Blogging as an International | Access to books and ARCs

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now, and with the recent developments with Netgalley and Goodreads, I think it is the perfect time to talk about this. I won’t be going into depth about the developments on Netgalley and Goodreads because it has been talked about a lot already, and I don’t want to repeat the same things.

As you probably know, I’m not from the US. In fact, I’m from the Netherlands (you know that small country in Europe with clogs and cheese? except that there are barely any clogs to be found in the entire country). Since our native language is Dutch, there are already a couple of disadvantages to reading English books. But more about that later. This post is in no way supposed to come across as if I’m ungrateful for anything, or that I would beĀ entitled to things other bloggers do get, or anything like that. I just wanted to talk about how for internationals, it can be a bit harder to get access to the same things others get easy access to.

Continue reading “Blogging as an International | Access to books and ARCs”

8 Things that Make Me Want to Pick Up a Book Immediately + Recommendations

I am back from my week-long hiatus, in which I went to Berlin, fell in love with the city and then sadly had to return to my home where it’s very boring and I have to go to school and let me just cry a little. I was so busy sightseeing that I didn’t even have the time to miss blogging! I’m very glad to be back at blogging though! It was strangely hard to come up with a topic to talk about today but I found something.

Today I wanted to talk about what makes me want to read a book. And I will not go into covers and titles, even though those play a very important role. Each topic will include examples of books I read and loved and books I want to read! So basically, this is a recommendation/tbr post šŸ˜›

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#1 Dark fantasy

I totally blame V.E. Schwab for this because her books are so wonderfully dark, it makes every other book feel light! It’s kind of weird, but I love it when books have a lot of dark themes, such as death, destruction, murder, assassins. Anything that’s inherently bad, I love it.

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To read

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#2 Con-artists & illusionists

I love it when characters are not who everyone thinks they are, when they have to fake to be someone else or something else. Illusions and cons are so much fun! There’s the complexity of coming across as genuine while there is the constant tension of not being caught.

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To read

 

#3 Complex characters

Any character that’s morally grey, has many flaws and is not the hero by design will catch my attention. I love it when characters are flawed and not really the nicest people. Characters like Kaz from Six of Crows with skewed morals are the best kind of characters to read about.

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To read

 

#4 Feminism

Give me all the female strong characters that fight for feminism (or male characters? But those are rarer)! If a story is about feminism or has feminist aspects to it, I am immediately drawn to it!

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To read

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#5 LGBT+ rep

For obvious reasons, I’m not a huge fan of romance, but when the romance is between LGBT+ characters or when the characters are just on the LGBT+ spectrum, I will immediately like it 147% more (I made that number up don’t worry).

Read

To read

#6 A diverse group of teens

LGBT+ aside, I love it when there’s a group of teens that are of different cultures, backgrounds, etc. I always like it when a book changes POVs, it always gives an extra dimension to the story because you get to see things in different perspectives!

To read

#7 Coming-of-age

If it’s a story about growing up, gaining confidence and about that phase in life where you have to start making the big decisions, I will want to read it. I love stories in which the characters have to grow out of their small comfort zone and go out in the world, discover themselves. For this reason, I love it when books are set in the last year of high school.

Read

To read

I can’t think of any at this moment!

#8 When it’s written by one of my favouriteĀ authors

This is a very obvious one, but there are some authors that have become instant favourites, and I will read whatever they come up with. EVERYTHING. Especially when it comes to V.E. Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Holly Bourne, Maggie Stiefvater and Marissa Meyer.

To read

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What makes you want to pick up a book? Are any of our interests the same? You got any recommendations for me perhaps?

Book Covers I’d Frame and Stare at All Day

Just today, I was sitting on a bench in front of my university and I was just looking at people and there was this guy. And he was beautiful. And I really just wanted to stare at him, but I felt so weird about it. You don’t just stare at random people you see, at least not if you don’t want to be creepy or flirty (or both). But I just want to stare at things I that are aesthetically pleasing, okay?!

It’s the same with book covers, I cannot not stare at a cover if it’s pretty. I’d love to just hang them on my walls so I could just stare at the magnificent cover art the artists and designers came up with all day. (good thing I’d not be creepy if I stared at my book covers, right? Only a little weird :P)

This post is inspired by Swetlana, who generously shared her post ideas with me so I could write a post today! Thank you!

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I cannot not mention these amazing covers of This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab. I just adore the coloring and the calligraphy! It looks even better up close and I am so glad to own both of them in these gorgeous editions. I would frame them if I could.

You have no idea how many times I’ve stood in the library or bookstore and thought, “wow” whenever I saw the cover of The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling. The cover of the second book, The Glow of Fallen Stars, is also so pretty! I should just buy them, just for the sake of being able to look at them all day. (it has such mediocre reviews though! I’m sad šŸ˜¦ )

This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi has the cutest cover! The colors are so pretty and pastel and I normally don’t like people on covers, but I do love illustrations and I adore this one. (Also, there’s a unicorn, and who can say no to a unicorn? Or is that a horse? I can’t see.)

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman is obviously on this list, I adore all things space and I also adore the illustrations on it! When I first saw the cover, I thought it would be sci-fi but it’s completely not!

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A Million Junes by Emily Henry has one of my favourite color combinations: blue and yellow. I love how the background is a bit vague, like, you don’t really see immediately what it is and it just looks really cool!

The cover of We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson is so simple but so pretty. Again, that color combination, but also the sunset vibe, the lines. I just love it! I also love the star-tracing or whatever it’s called when you take a long exposure picture of the night sky.

Whoever designed the cover of The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon deserves a medal. It’s so pretty and bright and colourful! I wish I owned a copy so I could stare at it. Or just remake the whole thing on my wall. That would be so cool (so much work though)

Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West has been on my TBR for so long and just because it’s so pretty! I adore the illustration and the shadow thing is just gorgeous. I wish I had this on my shelves or on my walls. I’d frame it.

Spellslinger and Shadowblack I only discovered recently but I’ve fallen head over heels for these covers. I adore the concept and the two people on the Spellslinger cover kind of remind me of a slightly younger version of Kell and Lila from the Shades of Magic series? I just want these on my shelves, please.

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Which of these is your favourite? And which covers would you like to frame and put on your walls? Do you have a cover you’re so in love with you’d buy the book for no other reason than to have it on your shelf to stare at?

Discussion: Problematic Content & What To Do About It

Problematic content, we probably all have gotten in touch with it. Whether it was the problematic love story of Twilight (which I still haven’t read btw) or the problematic representation of a certain sexuality or the constantly killing of characters of color, problematic content is everywhere. Most people probably don’t even notice that it’s problematic and that is exactly what makes it even more problematic. Continue reading “Discussion: Problematic Content & What To Do About It”

Discussion: The Perfect Reading Spot (or: where I spent most of my time reading)

We all have that one spot where we love to read, or at least I do. I recently came across Arhaus and I wantedĀ to discuss what makes a spotĀ the perfect reading spot, list my favourite spots and design my own perfect spot! They have aĀ variety of living room furnitureĀ that helpĀ could help inspire any of these ideas.

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What makes something the perfect reading spot

For the perfect reading spot you need a few things:

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor reading spotObviously: access to books, so you need to be surrounded by bookshelves! The only disadvantage is that if you can see all the books around you, you’re going to stare at them instead of reading them. At least, that’s what I notice with myself haha

 

 

 

 

AAfbeeldingsresultaat voor reading spotĀ comfortable seat, something you can snuggle in, but notĀ tooĀ comfy, because then there’s the “falling asleep” problem! For a comfortable seat you need pillows! Lots of them! And you need a backrest because I don’t know about you but when I read, I don’t want to sit up straight all the time!

 

 

 

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor reading spotLighting! Especially natural lighting, but that is a problem if you like reading at night, so good lamps are essential!

Silence, because I cannot read if people are talking! People disturbing me while reading by talking is so annoying, I can’t possibly focus! I do read with music though, so that’s not an issue, but it needs to be away from people!

 

 

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Where I read

When I read, which I do a lot, I read mostly on my bed. My bed is just really comfy, but the lighting is really bad. So I have a couple of other spots I love to sit and read!

At home, I mainly read in my bed, even during the day, but when I don’t read there, I sit in my beanbagĀ couch. I don’t use it often, but it has cushions on it and it’s right next to my bookshelf so it’s perfect for reading! It’s also right below my roof window, so the light is perfect!

When I’m not at home, I read whenever I can. I don’t have my driver’s licence yet (hopefully by the time this post goes up I do), so my parents always drive. Which means that I can sit in the back seat of the car and read! Luckily I never get sick in the car anymore so I can read all I want!

Another favourite spot of mine is on the train. For my study, I have to travel by train a lot so on weekdays I travel about 2 hours each day. Doing homework on the train is quite hard so usually I read a lot!

For listening to audiobooks, my favourite place to do that is while cycling (which is not a place but you got the gist). Cycling is an activity I do a lot anyway (to university/to the train station/back home/etc) so it’s perfect to get some reading done!

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What myĀ perfect reading spot would look like

For me, my dream reading spot would be a window seat (I think many of you can agree). It needs to be big and spacious, like: the size of a bed but with a rounded side. There needs to be cushions around the entire back of the seat and a lot of pillows! It needs to be soft and comfy, but of course I need some space for drinks (I wouldn’t want to spill on my books!).

Beside the seat there needs to be bookshelves! And a lot of them because I always run out of shelf space. Seriously, I just got a new bookshelf and it’s already full! So plenty of bookshelves it is!

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Where do you always read? What’s your favourite reading spot and what would your dream reading spot look like?

Discussion: About Cover Judging & Comparing Book Covers (and titles) Dutch vs. UK/US

I love book covers and I love judging book covers (and nobody dareĀ shame me for it). Sometimes I buy books based on their covers (or at least check them out), sometimes I don’t read a book because I hate the cover. I have books on my shelves I haven’t read yet because the cover really turns me off (*caughs* Graceling *caughs*).

Today I wanted to do a little fun post in which I compare some of the UK/US covers to the Dutch editions, because sometimes I really don’t understand why they made the changes they did. And sometimes I love the Dutch cover more! If you didn’t know it yet, I am Dutch, so I come across Dutch translations quite often.

But first, I wanted to talk a little about cover judging and cover changes!

Continue reading “Discussion: About Cover Judging & Comparing Book Covers (and titles) Dutch vs. UK/US”

Discussion: Reasons to write: Fantasy vs. Contemporary

So far I have attempted to write a contemporary novel and I am currently working on a fantasy novel. It is very different from my contemporary story and so far I am loving it. For this discussion, I wanted to discuss some of the differences and pros and cons of writing these two genres and compare them.

Continue reading “Discussion: Reasons to write: Fantasy vs. Contemporary”