I just wanted to show these adorable books that have lights in them. They are hollow on the inside (the crafter finds books in garage sales and such) and they have a little light switch. On the inside are 2 AAA batteries and you can store your treasures there. 

Kabouter Boeken

6. Blackwell’s

Face Mask – Curl Up with a Book (small adult) (also comes in large adult) or a Bibliophile Vase: The Writer’s Companion – Bibliophile

Blackwells 01                  Blackwells 02

7. The Book Lounge Online Store

Bookminders – Cat & Mouse or Bookends – The Library or also not expensive are the Book Fans

A little secret, one of my personal favorites are the Cat & Mouse bookminders, isn’t it cute?

BookLoungeSquare 01        TheBookLounge 02           BookLoungeSquare 03

8. Books By The Foot

Maybe not for everyone but if you like surprises, or your partner really doesn’t know which book to get you, why not?

With pricing starting at $4.99 per linear foot and over 30 standard styles, we provide you with shelf-ready books that will display attractively

Candy Cane or Rainbow Ombre

BooksByTheFoot 01     BooksByTheFoot 02

9. IF Bookaroo Glasses Hanger

Also in pink! 

Bookaroo

10. Redbubble.com Shop GrandeDuc

Literary Giants Pattern Throw Blanket

Signatures and autographs from Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, Christie, Orwell, Shelley, Poe, Woolf, Twain, Brontë, Hemingway, Alcott, du Maurier, Conan Doyle, Stein, Blyton, Lewis, Steinbeck.

GrandDuc 01  

Pride and Prejudice Throw Blanket

GrandDuc 02

11. Amazon: Not On The High Street

Personalised Initial Leather Heart Page Corner Bookmark
by HURLEYBURLEY

NotOnTheHighStreet 01

This innovative leather bookmark slots over the corner of the page that you wish to mark.
Crafted from Italian leather and personalised with the recipients initial it will delight all ages.
Available in a variety of gorgeous coloured leathers this makes the perfect personalised gift.

12. Amazon: The Cypher Files

An interactive puzzle book? Yes please!

The Cypher Files

You are an agent of CY.P.H.E.R., the secret international agency working on ‘unsolvable’ code-based cases. Called upon to investigate cryptic clues discovered in the wake of a series of mysterious disappearances, the clock is ticking to crack the codes before it’s too late.

To escape this book, you must write, draw, search, fold and cut pages, explore virtual escape rooms and think laterally to identify the perpetrator and solve the mystery.

13. Amazon: 365 Days of True Crime Page-A-Day Calendar 2021

A Year of True Crime

For anyone who binge-watched Making a Murderer. Including the weirder-than-fiction murder of Tim McLean, who was cannibalized on a bus by a total stranger. Plus Netflix and Chill(ing) Documentaries; inspiring Survivor Stories, Trials of the Century, True Crime Quizzes, and great crimes of yesteryear. 

14. Capital Crime Book Club

I joined this book club myself recently and I can’t recommend it enough. If you love reading thrillers then you won’t be disappointed because there are two amazing titles coming your way every month. We already had Mark Edwards, and John Marrs to name just two, so definitely only top of the shelf authors in the boxes! 

Bookclub

15. Rachel Amphlett (author) merchandise 

Saving one of the best for last because seriously, I love this mug, it is so cool! Unfortunately Belgium is not on the list of countries (and if it were it would probably cost more than the mug itself for shipping) but if you’re in the UK or the US, you’re all lucky. This would make a perfect gift don’t you think? 

Mug Shipping

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I hope you found some of my ideas inspirational. Do let me know which one you prefer if you like what you see! 

If you want more inspiration you can also check out my past gift ideas in the years 2017, 2018 and 2019.

New BFF: Aleks and the Books

BFF

Happy hump day! Can you believe we’re the middle of the week – again?!

Today on The Belgian Reviewer I want to introduce you to sweet, friendly and smart Aleksandra who blogs at Aleks and the Books. She’s Polish-born but settled in Britain where she resides in Cardiff. She’s a very diverse blogger and reads several genres but to start off I can already say that she also likes to read The Classics and she has compiled a list of 50 novels that she wants to read so if you want to join The Classics Club, you need to check it out (the deadline is far, far FAR away you’ll see!). She’s only started with her blog so do show her some blog love, and you can always follow her on Goodreads too. Now let’s get to know her a little better, shall we?

QandA

Name: Aleksandra

Wikipedia: Etymologically, the name is a compound of the Greek alexein; meaning ‘to defend’ and andros; meaning ‘man’. Thus it may be roughly translated as “defender of man” or “protector of man”. The name was one of the epithets given to the Greek goddess Hera and as such is usually taken to mean “one who comes to save warriors”

Age:

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Birthday:  20th January

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job?
I am currently studying English Language and German, and I’m in my 3rd year now going on Erasmus exchange to study psychology and sociology in Berlin! And hopefully in the future I will be able to do my Master’s as well.

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Do you have any other hobbies?
I love running! I have run 2 half-marathons (one in the UK, one in my hometown in Poland), and a couple of 5k and 10k races. I am not a professional runner or anything like that (I am quite terrible at running tbf), I just like to be physically active, challenge myself and have fun with other people! And I also love shiny medals.

I also love nature and everything that’s connected with it. I love going out with my camera and taking pictures of the landscapes, I love hiking in the mountains (my biggest dream now is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro), I love travelling and exploring new places, and I love animals! The first photo is from one of my recent hikes in Tatra Mountains, and the photo of the waterfall is Henhryd Falls in Wales.

Photo 04   Photo 05

Do you have any pets? 
I personally don’t have a pet, but my family has a cat called Masha (it’s short for Maria in Russian). She’s British Shorthair, she’s very fluffy and cuddly, and she loves relaxing next to books.

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Your favourite color? 
Definitely pink! But I do like pastel colours as well such as lilac, mint, pastel blue and pastel yellow.

Do you collect anything (besides books)?
I have a small collection of all the medals I earned for my races. If I’m correct, I should have seven of them, and two new ones will join our family very soon!

Photo 07

I also collect pin badges from the places I’ve been to! It’s not a big collection as I got this idea about collecting them not so long ago, but it’s such a small and nice thing to get while on holidays, and I always feel like a proper traveller when I can showcase them on my traveller’s backpack!

What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it?
I think Harry Potter series are my first books I have till this day. Soon after, I bought a complete trilogy of The Lord of the Rings which is also chilling on my bookshelf at home! I think I was around 12 or 13. I got rid of most of my books from childhood (I know I know, very silly of me), but as a kid I didn’t buy many books anyway, I preferred to borrow everything from the library.

Foto 2       Foto 1

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?
Oh yes… Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! I remember I got it in English when I was once visiting my family in London and I spent a fortune on that. I DIDN’T hate it, but I was so totally disappointed after finishing that I thought it was the biggest waste of money ever.

Do you listen to audio books? 
To be totally honest, I don’t like audiobooks. I’m a very visual person and I have to have raw text in front of me to fully understand the book! I even have to watch films and shows with subtitles on, I just like looking at the text I guess!

Do you have a favorite genre?
I think currently it’s historical fiction, but I also like contemporary fiction, classics and nonfiction. I like topics of identity, culture and social issues, so I don’t mind a good thriller, as long as it explores these things in even small details!

Do you read more ebooks or physical books?
I love my Kindle and it travels with me everywhere. I like how small and convenient it is to have even the biggest books in a tiny device, and it’s very useful when you don’t have to drag It by Stephen King with you on a train! I have a lot of physical books, but recently I’ve been using my Kindle much much more.

Do you have a favorite book? 
If I could only name one… My favourite book of all time is The Little Prince. It’s a universal and beautiful story and it played a really important role in my life. My second favourite book is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I absolutely love it, I think it’s beautifully written and it’s very thought-provoking. And the third favourite book is just recently finished The Midnight Library. There are a couple of other books that are my all-time favs, but I think these three mean a lot to me and have a special place in my heart.

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What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of? 
This edition of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. For some reason I really like it, and it’s not this basic cover of a woman in a red hood that you can usually see on The Handmaid’s Tale editions! And behind it, you can see Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go which has red pages, how cool is that?

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What is the book highest on your wishlist right now?
All the Light We Cannot See. I still can’t believe I haven’t read that.

How is your library organized? 

This is my shelf from my room back at home. I still haven’t read a lot of the books so most of them are unopened and fresh editions, some of them are my young adult books that I haven’t touched since I was 14, and there are quite a few poetry books as well! Most of them are in Polish, some of them are in English, there should be a couple of books in German and one edition of Harry Potter in Russian. I really wish I could show you my shelf with my books at uni, but unfortunately they are all hidden in boxes now, waiting for me to come back from my Erasmus exchange.

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Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …?
If I think about all the books I own in all the places I’ve left my books, and also including books on my Kindle, that should be definitely more than 100! I know that only in my room I have around 40 books I still haven’t read…

What’s the title of the last book you purchased? 
I bought my last books at the airport in August, and they were The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. I have already finished The Midnight Library, and the another one is on my to-read list!

Reni Eddo-Lodge is a London-based, award-winning journalist. She has written for the New York Times, the Voice, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Stylist, the Pool, Dazed and Confused and the New Humanist. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race is her first book. It was chosen as Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year and Blackwell’s Non-Fiction Book of the Year, longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Non-Fiction.

From which author do you have most books? 
Naturally J. K. Rowling – all 7 books of Harry Potter in Polish editions, 3 books in English (and one of them is an American edition), The Tales of Beedle the Bard, The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch through the Ages and The Casual Vacancy. Jane Austen is next and her books are in my favourite, flowery and very girly editions – and that’s Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey!

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How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already? 
My challenge for this year is 32 books and I’ve already finished 27 of them. I used to read much more, but since I started uni, I haven’t had much time to do well in my adult life and still read 50 books a year. But I think I’m going to change my challenge soon and add a bit more since I’m doing pretty well this year.

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Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case? 

I did my best to find those books I actually made it! There was a problem with K, but if you’ll accept a title in Polish then it should all be fine The books are:

A – Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi
L – Lion by Saroo Brierley
E – Emma by Jane Austen
K – Krew elfów (Blood of Elves in English) by Andrzej Sapkowski
S – Serena by Ron Rash

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

Kelly – FromBelgiumWithBookLove
Deborah – The Reading Chick
Jonetta – The Blue Mood Cafe
Zoé – Zooloo’s Book Diary
Annelies – In Another Era

I would really really love more friends in my BFF club so give me a shout if you want to be featured! I’m especially thinking of all newbie bloggers here who we don’t know very well yet!

The Capital Crime Book Club #booksubscription #unboxing @CapitalCrime1

Capital Crime Book Club

Last year I went to the 2-day Capital Crime festival in London, which was absolutely amazing to be a part of, but unfortunately due to the COVID19-virus the 2020 event had to be postponed until next year. That doesn’t mean I can’t get excited this year though because they launched their very own Book Subscription Box this month and I have the first box!

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The Capital Crime Book Club is an affordable monthy book subscription service where subscribers receive:

  • Two carefully curated paperbacks from the crime and thriller genre.
  • Access to exclusive online author interviews with the opportunity to submit questions in advance.
  • The first to hear about the latest news and competitions in the crime and thriller community.
  • Access to the back catalog of festival content and interviews which grows every month.

Do you want to see what I received?

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I have tested a few book subscription boxes in the past but The Capital Crime Book Club is the perfect match for me!

I loved the books in this box and I’m not the kind of reader who needs much more swag than books. I really do like the pen and the (signed) postcard and that is the perfect book swag for me and they’re items I’m definitely going to use to bookmark my page and to write my reviews! The pen even has a little light in it by the way, you can even write in the dark haha.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is a wonderful hardback edition (wow!) with beautiful endpapers and a lovely silver wolf hiding behind the dust jacket, and… saving the best part for last… it was signed! Totally unexpected but quite a bonus.

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What’s it about?

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late

The House Guest by Mark Edwards was a novel I really really wanted because I loved the author’s previous novel so much (and also because he was such a nice and kind author to me at the Capital Crime event last year) so no you’re not seeing double (well you are but… you know what I mean), I had bought the book already.

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What’s it about?

A perfect summer. A perfect stranger. A perfect nightmare.

When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.

So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.

They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite them into your home—but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.

As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…

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The books in this box are definitely the genre of books I like to read. Yes I had one novel already but I know it’s a real exception because I don’t buy new books very often.

The very best thing about this box is that it is finally a book box that not only ships internationally but also comes at TRULY affordable subscription prices.

You have the options to subscribe for 3, 6 or 12 months at 14,99 £/month, 12,99 £/month or 10,00 £/month if you sign up for 12 months. I received the launch box free for review but I honestly have not found any book box that looks better so I signed up for 6-months right away and I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I see myself signing up for a whole year after that even.

If you need another little nudge… the October box looks amazing too! I read What Lies Between Us digitally but I’m very happy to add the paperback to my library because I’m a big fan of the author (and there’s a big chance you’ll see this book in my top 10 favourite list of the year)! I can’t wait to read Remember Me either, it has received top reviews.

Some might say that there’s no surprise in what you’re getting but I rather have the organizer share the books than seeing a million unboxings from other bloggers before having the chance to open the box myself and get that surprise. No I’d rather have it this way then.

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So there you go. Would you be happy with the September/October box? Which one do you prefer? 

If you love both boxes (like me) then I wouldn’t hesitate any longer and join the book club (they have the coolest members ;-)). You can find out all about the scheme and sign up at the Capital Crime Website here.