It’s Monday – What Are You Reading?

itsmonday“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what we’ve read the past week and are planning to read next.

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What’s been going on?

I’ve been reading, but not as much as in the “old” days. Since my work is almost my hobby, I do spend a lot of time on it. Not to mention the emails I answer at 11PM because some of my clients live in a completely different time zone!

I met up with some friends and also had our book group meeting, where we discussed The Miniaturist. For next time, we’ve chosen The Steady Runnung of the Hour by Juston Go. Have you read it? I haven’t heard much about it, so I’m curious!

Now is the time to sign up for the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop! Don’t worry about the Literary part, we’re quite relaxed about what books you give away. Join in and be part of this popular hop. We usually have around 30-40 participants, so with all of their readers visiting the other blogs, it’s a busy and fun time!

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Books I finished recently

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John BoyneMy Last Confession by Helen FitzgeraldKomt een vrouw bij de h@cker by Maria GenovaThe Miniaturist by Jessie BurtonOne Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne

My Last Confession by Helen Fitzgerald

Komt een vrouw bij de hacker [A Woman Visits a Hacker] by Maria Genova

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

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Planning to read next

A Season for Martyrs by Bina ShahDe binnenplaats van babel by Salomon Kroonenberg& Sons by David GilbertObject Lessons by Anna Quindlen
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Before you got, don’t forget to sign up for the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!

And let me know …

What are YOU reading this week?

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Book review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist by Jessie BurtonThe Miniaturist: What it is about

From the publishers: “On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist—an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.”

The Miniaturist: What I thought

In the 17th Century, one of my ancestor’s extended family lived in a house nearby to where Nella lives. The Golden Bend in Amsterdam, then, and still now, is one of the most expensive parts of town. Nella is very young and only knows she should be married so she marries Johannes, a rich merchant, who was still single at 39 years of age.

The book follows Nella getting used to Amsterdam, the house, and its residents, including a maid and a black servant. When she gets a doll’s house, she needs objects to go inside it. She finds a miniaturist who can make these objects. But she never gets to see this very skilled man, who seems to know everything that is happening in the household.

We read this book for my book group and most of us loved it. One reader would have liked some more mystery with the miniature objects. This was a big part of the story, but it was never explained properly. Also, it would have been nice if Nella had noticed something wrong with an object before something odd happened, so it would be more of a thriller. Now, she noticed afterwards that the objects had changed when the relevant person or object had changed in real life.

A lot of themes are explored in the book, maybe too many. The story is about people not fitting in their society and how society is punishing them for this, while at the same time committing many a social crime behind closed doors.

I found this a quick and engaging read. Not all issues are resolved at the end, but it didn’t bother me much.

 


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (good to very good)

Number of pages: 386

First published: 2014

I got this: bought at book shop

Genre: historical fiction

 

Announcement: Literary Giveaway Blog Hop (November 1-5)

LiteraryBlogHopNovember

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The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop is an event taking place from Saturday November 1st until (and including) Wednesday November 5th. In this blog hop, we bloggers are giving away books to our readers! Just for fun!

Most giveaway blog hops seem to be directed towards young adult and romance audiences. Those hops are not so ideal if you want to give away more literary books.

This is the ninth Literary Giveway Blog Hop! There are three per year. They’re always very popular with lots of books for grabs and lots of people visiting the participating blogs.

Sign up now if you want to give away a book or something bookish to your readers. You will run your own giveaway, but it will be linked up to all other participants via a links list. That way, not just your readers, but also the readers from the other participating blogs will stop by your blog.

The book you’re offering has to have some literary merit. It does not have to be the most difficult classic ever, but please no romance, urban fiction or YA. Quality thrillers, poetry and non-fiction are fine, as are contemporary fiction, literary fiction and any other genres not in the categories above. If in doubt, please ask!

Authors are welcome to join in too. Please offer a physical copy of your book in the giveaway, or a choice between a physical copy and an e-copy.

Last day for signing up is October 29th. Only sign up if you intend to have a giveaway post up on your blog on November 1st. I will send you an email with more information and the full linky list on October 30th.

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LiteraryBlogHopNovember.

Copy the image to put the button on your blog (e.g., in your sidebar and/or in a blog post), so you can advertise the Blog Hop and attract more participants to make this a big event and/or tell your readers about the event coming up.

——> Fill out this form <——

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I’ll add your blog to the list with links below once I’ve seen that you’ve filled out the form. You cannot add yourself to the linky list.  Last signup day: October 29th!!

Linky List:

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self (N. Am.)
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  1. The Emerald City Book Review
  2. Wensend
  3. Laurie Here
  4. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  5. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  6. I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  7. Lost Generation Reader
  8. Books Speak Volumes
  9. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  10. Books on the Table (US)
  11. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  12. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  13. Words And Peace (US)
  14. Booklover Book Reviews

If you have questions, just ask in the comments, or email me at leeswammes at gmail dot com.

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Book review: My Last Confession by Helen Fitzgerald

My Last Confession by Helen FitzgeraldMy Last Confession: What it is about

From amazon: “A naïve parole officer in her first month on the job. An extremely good-looking convicted murderer. What could go wrong?

These are some of Krissie’s tips for fellow parole officers:

Don’t smuggle heroin into prison.

Don’t drink vodka to relieve stress.

Don’t French-kiss a colleague to make your boyfriend jealous.

If only she’d taken her own advice…

When she starts the job, Krissie is happy and in love. Then she meets convicted murderer Jeremy, and begins to believe he may be innocent. Her growing obsession with his case threatens to jeopardise everything – her job, her relationship and her life.”

My Last Confession: What I thought

Hele Fitzgerald’s books are thrillers with a difference. They don’t fit into the typical thriller-mould and are a little crazy, but great fun at the same time.

Krissie thought being a parole officer would be easy. You read reports, visit the prisoners and that’s it. But already on her first case, she gets involved more than she should. He is a good-looking guy, and he wasn’t even anywhere nearby when the murder happened. It’s just that his estranged mother won’t give him an alibi, although he was with her that day.

So, Krissie is a little in love and talks to the people in his life and slowly starts to home in on a possible killer. Her home life is a mess, meanwhile, with her artist boyfriend is busy organising an exhibition, while he’s in the meantime supposed to look after their young child.

It was fun, it was different, it had quite a twist, too. An easy read for when you want a thriller without blood and gore. Oh wait, there are of course some missing fingers…


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 272

First published: 2007

I got this: bought it

Genre: thriller

Other books I read by this author: The Duplicate, Bloody Women

 

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