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Amsterdam Book Haul

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Two weeks ago, we went on a quick mini-break to Amsterdam (more on that later). And one of the main attractions we definitely wanted to visit was the American Book Center. It is a massive bookshop and they sell a wide selection of every genre imaginable. I definitely felt like a kid in a candy store! Obviously, we did not leave empty-handed and in this post, I’m talking about all of the books I brought home.

For most people, a bookstore would probably not be at the top of the list of things to do on a two-day city trip, but we’re not most people. We love a good book, and if we can save on shipping cost we’re not gonna let that opportunity pass us by. We’d also had a few book recommendations from friends and family in the week leading up to our trip, so we thought it’d be the perfect time to check those out. Without further ado, here are the books I bought.

1. ???

“Fantasy. Fallen Angels. Courtesan and a spy. Pleasure and pain as one.”

Okay, so this is a bit of a weird one… I bought a book without really knowing what it is. Yes, you read that right: I do not know what book this is! The only clues I got are the ones that I have written out above. Based on this extremely concise description, I thought that this might be something I’d enjoy reading and so I decided to pick it up. I have to say that I’m very excited to find out what I bought, and I hope that I made the right choice.

There’s obviously not a whole lot I can say about this book since I don’t exactly know what it is (yet). But don’t worry, there’s a whole blog post dedicated to this blind book date coming your way soon. Stay tuned!

2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

“Alina Starkov is a soldier. When her regiment is attacked whilst crossing the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters – Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha – her country’s magical military elite – and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

But as Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.”

A good friend recommended this one to me, as she’s obsessed with the GrishaVerse (don’t worry, I didn’t know what this was either). So when I saw this one in the fantasy section of the store, I knew I had to get it. The cover is absolutely gorgeous as well, which is always a bonus.

It’s been a while since I last read a fantasy book (excepting Game of Thrones), but I’m actually very excited to get stuck into this one. I used to read nothing but fantasy when I was younger, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to like this one.

3. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

“According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon – both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle – are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist…”

This one was recommended to my boyfriend by my sister through me. My boyfriend is already a massive Terry Pratchett fan and when my sister found out, she said he should 100% read this one. She also told me that the book has been turned into a tv show and immediately sent me a link to the trailer. I’ve never read a Terry Pratchett (or Neil Gaiman, for that matter) book in my life, and I have to admit that it was mostly the trailer for the tv series that drew me in. Even though the recommendation wasn’t meant for me at all in the first place.

I know that Pratchett very much has his own, unique style so I’ve already quickly leafed through this one, and I have to say that I’m not entirely sure this book is for me. But I am definitely intrigued and will give it a chance. I’ll let you know how I get on!

4. The Chain by Adrian McKinty

“Your phone rings. A stranger has kidnapped your child. To free them you must abduct someone else’s child. Your child will be released when your victim’s parents kidnap another child. If any of these things don’t happen: your child will be killed.

Victim. Survivor. Abductor. Criminal. You will become each one.

You are now part of the chain.”

I’m actually most excited to read this one, I think. I love a good thriller, and The Chain definitely seems right up my alley. I have to say that I’m a little sad that I’ll be reading this in spring, because it feels like it would make for a perfect, creepy read for a dark autumn evening. But I can’t bear waiting that long!

I know I might be setting myself up for disappointment with expectations this high, but I’m really hoping that McKinty’s writing will live up to the hype I’ve created for myself. It does definitely seem like a page-turner, though.

So those are the four books I bought at the American Book Center in Amsterdam! My boyfriend actually got a blind book date for himself, too, but since I probably won’t be reading that one and it also wasn’t my choice, I didn’t include it in this post.

Have you read any of these yet? If so, let me know your thoughts (spoiler-free, of course). And what do you think of the whole ‘blind book date’ concept? I think it’s a super cool idea, but it’s also a little weird to purchase something without actually knowing what you’re paying for… Definitely intriguing though, to say the least.

I hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you again next week with a new blog post!

Psst, want to keep up with what I’m reading? Become my friend on Goodreads.

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