Top five favourite quotes

I can’t believe I missed the Top Ten Tuesday topic Favourite Book Quotes. I love to collect quotes! Because today is a freebie I can make it up. Here are some of my favourite book quotes:

Orange - Muse of Nightmares

1. “Wishes don’t just come true. They’re only the target you paint around what you want. You still have to hit the bull’s eye yourself.” – Muse of Nightmares

This is my current favourite quote from Laini Taylor, but I could make a whole list with only quotes from her books! Wishes play an important role in most of her stories. Just like in real life, the characters always have to work (and usually suffer) to obtain what they want.

The Name of the Wind

2. “It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
– The Name of the Wind”

There is so much truth in this quote. As people we (unconsciously) make up a stories about our past. In retrospect we decide that some  things that happened to us were a mistake, a lesson or a success. I believe that what we tell ourselves really matters. If you think you cannot do something, you probably won’t succeed. But if you change your thoughts – the story you tell yourself – you can change your life.

A Million Worlds With You

3. “Our destiny isn’t some kind of mystical prophecy. Our destiny is what we do with that chance.”- A Million Worlds with You

This quote describes my thoughts about destiny beautifully. I don’t believe in an inevitable fate. However, I sometimes feel like things are meant to be in a certain way.

The Shadow of the Wind

4. “Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside of you.”
– The Shadow of the Wind

So true! Your opinion about a book says more about you than about the book. And just like a real mirror, what you find in a book can change over time.

Words in Deep Blue

5. “But I love you, and before you say it words do matter. They’re not pointless. If they were pointless then they couldn’t start revolutions and they wouldn’t change history and they wouldn’t be the things that you think about every night before you go to sleep. If they were just words we wouldn’t listen to songs, we wouldn’t beg to be read to when we’re kids. If they were just words, then they’d have no meaning and stories wouldn’t have been around since before humans could write. We wouldn’t have learned to write. If they were just words then people wouldn’t fall in love because of them, feel bad because of them, ache because of them, stop aching because of them, have sex, quite a lot of the time, because of them.” – Words in Deep Blue

A beautiful quote that describes the importance of words.

Three YA-books with good parents

Parents seem to be quite seldom in YA-books. Often the father and mother are dead, absent, busy or apparently not interesting in their children? In a Dutch magazine about books, some writers from children’s books say it just works better. Parents will solve all problems for children. I agree that the absence of parents works very good in Harry Potter and Pippi Longstocking. But I also like books where a good father and/or mother play an important role in the story. I have two lovely parents. Only when making this list, I realized how uncommon it is in YA-books!

This post was inspired by Top Ten Tuesday. The Broke and the Bookish created this weekly meme, but That Artsy Reader Girl now manages it.

Three YA-books with good parents

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
This book learned me a lot about institutional racism in the United States. It also features two great parents. At the start of the story, Starr witnesses how her childhood friend is shot by a police officer. He was unarmed and did nothing wrong. Starr knows that speaking out is the right thing to do. She also is afraid for doing so. Her family is incredibly supportive. Starr’s parents talk with her, help and protect her. They really try to do what is best for their children.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
This beautiful book is about the special friendship between Aristotle and Dante. Ari has great parents. He is very close with his mother. This is described in a beautiful way: “I could feel my mom listening to me. She was always there. I hated her for that. And loved her.” Ari’s relationship with his father is complex. He fought in the Vietnam War and still suffers from it. But Ari as well as his father make a genuine effort to understand each other.

A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray
Although love plays a major role, also family is important in this trilogy. The parents of Marguerite, are physicists. They invented the firebird, an instrument that can be used to travel to other universes. The murder of her father prompts Marguerite to chase his killer into other universes.  Her parents play a role in every universe she visits. Each time her relationship with them is different.

Did you read any of these books? Do you know other YA-books with good parents? Tell me in the comments!

Looking back at my TBR-posts

The topic of this Top Ten Tuesday is backlist books. This weekly meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. Just like every other blogger, I have a huge list of books I want to read! Now and then I also make posts about books I want to read during the coming year. Although I usually do read a part of these books, I tend to forget some. This week seems like a good moment to look back at my TBR-posts from the last years.

In 2016 these five books were on top of my TBR-pile:
5 books that are on top of my TBR list

During that year I read Americanah and Gone with the Wind. In 2017 I also read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. This year I finally read 1984.

I still haven’t read The Paper Magician. This book is about Ceony, who just graduated from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined. She becomes a paper magician who is able to animate paper creatures and bring stories to life. It still sounds like a book I want to read!

In 2017 I wanted to read these books:
Books I want to read in 2017

During 2017 I read Gemina, Strange the Dreamer and Every Heart a Doorway. Three books I really loved! This year I also read Cress.

I haven’t read A Darker Shade of Magic. I feel like I am the only one! There was/is quite a hype about the trilogy. For people who missed it, this story is about Kell, one of the last magicians with the ability to travel between different versions of London. I don’t know why I haven’t read this book yet, but I still want to.

At the start of 2018, I was looking forward to these books:
Books I want to read in 2018

By now I read four out of the five books from this list. Most of them became new favourites! The only book I haven’t read yet, is The Girl from Everywhere. This story is about Nix and her father. They live on a time travelling pirate ship and use maps to navigate through time and space. This is a book I still hope to read this year.

Books I inteded to read for the Memoir Reading Challenge 2018:
Memoir Reading Challenge 2018 - timefortalesandtea

Sadly enough I only read one book for this challenge… I read Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. I probably won’t be reading the other four books in 2018, but also won’t forget about them. I actually did start with Paula, but wasnt’ really in the mood to continue the book.

I am clearly more a mood-reader. However, I also like to plan out my reads as long as the plan isn’t too specific. Tell me in the comments: Do you rather read by mood or by plan?

If you like this book, try…

Actually I wanted to write a Halloween post. The problem was that I haven’t read a lot of scary books. So I changed plans. I always like to get recommendations based on a book I loved to read. For this post I matched three popular books with lesser known books.

If you like The Hazel wood, try The Girl with Glass Feet
If you like The Hazel wood, try The Girl with Glass Feet

Both books have a mysterious, “out-of-this-world” amosphere that reminds me of fairy tales. Strange things happen to the main characters of these books. In The Hazel Wood the mother of Alice is kidnapped by a fairy tale character. In The Girl with Glass Feet Ida is slowly turning into glass.

If you like Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, try The Library of Shadows
If you like Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, try The Library of Shadows

Two books set in a bookstore hiding a secret. Both books can be categorized as mystery, but have fantasy elements too. In The Library of Shadows Jon inherits a bookhop after the sudden death of his father. Clay gets a job in Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore.

If you like Artemis Fowl, try H.I.V.E.
If you like Artemis Fowl, try H.I.V.E.

Two young adult series about villains you will totally root for. H.I.V.E. stands for Higher Institute of Villainous Education. I’m sure Artemis Fowl would feel at home on this school! Just like Artemis, the students of H.I.V.E. are criminal masterminds.

Did you read any of these books? Do you have other recommendations based on it? Let me know in the comments!

Writers I’d love to meet and questions I would ask

Today the topic of Top Ten Tuesday is ‘authors I’d love to meet’. This weekly meme is created by The Broke and the Bookish, and now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. I never met a famous writer. One of the reasons is that I live in the Netherlands. My favourite writers come from the United States, the United Kingdom or Australia. But in the unlikely case I would meet one of them (and I wouldn’t be speechless), I better prepare some good questions! So here is a small list.

Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor

If I had to choose one writer I could meet, it would be Laini Taylor. I read six of her books, and loved them all! Questions I’d like to ask her:

  • Which character from your books is most like you?
  • If you could live in one of the cities you have written about, which one would you choose?
  • What imaginary place from a book written by another author would you like to visit?
  • What is a book Karou would love to read?
  • What would be the favourite book of Zuzana?

More great questions, and this time with an answer from Laini herself, can be found in this interview on Barnes & Noble.

Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Illuminae Files is an amazing trilogy. I’d love to meet the writers! I actually came up with a question about their collaboration process. But I found a nice interview on Goodreads where this question is already answered. My own questions would be:

  • For Amie: Which character from The Illuminae Files is most like Jay?
  • For Jay: Which character from The Illuminae Files is most like Amie?
  • Would you like to travel through space for real?
  • What Hogwarts Houses would Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik, Asha and Rhys be in?

And also a question for you: What would you ask your favourite writer? Tell me in the comments!

Three books by my favourite writers I haven’t read (yet)

Yes, I am still here. Just very busy! Our house got renovated, and (as you probably know) that costs time. But this week I found time to write a post for Top Ten Tueday, the weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl.

When I finish a good book or book series, I often look for another book by the same writer. A great way to find more books I love! But when I don’t like it, I am extra disappointed. This is one of the reasons (more like excuses…) why I sometimes procrastinate books by my favourite writers. Here is a small list with books by my favourite writers I haven’t read (yet).

Three books by my favourite writers I haven't read (yet)

La Belle Savage (The Book of Dust #1) by Philip Pullman 
Lyra’s world in His Dark Materials (a.k.a. The Northern Light trilogy) is a place I would love to visit. I am still wondering what my daemon will be! Last year the first part of a new trilogy by Philip Pullman was published. When I first heard this news, I really wanted to read the book. La Belle Sauvage is a prequel set in the same world. This time the main character is Malcolm. I still want to read it , but I am also kind of afraid the story will disappoint me…

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
And The Mountains Echoed and A Thousand Splendid Suns were beautiful books. I am pretty sure that I will love The Kite Runner. Like the other two books, friendship and family are important themes and the story is also set in Afghanistan. I just haven’t found the time to read it. The book actually lies on my TBR-pile for a while now!

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
The Illuminae Files is one of my all-time favourite trilogies. The unique format is brilliant and the character are amazing. It is written by two writers. I am currently reading Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, but I still haven’t read a book by Amie Kaufman. Unearthed sounds like a story I will love! In this book the inhabitants of the Earth discover a planet from a long-extinct alien race. It is pitched as “Indiana Jones in space”!

Have you read any of these books? Tell me in the comments! 

Top five favourite historical novels

At high school my favourite subjects were art and history. I loved to hear all the stories and realizing that all that stuff actually happened! I still love to read historical fiction. Inspired by the Top Ten Tuesday topic ‘Back to school/Learning Freebie,’ I decided to make a small list with my favourite historical fiction books. Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but it is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top five favourite historical novels

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Time period: 1930-1945
Of course, I had to mention this book. It is high on my list of most beautiful books I ever read! According to the narrator – who happens to be Death! – it is about:
* A girl
* Some words
* An accordionist
* Some fanatical Germans
* A Jewish fist fighter
* And quite a lot of thievery

2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Time period: 1952-2010
This book starts in a small village in Afghanistan. Abdullah would do everything for his little sister, Pari. But one day they are separated. What follows are interlinked stories from people all over the world. The novel is beautifully written and I loved how everything comes together in the end.

3. The Time in Between by María Dueñas
Time period: 1930-1950
I would recommend this book to everyone who liked The Shadow of the Wind! The Time in Between is also an historical novel written by a Spanish writer and the story is just as good. I loved the mix of history, spying and romance in this novel! Sira works as an apprentice in the dress-making shop of her mother. She falls in love with a rich man and marries him. Not long after, she founds herself alone and without any money in Morocco…

4. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
Time period: 18th century
This is the heart-breaking story of Lavinia, an Irish girl who lost her family during the journey to the United States. She comes to live and work on a plantation, where the slaves become her new family. Initially she doesn’t realize the differences between black and white. Her white skin sets her apart anyway.
(Trigger warning for violence and rape.)

5. The Fraud by Barbara Ewing
Time period: 18th century
This book follows Grace, who has the dream of becoming a painter. Her brother also has a talent for drawing. While he becomes a famous painter in London, he does everything to prevent that Grace becomes an artist too. I admired Grace, because she is strong and passionate character. I also loved to read about the art and techniques used at that time!

What is your favourite historical novel? Tell me in the comments!

Books I’d Mash Together

For the topic of this Top Ten Tuesday I have chosen books that if combined, would form a good story. I loved to come up with all the ideas! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but it is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl.

1. The Hunger Games + Northern Lights

The Hunger GamesNorthern Lights

I think multiple books would become more interesting if you add daemons. The participants of The Hunger Games would definitively train their daemons, so they could help them fight. This makes me wonder what daemon Katniss would have… Maybe a leopard would suit her?

2. Artemis FowlThe Lies of Locke Lamora

Artemis FowlThe Lies of Locke Lamora

The Gentlemen Bastards and Artemis Fowl would form a great team! If this story was set in Camorr, Artemis could start as a solitary thief. He tries to steal money from The Gentlemen Bastards. He almost succeeds, but Locke and his band of thieves find out it is just one boy. When a common enemy appears, they start to work together.

3. Caraval + Gone

CaravalGone

Imagine Caraval where everyone who is invited gets some kind of power, like the ones from Gone. Beforehand people don’t know what kind of power they will get. For the duration of the game, people get teleportation abilities, telekinesis or super speed. Of course, some people become quite dangerous in this way…

4. Every Heart A Doorway + The Neverending Story

Every Heart a DoorwayThe Neverending Story

Bastian’s Home for Ink Children. Children sometimes disappear in books. But when the story is over, the book no longer needs them. Bastian and many others came back from their favourite stories. Now they are used to flying on dragons. Or going to balls in beautiful 18-century dress. They no longer feel at home in our world.

5. The Glass Sentence + The Hobbit

The Glass SentenceThe Hobbit

Just imagine Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves in a world with different time zones. So when they travel to the mountain, they also travel through different times in the history of Middle-Earth.

Which of these stories would you like to read? Do you have ideas for other combinations? Tell me in the comments!

Six books with sensory memories

I don’t always remember when or where I read a book. A lot of the time I read at home or in the train. So those memories kind of blended together. I do remember books I read on special places or especially good books. Inspired by the Top Ten Tuesday topic of this week I made a list of books with sensory memories. Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but it is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Books I read in another country

The Da Vinci Code  All the Light We Cannot See  The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
When I go to a certain country I like to read a book set in that country. When I went to Bordeaux with a friend, I put this book in my luggage. The Da Vinci Code was an exciting and easy read, ideal as vacation read. I finished it before I was back at home.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Three years ago I travelled by Interrail with a friend to three different cities: Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. So I picked a book that is partly set in Paris. I read it during the long train journey. Marie-Laure lives in Paris just before WWII. She is blind, but can find her way through the city with a wooden miniature of Paris her father made. Meanwhile in an orphanage in Germany, Werner develops a talent for fixing radios. This gives him the opportunity to join the Hitler Youth.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
I found this book in a free little library in a hostel in Guatemala. Many people read this copy before me; it has stamps from an American high school library. Despite being in Guatemala for three months, I didn’t finish the book there. For some reason I was bored and quit reading. Years later I took The Lies of Locke Lamora to Berlin. I liked it a lot more and finished the book during my trip. The characters are the best thing about this book. Locke is an orphan who becomes the leader of The Gentlemen Bastards, a group of thieves. They are clever and regularly made me laugh.

A book I read instead of sleeping

Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
This is the third part of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I actually tried to sleep, but I couldn’t. I just needed to know how the story would end. So I put on my light and continued reading. At the start of this series 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.

Books that accidentally got wet

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone  Cress

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I reread this book many times, so it isn’t in the best condition. Two years ago I took it with me on a Harry Potter themed summer camp. One night I left it outside during a rainy night… I didn’t want to throw it away, so I let the book dry in the sun.

Cress by Marissa Meyer
This book was in my bag, so I could read it in the train. Cress is the third (and best) part of The Lunar Chronicles. The story is based on Rapunzel. When arriving at school I found out my water bottle had leaked. My notes, diary and book were all partly wet. I can be quite clumsy, so I probably didn’t put the cap properly on my bottle. I could dry everything on the radiator, but I still felt bad for doing this to my book.

Do you remember when you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments!

Top four book series I want to finish (someday)

Books in series frequently end with cliffhangers and loose ends. This can be a motivation to continue the series. Not always, though. Often I read the first book, but I never come around to reading the rest of the series. Despite liking the first book… Most of the time I just find another interesting book and totally forget about continuing a series. Inspired by the Top Ten Tuesday topic of this week, here is a list with all the book series I want to finish. I only listed series from which two or more books are published. (Otherwise I would include lots of book I wrote about last week) Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but it is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl.

1. The Mapmakers Trilogy by S.E. Grove

The Mapmakers Trilogy

The Glass Sentence was one of my favourite books in 2015. It is set in an amazing world with parts in different time periods. For some reason I have never continued this series. I still want to read the rest of this trilogy!

2. Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Exodus

I found Exodus by accident at a local library sale. It became a new favourite. So I really don’t know why I haven’t finished this trilogy yet! The story is set 2100. The island where Mara lives is slowly flooding. She convinces everyone to leave their home. Nobody foresaw the city they find…

3. The Great Library by Rachel Caine

The Great Library

Ink and Bone was the first book I read this year. This series is set in a world where The Great Library of Alexandria has survived. According to Goodreads The Great Library series will have five books, three of them are already published. I am curious how this story will continue and I hope to read part two soon!

4. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

The Girl At Midnight

Three years ago I read The Girl at Midnight. The main charachter is Echo, a pickpocket who lives in a library in New York. I first need to reread this book, but after that I would like to continue this trilogy.

Did you finish any of these series? Or do you want to? Tell me in the comments!