Top Six Books Where Time Is Altered

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl, is ‘Books With a Unit of Time In the Title.’ I adjusted this topic a little, because I found it more interesting to write about books where time is approached in unusual ways.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
On the night of an important concert, violinist Etta is suddenly thrown hundreds of years back in time. It isn’t easy to write a good time travel story, but in this book time travelling is well executed.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
I liked this story for its originality. It’s an historical fantasy set in Victorian London where clock towers control time. If a broken clock isn’t repaired, the time in the town just stops working. So mechanics are literally timekeepers.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
This book is a mystery with a twist. The day of the murder repeats itself until the protagonist has solved it. Despite the repetition, this never becomes boring. Because every morning the protagonist awakes in the body of another person.

Still on my TBR:

Top Five Bookish Characters from Fantasy Books

Time for Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. I love today’s topic: Bookish characters! Since it’s also Wyrd & Wonder this month, I decided to focus on bookish character from fantasy books.

Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer

“His nose was broken by a falling volume of fairy tales his first day on the job, and that, they said, told you everything you needed to know about strange Lazlo Strange: head in the clouds, world of his own, fairy tales and fancy.”

My favourite fictional bookworm! Lazlo is a kind-hearted librarian. Since childhood he is obsessed with a mythic lost city called Weep. He collects all the information he can find about it. Lazlo’s dream is finding this city and solving all the mysteries surrounding it. When he gets the opportunity, Lazlo has to seize his change or lose his dream forever.

Meggie from Inkheart

“There was another reason [she] took her books whenever they went away. They were her home when she was somewhere strange. They were familiar voices, friends that never quarelled with her, clever, powerful friends – daring and knowledgeable, tried and tested adventurers who had travelled far and wide. Her books cheered her up when she was sad and kept her from being bored.”

Meggie lives with her father Mo. He is a book binder and they both love reading. One night she overhears a conversation her father has. Next morning, they suddenly have to go to aunt Elinor. After a while, Meggie finally finds out her father’s secret. He is able to bring things from a book to our world when he reads the story aloud. But this talent comes with a price…

Bastian from The Neverending Story

“Bastian liked books that were exciting or funny, or that made him dream. Books where made-up characters had marvelous adventures, books that made him imagine all sorts of things. Because one thing he was good at, possibly the only thing, was imagining things so clearly that he almost saw and heard them.”

The Neverending Story is one of my favourite books from childhood. It’s about a boy reading a book about Fantastica. This world needs a human to save it. While Bastian is reading, he goes into the book. The best thing is: he doesn’t only become part of the story, Bastian is also able to shape it with his imagination.

Charley from The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

“… I really have no circle of acquaintances outside work. None nonfictional or unrelated to me, anyway. I’m busy. There are a lot of books to read.”

Charley has the magical ability to bring a character from a book into the real world. His brother Rob thinks this family secret causes mostly problems. But I would love to have this power! Not only the characters, but also the plot of The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is really interesting.

Tilly from Tilly and the Bookwanderers

“With very few exceptions Tilly found that she much preferred the company of characters in her books to most of the people she knew in real life.”

Tilly is a young girl wo lives above her grandparents’ bookshop. One day a character from the book she’s reading appears in the shop. That’s when she learns about `book wandering.’ This magic works both ways: Tilly can bring characters from books into our world and she can get in the book herself.

Three Writers I Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To

Time for a new Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is ‘Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To.’ There are a couple of writers that are often recommended. One or even multiple of their books are on my To Be Read-list, but I still haven’t read them.

N.K. Jemisin
N.K. Jemisin is an American black writer most well-known for The Broken Earth trilogy. These post-apocalyptic books mixed with fantasy sound intriguing and original. But I am even more eager to read the Dreamblood duology, epic fantasy books based on Ancient Egypt. So I recently bought The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun. I want to read them during Wyrd & Wonder in May.

Ursula K. LeGuin
Ursula K. LeGuin is famous for writing the fantasy classic A Wizard of Earthsea. She also has written ground-breaking science fiction. At a time when most speculative fiction was written by men, Ursula K. LeGuin was quite unique. She paved the way for many other female speculative fiction writers. I also loved the fact that both of her parents were anthropologists, because I studied cultural anthropology. So I really want to read one or more of her books myself. I only have to decide with which book I’m going to start. The podcast episode “Do not take me for granite” – with Amal El-Mohtar at Breaking the Glass Slipper inspired me to maybe pick up Worlds of Exile and Illusion.

Kate Quinn
Kate Quinn is an American writer of historical fiction. Her most popular books are about the Second World War. Yet she also wrote a series set in first-century Rome. I first encountered Kate Quinn when The Rose Code appeared on multiple Best of the Year-lists at a couple of blogs I followed. Recently Jo from the Book Lovers Blog recommended her newest book to me: The Diamond Eye. It’s about “a quiet bookworm who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper.” That sounds amazing, and I think The Diamond Eye will be the first book I’m going to read by Kate Quinn.

Top Four Historical Fiction about Real Women for International Women’s Day 2022

Today is International Women’s Day and today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is ‘Books With Your Favorite Trope/Theme’. I decided to combine these two things, because I love to read novels about women from history. It’s nice to read a book for fun and learn about history at the same time. So here are some good stories about inspiring women:

Kleopatra & Pharaoh by Karen Essex
The covers are pretty terrible, but the story is really good. The books in this duology are based on the life of Cleopatra VII who was queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 BC. The first part deals with her youth and rise to power. In the second part we read about her reign over Egypt. I loved the way Kleopatra is portrayed in the books. She is an intriguing, cunning and intelligent woman, but also has her insecurities. 

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
This is a witty and loose retelling of the life of Lady Jane Grey. She is also known as the Nine Days Queen, because Jane was put on the throne for only nine days in 1553. Her real story is short and quite sad. However, this book is light-hearted and fun to read.

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé
Tituba was the first woman accused of practicing witchcraft during the Salem witch trials in the 17th century. Very little is known about the life of this black, enslaved woman. In this beautiful story the writer gives Tituba a voice and shows us what her life could have looked like.

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton
One of the two main characters of this story is Truus Wijsmuller. She was a Dutch woman who saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children from Germany and Austria. Truus helped them to flight before the Second World War started. I loved to learn about her in this amazing book.

Top Four 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To

It has been too long since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s prompt is 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To. Here is my top four:

Black Water Sister by Zen Choo
I got this book for Christmas. It’s a Malaysian urban fantasy about a girl who is haunted by her dead grandmohter. I didn’t manage to read it in December, but it was the first book I read this year. It was so good! You can read all my thoughts about in the wrap-up at the end of the month.

The Last Graduate (The Scholomance #2) by Naomi Novik
Last year I read A Deadly Education, the first part of the Scholomance trilogy. I really enjoyed reading this book and especially liked the unique setting. Scholomance isn’t what you expect of a magical school: it’s a dark place full of monsters without any teachers. I want to continue this story, but I’m going to wait till I can borrow the book from my library. That won’t take too long, because I saw that they already have ordered The Last Graduate!

The Swimmers by Marian Womack
This is an eco-dystopia set in 2033. After the global warming, this is now a place of deep jungles, strange animals, and new taxonomies. It sounds so interesting! I also like that this book is set in Andalusia (in Spain). Most dystopian books I read are set in some version of the United States.

Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez
This is a companion novel to Woven in Moonlight, which was an amazing book inspired by Bolivian history. Written in Starlight follows Catalina, a side character from the first book. I’d love to read more about her. The book is also described as “an adventurous South American Tomb Raider!”

Looking back at my Summer TBR & My Autumn 2021 TBR

Today’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl, is ‘Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List.’ But before looking forward, I want to look back. What books on my summer TBR did I actually read?

So I read 5 out of the 6 books on my TBR. Not bad! I’m not sure if I still want to read The Silence of the Girls. It does sound like an interesting book, but I don’t feel very motivated to read it.

Let’s continue with my TBR list for the next months. Here are the books I want to read this autumn:

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
I wanted to read this Chinese inspired fantasy for the Magical Readathon. I requested the book at my library two months ago, but I still haven’t been able to read it. So I hope I don’t have to wait any longer.

The Book of Dreams by Nina George
Last year I loved to read The Little Paris Bookshop by the same writer. I like to try her other book to see if they are just as good.

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
On her twitter the author describes the plot as ”A stressed zillennial lesbian fights gods, ghosts, gangsters & grandmas in 21st century Penang.” That sounds definitively promising! The book also has a Malaysian setting, just like The Ghost Bride, a book I loved to read earlier this year.

Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks
This is an Australian steampunk novel. I bought the book a few months ago and want to read it in November for SciFiMonth. Steampunk is a fascinating subgenre that combines historical fiction and sci-fi. I’m looking forward to explore it further.

This Vicious Cure (This Mortal Coil, #3) by Emily Suvada
A year ago this book was already high on my TBR-list. Sadly I am still not able to borrow the book at my library. But I’ll keep trying to get it and hope to read this book before the end of the year. I really want to know how the trilogy ends!

The Galaxy and the Ground Within (Wayfarers, #4) by Becky Chambers
The first part of the Wayfarers series, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, is one of my favourite books of all time. All the books from the series have great characters and are really well-written. So I’m looking forward to read this last part of the series.

Six Books On My Summer 2021 TBR

It has been a while since I did a Top Ten Tuesday. This is the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today I will share the books I’m going to read this summer. I finally was able to go to the library again. So I borrowed a big pile of books for the following months.

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
I have this habit of reading a book by Isabel Allende each year. Last year this one was on my TBR, but I haven’t read it yet. This month I will finally get to it. I’m quite sure I will enjoy it just as much as the other books I read from Isabel Allende. A Long Petal of the Sea follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
After reading Between Shades of Gray two years ago, I was determined to read more books by Ruta Sepetys. So when I found the Dutch edition of this book at my library, I immediately borrowed it. Just like A Long Petal of the Sea, it’s historical fiction about Spain.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
My mother discovered this book in a little free library and gave it to me. Coincidentally I already wanted to read this book! It’s set in seventeenth century Amsterdam. Because I’m Dutch myself, I’m always interested in historical fiction set in the Netherlands.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
After reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller I like to read other retellings of the Iliad. I will probably never read the Iliad itself, but I like to learn about Greek history and mythology. The Silence of the Girls is narrated by Briseis and will tell the story of the women during the Trojan War.

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa
This book is about two of my favourite things: cats and books. I was planning to buy it myself, but I got the book for my birthday. So time to read it! The Cat Who Saved Books is originally written in Japanese. I own the Dutch edition. The English edition of the book will be published in December 2021.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
I read about this book on multiple book blogs. It did sound interesting, but I wasn’t planning to read it. However, the book caught my eye at the library. I usually love books about magical schools and I enjoyed other books by Naomi Novik. Just like that it ended on my to be read book pile.

Book Titles That Sound Like They Could Be Crayola Crayon Colors

The topic for this Tuesday is a fun one! We are challenged to find book titles that sound like they could be Crayola crayon colors. This is of course a prompt from Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. She recommends looking up the crazy Crayola crayon colors that exist. I especially like the names Razzle Dazzle Rose, Banana Mania, Outrageous Orange and Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown. I also found a couple of Crayola crayon colors that actually are book titles too:

After that I went looking for other book titles that could be good colour names. I didn’t manage to make a long list, but I found three books:

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
In Dutch, bright yellowish-green is sometimes called “gifgroen.” This literally means poison green. I’m not enirely sure where this name came from, but I have a theory. According to The Secret Lives of Color, arsenic was used to make some green pigments in the 18th and 19th century. At the time it wasn’t widely known that arsenic is toxic. So the pigments were used for all kinds of things like clothing and walpaper. That’s why I think Poison Study would be a fitting name for a shade of yellowish-green.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
This title sounds like a very bright colour. The cover has different shades of orange that could be called Illuminae. However, I associate the name rather with a bright shade of yellow.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
This title sounds quite poetic. I think it would a beautiful name for a dark colour. Since shadows are usually not really black, this colour could be a dark shade of purple.

Top Six Best New-to-me Writers I Read in 2020

This post was inspired by Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. The prompt of this week is ‘New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020.’ Last year I read books from 26 new authors. That would become a very long post… So I decided to make a smaller list with only the writers from who I’d like to read another book.

Soulless by Gail Carriger was really fun to read! The book starts when Alexia is attacked by a vampire. This is entirely inappropriate. To make it even worse, Alexia accidentally kills him. This is the first part of the Parasol Protectorate series. Alexia is a great main character and I would love to read more about her. So the sequel, Changeless, is definitively on my TBR-list!

My favourite book of 2020 was The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I loved the writing style and I hope her other stories are just as good. The Book of Dreams is the next book I’m going to read from this writer.

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez is an amazing fantasy book based on Bolivian history. This month a companion novel will be published: Written in Starlight. It’s about Catalina, an important side character from Woven in Moonlight. I’m definitively curious about this story!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is the first part of the Winternight Trilogy. I love the fact that the story is inspired by Russian history and folklore. I liked it and I will also borrow the sequel, The Girl in the Tower, at my library.

The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka is a beautiful story. It was the first book I read with Malaysia as setting. I’d like to read more stories set in Malaysia, so another book from this writer is on my TBR: The Japanese Lover.

After reading Tash Hearts Tolstoy I looked up Kathryn Ormsbee. It’s nice to see how diverse the characters in her stories are. The book I read has a main character who is asexual. Next to characters that fall in the LGBTQIA-spectrum, some of her books also have disabled characters. The Great Unknowable End made me most curious. It’s a historical young adult novel with science fiction vibes and one of the main characters has Tourette’s.

Six Books I Meant to Read In 2020 But Didn’t Get To

I’m again gonna look back at 2020. But instead of looking at the books I read, this post is about the books I didn’t read. I was inspired by Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Vicious Cure (This Mortal Coil, #3) by Emily Suvada
There’s a good reason why I haven’t read this book yet. I borrowed the first two parts from my library. The last part of the trilogy was published last year, and I wasn’t able to borrow it yet. I really want to know how the story ends, so I’m definitively still planning to read this book!

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicles, #3) by Jay Kristoff
I read Nevernight and Godsgrave in Dutch. Last year I also wanted to read Darkdawn in Dutch, but this wasn’t possible. I am totally able to read the book in English. However, it felt weird to read one book from the trilogy in another language. So I want to re-read part one and two in English and then read the last part. But I can also wait a bit longer, because I heard that Darkdawn will finally be translated in July. In either English or Dutch, I hope this is gonna be the year I will finish The Nevernight Chronicles!

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I don’t have an excuse why I haven’t read this book yet. I still want to, because I really liked Circe. Madeline Miller has a beautiful writing style and I am looking forward to reading more of her books. I like how her stories help me to learn more about Greek myths. The Song of Achilles is a retelling of the Iliad.

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
It’s kind of a tradition to read at least one book by Isabel Allende each year. Last year I wanted to read her newest book, but I never did. I already made a reservation at my library and I hope it won’t take too long before I can read the book. Isabel Allende writes beautiful magical realism stories, but I also like her historical fiction. This book is about two people who flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.

Child of the River by Irma Joubert
The writer of this book was recommended to me by Elza in her Top Ten Tuesday post about books set in South Africa. I found this book at my library and actually borrowed it, but never read it… I am still interested in reading a book by a South African writer and it really seems a good story.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
In 2019 I loved to read Between Shades of Gray. I wanted to read more books by Ruta Sepetys, but I just didn’t get to it. This book is set in Spain during the fascist dictatorship of General Franco. I am especially interested in the fact that this book includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary and photos.