Bookhaul July 2017

Hey you all! I can’t believe it’s almost August… These last few months just flew by. As it is the last day of the month I’m sharing a new bookhaul with you guys and girls. This month I collected a whopping amount of 10 new books!!! (can I blame this one on heatstroke too eventhough it was quite rainy this month?) But fair is fair I bought four of them with a huge discount (the Nora Roberts books) and one of them was a gift from my little sister, so this months bookhaul didn’t cost me a lot of money.

This month I didn’t only crave romantic books, like Nora Roberts’ Stars of Fortune trilogy, which I already reviewed a couple of months ago when I borrowed them from my mom (no borrowing needed anymore 😉 )

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But I really wanted some supernatural and non-fiction stories too. Something to suit my need for the fantastical, something to quench my thirst for knowledge and something to touch my heart and make me melt away ❤ in short the perfect combo of everything I love 🙂

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So, let me give you the description of all these beauties (except for the Stars of Fortune trilogy) and maybe you will want to put one of them on your to read list too 😉

Sapiens: a brief history of human kind by Yuval Noah Harari

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. 

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? 

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? 

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future.

Onbereikbaar (Eyes turned skyward) by Rebecca Yarros

Since her sister’s death, twenty-year-old Paisley Donovan, who shares her sister’s heart condition, is treated like delicate glass by her parents. But nothing will stop her from completing her Bucket List—even if it kills her. And it almost does, until Jagger Bateman pulls her from the ocean and breathes more than air into her lungs—he sets her soul on fire.

Jagger is enrolled in the country’s toughest flight school. He’s wickedly hot, reckless, and perfect for a girl looking to live life to the fullest. Except that Paisley is the commanding general’s daughter, and her boyfriend is Jagger’s biggest rival. Now Paisley must decide just how much to risk for a guy who makes her heart pound a little too hard.

They’re flying through dangerous territory—and one wrong move could make them crash and burn…

A brief history of time by Stephen Hawking

Was there a beginning of time? Could time run backwards? Is the universe infinite or does it have boundaries? These are just some of the questions considered in the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest thinkers. It begins by reviewing the great theories of the cosmos from Newton to Einstein, before delving into the secrets which still lie at the heart of space and time – from the Big Bang to black holes, via spiral galaxies and string theory. To this day A Brief History of Time remains a staple of the scientific canon, and its succinct and clear language continues to introduce millions to the universe and its wonders.

De Obsessie (the Obsession) by Nora Roberts

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.” 

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

Just Dreaming by Kerstin Gier

 A dream traveler faces the greatest challenge she’s yet encountered in this gripping third and final book of the Silver trilogy.

The course of dream travel never did run smooth—at least, not in Liv Silver’s experience. Able to visit other people’s dreams (whether they want her to or not), Liv has solved mysteries, unearthed difficult truths, fought madmen, and escaped life-threatening peril, all from the comfort of her own bed. But Liv’s troubles are just beginning.

A rocky romance, a malicious blogger with a hidden identity, a wedding, and a classmate (or two) dead-set on revenge all await Liv in this action-packed conclusion to the Silver trilogy.

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I’m totally in love with these covers ❤ That’s also the reason why I bought the series in English instead of Dutch or German haha.

Strijder (Legion) by Julie Kagawa

The legions are about to be unleashed, and no human, rogue dragon or former dragon slayer can stand against the coming horde. Book 4 of 5 in The Talon Saga from New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa.

Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all–dragons do not suffer human emotions–let alone the love of a human and a former dragonslayer, at that. With ex-soldier Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she’s capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and her own twin brother Dante–the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who refuse to yield.

The Storytelling animal: how stories make us human by Jonathan Gottschall

Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. It’s easy to say that humans are “wired” for story, but why?

In this delightful and original book, Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems—just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival.

Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal. Did you know that the more absorbed you are in a story, the more it changes your behavior? That all children act out the same kinds of stories, whether they grow up in a slum or a suburb? That people who read more fiction are more empathetic?

Of course, our story instinct has a darker side. It makes us vulnerable to conspiracy theories, advertisements, and narratives about ourselves that are more “truthy” than true. National myths can also be terribly dangerous: Hitler’s ambitions were partly fueled by a story.

But as Gottschall shows in this remarkable book, stories can also change the world for the better. Most successful stories are moral—they teach us how to live, whether explicitly or implicitly, and bind us together around common values. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animalfinally reveals how stories shape us.

I’m so excited to read all of these books!!!

Happy reading you all and see you next time 😉

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The key to unlock a heart

Hey you all! I’m a bit behind in posting reviews and updating my Goodreads reading challenge but the upcoming days I will be remedying that. Today I’m going to share a review with you guys and girls about Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen. Last year I bought my first book by Sarah (Saint Anything) and I kinda fell in love with her writing style and the way she builds her characters. Let me try to convince you why you should pick up a Sarah Dessen book too 😉

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What’s the story about?

Ruby Cooper likes to expect the worst. That way, she’s never disappointed. Abandoned by her mother and forced to leave the house she calls home, Ruby is facing too many changes. Her lonely world has been transformed into a life of luxury by her long lost sister, but all Ruby wants to do is leave – she can make it on her own. Even Nate, the gorgeous boy-next-door can’t seem to change her mind. Will Ruby realize first impressions don’t always count? And that sometimes, people can surprise you, so it’s ok to let the closest ones in …

Why should you read this story?

Let me start with the main character. I absolutely loved Ruby! She’s such a realistic character. At first she has a giant wall around her heart. She lets nobody close enough to touch her heart. All her relationships are shallow and people don’t really know her. She’s so good at keeping to herself and caring for herself that it takes a couple of months before people realize that she’s living alone in the rental home where she and her mom have lived for the past year or so. Ruby doesn’t mind fending for herself, she’s been doing it almost her entire life. She’s used to people abandoning her. But as she is not yet 18 she is required to live with an adult. That’s how Ruby ends up living with her sister Cora, who she hasn’t seen in ten years and her brother-in-law, whom she’s never met before. All Ruby wants is to be left alone. Especially by the sister who left her with their alcoholic mother. However, it’s hard to keep to yourself when the people around you want to give you everything and expect very little in return. And when the cute and friendly boy next door goes out of his way to make you feel welcome and loved it’s hard to keep your heart hardened. Along the way Ruby learns to forgive, love and live, but above all that people can surprise you and can love you unconditionally.

Love interest Nate was also very realistic and swoonworthy. He’s friendly, fun, caring and adorable, yet at the same time mysterious and closed off about his own personal life. The way Ruby and he fell for each other and helped each other to get the life they both deserved was so beautiful. I loved the way Nate helped everybody out, yet was unable to ask for help himself. Ruby and Nate were really perfect for each other.

This book was such an emotional read. I loved how Ruby and her sister Cora resolved the issues from their past and how their bond became strong again when all the misunderstanding and hard feelings got resolved. Cora’s husband Jamie was also a really great character and all around good guy. I loved the relationship between the two and how cute they were together. I also really liked the way Jamie went out of his way to give Ruby a better life and to stay positive and understanding towards her eventhough Ruby sometimes made this quite hard. Nate’s problems were also written really well and the way he tried to keep his personal life hidden for everybody was also very realistic, yet extremely sad and frustrating at times haha. All these different relationships and troubles made the book a rollercoaster of feelings. I think this is the best book by Sarah Dessen I’ve read so far ❤

If you’re looking for a romantic story with realistic characters and realistic problems you definitely need to pick this one up! It’s beautiful, sad, hopeful, and has a happy ending that will leave a smile on your face when you turn the last page. Lock & Key is a definite must-read!