It’s a brandnew year!

Hey you all! Happy 2018!!! I know this ‘wrap-up of 2017’ post is a little late (blush) but New Year’s Eve turned out to be horrible (read: my drunken neighbour and her idiotic friends decided to start a fight that the police had to break up and I got knocked around by a huge drunken bastard because he was offended that I had my frontdoor open) so I didn’t feel like posting a happy blog on the first day of 2018. The rest of the week was shitty too, my bike broke down while I was going to work so I had to walk the rest of the way, my computer keeps crashing and my debitcard stopped working and a new one won’t arrive till next week grr. It’s like I’m cursed or something. But, all bad things eventually come to an end (I hope) and I thought lets do something fun and positive to break this negative cycle.

2018 start

Lets start with my 2017 in books. I’ve read 147 books, which means I didn’t finish my challenge of 168 books (14 books per month). But, I think 147 books is still a good number of read books (I wanted to include my Goodreads 2017 reading challenge here, but I can’t find it anymore as it was replaced by the 2018 challenge …) . I noticed that I didn’t read many new books in 2017, instead I reread a lot of old favorites. Bookish resolution #1 will be: READ MORE NEW BOOKS, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE SITTING ON YOUR SHELVES UNREAD.

At the beginning of 2017 I made a reading challenge for myself so I would read more classics and finish some of those piled-up to-read books. Well, I think I followed that challenge for a month and then I was kind of sick of it haha. I’ve learned that I don’t read relaxed when I set myself strict rules or goals, so, bookish resolution #2 is going to be: SEE A CHALLENGE AS GOOD FUN AND NOT AS A SET OF RULES THAT HAVE TO BE OBEYED AND FOLLOWED TO THE LETTER. In that spirit I joined the Epic Reads Challenge on ( ). Every month you can read a new YA fantasy novel and talk with fellow readers about your reading experience. I think this challenge will be real fun and maybe I will make some new bookish friends ❀

I also have some resolutions for this blog. I know I don’t do well with set days to post stuff, I’m a notorious procrastinator and do better with posting when I feel like it, however I do want to post more and a bit more regularly. So, bloggish resolution #1 is: WRITE A POST AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK. I think that will be manageable πŸ˜‰ Moreover, every month I would like to review at least one originally Dutch book by a debuting author or from an author I know (I haven’t decided yet if I want to do those reviews in Dutch or English, but I will let you guys and girls know) which makes bloggish resolution #2: REVIEW AT LEAST ONE DUTCH BOOK PER MONTH. I think I would like to add a new category to my blog too, a category where I can post which books I really want to read every month and which books I actually ended up reading that month (so, that’s one post at the start of each month and one post at the end of each month πŸ™‚ ) So, the last bloggish resolution (#3) is: KEEP SCORE OF WANT-TO-READS and HAVE-READS. And that’s all folks πŸ˜‰

buying books

Happy reading you all! And see you soon πŸ˜‰




Aesthetically Pleasing Book Tag

Hey you all! Today I want to share something new with you. I was browsing some of my favorite blogs and came across the Aesthetically Pleasing Book Tag on ReadInge’s blog, and it looked so fun and beautiful that I couldn’t resist doing one of my own too. So, I’m going to take you on a little tour through some of my favorite books ❀

1. The best color combo on a book cover:


I love bold colors that almost seem to pop of the pages. These two covers are my favorites when it comes to color.

2. Best typography/ font on a book cover:


Betsy Cornwell’s Mechanica has some of the most beautiful font I’ve ever seen. It suits the book to perfection and I love the steam punk feel of it! The rest of the cover isn’t too shabby either πŸ˜‰

3. Best simple cover:

This one proofed one of the most difficult things to find on my shelves. I don’t own a lot of books with simple covers. Most of them have quite a lot of things going on, on the cover. But Jennifer L Armentrout’s The problem with forever fits the tag “simple” I think. It’s just letters and colors, yet it’s really beautiful despite its simplicity.


4. Best endpages:

Another hard one. I don’t own a lot of books that have endpages with pictures on them, or that have beautiful colors or something else that’s remarkable. But, I gave my little sister a copy of H.P. Lovecraft’s Complete Fiction last year and that book has the most beautiful endpages I have ever seen ❀


5. Best map:

When I was thinking about which map I love the most in my books I realised that many YA fantasy novels don’t even have maps which is such a shame. First I was thinking of using Tolkien’s map of Middle Earth because that’s one of my favorites, but then I remembered a map in an old children’s book of mine that I really love. So, I took a picture of Chris Riddell’s map for Beyond the Deepwood. Isn’t it pretty?


6. Best naked hardback:

Well, this one was easy as I own only one hardback that has something of an illustration on it when you remove the dustjacket haha. But, nevertheless, I really like the naked cover of Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger.


7. Best back cover:

I never realised that many books have a seriously dull back cover, until I was perusing my shelves for a pretty back cover. It took me a while to find one, but Rebel of the Sands has a beautiful one!


8 Best chapter headers:

Again, something most books don’t have. The only shelve where I could find a few books with chapter headers was my “retelling” shelve. A.G. Howard’s got the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen so I took a picture of Splintered.


9. Best Illustrations:

Okay, I couldn’t choose. I love Chris Riddell’s artwork in Beyond the Deepwood, but I also love the drawings/ etchings in Alice in Wonderland so I took a picture of both πŸ˜‰


10. Best spine:

I don’t really like spines that are decorated ornately. With a lot of books standing next to each other it gets kinda messy when you have too much spines that have all these things going on, on them. So, I chose a spine that is simple, but has a beautiful font.


11. Favorite cover on your shelves:

Seriously, are there people who can choose only one favorite? I couldn’t do it. I’ve got so many books with beautiful covers that I had to share a few with you all. So, here’s a little slideshow with some of my faves.


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I’d really like to see more aesthetically pleasing books, so, if you want to post your most beautiful ones in a blogpost too, please do! Happy reading you all ❀



A day in the life of an author

Hey you all! If you have been following my blog you know that I’m not only a reader but also a writer. Yesterday marked a first milestone in my writer’s life as I had my very first bookpresentation of a book that I co-wrote: Historische Verhalen: korte verhalen uit de Oudheid (Historical Stories: short stories from Antiquity). Together with Key Tengeler and Marjolijn van de Gender I wrote this collection of short historical fiction stories that take place in Antiquity. In this blog I would like to tell you a bit about the bookpresentation and the book itself, because I’m so proud of and excited about it!!!

The presentation:

The bookpresentation took place in Leiden in the National Museum of Antiquities. Can you say dream come true?! It’s such a stunning museum and I’m so honored that we were allowed to present our book there. I’m also really grateful for all the people who showed up at this event. It was so amazing to meet all these different persons that all share a love for stories and history ❀

The presentation started with a short lecture by dr. Kim Beerden a professor of Ancient History at the University of Leiden. She talked about the representation of (ancient) history in books throughout the ages which was really interesting, especially since my fellow authors and I have tried to represent history as truthfully as possible in our stories.

After the lecture came an interview with Key, Marjolijn and me. At first I was really nervous, but it was super fun! Talking about some of my stories and the writing process made me realize a lot of things about my own creative processess and where my stories come from πŸ™‚


When the interview was done, people could buy the book and get it signed. I think this was my favorite part of the day! Seeing people walk around with a book you helped write is so amazing ❀


Here’s me (front), Marjolijn (middle) and Key (back) signing the book.

rik en mike

Interviewer Mike Spaans (left) and publisher Rik van de Vlugt (right).

The Β book:

Now, you’re probably wondering what kind of stories are in this book. Well, I’m going to tell you in reading order with a small description of every story πŸ˜‰ (NB. BCE stands for Before Common Era and CE stands for Common Era)

Het brandend hart van Babylon (the burning heart of Babylon) by Key Tengeler: a story about the Assyrian siege of Babylon in 689 BCE.

Een vuurrode nacht (a night red as fire) by Marjolijn van de Gender: a story about a bookthief in the library of Alexander in Egypt in 391 CE.

Het laatste offer (the last sacrifice) by me: a story about a catastrophic eartquake and human sacrifice on Crete in 1700 BCE.

Morgen (tomorrow) by Key: a story about the siege of Pompeii by Sulla in 89 BCE.

Het einde van een paradijs (the end of paradise) by Marjolijn: a story about empress Zenobia and her fall in 272 CE.

De Marathonloper (the Marathonrunner) by me: a story about Philippides run from Athens to Sparta and back (500 km), which he made in just three days on bare feet in 490 BCE.

Een geheime opdracht (a secret assignment) by Marjolijn: a story about the (attempt of) murder on empress Agrippina in 59 CE.

Tussen de regels (between the lines) by Key: a story revolving around a correspondence of letters between Theoderik, his daughter, the synod of bishops, emperor Anastasius, Alarik and Clovis in Ravenna in 497-506 CE.

De ontsluiering (the unveiling) by me: a story about the festival of Demeter in Athens in the sixth century BCE.

De dichter uit EtruriΓ« (the poet from Etruria) by Marjolijn: a story about the Battle of Alalia near Corsica around 540 BCE.

Met de moed der wanhoop (with desperate courage) by Key: a story about the Third Punic War in Carthage in 149 BCE.

Mijn lieveling (my precious) by Marjolijn: a story about the ring of Polycrates on Samos in 522 BCE.

Het gebroken verzet (broken resistance) by me: a story about the siege of Tyre by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE.

Gods oordeel (the judgment of God) by Key: a story about Jesus Barabbas in Jerusalem in 30-33 CE.

De soldaat die niet stierf (the soldier who would not die) by Marjolijn: a story about the Batavian revolt in 70 CE.

Rechter van steen (stone judge) by Key: a story about peasants in North-Africa who were being suppressed by their overlord but got help from a lawyer in their case against him near Souk-el-Khemis in 182 CE.

Een gevallen man (a fallen man) by Marjolijn: a story about the death of Lucius Sergius Catilina near Pistoia in 62 BCE.

Strijd tegen de vlammen (battle against the flames) by me: a story about the great fire of Rome and the Roman fire brigade in 64 CE.

Monoloog van Julia (Julia’s Monologue) by Marjolijn: a story about the life of Julia, daughter of emperor Augustus which takes place in Pandataria in 2 BCE.

De koning van morgen (the tomorrow king) by Key: a story about king Darius of Persia and the way in which he became king of the Persian empire in Susa in 522 BCE.

De ogen van de dood (the eyes of death) by Marjolijn: a story about a Roman baker in London in 61 CE.

Liefde en eer (love and honor) by me: a story about a deserter in the Spartan army during the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE.


If you’re a fan of ancient history or stories about historical persons and events this collection of short stories will be perfect for you! Every story was written with a lot of love and is based on extensive research done by the authors. And if you’re more of a cover-buyer this beauty will not disappoint ❀

Ps. If you’ve read the book and would like to share your reading experience and your thoughts about the book my fellow authors and me would love to hear from you πŸ™‚ We’re dying to read some reviews and opinions (even if they’re negative) πŸ˜‰


Support your favorite authors and publishers by buying their work

Hey you guys and girls! Usually my posts are all about books and reading. I don’t like to harass people with other’s opinions or point and wave fingers and tell you what to do. However, sometimes you come across something you just can’t let slip and you have to share your opinion with others.

A couple of days ago one of my writing friends/ co-authors posted something on Facebook about a man that was selling hundreds of e-books on drives for one euro per dvd. Technically, to the letter of the law, this man was not stealing and selling stolen property as e-books can be sold from one person to the next. However, he wasn’t selling one e-book and he wasn’t selling it to just one person. When this author confronted the man with his actions he responded that he wasn’t doing anything illegal (in a manner that was downright insulting and asshole-ish). To cut a long story short, loads of authors that were on his list of e-books teamed-up and tried to get the man to understand that he was costing them their much deserved paycheck, but he still wouldn’t listen.

You probably wonder why I’m telling you this. Well, I wanted to ask you all to think before you download something illegally from the Internet, be it music, movies, books or anything else. You may think nobody is hurt by your downloading, but people are being hurt by it. The author you love so much that you are willing to do anything to get your hands on their new book is being hurt. The publisher that did its best to deliver a stunning book to you is being hurt. What if we all decided to not pay for our books anymore? Then publishers would go bankrupt and authors would have to stop writing. Not to mention all the people who are in some way linked to these books like editors, booksellers, publicists, etc, etc.

Please, please remember that downloading illegally does hurt people. The people that bring you the things you love and like the most. Remember your favorite author and publisher next time you are tempted to download their work illegally and choose to do the right thing. Support them and give them a signal that you value them enough to spend some of your well earned money on them.

This post is for everyone who loves books enough to buy them ❀


My wish list

Hey everybody! Today I won’t be sharing a review with you, but I’m going to share a list of books that I really, really want to buy and read this year. I made a deal with myself not to buy so many books anymore, because I have like a hundred unread books in my bookcase that I have to read before buying new books. However, there are some books I have to own haha. It’s a modest wish list because I only added the books that I really don’t want to miss. So take a look at these beauties ❀



Can’t wait to get my hands on these books! I’m so excited about all of them and I just love these authors. And like I said it’s a modest list so that’s justification enough to buy a few more books even though I have so many unread books, is it not πŸ˜‰

New year’s post

Hey you all πŸ™‚ It’s a new year and that means new bookish resolutions! I’m a bit late, but I’ve been sick with the flu and haven’t felt up too posting something. But today I wanted to finally tell you my reading and blogging goals for 2017 (eventhough I’m still really sick).

I’ve decided to change my quote and cover posts, because sharing those every wednesday and friday proved to be a bit too much. So, I will be sharing covers and quotes with you but not on a set day of the week and not every week.

I’m going to add some new things to my blog too. I want to share the books I’ve read every month with you and want to write more reviews of the books I loved the most. As a start I will share my own reading challenge with you :). If you like you can use it yourself too. I made this reading challenge to complete my bookish resolutions. Amongst these resolutions is finally reading all the unread books in my bookcase, and reading more classics.

This is my 2017 reading challenge:

  1. Read a book you love and read before.
  2. Read a classic.
  3. Read a children’s book.
  4. Read some poetry.
  5. Read a trilogy.
  6. Read a book you bought but didn’t read yet.
  7. Read a retelling.
  8. Read something romantic.
  9. Read a book with magical or fantastical elements in it.
  10. Read a book written by an author you haven’t read before.
  11. Read a book from one of your favorite writers.
  12. Read a book you feel like reading.
  13. Read a book with a kick-ass hero or heroine.
  14. Read a book in your favorite genre.

I’m going to try to read a book in all the categories every month and I’m aiming to read 168 books this year. I’m really excited to share my reading progress and new reviews with you so stay tuned ;).