Same book, different cover #20

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:

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Paris Apartment 02 TheParisApartment

I choose cover 2 because I really like how she added the Eiffel tower on the cover. I’ve seen enough buildings and windows but the second one is the one you can even recognize from a distance.

Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough

Insomnia 01  Insomnia 02

This is a difficult choice to make. The second one is the creepiest but I’m always hesitant about creepy books so in the end I choose cover 1. This one also fits best with the black and orange cover of Behind Her Eyes that I already have.

Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior

Ellie and the Harpmaker  Ellie and the Harpmaker 02

I choose cover 1 but I’m not sure I can explain why I’m choosing the first one over the second. It just gives me a warmer vibe?

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The Chain 02 The Chain 03 The Chain 01

I’m certain of my choice, I love the second cover! I want black to be the dominant colour. It’s the hardback version, whereas the third one is the paperback copy. Also, have you seen the cover of his next novel The Island? It’s also a black cover with red letters and white shadows so I love that he chose the same style for his next book.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

HomeBeforeDark 02  HomeBeforeDark

In anticipation of his new novel, here’s one of his most memorable books. The cover that scares me the most is the second one, that luminous green feels very ghostly, so cover 2!

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So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books – #19

Same book, different cover #19

battle-of-the-books

Happy hump day! I’m here to bring you again 5 new book covers (ok I was so fired up I even added an extra one so you get 6 book choices this time). It’s up to you to pick and choose your favorite cover. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK then, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

TheHatingGame 02 TheHatingGame

I choose cover 1. It’s still on the fun side with the female character turning her back on him but looking over her shoulder, so there’s the title but at the same time you see some possible flirting too, which captures what this book will be about really well. The other cover has more of a negative feel to it.

He Started It by Samantha Downing

HeStartedIt 02  HeStartedIt 01

The first cover feels like a movie cover so it’s obvious I go for cover 2. I’m normally not a fan of faces on covers but they picked the right person for this one. Her stare keeps my eyes on it.

What Might Have Been by Holly Miller

WhatMightHaveBeen 01  WhatMightHaveBeen 02

The most difficult one! I think I’d ultimately go for cover 1 because it’s so nice to look at but I do love the contrast in the second cover which gives a glimpse of the two different lives she’ll lead in the book.

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox

True Crime Story 01  True Crime Story 02

Ah cover 1 of course. The pink is the most obvious reason but I also like that there’s a photo of a person on the cover, it gives it a more realistic touch to it.

You’ll Be The Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

YoullBeTheDeathOfMe 01YoullBeTheDeathOfMe 02

This one’s very easy. Cover 1 looks so much better. I love that many of her books have the same lay-out too. The second cover doesn’t really do anything for me.

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So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out the previous book battle #18

Murder Mystery Party Case Files: Underwood Cellars #murdermysterygame

Mystery 01

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For all the super sleuths out there, the new Murder Mystery Party Case Files has arrived and there is a murder to be solved!  Perfect for individuals or as a great dinner party game, the Cary Underwood cold case has been reopened and it is down to the team to solve the murder. With over 50 pieces of evidence, and hints and conclusions online, the case will take a true detective’s mind.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

star three and a half

I chose the Underwood Cellars mystery because it had a 4.5 star rating (on 1.042 reviews) and it came at a fair price too of only 14.95 £ (+4.18 £ for international shipping). The box that arrived is a sturdy one and I loved the design, it’s not just any box but it looks like an actual file folder.

Mystery 02  Mystery 03

What’s more, when I opened it I found over 50 pieces of evidence in two different folders:

Mystery 04

There were polaroids of the suspects and several other normal photos, newspaper articles, witness statements, written letters, the detective’s notebook, even the timeline… I loved how much the dossier included and the variety of documents.

Mystery 05

So I started to read everything. The goal was to list the suspects and add 1) motive, 2) means, and 3) opportunity. If I had all three then I would find the killer. And so I read about this Napa Valley wine maker, his brother, his business partner, his secretary, his wife, his foreman and one of his friends. One of them had taken his life and tried to cover it up.

To be honest, I had only read the Missing Person File and I already had my eyes set on one of the suspects. So when I read the Murder Investigation File I tried to keep this in mind and see if there were other things that fit and they did. Overall I didn’t find it so difficult to find the identity of the killer, and of the 6 possibilities 3 people fell off my list quite soon already. When you only hear once from them in a witness statement and the others don’t speak of them either, how are they supposed to be real suspects then?

I did find the motive was kept very simple and I did miss some extra drama and intrigue between the different characters, like mistresses who had affairs with different men and then tension and jealousy between them… I didn’t feel much ’emotion’ coming off any of the characters and it’s all quite straight-lined, there are no complications. I know, I read too many stories, right?

All in all I enjoyed this but I missed some extra game play, you’re done when you’ve read everything (I did take notes too so that I saw the important points in the statements) and you decide on a name. All you have to do then is check the solution on a private site (and there are a few clues too to get there if you need them), where they confirmed my suspicion, my suspect was in fact GUILTY. They also list all the clues (5 or 6) for you to have come to that conclusion.

Same book, different cover #18

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 cover. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK then, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

The Last House on Needless Street 01  The Last House on Needless Street 02

Difficult choice to make. The second cover gives me creepy vibes all right but maybe a bit too much? I think I’ll still go for cover 1, the one I’m accustomed with and I’d recognize even without the title.

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

His & Hers  His&Hers

I’m very sure about my choice, it’s cover 2. I don’t like it when an author’s name is the same size as the title. The second His & Hers has a very attractive cover, I love the contrast and I really like that I could visualise the friendship bracelets they speak of in the novel like this. I always enjoy it when there’s a link between the story and the cover.

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Nothing Man 02  The Nothing Man 01

The second cover is very clever, it is the cover of the book within the book and then where the author’s name is (Eve Black is the fictional character who wrote The Nothing Man) the cover is torn and you see that Catherine Ryan Howard actually wrote both books with the same title. I like the idea, very much. And yet, I’m still drawn to cover 1 more.

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated 01  Educated 02

Both covers appeal for different reasons. The second one immediately gives me the message that this is a real story about real people, it’s not a fiction novel. But it doesn’t reflect how much pain is captured within those pages, she looks too happy and I’m not even sure when she was happy. This is a hard book to read. So I like cover 1 more, you see the pencil, the mountain where Tara lived and even the ups and downs of her life if you think on it some more.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

TheHawthorneLegacy 02  TheHawthorneLegacy  

It’s a draw for me so I’d really love to hear which one you enjoy more. The first one is very obvious a young adult novel for me. I also like that the other two covers in the series really match with green and red covers. But the second one gives an idea of the grandeur of the house and it shows directly that 5 characters will be important in the story. So there’s something to say for both really and I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

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So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books – #17

The Curious Correspondence Club: Chapter 1: The Custodian Keys #Review #mysterygame

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What is the Curious Correspondence Club exactly?

The Curious Correspondence Club is a Canadian company that delivers immersive analogue puzzle experiences right at your door. It’s the same as an escape room with the benefit that you don’t have even have to step outside. Each envelope contains a chapter with paper-based cryptic puzzles and it’s described as a unique deductive experience.

You can sign up for monthly installments ($19.95USD), a yearly subscription but also for Single Chapters, which was I did! A single purchase costs $21.95USD. I can’t remember how I heard about them but when I browsed to their site I knew I wanted to try this, especially because it’s so fairly priced.

Chapter 1: The Custodian Keys

A curious discovery grants an audience with the enigmatic custodian of the M.B. Franklin Museum of Natural History. To meet his challenge and prove your worth, you’ll need to uncover the Museum’s best kept secret.

A secret within a museum? I love secrets and I hadn’t been in a museum for so long!

This is what I received (I hid my address and phone number although chocolate was also consumed while playing):

FRONT:

CuriousC 01

AND BACK (I already felt part of a secret society :-)):

CuriousC 02

I was surprised how much I found in the envelope, and several items had clues on both sides too:

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I won’t show you any close-ups of the individual items because it would spoil the fun to discover everything yourself should you decide to order Chapter 1.

CuriousC03

I can tell you that there are 6 puzzles you need to solve that are linked to 6 keys which together in some way unlock the secret of the museum. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know where to start. I experienced this when I solved Crimibox, when I had to read so many papers and I was still unsure where to start the investigation. Here though there’s enough guidance to set you off to a good start and there’s not too much text to read so I could dive in with the first puzzle right away.

The museum has different exhibits with corresponding puzzles and I would name them: Dinosaurs, Egypt, Pirates, Mayas, Knights and Greek. I found out how 5 out of 6 puzzles had to be solved without a problem, I only had to search a little longer on the Dinosaurs and that’s where I used an online hint (there are two separate clues for each exhibit and then the solution so you’ll always get there). Once I knew how to proceed (a puzzle-solving technique I hadn’t used yet) I did feel a little silly so I can say that the puzzles are all very doable. They were not too easy and thankfully not too hard either, if you want to go at it alone.

CuriousC 07

I had more problems with the keys and how to unlock the secret of the museum with them. I used them the wrong way it seemed but I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. When I look back to when I opened the package I see that the makers did give enough hints. I was curious if I was the only one who struggled with the locks so I went looking for other players and I found a full playthrough on youtube of Cache The Line, he certainly struggled with it as well.

CuriousC 06

But in the end I found what I was looking for and in finding this number I unlocked the secret exhibit! I went to the webpage with the hints, clicked in the appropriate place at the bottom and filled in the number and the keys that led me there and now I’m a Custodian too!

CuriousC 08

Would I recommend it?

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YES, I certainly recommend it! I love this type of puzzle-solving. The game-play is professional and high quality. I spent a few hours playing it so an afternoon off or an evening should do it. Even when it took some time to figure out the puzzles, I could always proceed and it gave me a good feeling. There are always hints and a full walkthrough via the link on their website too so you don’t have to worry too much. Unfortunately, Belgian customs held the envelope back because it came out of the EU (yeah thanks a lot for that!) and I was invited to pay as much duty charges as the actual package cost so I won’t be able to continue to chapter 2. I’m actually feeling a little sad about that. If that wasn’t the case I’d certainly order the next chapter! They normally never have any problems with custom duties but that’s Belgium for you.

Have you played one of the Curious Correspondence Club chapters, or from another provider of this type of game-play? Anyone interested to try it out too? I’d love to hear it!  

The Sherlock Holmes Escape Book by Ormond Sacker #Review

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You are Sherlock Holmes… at home at 221b Baker Street, when a mysterious letter is posted through your door. What is the meaning of the message cut from newsprint? Is there a clue hidden in the letters? Could there be more to discover in the fog-bound alleys of London town? This ingenious new series is a spin on the current urban craze for Escape Rooms, in which participants are locked in rooms and must solve the puzzles they find there to make good their escape. Here, the book becomes the locked room, the pages become the path, and the reader can take on a challenge every bit as brain-teasing from the comfort of their own home. Visual clues are hidden among the intriguing illustrations; fiendish riddles, logic puzzles and timed challenges unlock hidden doors and reveal the direction of travel; and mathematical problems provide the codes required to follow the correct path. There are maps and mazes to explore; references to the original Sherlock Holmes adventures to unravel; and a code-wheel that holds the key to unlocking the next page. Solve the puzzles correctly to escape. Get them wrong and you will find yourself further and further along the path to your own demise.

amazon uk amazon com

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I bought The Sherlock Holmes Escape Book last year because I’m an amateur sleuth at heart (don’t tell me this is news to you). I’m a newbie at this type of puzzle-solving so I didn’t want it getting too complicated and I read a few reviews before I decided to pick this one as my safe bet.

What I loved

This Escape Book has 128 pages of puzzles so I had more than one afternoon of fun with it and for a small price (prices vary a lot for this one but currently it’s 6,72 £). I loved that it was about the characters of Sherlock and Watson too. I don’t know all the books about them and it’s useful at some point but I Googled them when I needed it so it’s not really necessary.

SH 01

Here’s how it starts: you have text to read and then – often after solving a puzzle on that page – you can turn to another page in the book (so going from 1 to 104 right away) so that you go back and forth constantly.

SherlockHolmes 02

Here’s another of the puzzles, where there are three possible pages to turn to:

SherlockHolmes 04    SH03

What I didn’t love

The puzzles were not always easy or fun to do. Some involved a lot of thinking! There was one that involved maths (the one with the gauges where you have to substract and add numbers to reach a goal) and that’s really not my thing but then there were others where you have to spot items for example and at least you don’t have to have any special skills, just be observant. I did like the variety, where you fail one you can always have more luck with another puzzle, and I was happy that the solutions were simply listed in the back of the novel. I did have to turn to them regularly though, whether to check if I was correct or to know the solution.

What I was most disappointed in was that even though I followed the novel, I ended up with a final entry way too soon. I think I missed half of the book’s puzzles and I have no clue how this could happen. Was it my fault? I tried to go back to see if I made a mistake but I think it’s easier to start from the beginning to follow the trail. I didn’t have the courage to do so now though, maybe I’ll try again later. I’m more into different kinds of puzzles to be honest.

I only recommend it if you’re more into such brain training. I did see on Amazon that there are still plenty of people who do love this kind of challenge.

One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner (Frankie Elkin #2) #BookReview #BlogTour @centurybooksuk

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I’m delighted to share my thoughts on the latest book by Lisa Gardner ‘One Step Too Far‘ featuring missing person tracker Frankie Elkin. My thanks to the publisher Penguin Random House’s imprint Century for the invite for the blog tour and the digital ecopy via Netgalley. A heads up already, you won’t fail noticing that I’m quite enthusiastic about this novel 😉

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A young man disappears during a stag weekend in the woods. Years later, he’s still missing.

But his friends who were with him that day are still searching for him. Still hunting for answers.

They hike deep into the wilderness.

With them is missing person specialist Frankie Elkin.

What they don’t know is that they are putting their own lives in terrifying danger, and may not come back alive . . .

Purchase

amazon uk amazon com

Author

Lisa Gardner started her writing career aged seventeen. Having caught her hair on fire while working in food service, crafting a novel seemed a safer bet. A mere ten years later she became an overnight success with the publication of her first thriller, The Perfect Husband.

Now an internationally bestselling author and winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for best suspense novel, Lisa lives in the mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

When not glued to her computer, she can be found hiking the mountains with her dogs and/or researching new and interesting ways to get away with murder.

Follow Lisa Gardner on Twitter @LisaGardnerBks ; or visit her website: https://www.lisagardner.com/

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One Step Too Far is such an amazing novel! To say that I loved it is an understatement, it’s phe-nom-in-al! I was already itching to share the book love only 10 minutes after I finished reading it, so I’m excited it’s finally review day.

This is the second novel in a series about Frankie Elkin, a woman – not a detective, not a professional – who tries to find missing persons. A new location and new characters in every novel in the series, it’s a wonderful idea because you can read them as standalones but the characters of the first book in the series (bar owner Stoney, his terrorizing cat (still love him) and the special detective) were so great that I wished she’d stayed in town. That was before I read this novel. By the end of it, I had exactly the same feelings all over again, so many of the characters captured my heart, not to mention the dog, a lab called Daisy who’s a cadaver dog but can also find people alive.

Frankie is on her way to investigate the disappearance of an 8 year old but decides to make a little detour and join a search party for Timothy O’Day who went missing 5 years earlier. The party consists of 8 people (and a dog): a grieving father, a hiking guide, three college friends and three semi-professional searchers. They set out to an area in the massive Popo Agie Wilderness Area that consists of woods, mountains, streams, lakes, gullies, cliff faces, wild animals, you name it. Frankie is the one most out of her comfort zone but this city girl is determined, focused and absolutely amazing at what she does. When night falls on day 1 someone sabotages the group but who? I was hyperalert all through the novel but I honestly couldn’t say and after a while they all wormed their way into my heart.

I’d love to go over everything they went through up on that mountain but that would mean we’d need another hour. Suffice to say that there is lots of blood and wounds involved and yeah people will also get murdered. It’s like a version of The Hunger Games but better, so much better. The plot was so clever. I also had not a single idea how this was going to end.

I really enjoyed the first novel Before She Disappeared but in all honesty One Step Too Far is even better. If this doesn’t make it on my top 10 end of year list I don’t know what does! This character driven novel has wrung me out emotionally too. I nearly cried once, then smiled when it all came to a close, and in the very last pages I was emotional all over again. I think it’s easier to say it’s hormones then to explain to non-readers.

It can’t get any better than this if you ask me, but I can’t wait to follow Frankie again in the next novel and see what trouble finds her there!

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

One Step Too Far Blog Tour Poster

My top 10 favorite books of 2021

My top 10 favorite books of 2021

Happy New Year to you! I wish you love, health, success, and general happiness! Oh and lots of great books in the future of course! There are new books being published this year by Ruth Ware, Megan Goldin, Sarah Pinborough, Fiona Cummins, Jennifer Hillier, Alice Feeney, and many others, and I want to read all of them!

But all in good time. For now, you’ll have to make do with my most favourite novels of last year. As always it was a difficult choice and there are at least two, three other titles that deserve to be on this list. I admit I changed the list at the last minute again too, because I still found the last novel I read this year deserved to be on the list too. So here are my ten favorites of 2021:

If you want to know which one gets the golden buzzer from me I’d have to say it’s No Exit. This was a new author for me and I was blown away. I’d love to reread all of my favorites at one point but this is definitely highest on my list. If you want to feel an adrenaline rush created by book, you need to read No Exit. Highly recommended!

So see anything you like that you haven’t read yet? Any title(s) we share? What’s on your list? Do let me know, I looove putting more books on my readlist 🙂 

Same book, different cover #17

battle-of-the-books

Happy hump day! I’m here to bring you again 5 new book covers (ok I was so fired up I even added an extra one so you get 6 book choices this time). It’s up to you to pick and choose your favorite cover. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK then, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

Bone China by Laura Purcell

Bone China 03   Bone China  Bone China 02

I choose cover 2. It has that historical and gothic feel to it which is missing in the third cover, and the first one feels a little too bare and colorless to me, it’s like it was the first draft and the second one is the one where they added all the color and extras and is actually the finished cover.

No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit 02  NoExit

I choose cover 2. I actually read the first one but it’s the great reviews that convinced me because I wouldn’t have picked it up based on this cover, it feels too ghostly and if anything, I try to stay away from ghosts. If you feel the same, I can reassure you, it’s a real handprint left on a window and you’ll find out soon enough there’s nothing ghostly about this book.

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

ThenSheVanishes  Then She Vanishes 02

I pick cover 1. The second isn’t too bad either but the purple doesn’t feel as ominous as it should for me. Also I find it more chilling with the promise of someone vanishing in plain daylight than at night.

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

The Cheerleaders 01  The Cheerleaders 02

I definitely choose cover 2. I do like the tagline of the first one but I’m not a fan of the image. It gives me such an all American feeling and despite the title it feels too cosy and cheerful. The second cover with those little smudges of blood is more ominous and mysterious.

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

EightPerfectHours  EightPerfectHours02

I guess this one depends on how much you love winter and novels set in winter time. I don’t love winter at all so I definitely pick cover 1. Sorry!

House of Correction by Nicci French

House of Correction 01  House of Correction 03  House of Correction 04  House of Correction

Hmm well I’m spoilt for choice this time but I’m going for cover 2. I actually have nr 4 which looks nice as well and certainly stands out in my library with the vivid blue color but cover 2 reflects that feeling of confinement so well that I’m eager to find out more. The third cover makes me expect a story set somewhere in the seventies or eighties for some reason so I wouldn’t really pick this one either.

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So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books – #16

Christmas gift ideas for book lovers – edition 2021-2022

Christmas gift ideas for book lovers

Hohoho it’s time for Chris Rea and 10 new Christmas gift ideas. There are a few Etsy stores but also other online stores and prices range so I hope you’ll find something that interests you!

IDEA 1: The Book Lover’s Cup of Tea (Miniature Edition) (BookDepository, 8,50 €)

Christmas Idea 2021-01

The Book Lover’s Cup of Tea includes an innovative book-shaped tea infuser (titled A Tale of Two Ci-Teas) that offers two ways to brew: Dunk the entire book into your cup, or let the cover rest on the rim of your tea cup and hang the tea-filled pages into your hot water to steep.

I saw one of my blog friends receiving this as a gift so it went right on my list!

IDEA 2: Good Luck Black Cat Journal (Compoco, 20,00 €)

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You can choose whether you want the pages to be dotted or lined but both come with beautiful gold spredges.

There’s also a nice gift box set in a higher price range:

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IDEA 3: PUZZLES (for our US friends on Calendars.com, 17,99 USD and 19,99 USD)

The Escape Room concept in now available as a Ravensburger puzzle in Escape Cursed Greenhouse 368 Piece Puzzle (17,99 USD)

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Or what about a 1000 pieces mystery puzzle: Grounds for Murder or Murder On The Nile (19,99 USD)

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IDEA 4: Oscar Adjustable Table Lamp (Fourline Design, 58 € but possibly another 10% off when signing for a newsletter)

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You can also choose the plug type (UK, EU, US, AU).

I LOVE Oscar!

IDEA 5: One of us is Lying Miniature Book Necklace Keychain (New Leaf on Etsy (UK based), 12,50 £ or 15,95 €)

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You can even choose the US or UK cover!

They are made out of polymer clay, the sides are made to look like real pages and the covers are printed on high quality glossy photo paper. The covers are protected by an extra layer, this makes it water resistant and strong for daily ruff and tuff. The books do not open!

Or what about a Custom Miniature Book Keychain

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I actually thought oh that’s a nice book keychain, I didn’t even get at first that there wasn’t an actual cover yet, I’d be happy it looked that way 🙂

IDEA 6: Personalised Library Stamp (from the library of…) (Stamp by Me on Etsy (based in Spain), price varies from week to week)

Stamp by Me  Stamp 05

I already posted about this in another blogpost, you can read about it here.

IDEA 7: The Curious Correspondence Club (Single Chapter, 19,00 € or 21,95 USD)

Well, it’s kind of like an escape room adventure delivered to your home. Where each new envelope contains the next chapter of an ongoing episodic adventure, filled with cryptic puzzles to challenge you, your family and friends. Scour physical documents and ephemera, construct papercraft tools and devices, and immerse yourself in a unique deductive experience each month.

The Curious Correspondence Club is available as a monthly subscription, a twelve-chapter yearly subscription, or a single chapter purchase at your leisure.

It’s a Canadian based company but ships internationally. For a single chapter it is quite affordable and I have signed up for the first chapter so I’ll review that next year when it arrives and I’ve hopefully solved it.)

IDEA 8: Book Soap (NewLeafCandleCo on Etsy (US based), 12,02 €)

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You can choose color and scent (Library, Vanilla, Rose, Lavendar, Unscented or Peppermint). I have no idea what Library smells like!

Unfortunately they don’t ship to Belgium but I already know what I’d choose: a purple Vanilla scented one. I’d never use it but it would look sooo nice in the bathroom!

IDEA 9: Coffee mug warmer (Amazon UK, 20,00 £)

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I don’t have this yet but the number of times I drink cold coffee are countless so this would be a brilliant gift for me (although a wireless one would be even better). I don’t really like cold coffee but don’t want to throw it away so what are you supposed to do then eh?

IDEA 10: The Sherlock Holmes Escape Book (Amazon UK, 128 pages, 3,91 £)

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Here, the book becomes the locked room, the pages become the path, and the reader can take on a challenge every bit as brain-teasing from the comfort of their own home. Visual clues are hidden among the intriguing illustrations; fiendish riddles, logic puzzles and timed challenges unlock hidden doors and reveal the direction of travel; and mathematical problems provide the codes required to follow the correct path. There are maps and mazes to explore; references to the original Sherlock Holmes adventures to unravel; and a code-wheel that holds the key to unlocking the next page. Solve the puzzles correctly to escape. Get them wrong and you will find yourself further and further along the path to your own demise.

About the Author
Before writing puzzle-based books, Ormond Sacker served as note-taker and assistant to a London-based consulting detective, a role he held until being controversially superseded by a more qualified and less strangely named replacement. As a young man, Sacker studied medicine at St Bartholemews before joining the British Army, where he was attached as a surgeon to the Berkshire Regiment of Foot. It was specifically feet that led to his dismissal, following an odd number (both in quantity and circumstance) of amputation errors. To this day he stands by his assertion that “left” and “right” are subjective terms that depend upon which end of the table one is standing. His military training, international travels, and experience of curious crime, together with an intimate relationship with the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, have given him a unique view of the world. Such a character is clearly the ideal author of a book of Holmes-based conundrums and problems. Ormond Sacker is sometimes mixed up. At such times he is no card smoker, and lives in cranked rooms.

I’m curious about these type of books but I’ve never seen or tried one so it’s on my Christmas list and I’ll be gifting this one to myself along with a few carefully selected books.

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So see anything you like? Do let me know in the comments, I’d be happy to hear about it!

If you need more inspiration, here are my gift ideas of the previous years: