Book cake tag

One of the best things to go with a good book and a cup of tea is of course cake! I especially love apple cake and chocolate cake, but I also like to try new flavours. This tag was originally done on youtube by suddenlylorna. There’s a question for every ingredient. Let’s bake!

The Great British Bake Off gif

Island Beneath the SeaFlour: A  book that was slow in the beginning, but picked up as you progress
Isabel Allende has a beautiful writing style. No matter what she writes, I like to read it. Island Beneath the Sea was the sixth book I read by this writer. It’s set around the year 1800 on Saint-Domingue, now known as Haiti. The main character is Zarité, a slave born on the island. Before we meet her, we first read about how her owner. This part is somewhat slow, but not less interesting. From the start, the story is full of vivid details about the characters and the historical setting.

Butter: A book with a really rich plot
To me the book series with the most fascinating plot is still Harry Potter. It’s amazing how things happening in the first part are connected with the other books. Harry Potter is one of those stories that feels so real! All the details make it easy to imagine myself going to Hogwarts. Although I disagree with some decisions J.K. Rowling made after writing the books (like agreeing on an eight part…), I still love the series.

Eggs: A book you thought was gonna be bad, but turned out quite enjoyable
I didn’t expect The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen to be bad, but I assumed that it could be a little boring. My mother recommended the book, so I decided to give it a try. And this book about people living in an old people’s home turned out to be quite good.

Sugar: A very sweet book
Here I have to mention a book that suits this tag perfectly: Night of Cake and Puppets.  This is a companion novella to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It is a lovely book about a first date with a magical touch.

Icing: A book that covered everything you want in a book
I just read Obsidio, and I LOVED it so much! The Illuminae Files is an extraordinary trilogy, it really has everything I want! The books have amazing main characters, morally grey villains, lots of plot twists, and made me laugh and feel sad within a few pages. Furthermore, the format is absolutely unique and made me love the series even more!

Every Heart a DoorwaySprinkles: A book that you can pick up when you’re feeling down –> A book with characters in the LGBTQIA+-spectrum
Since my answer on the first question is probably one of the books I already mentioned, I came up with a new question. A good book with lots of diverse characters, including an asexual protagonist, is Every Heart a Doorway. This novella is set in Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children: a place for children who came back from magical worlds and no longer feel at home in the “real” world. This book reads like a dark fairy tale and is beautifully written. It can be read as a standalone, but I saw sequels about the side characters.

Cherry on top: Your favourite book so far this year
So far I read two books I really loved. One of them is of course Obsidio! The other book is The Guernsy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This book is made up of letters written just after WW II. The main character is Juliet, a writer who starts a correspondence with the members of the literary society of the island Guernsey. The format as well as the lovely characters made this book a favourite!

Book Cake Tag - Cherry on top: Your favourite book so far this year

Now it’s your turn! What is your favourite cake? And did you read Obsidio? Let me know in the comments please!




Six favourites I want/need to re-read

I love to re-read books! It’s great to come back to favourites. An advantage is of course that you know you will love the book. As child I used to re-read books all the time. I read the Harry Potter books at least four times. There is a Dutch book I even read ten times or more, immediately starting again when I finished it. Now I only re-read a few books a year. I did come up with the ritual to end the year with a re-read of my favourite book from that year. In this way I re-read Illluminae and Gemina. But there are many favourites left!

Inspired by today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic I made a list. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. Here are the six books I loved, but only read once:

Six favourites I want/need to re-read

1 & 2. Days of Blood and Starlight & Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
For years I am planning to re-read one of my all-time favourite series. I love everything about Daughter of Smoke and Bone: the beautiful writing style, the great story and the amazing characters. Karou is an art student living in Prague. She has to hide a secret life in which she regularly meets monsters, is able to fulfil small wishes with her necklace and goes on mysterious errands. Things become more complicated when black handprints appear on doorways all over the world. I did re-read the first part, but for some reason I still haven’t read the other parts…

3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I remember having a small book hangover after reading this book. It starts with Diana finding an old bewitched manuscript. Pretty soon she finds  herself in a world full of witches, vampires and daemons. I hope I will love this book just as much as the first time!

4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This book has two parallel stories set during World War II. There is Marie-Laure, a blind French girl. With a miniature of her neighbourhood made by her father, so she is able to find her way. In Germany lives an orphan named Werner. After finding an old radio, he becomes an expert in fixing it. This is book I want to re-read when I have time to enjoy the beautiful language. A hot summer day or a long train journey would be ideal.

5. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
This book is made up of multiple stories about different people all over the world. At the end all stories come together. It’s hard to give a summary, also because I read the book three years ago… I do remember that it is a beautiful book that is worth a re-read.

6. The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove
I loved this book, but for some reason I never read the rest of the series. The world in The Glass Sentence is extraordinary: due to the Great Disruption some parts of the world are flung into other time periods. I don’t remember much of the plot, so I really need to re-read the book. After that, I can finally read the sequel.

Four books I abandoned

I used to finish all the books I read. Now I allow myself to “DNF” books. I see no reason for finishing a book I don’t like. It’s precious time that can be used to read other books! It doesn’t happen often, only if I am still bored after 100 pages. Sometimes it’s not the right moment for the book. In that case I put the book on my TBR-shelf. Other times the book just isn’t for me. Here are four books I abandoned and won’t return to.

This blog post was inspired by today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Four books I abandoned


One Day by David Nicholls
I bought One Day because I liked the premise. The books starts on the day Dexter and Emma meet for the first time. In the next chapters you follow their relationship by reading about one day from each year after their first meeting. The first time I read One Day, I was bored and stopped reading. I saved it for another time. The second time I (tried to) read this book was years later: a few days ago. At the start I liked the story a little more. I now have the same age as the main characters. So I recognized some of their struggles. But after a few chapters I was bored again. I just didn’t care for  the characters. After 150 pages I gave up on this book.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
I happened to find this book in the library. Since I wanted to read more books by writers of color, I was happy to take it home. Swing Time is about two girls who dream of being dancers. One of them is accepted into a dance school, the other becomes the assistant to a popular dancer. I abandoned this book mainly because I didn’t like the characters. Their personalities are flat; we don’t even learn the name of the main character. The story also becomes confusing when it goes back and forth in time. Although I won’t finish Swing Time, I do want to read another book by Zadie Smith.

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
Again a book I bought because I liked the idea: ‘What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?’ Ursula dies multiple times on different moments in her life, but every time she is reborn to try again. The biggest drawback of Life after Life is that the story repeats itself. Of course I could have aniticapted that. I just expected that the writer would handle this in a better way. I may have continued reading if the main character was more interesting, but that wasn’t the case.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
This book is set in a dark dystopian future. The main character is part of a gang that murders and rapes people. A Clockwork Orange was assigned to me at high school. It wasn’t a book I would choose myself. The characters of the book also use some kind of slang with Russian words. My English wasn’t very good at the time, and this made reading the book extra hard. After seeing the movie in class, I knew I wasn’t going to finish A Clockwork Orange. I hated the movie. It contained so much explicit violence without reason. I don’t think main characters always have to be likable (take for example Scarlett O’Hara), but I loathed the main characters in this story. Most of the time I read the books that were assigned. For A Clockwork Orange, I didn’t mind to make an exception.

After writing this post I came to the conclusion that my most important reason to DNF a  book is a disinterest for the characters. Do you agree? What are your reasons to leave a book unfinished? Let me know in the comments!

Chapters or no chapters?

In this blog post I want to talk about the different ways books are set up. This is something I usually don’t think about. I was surprised by the many possibilities! I managed to come up with 7 categories:

1. No chapters
Some books are not divided in chapters. A nice example is The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society. This story is made up of letters, so there is no need for chapters. A “problem” with these kind of books is where you should stop reading. I like to stop at the end of a chapter. So when reading books without chapters there is a risk of accidentally reading the whole book…

2. Numbered chapters
This is a simpel way to divide the story. But variety is possible. While looking through my books I discovered a few different ways to number the chapters. It can be a number like ‘2’, or the number is spelled out as ‘two.’ Sometimes the word chapter is added. In my edition of The Secret Garden Roman numbers are used. I don’t really have a preference, but I think Roman numbers make a book feel older.

3. Count down
Counting down really can add something to the story. Especially if I don’t know what is going to happen, I become more curious every time I see the number. This was the case in Looking For Alaska:

Count down in Looking for Alaska

4. Dates
When time is important in a story, each chapter is dated. This is sometimes the case with mysteries or historical fiction. For example in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Each chapter starts with the day(s) of the month when the events in that chapter happen. Although dates gives a book structure, I usually like it more when time is less obvious.

5. New chapter = change of POV
I just read Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3). This book has at least five different points of views. Despite the many characters, I never mixed them up. This is partly because Marissa Meyer did a great job in giving them all different voices. The different POVs are also separated by chapters. This makes it clear when the POV changes.

6. Chapters titles
I love chapter titles if they are well done. Just look at this one from Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3):

Chapter title in Dreams of Gods and Monsters

But chapter titles can also accidentally spoil a part of the story. One of the last chapters of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is named ‘After the burial’. If I look through the book, I already know somebody is going to die. So I like chapter titles best if they are a bit cryptic.

7. Parts
Next to chapters, sometimes stories are also divided in parts. Often a new part signifies a change of location or the end/beginning of an important event. I like it when a new part is introduced with a small poem or quote. My favourite example is Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The first part starts with the words: “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well”.

Do you prefer chapters or no chapters? And do you know other categories I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

Bookish Harry Potter tag

The first post of 2018: a bookish Harry Potter tag! I used to be a big fan. My Tumblr blog was entirely dedicated to HP art and I read the book series at least five times. By now it no longer plays such a big role in my life, but I still love the characters and the world. I sometimes still dream about studying at Hogwarts…

I found this tag via Nyx on Drizzle & Hurricane Books. It was created by Trang & Lashaan on Bookidote. There is one rule: we aren’t allowed to answer with any of the Harry Potter books.

Flagrate - Writing Charm
A book you found the theme interesting, but you’d like to rewrite it. Numbers by Rachel Ward

In Numbers by Rachel Ward is Jem able to see the date when people are going to die. This sounded like an interesting fantasy book, but it felt more like a contemporary novel. It was a pity that Jem’s ability wasn’t an important part of the story.

Alohomora - Unlocking charm

The first book in a series that got you hooked.

After reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I became a huge fan of Laini Taylor!  By now I read six books written by her. She is one of the few writers from who I instantly buy the new book.


Accio - Summoning charm

A book you wish you had right now.

Without doubt Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff!

Avada Kedavra.png

A killer book. Both senses. Take it as you like. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I don’t read a lot of thrillers and mysteries, but I really liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist, is asked to investigate a disappearance of a member of a wealthy Swedish family. He is assissted by Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant hacker.

Confundo - Confusion charm

A book you found really confusing. 

Due to all the infodump, Cold Magic by Kate Elliott was fairly confusing. It took a loooong time before something actually happened.

Expecto Patronum

Your spirit animal book.

Probably The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Being able to become a character in the book I read is everything I want as a bookworm.


A dark twisted book. Angelfall by Susan Ee

The Penryn & the End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee was pretty dark: warrior angels descended to earth and don’t mind killing humans. There are also other dark creatures like evil scorpions that used to be humans.

Aparecium - Revealing charm.png

The Secret Diary of Hendrik GroenA book that surpised you in a great way, reveals to be more than it is.

My mother recommended The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen to me. It is a Dutch book about an 83 1/4 years old man living in a care home in Amsterdam. That may sound boring, but it actually is an endearing and funny book.


Feel free to do this tag if you like it!

Top five books I am looking forward to in 2018

I like making lists with books I want to read, but sticking to my plans is a different story. From the five books I resolved to read in 2017, I actually read three books. Cress is still waiting for me on my nightstand… But new year, new chances! Linking up with the weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and The Bookish, here is a list with books I want to read in 2018:

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff COB&B_JKT_100517.indd The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
If I could, I would already be reading this book! But I have to wait till the release in March. The Illuminae Files is an awesome story told through chats and radio transcripts with a set of amazing characters. I am very excited how this series is going to end!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Another book that will be released in March. Children of Blood and Bone is about Zélie who has to go on a dangerous mission to bring back magic to Orïsha. It seems a really good fantasy book.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
This book is about a time-traveller on a pirate ship full of treasures. Old maps are used to navigate to different times and lands. This sounds definitively like a books I am going to enjoy!

Top five books I am looking forward to in 2018

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
I participated in the 8th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa. My lovely Secret Santa, Lien from Lynn’s Film & Book Review, gave me this book. Ink and Bone is set in a world where the Great Library of Alexandria still exists. A really interesting idea! I think this will be the first book I am going to read in 2018.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
The second book I got from my Secret Santa. This novel is often recommended as great story for book lovers. It consists of the correspondence between Juliet and members of a reading group named The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Memoir Reading Challenge 2018

This year I read two memoirs I really liked. Both Wild and I am Malala were inspiring books. Next year I want to read more memoirs. To keep this resolution I am going to participate in the Memoir Reading Challenge 2018. This challenge is hosted by Jamie Ghione on jannghi. The rules are:

  • Books must be labelled as memoirs to count.
  • Read a minimum of five memoirs from any of the categories listed.
  • One book can only count for one category.
  • Re-reads are acceptable.
  • The challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2018.

I have chosen five books I want to read:

Memoir Reading Challenge 2018 - timefortalesandtea

In the category Written by someone under 40 I am going to read The Diary of Young Girl by Anne Frank. This diary is written by a Dutch Girl while hiding for the Germans in the Second World War. Since I am Dutch myself, I am kind of ashamed to admit that I haven’t read this book yet. I already have a copy waiting on my shelves. So no excuses!

In the category Written by a person of colour I want to read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In this book Maya Angelou describes what it is to grow up in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. It is said to be a poetic and powerful story.

In the category Written by an author (or journalist) I am going to read Paula by Isabel Allende. I read and loved The House of the Spirits as well as the Eagle and Jaguar trilogy. Isabel Allende has a beautiful writing style. I am looking forward to reading her memoir.

In the category Political memoir I want to read Long Walk to Freedom. Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting against the racial oppression in South Africa. I think he is a true hero. I already saw the movie based on this book. I hope to love the book just as much!

In the category Animal memoir I like to read Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron. Since cats and books are two of my favourite things, there’s a big chance I am going to love this book!

What is your favourite memoir? Tell me 🙂