Recommended: (Dutch) Books About War

Since writing my post about May the fourth, I’ve been thinking about the books I have read and loved that are about war. There are a few books I’d like to mention. Some of those are Dutch books, but those are definitely worth it if you can find a translation.

First up, a non-fiction book: The Diary of Anne Frank (also originally Dutch: Het 375013Achterhuis). It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but I would like to pick it up again sometime.

I can’t go on without mentioning another classic: Schindler’s Ark, or its now more common name: Schindler’s ListI wasn’t a big fan of the book. I loved the story it told, but getting to the story through all the fact-dumping was terrible. It’s a historical fiction book, based on a lot of research. So, parts of the books are non-fiction, while other parts have been written to resemble the truth with the discretion of the author.

Then, there are a couple of fictional books, based on real wars, or even true-events. I cannot not mention Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek by Thea Beckman; children on a crusade, on their way to war. Thea Beckman has a couple of books that feature wars, such as the Geef me de ruimte4812236trilogy or the Kinderen van moeder Aarde-trilogy. Then there is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. Do I even need to explain that one? Furthermore, there is Oorlogswinter by Jan Terlouw, about a Dutch boy saving an English pilot whose airplane had been shot down.

Last, but not least, some books based on or around fictional wars. Let’s start with one of my favorites: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Another one I would recommend would be The End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee, where a war between humans and angels is being fought. Another trilogy: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is definitely worth checking out. Be aware though, there are three more books in the works, so if you like it you might be stuck with it for a while.

Other books only have war as a small part of the story, but are still interesting to read. For example, 1984 by George Orwell. The country is at war with an ever changing enemy, though the people are led to believe it’s always been the same. In fact, one could question if the country is at war at all.

Of course, there are many more books that could be listed here. What are your favorite books about wars?

“If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.”

I’ve heard this a lot. Or maybe, read this a lot would be more accurate. Whenever someone has something negative to say about a book they’ve read, this is the go-to response: “You didn’t have to read it.”, “No one forced you to read it.” Or anything along those lines. It annoys me. A. Lot.

I get it, sure. You loved the book and you don’t like it that this other person didn’t. There’s just a small problem with this idea of not reading a book if you don’t like it: how are going to know you won’t like it if you don’t actually read the book first? Yep, you have to go through the experience of not liking a book, before you can draw the conclusion you didn’t like it.

So, any things you’ve read or heard about book reading and reviewing that just irks you? Let me know in the comments.

Confessions of a Book Blogger #10 – I like ‘snowflakes’

Firstly, I don’t actually like the term ‘snowflakes’. Everyone, whether real or a character in a story, has something about them that makes them different. That’s exactly what makes them them. It’s what makes characters seem like real people.

Sure, stories often follow people who happen to be different. Whether they ‘happen’ to fall in love with a vampire who actually likes them back, have always been a wizard without knowing it, or have undiscovered special powers.

I like reading books like this. Sure, it might be statistically unrealistic that we ‘happen’ to be following this one person that can save the world. But honestly, I don’t care! If I like the story, I don’t really care if it is about a ‘snowflake’.

How do you feel about this?

Declutter your shelves: 5 types of books to get rid off right now

DSCN2980We all know the problem: overflowing shelves, an overwhelming TBR and no idea how to deal with this. I’ve been decluttering my shelves, and have been trying my best not to add too many new titles to it permanently. It’s not easy, but there are a couple of things you can do to make it easier. Here are five types of books you definitely do not need to keep on your shelves, so you can make room for new books.


1. Books you hated/didn’t like

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? However, from personal experience I know it’s not. I’ve held on to a lot of books I didn’t like or even hated, just because I assumed it was expected of me to have these books on my shelves. For me personally, these are usually classics. However, any kind of book you didn’t enjoy really doesn’t have a place on your shelves, does it?

2. Books that have been on your TBR for over a year

If they’d really been on your TBR for that long, are you ever going to read them? Really? Honestly? Because there are so many other books, still coming out, that you have to read as well. Really, I’m not very good at this, but I have gotten rid of a lot of books that had been on my TBR forever.

3. Books you’re saving for someone else 

You know the type, those you’re saving for your future children, or for friends, just in case they want to borrow them. Is this really useful? Do you really need to keep these? By all means, keep some of the very sentimental ones, but all of them?

4. Books you’re never going to reread

Obviously, you’ll have to keep Harry Potter. That one book though, that you’ve read once and quite enjoyed, but are never going to pick up again? Does that need to clutter your shelves? Or could you use the space for something new and possibly better? You can’t always say it you won’t or will reread it. However, there are certain books where you know you won’t. Don’t keep those around even if you liked them. Hand them on to someone else, or make some money selling them.

cbffb-11925612_1478482295781198_2013205310_n5. Gifted books

Yes, you are allowed to get rid of books that have been gifted to you. It is not a crime. I don’t remember where I’ve read it, but it stuck with me. People give you items, because they’re supposed to make you happy, because they’re supposed to add to your life. When these items (in this example books), no longer fulfill this purpose you should no longer hold on to them. When you do, they completely defy their original purpose.

And then another two obvious ones: books you DNF’ed, as well as books you’ve been ‘currently reading’ for months.

Can you think of anymore books that should not take up any of your shelf space? Or do you believe that me advocating getting rid of books is close to heresy?

Book review: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (possible spoilers)

 Book review | Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly | 3 stars

Lost in a Book  by Jennifer Donnelly

Copyright: Disney Enterprises Inc.
Paper Rocket 2017
ISBN 978 1 4748 8387 0

Synopsis

Hidden in the Beast’s library, Belle is about to discover a mysterious book and visit a glittering new world. But everything is not as it seems. When the time comes, will Belle be able to find her way back home? Or will the story take hold of her – and never let her go?


Bullet-point review

★★★☆☆

+ new characters
+ nostalgia
+ scenes between Belle and the Beast

– writing felt off
– Belle’s naivete
– scenes ‘in the book’


Full Review

There may be spoilers in this review. I’ll do my best to avoid them mostly. Unfortunately, most of the book was so predictable, that those spoilers shouldn’t really surprise you.

Yes, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. Firstly, the writing was off, felt off. It didn’t really seem like Belle to me. There was a certain je ne sais quoi, that put me off of the writing. I felt that too many details were being put forward, while at the same time the descriptions weren’t rich enough. I can’t explain it, but I didn’t like it.

Another bothersome part was Belle’s naivete. After everything, finding a castle with a beast and talking objects, and reading so many books, how could she have missed all the signs that she shouldn’t be going into a book to escape her life? Obviously, she knew something was wrong about it, because she hid it. In my opinion, she questioned it too little.

My favorite parts were therefore not the new parts where Belle steps into the book. Instead, I really loved her interactions with the beast. Yes, we should probably call that nostalgia, but what the heck. Those were the parts I loved.

Furthermore, I did quite like the addition of the characters Love and Death.


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – #currentlyreading

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#currentlyreading – Not only are these some amazing stories from incredible women. They were written by women, as well as illustrated by women. From all over the world! I love that the stories are only one page long and that the illustrations are so vibrant. Obviously, it was made for kids, so the stories are easy to follow. Plus, I learn a thing or two when I read the stories.

I’m about 20 stories in now and am going to continue reading one every night, so it can last me a while. I don’t have children, but… who cares!? You can’t go wrong with this book for some strong female inspiration (or feeling like a failure for not having accomplished any of what these women have accomplished).

Definitely would recommend.

Goodreads Shelves

As you may have noticed, I finally updated Goodreads. The books I’ve read, the books I own, the books I want to read are all on separate shelves now. Yes, I’ve really only just discovered the shelves. Well, I knew they were there, but I never did anything with it. Now, I’ve seen the uses. In addition, I also made a shelf with books I own, have read and would like to trade (or sell or giveaway, depending on circumstances).

So, if you’re interested to know which books I’ve read, which ones I own, and which ones I did not finish, you can find it all on my Goodreads.

Do you have any more shelve ideas that I should or could use? What kind of shelves do you use on Goodreads? I’d love some inspiration, so I can add to my shelves and sort my books a bit better.

Ps. Here are the books I’ve got up for trade/sale (click the book for the Goodreads link):

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