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.

Sectumsemptra

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.

Nominees

Feel free to do this tag if you like it!

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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 🙂

Top five favourite books of 2017

This year I read 48 books. And there’s still some time left, so I could reach the 50 books! Some numbers and facts:

  • I read 33 books by female writers and 14 books by male writers
  • The writers of the books are from 12 different nationalities:Graph nationalities
  • 7 books have main characters of color (4 of them were also written by a writer of color)
  • 3 books have main characters that identify themselves in the LGBTQIA spectrum
  • Most of the books I read were either fantasy or science fiction:
    Graph genres
  • I read 30 Middle-Grade and Young Adult books
  • 3 books were re-reads: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Linking up with the weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and The Bookish, here is my top five favourite books of 2017:

Top five favourite books of 2017

1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
It will be no surprise that this is one of my favourite books of the year. The writing style is beautiful and the world building is just perfect! I also adore the main character! Lazlo Strange is a kind-hearted librarian who dreams of a mystic lost city.

2. Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Just like last year, a part of The Illuminae Files has a place in this list. Gemina totally lived up to the high expectations I had after reading the first part! It is an exciting book with an end that is mind-blowing. I am definitively planning to re-read Gemina before the release of the last part of this series!

3. Exodus by Julie Bertagna
I found this book during a library sale and I am so glad I bought it. Exodus is about the consequences of global warming. While this is dystopian science fiction, it felt quite realistic! In 2100 the island where Mara lives is slowly flooding. Mara convinces everyone to find a new island. Nobody foresaw the city they find… This is the first of a trilogy, but I haven’t read the other books yet.

4. The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier
This is a book about the Amazons, a tribe of women warriors from Greek mythology. It is an amazing example of historical fiction: well-researched and exciting. The Lost Sisterhood has two main characters. The first story line follows Diana on her journey to find remains of the Amazons. The other story is about Myrina, who becomes the first Amazon.

5. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
This is the first part of the Firebird trilogy. The firebird is an instrument that can be used to travel to other dimensions. It was very interesting to read about the different dimensions! I loved the main character, Marguerite. I liked her artistic outlook on the world and her relationship with her parents. While the first book was the best, I would definitively recommend the whole series!

My thoughts about The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling trilogy

“Even a book can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and when that happens, you blame the hands, but you also read the book.”

This November I read The Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen. I had mixed feelings about the series: I loved the first book, but I was a little disappointed by the rest of the series. Here is a small and spoiler-free review about the books.

Summary

Princess Kelsea was raised in a small house in the forest. On the day she becomes nineteen, the Queen’s Guard takes her to the castle where she was born. As a queen she has to rule the Tearling and defeat the Red Queen, the evil dictator of the neighbouring country. Help comes not only from the Queen’s Guard, but also from the Tearling sapphires, a necklace with mysterious magical powers.

The books have triggers for abuse, rape and self harm.

Things I liked

  • Strong female main character: Kelsea is brave, decisive and independent. All character attributes I like to see in a main character. However, she is not perfect. She makes mistakes and is sometimes unsure of herself. I also loved the fact that Kelsea is very fond of books!
  • The villains: They are not just evil for the sake of being evil. I especially liked to read the background story of the Red Queen.
  • The Tearling: Kelseas world turned out to be different than I expected. I was positively surprised.

Things I didn’t liked

  • Kelseas transformations: As you can expect from a book series, the main character goes through some changes. Between the first and second book, Kelsea changes in two mayor ways. To me these transformations are too sudden. I sometimes felt like she was a different character.
  • The parts about Lily: These parts in The Invasion the Tearling slow down the story. I now understand they are important for the plot, but I think Lily’s story was too lengthy.
  • The necklace: In my opinion the role of the sapphires is overdone. Too much problems are resolved with them. It would have been more interesting to see Kelsea handle the problems without the necklace.

 

The Emoji Book Tag

Emojis are funny and very useful! Originally someone on instagram came up with the idea to combine emojis with books. Since I don’t have instagram, I would not have find this tag without Cait from paperfury. I may have changed some things, but there are no rules after all…

Favourite YA romance?Emoji heartface

Night of Cake and PuppetsI have to choose Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor. I love this book because it is written by one of my all-time favourite writers and it is about the best first date you can imagine! The new cover is also beautifully illustrated. I already have the e-book, but I am still in doubt if I am going to buy a physcial copy…

Made you cry?Emoji crying
I can’t remember actually crying while reading. I did cry when I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 for the first time. Even though I knew Fred was going to die, it was so sad to see 😥

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and DisappearedMade you laugh?Emoji laughing out loud
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson was hilarious. The ending is also absolutely brilliant!

Disappointing book?Emoji neutral face
I loved The Queen of the Tearing. Kelsea is a strong main character who loves books just like me. I just read the sequel, The Invasion of the Tearling, and was quite disappointed. Kelsea acts in a strange way and I didn’t like the parts about Lily. I hope the last part of this series will be better…

Strange the Dreamer

Major plot twist? Emoji shocking.png
I totally did not expect the ending of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor!

Boring book?Emoji sleeping
A few months ago I started Swing Time by Zadie Smith. I really wanted to like it. But after reading more than hundred pages, I was still bored. It was one of the few books this year I did not finish.

Top four cake, candy and chocolate mentioned in books

In my opinion one of the best things of birthdays is the cake. I love eating it, making it myself or watching others make it in The Great British Bake Off. My favourite cake is apple cake, but I also love chocolate cake. This Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, seems a great opportunity to talk about cake in books. Since we are talking about sweet food anyway, I also included books with candy and chocolate.

Top four cake, candy and chocolate mentioned in books

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
So many delicious candy is sold in Honeydukes, the wizarding sweets shop in Hogsmeade. If I could visit this shop I would definitively buy some Chocolate Frogs, Chocoballs (chocolate balls with a filling of strawberry mousse and clotted cream) and Cauldron Cakes (I wonder how these taste, since it isn’t mentioned in the books).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
I just needed to include this book. Reading it made me craving candy! All the imaginary sweets are so well described. I would love to taste the “little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips.”

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The November cake Puck eats, sounds delicious. Maggie Stiefvater even shared a recipe to make them! Time for re-read with real November cakes as snack.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris
I am actually cheating with this one, because I only saw the movie… Anyway, I want to mention it, because the book is about a chocolate shop (by now it is probably clear that I love chocolate just as much as cake). The owner is able to find the perfect kind of chocolate for every customer. It makes me wonder what she would sell me.

What is your favourite cake, candy or chocolate mentioned in books?