a few settings I’d like to see more of

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is settings we’d like to see more of. Let’s get into it!

space stations/ships

In the past year, I’ve read a few novels that are set in space ships and/or space stations and I’ve loved them all. From The Illuminae Files to Binti to Gravity, all three were incredible. Which means I’m waiting for recommendations from you! Are there any other space station books you’ve enjoyed?

remote universities

the secret history

I know this is incredibly specific, but the setting was a large part of why I loved The Secret History so much. It’s set in a remote college in New England, and is so atmospheric.

(pirate) ships

Why have I barely read any books set on ships? Especially pirate ships? I love that setting, yet I was looking through the books I read and couldn’t really find any. I did adore Red Seas Under Red Skies, which takes place on a ship, as well as Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb.

Middle Eastern/African settings (historical/fantasy)

Once again, two novels that were so atmospheric. I sped through The City of Brass, partly because of the lush descriptions of 18th century Caïro. I’m also currently reading Twelve Kings, which is a fantasy novel in a desert setting I’m really enjoying.

polar fantasy settings

a shiver of snow and sky

I read A Shiver of Snow and Sky last January, and fell in love with the setting. It takes place in a little village on an incredibly cold island, where the ground is always covered in snow and the sky is clear and filled with lights. I can’t wait to read more polar fantasies, even though I will really need some recommendations for this one.

Do you have any recommendations for me? Which settings would you like to see more of?

 

8 of my auto-buy authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking about auto-buy authors. The ones whose books we’ll buy/read no matter what they’re about. I only have a handful of authors whose books I’ll read without any hesitation whatsoever, so let’s get into it.

Rin Chupeco
> read: The Bone Witch trilogy
After reading The Bone Witch trilogy, Rin Chupeco has earned herself a spot on my list of auto-buy authors. I’m excited to see what she will bring to my bookshelves next, after creating one of my all-time favorite fantasy series.

Brandon Sanderson
> read: Warbreaker, The Way of Kings, Mistborn #1-4
Is anyone surprised? Probably not. I haven’t actually bought all of his books, but I’m working on it. There are a lot of them, okay, and they’re expensive.

Julian Winters
> read: Running With Lions
It only took Julian Winters one book to end up on this list. Isn’t that completely insane? I adored Running With Lions, which I discovered at YALC last year. I managed to finish this in a matter of hours, even though I was incredibly busy. It was such a lovely book, and I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

Courtney Summers
> read: All the Rage, Sadie
A few years ago, I read All the Rage and fell in love with it. It was so dark, real, and honest which is everything I want in a contemporary read. Last year, I picked up her latest release, Sadie, which ended up being one of my favorite novels of the year. I will get to her backlist at some point, but I’m definitely buying her new releases as soon as possible.

Madeline Miller
> read: The Song of Achilles, Circe
The Song of Achilles catapulted Madeline Miller onto this list, and I pre-ordered Circe as soon as it was possible. The Song of Achilles is one of my all-time favorite novels. I cry every single time I read it. While I didn’t love Circe as much as I did her debut novel, I know I’ll buy and read every single book she publishes.

Leigh Bardugo
> read: The Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows duology
I feel like I’m lying here because I haven’t actually bought her latest release, King of Scars, yet. However, I am planning on purchasing it eventually! I don’t buy new releases immediately after they come out often because they tend to be quite expensive. Either way, I’m interested in reading every single book she ever publishes.

Alice Oseman
> read: Radio Silence, I Was Born for This, Solitaire
I find it interesting that I immediately thought of Alice Oseman for this list, even though I haven’t loved all of her books. Radio Silence was the first book of hers I ever read, which is one of my favorite contemporaries. Before meeting her last year, I bought and read I Was Born For This (which I liked) and Solitaire (which I disliked) as well. I will end up buying Heartstopper at some point in time too.

Jessica Townsend
> read: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, The Calling of Morrigan Crow
If you’ve read my reviews on these books, you’ll know that the Nevermoor series has rekindled my love for middle grade fantasy. I hadn’t enjoyed an MG book as much as these ones in ages. Jessica Townsend has reminded me why I love reading fantasy so much, and where I got started with the genre.


I don’t have 10 authors for you this week, because there aren’t that many authors out there whose books I’d buy no questions asked. I wanted to keep this 100% honest, and not include those whose books I might buy without looking at the description. These are some of my all-time favorite authors, and I can’t wait to read more of their works.

Have you read any of these authors’ books? Which authors are on your list?

characters I want to hug and protect forever

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today is a character freebie, and I’ve decided to talk about the characters I want to roll up in a blanket and protect from the horrifying reality of humanity. Let’s get started, before this gets any darker, shall we?

Nicholas and Seiji | Fence by C.S. Pacat
I actually wanted to choose only one of the main characters from Fence for this topic, but I simply couldn’t decide which one I wanted to hug more.

Sebastian | Running With Lions by Julian Winters
This entire book, I wanted to fight anyone who ever made Sebastian feel bad. He’s such a Hufflepuff, and it kicked my protective feelings into high gear. He’s the kind of person to look after everyone else and make sure they’re doing well, but who is doing the same for him?

Sadie | Sadie by Courtney Summers
This entire book is so sad and painful! Maybe I’m growing old, but seeing a teenager go through all this makes me feel sick. Why is no one there to protect her?? I guess I’ll have to do it then.

Rudy | The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON RUDY.

Morrigan | Nevermoor by Jessicca Townsend
As is described in the synopsis of the first book, Morrigan is a “cursed child” because she was born on Eventide. Her entire life, people have blamed her for every single thing that goes wrong in the town. The absolute ridiculousness of this makes me so angry. She’s a child. You are supposed to protect her, not make her feel worthless.

Arya A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Out of all the characters in the series I’m desperate to protect, Arya tops the list. Since the start of the first book she has been my favorite character, and her journey has always been endlessly fascinating to me.

The Elric brothers | Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Protect the brothers! I’ve been reading the FMA manga this year, and have grown so attached to these two. They are so precious, and hilarious, and adorable.

Achilles & Patroclus The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I cried my eyes out while reading this book. I didn’t expect to feel so emotional, because I already knew what would happen to the characters. The way Madeline Miller made these characters come to life is absolutely mind-blowing.

Wylan | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Little Wylan… Do I even need to explain?

Kaladin | The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
I’ve only read the first book in the Stormlight Archive, but I already feel like I’ll need to protect him. He’s had such bad luck in the first one, I hope it gets better.

Have you read any of these books? Which characters would you protect with your life?

What did I read growing up?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. In this week’s post, I’m talking about the books I read growing up. I think this will be such an interesting post to read, especially when us book bloggers hail from all corners of the world!

De Zusjes Kriegel by Marc de Bel
This title translates to The Sisters Kriegel, and it follows three sisters who are completely awful. I can’t actually remember anything about the book, but I remember loving it to death. If I’m not mistaken, the sisters were bullies and complete psychopaths but I still adored this book. Maybe I should reread this as an adult!

Matilda by Roald Dahl
Is there a book lover out there who didn’t relate immensely to Matilda as a child? Obviously, I read the translation growing up as I only spoke Dutch. This is definitely one I want to reread one day.

Wise Child by Monica Furlong
Another book I read translated! I actually remember lending this from the library more than 10 times because I adored the story so much. It follows a girl who starts to live with Juniper, a healer and wise woman. However, the town considers her to be a witch.

Koning van Katoren by Jan Terlouw
I’ve talked about this book before, I’m fairly certain. This is quite a famous children’s book in Belgium and The Netherlands, and it follows a boy who has been given seven impossible tasks to complete in order to become King.

Het Uur Nul by Dirk Bracke
Het Uur Nul, literal translation ‘the hour zero’, was the first Dirk Bracke book I read and it solidified my love for this author. He always tackles taboo topics, and I read every book of his I could get my hands on as a teenager. I wonder how I’d feel about them at this point in my life. Either way, this is about a teenage boy who gets diagnosed with HIV in the 90s.

Prophecy of the Stones by Flavia Bujor
I remember borrowing this book from my best friend in my early teens, and falling in love with it. It follows three girls who are chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, and is written by a French author of Romanian descent. I really need to hunt down a copy of my own so I can read it again one day. I read this in Dutch, by the way, but it does have an English translation.

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider #1) by Anthony Horowitz
The Alex Rider series started my obsession with Anthony Horowitz as a teen. I still have so many of the Alex Rider novels in Dutch at my parents’ house, and I definitely want to keep them in my collection. They were such a big part of my reading life growing up!

Raven’s Gate (The Gatekeepers #1) by Anthony Horowitz
My love for the Alex Rider series pushed me into trying more of the author’s works, and that’s when I stumbled upon this series. I can vividly recall rereading this series again and again, and never growing bored of it.

Lieve Woordjes by Carl Norac and Claude K. Dubois
This is a series of picture books my mom gave to me as a kid. She still has them in her bookshelves, and I hope to one day take them with me. They hold some of my absolute favorite memories. The title translates to Sweet words, and that’s exactly what this book is: sweet. One of the books follows the little daughter, who gets to stay at home alone for the first time while her parents go out for a few hours. She does all the things she has always wanted, but at the end grows bored and just wants her parents to come back home so she can hug them. It’s adorable.

Inkheart (Inkworld #1) by Cornelia Funke
A book I was given by my godmother as a child! I remember being so amazed at a world in which people could jump into stories or bring parts of the stories to life by reading out loud. I have so many wonderful memories attached to these!


This was a wonderful trip down memory lane. Growing up in a family that always encouraged me to read has left me with so many beautiful memories to look back on. I’m eternally grateful to my parents and godmother for fostering my love for reading.

Have you read any of these? What did you read growing up?

 

my summer to-read list (why do I even try?)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking about our summer (or winter, depending on your location) TBR. Now, I don’t even know why I try with these to-read lists. I always pick books I’m dying to read, and when the season is over I’ve barely read 2 of them. However, I’m not willing to give up. So what am I going to read this summer?

Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 edition volume 3 by Hiromu Arakawa
This contains volumes 7, 8, and 9 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. I recently ordered 4 of the omnibuses because I want to start collecting those instead of the used single volumes I have now. I’ve already read volume 7, and can’t wait to read 8 and 9 as well.

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
This edition contains the first two volumes of Fruits Basket. Once again, I’ve read the first volume already and can’t wait to continue. It was so cute!

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
I requested this from the library, have had it for 2 months, and still haven’t read it. I really want to change that this summer. I’m feeling like reading epic fantasy at the moment. What’s better than fantasy with dragons and a sapphic relationship? NOTHING. Nothing is better than that.

Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers #3) by Becky Chambers
I finally bought a copy of this book in June, after wanting it ever since its release last year. It was always so expensive though, and I couldn’t bring myself to actually buy it. When I was in London, I spotted a copy with blue sprayed edges at Waterstones and knew it was time to get it.

Shortcake Cake Vol. 1 by Suu Morishita
I have no idea what this manga is about. I saw one of the YouTubers I’m subscribed to mention it as a series they’re currently reading and loving, so I had to buy it. The first two volumes are on their way to me, and I can’t wait.

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman
A hyped book I’ve been putting off for ages. Like I mentioned before, I’m in the mood to read SFF, which makes it a perfect time to give Scythe a try. If you’re unaware, this is about a society in which people don’t die unless their lives are ended by a scythe.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
In case my mood does a complete 180, I have some contemporary romances on this list as well. Love & Gelato is set in Florence, and follows a girl trying to learn more about her parents.

Our Dreams at Dusk Vol. 1 by Yhuki Kamatani
An LGBT+ coming-of-age manga! The description says, “In this realistic, heartfelt depiction of LGBT+ characters from different backgrounds finding their place in the world, a search for inner peace proves to be the most universal experience of all.”

Mango Summer by Agay Llanera
An adult contemporary this time around… This is set in San Antonio on a mango farm, where all the fruit goes sour for the first time in a century. According to a family legend, the only way to keep the mangoes sweet is for the women who run the farm to be married and bear children. If I’m not mistaken, it’s a romance between the 34-year-old owner of the farm, Fiona, and her best friend’s younger brother, who is 28.

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin
I really want to continue this series. I read, and loved, the first book last year and don’t want to wait another 3 years to continue the trilogy. I’m not sure how to explain the storyline, or whether I should even try. It’s adult SFF, and everyone should read it. That’s all you really need to know.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading this summer?

10 of my unpopular bookish opinions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. For today, the topic is ‘unpopular bookish opinions’. I really hope I don’t have to say this, but I’ll do so anyway just in case. These opinions are in no way meant to offend anyone. There you have it, disclaimer done. Let’s get into it!

I love breaking the spine of paperbacks

I said it! I love breaking the spine of paperbacks, and seeing the lines it leaves on the spine. I really like the way it looks on my shelves. It makes me feel like the book has been read and loved, like it has a history of its own. I don’t always do it as some paperbacks don’t require bending it somewhat to be able to read it properly, but it does happen quite often. Don’t worry, I don’t really lend books from others, so I’m not breaking other people’s book spines! Just my own.

I prefer paperbacks

I’m sure this is not that much of an unpopular opinion, since many people love them, but I do think there’s this love for hardcovers in the bookish community. Which is fine, obviously! Who am I to say which format you should love more? I personally prefer to read and collect paperbacks, however. I find them easier to hold and read, like the way they look read and loved (due to the spine), and am grateful they are usually cheaper.

The one thing I hate about paperbacks, however, is that there are 234234 different sizes and the chance of my series not matching is high. Looking at you, Nevermoor.

I love used books

I know that a lot of people prefer to buy their books new because they look pristine, haven’t been handled yet, or are a more direct way of supporting the author. I happen to love used books, however, and will almost always seek out a used bookstore before a regular one while traveling. Like I said with the broken spines, it makes me feel like a book has a history already, one that’s now being transferred to me.

sometimes the movie really is better

OOPS, I SAID IT. The book isn’t always better, guys. I do happen to enjoy the book more 90% of the time because there’s usually more time and space to explore the characters and world, but that’s definitely not true for every movie or TV adaptation ever.

Annihilation is a fantastic movie adaptation, for example. More on this later!

I don’t own/want to own a lot of bookish merch

Don’t get me wrong, I love bookish merch. I love the way it looks, and I admire the creators who have put so much of their hard work into it. However, I don’t own all that much. A few pouches, some socks, and a tote. That’s pretty much all the merch I’ve bought myself. Why? I honestly prefer my home to have a more minimalistic style (even though I definitely own too much to truly call myself a minimalist). Having too much stuff makes my house feel cluttered, which stresses me out.

The only bookish items I would buy are things I would use on a daily basis: (travel) mugs, pouches, a welcome mat, or a tote bag.

Obviously, no offence meant to those who do! This is just a personal preference when it comes to keeping my home uncluttered.

5 books I have unpopular opinions on

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
It’s clear how unpopular my opinion on this book is by the amount of annoying comments I get on my review. If I get one, just one, more comment that starts with “you completely misunderstood…” I’m going to scream. I absolutely despised this book and made a review/rant video to talk about the reasons why. Out of all the negative reviews I have ever made, THIS is the one I get the most hate for.

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
What the fuck was this book. Seriously. SOMEONE EXPLAIN  how this one has an average rating of 4.28 on Goodreads. I hated every single sentence in this book with a fiery passion, and wish I could erase it from my mind immediately. Since that’s not possible, I decided to grace you all with a review full of quotes so you can experience the horror that is this reading experience too. This is a definitely a case of ‘the movie was better’.

The Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Perhaps a bit less unpopular than the previous two, but still. As a Harry Potter fan, I am deeply disappointed in this one. Yes, I knew this was a play before reading it. Yes, I knew it wasn’t written by Rowling herself. Those are not the reasons I hated it. I disliked it because it broke the few rules of magic established in the original series, because the characters didn’t even seem like themselves, and because of the blatant queerbaiting.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My hate for this book is no secret. I simply don’t understand why everyone loves this, or why it’s a classic in the first place. Supposed symbolism aside, let’s all agree on the fact that this book is incredibly boring. Nothing happens. At all.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This was such a popular mystery novel/thriller when it first came out, and it even won the Goodreads Choice Award in that category. I thought it was incredibly boring, and really struggled to finish it.

Do you agree with my unpopular opinions? Tell me some of yours in the comments!

recommendations from my favorite genre (some more fantasy for you all)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, we’re talking about books from our favorite genre. For me, that’s fantasy. I’ll try to give some recommendations I think a lot of you haven’t read yet. Here are my picks for this week.

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke
This fantasy novel is perfect for a cosy winter day. It’s a polar fantasy, in which the main character goes on a quest to the Goddess to save her village after the red lights in the sky appear. After all, red is a warning.

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco
I want more people to read this incredible Asian-inspired fantasy trilogy. It’s one of my favorite series, and I own them all in hardcover. If you know me, you realize that’s a big deal. I usually buy paperback only. It has witches, necromancy, betrayal, royalty, and battling kingdoms.

The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova
I have seen quite a lot of people talking about Elise Kova’s Air Awakens series, but not necessarily about her Loom Saga. This is a new adult fantasy series in which the Five Guilds were conquered by the Dragon King. Ari is doing everything she can, as an engineer turned thief, to thwart the Dragon usurpers. It’s brilliant! By making this list, I’m also reminding myself to finally read the third book…

Dreamer’s Pool (Blackthorn & Grim #1) by Juliet Marillier
I’ve mentioned Juliet Marillier quite often, because she’s such an underrated author when it comes to fantasy. Dreamer’s Pool follows Blackthorn and Grim, who live on the fringe of a mysterious forest. Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance in exchange for freedom, and now she has to spend 7 years assisting those who need her help.

Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier
I’ve been in love with this series since I was a teenager, and I’m still urging people to read it to this day. The first book is the story of 7 siblings, 1 sister and 6 brothers, who have been cursed by their stepmother. The 6 brothers have turned into swans, and the only way Sorcha can save them is by weaving them shirts from weeds with painful thorns and not uttering a sound until she can put the clothes around their necks.

White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black
Out of all of Holly Black’s novels, I feel like I barely see anyone talk about White Cat. I absolutely loved this urban fantasy trilogy, so I’m boosting it here. The main character, Cassel, comes from a worker family (think maffia) and has conned his way into a fancy school. I’d suggest listening to the audiobooks of these, as they’re narrated by Jesse Eisenberg.

His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik
Once again, a popular author in the bookish community, but an frequently overlooked series. Temeraire follows Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire, during the Napoleonic Wars. Sounds epic, doesn’t it?

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
For those of you who are craving a graphic novel, I’d recommend Nimona. Nimona is a young shapeshifter who wants to become the sidekick of a villain. Together, they battle the good side! But is it really the “good” side?

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron
Another urban fantasy for you all, and another dragon book! Heartstrikers focuses on Julius, the smallest dragon in the Heartstriker clan. He’s always looked down upon by the others because he’s a nice dragon. Dragons aren’t supposed to be nice. It has magic, dragons, ghosts, ancient feuds, evil, scheming and backstabbing, and everything you could ever want.

Sunbolt (Sunbolt Chronicles #1) by Intisar Khanani
A very underrated fantasy series to close off my list. Hitomi gets caught working for the Shadow League, an underground movement, by Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame and she’ll need every ounce of courage and magical powers she can summon to escape. Be prepared and buy the second book immediately, though, because the first one is very short and you’ll be left wanting more.

Have you read any of these books? Which fantasy novels would you recommend me?