20. A book “everyone” but you has read

The Handmaids’ tale

By Margaret Atwood 

“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum”


This is one of the big titles right now. A very scary future, could this happen to us? I don’t think so. Yes, there are things going on in the world that scare us. And yes, we need to stand up for our right. As women , as men, as people. But to have our world taken away that easily? 

I hadn’t read this book until now. Mostly because it is on the #OurSharedShelf reading list,  I decided to give it a try. While I like my dystopian novel, I wasn’t impressed with this one. I understand the gaps in the story, it’s told by a woman who needs to survive, to adapt to be able to survive,  and memories tend to not always be so accurate. How deceiving it is, our mind. 

The biggest disappointment was the end. So sudden, so unexpected,  so lame. Maybe I’m too used to female heroines who aim to go out in a blaze of fire, and save themselves and the world doing so. Glorious. This was a candle fizzing out, with a epilogue that made little sense. Why didn’t they fight harder?

It’s not even real Latin


Time travel & Confusion 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon & (probably) Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


I’m watching Outlander season two and I  thought I was missing something from the books. Didn’t Jamie own a print shop?  In Edinburgh?  Or was that later?

Then I thought: Am I confusing him with Matthew from the Discovery of Witches series by Deborah Harkness? Because it could be. Not that both book series are the same, but I did fall in love with both, so it may be a tad hard to distinguish the two after a few years.

Which ofcourse means I have to read Discovery of Witches again. *smiles happily*

And finish the whole Outlander series (I’ve read 1-3)

But first, off to the Dark Tower again!

6. A book by an author you’ve never read before.

Dear Amy

by Helen Callaghan

“It was impossible to tell whether this was subtlety or social denseness at this point.”

This book could’ve been on the number 3 spot of this challenge, because I picked it up because of the cover. It was absolutely intriguing to me. The synopsis made it even more interesting.

It’s about a teacher, Margot Lewis, who writes a ‘Dear Amy’ column for a local newspaper. One day she receives a letter from a girl who went missing 20 years before, a day after one of her students goes missing as well. The letter is signed by Bethan Avery and the handwriting matches a sample of Bethan’s that the police has kept as evidence. No one had heard from the girl since her abduction. Margot is worried for both Bethan and her missing student Katie. Together with the police she tries to figure out whether the cases are connected. But then Margot is targeted herself.

The first half of the book has you glued to the pages, but the end was too obvious for me to be a real plot twister. The book is certainly well written, so I hope I’ll get a chance to read Helen Callahan’s next novel some day.

dear amy

5. A book published this year

Meet me at Beachcomber Bay

by Jill Mansell

“Sometimes it only takes a split second for a state of absolute calm to turn to one of horror and panic”

I think it’s nearly impossible for Jill Mansell to let me down. This book was another page turner, made me laugh and cry, sometimes even at the same time. There was a plot twist I didn’t see coming (and one that was obvious, but I wouldn’t have it any other way).

There’s something in her books that makes me buy them as soon as they’re published. I then proceed to read them, sometimes even in one sitting. My first was 15 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. In the beginning the stories were rather the same, girl meets boy, girls meets another boy, girl chooses one of the boys and lives happily ever after. Jill has a great sense of humour and I love her writing, every single book made me laugh. Then suddenly there was a change. I read ‘To the moon and back’ in 2011 and I cried. I cried actual tears. The story was so moving, I didn’t expect that when I bougth my copy. And I’m glad it did, because Jill made me love her stories even more, every book over and over. And yes, I laughed a lot too!


beachcomber bay 2

21. A book with a great first line

The Gunslinger – The Dark Tower book 1

by Stephen King

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

This is the first line of an epic fantasy/horror series by Stephen King. It’s an absolute favourite of mine, I’m currently on my second journey to the Tower. The first time was mind-blowing and life altering, some books have that quality about them to make you look at life differently, deeper somehow.


The story tells of a gunslinger, Roland Deschain, who is chasing a man in black. During the hunt he meets different people, kills a lot of them, encounters a talking raven and happens upon a boy. The boy is Jake Chambers, he doesn’t know how he came to Roland’s world, but knows he will die there, because Roland needs to catch up to the man in black. In the end, Jake fall to his death after telling the gunslinger: “Go then, there are other worlds than these.” Roland is conflicted, but pursues his hunt for the man in black. He feels guilt, because Jake put his trust in him, however his need for answers is greater. In the end he reached the man in black and he turns out to be an old acquaintance: Walter. They palaver and Walter informs Roland of his future, afterwards he tries to get Roland to renounce for the Tower. Roland refuses and Walter sends him west. The story ends with Roland arriving at the shore of the Western Sea.

For all you Tower-junkies out there: I contemplated switching the way each challenge was numbered so this one would be 19. In my mind it is.


3. A book you solely picked because of the cover

The Muse

by Jessie Burton

You have this light, and when it switches on I don’t think you even realize what it does.

This story. It’s SO beautiful. Absolutely intriguing, grips you from the start and doesn’t let go. Initially I fell in love with the cover, I barely read the synopsis on the back of the book. It took me two days to finish reading the story and needed two days to recover from the exquisiteness of the prose.

I was drawn to the gorgeous colours and the way the design was executed on the cover of the book. Looking at it more closely now, I recognize the story in the picture. I noticed there’s a yellow version as well, but I think this blue one is more fitting.


2. A book that was made into a movie

The girl on the train

by Paula Hawkins

“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.”

First of all, I never saw the movie. I’m not sure I ever will, not because I don’t want too, but perhaps because I don’t want to see the characters that came to my mind while reading, brought to life. I would never have given Rachel the face of Emily Blunt. I just don’t see it, but maybe that’s why I should go and see it. (I do like Emily Blunt, though.)


Now for the story. I’m conflicted between liking it and hating it. I didn’t like Rachel at first, but I got to understanding her. Especially when I learned what happened between her and her ex-husband. What a horrible man. But Rachel is no angel either, and neither are “Jess and Jason” or Anna for that matter. It was a mess of a situation, it made it a mess to read too at some points. The narrative wasn’t always easy to follow, however that might be more because of Rachel’s condition.

I’m leaning towards not liking it, since the story ended rather perfect and somehow happily. Of course, a girl died and the circumstances of her demise were shocking and scandalous, yet all’s well that ends well. Rachel knows the truth, Anna knows the truth.