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 you’ve read the past week and planning to read next.


This weekend was busy! I went to Manuscripta, which is the annual festive opening of the new Dutch book season. Last year I went one day, this year I went both days and still hadn’t seen half of what I wanted to see. But what I did do, was go to a Meet & Greet with author Amanda Hodgkinson (of 22 Britannia Road) which I’d won, together with 8 others, in a competition by the publishers.

(me and) Amanda Hodgkinson

That’s the author on the right (and me on the left). You know the UK-English word “lovely”? Well, Amanda was lovely and so was the meet. We all had prepared questions but the get-together soon turned into a friendly chat about her book, her life as a writer, and her life in France.

In addition, I went to talks by Julian Barnes (whose book I read last year) who won and received the European Literature Prize (for European fiction translated to Dutch), and Carlos Ruiz Zafón (whose new book I read just a few weeks ago). These were both wonderful events and I felt very lucky for getting the chance to hear these authors talk (both were interviewed about their work). I also went to talks by some Dutch writers and visited the stands of the various publishers who presented their new books.

I bought just one book and received three for review. One book? I saw so many nice books that weren’t published yet (ARCS were virtually absent). Patience is needed. Furthermore I met up with some people from an book tweet club (we discuss a book by Twitter every month) and just met some other nice people. This was a wonderful weekend, as you can tell! Except I didn’t read much or at all.

Books I finished in the last week: 2 and a DNF

What I Did by Christopher WaklingJohn Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk

Click on the blue links to see the review

What I Did by Christopher Wakling. A young boy runs out in the street, his worried father grabbing him just in time. What happens next completely changes the lives of the family members. Not likely to end well. 4.5 stars

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk (DNF). Historical fiction that I just couldn’t get into (I gave up after 100 pages).

Mama Tandoori [Dutch] by Ernest van der Kwast. A fun read about the mother of the Indian-Dutch author whose dominant mother is quite a character. 3.5 stars


Books I’m reading and planning to read

Choose the Life You Want by Tal Ben-ShaharTriburbia by Karl Taro GreenfieldThe Orchardist by Amanda CoplinDe urenfabriek [The Hour Factory] by Fleur Brockhus



How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. Funny account of all things that women have to deal with, told from a personal perspective. 3 stars

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson. A Polish woman and her son are reunited with her husband in England after the Second World War. They have experienced the war very differently and have been apart for 6 years. Can they be a family again? 4 stars

Also check out

My New Arrivals (books that I recently bought, borrowed or received)

My August Overview (with a ridiculous amount of books read)



That’s it!

What are you reading this week?


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

27 Responses to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  1. Mystica says:

    I really like the sound of 22 Brittannia Road. That Second World War period is just my thing.

    • Leeswammes says:

      I very much enjoyed the book, Mystica. I can’t promise I’ll review it on this blog, as I already did a review on my Dutch blog. But take my word for it…

  2. Tesney Ap says:

    I think I should read 22 Brittannia Road, too 🙂

  3. patgarcia says:

    I am reading The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron. It is an excellent read.

  4. Wendy says:

    I love meeting authors – they are my version of rock stars! I’m going to add 22 Brittania Road to my list right now! 🙂

  5. Myra GB says:

    Hi there, Lee, I do feel envious about you meeting Julian Barnes and Carlos Ruiz Zafon – are they dynamic speakers too? There are a lot of authors who are wonderful in print, but may not be as engaging when with an audience. I loved seeing the books you’ve read and are planning to read, all new titles. Thanks for sharing.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Hi Myra, I’m actually Judith, the name Leeswammes is rather confusing, I know.

      Barnes and Zafn were great speakers. Barnes speaks that lovely crisp British English and was funny every now and then. Zafn was more serious, but not all the time.

  6. readerbuzz says:

    I’ve heard good things about Orchardist and Choose the Life. I have both of these on my wishlist. Thank you!

    Here’s my It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?I hope you will stop by!

  7. lindyloumacinitaly says:

    Oh your weekend sounds like it was so much fun.

  8. therelentlessreader says:

    Oh I’m so jealous that you had such great interactions with those authors this week 😉 But happy for you as well of course! 🙂 Off to read your reviews…
    The Relentless Reader

  9. Bluestocking says:

    Great picture! Have a good week!

    Here is mine

  10. 22 Britannia Road has been screaming at me from my shelf. I need to get to it soon!

    Happy Reading!

  11. What a wonderful bookish weekend! Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your reading. The Orchardist is appearing often on blogs; I’m curious about it.


  12. Karen says:

    Sounds like you had a fabulous few days. We have the Edinburgh book festival which sounds similar and the Aye Right festival (Glasgow book festival) which I always mean to go to but never quite managed it. Sounds like a lot of fun though.

    I read How to Be a Woman last year and quite liked it too. It was funny. She’s also on twitter and her tweets can be funny too.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Karen, I wanted to go to EdFest, but I couldn’t find enough consecutive days with interesting events to make it worthwhile.Over the whole period there were many good talks and interviews, but I couldn’t be away that long! So, I wanted to go just a few days. Anyway, maybe some other year.

  13. bibliosue says:

    That sounds like a wonderful event! You showed such amazing restraint only buying one book.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Suzanne, I had to take any books I bought back with my on the train, involving walking to a bus stop and taking a bus to the train station. I also had a load of folders and booklets in my bag so I was very careful not to buy too much. I underdid it, though. My budget was bigger than just one book! But hey, don’t I have enough to read anyway?

  14. Rikki says:

    Sounds like a really fun weekend with lots of interesting people. It seems over here events like that one never take place, at least not where I live and we are a big city. Pity!

  15. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    Looks like a fabulous event Judith! The Orchadist sounds interesting, Triburbia didn’t work for me sadly, Ill be interested to see what you think

  16. Chinoiseries says:

    How fun! Manuscripta seems like THE bookish event in The Netherlands, which I unfortunately missed. Weren’t the events with Julian Barnes and Carlos Ruiz Zafon very crowded? Were there any other foreign authors besides them and Amanda Hodgkinson? I think I would’ve liked to attended the lecture by Maarten van Rossem. He’s so quirky and knowledgable.

    Mama Tandoori is a book I’d like to read someday. I hope the other books in your list will make for good reading this week.

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