Monthly recap | October '15. Sleep-over and Bardugo signing.

This post recaps my month, from personal life to books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.
Quite some things happened this month and it was an overall good October! I can’t believe it’s November already. Guys, 2016 is approaching. HOW? This also means that NaNoWriMo has started and I'm equally scared and excited.

The first thing is that I was turned down for another job interview and it hit me pretty hard. I really thought I had a chance for this one and to be told again that you are not good enough.. It hurts. At the bright side, I got a contract renewal for the temporary job I’m currently working! At least two more months and it takes away some of the stress to find something new as soon as possible.

We had pannenkoeken day with my sister and her boyfriend. Which meant we baked around 40, so we ended up standing in the kitchen for three hours. They were delicious and we had a great time. (Pannenkoeken is tasty Dutch food. It’s between a pancake and a crepe). I went shopping with my boyfriend and we ate some wonderful bagels at Bagels & Beans. He also took me for a surprise date. I’ve always wanted to visit the Japanese gardens in the woods, half an hour from our house, so he took me there. Such beautiful autumn colours!

Japanese gardenWoods

Best. thing. ever: book club sleep-over at Debby, where we attempted Dewey’s 24-hours read-a-thon. I ended up reading 2.5 books, we watched 2 movies, ate lots of food and we slept around 4 hours. I had such a good time. These girls are the best.

But the most epic part of this month was definitely Leigh Bardugo’s book signing for her Magic and Mayhem blog tour. Thanks Blossom books! We hardly get any authors over here and to have someone awesome like Leigh coming here.. It still feels like a dream. The signing started with an interview where the audience could ask questions as well. We sat on the third row and it was amazing to be able to sit in the front!

Leigh is unbelievably funny and sweet! We kept laughing about her answers and I got a lot of new information, like: SHE IS PLANNING TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT NIKOLAI. Some day. She also wanted to let him die, I'm so happy that didn't work out.Some day. She based Six of Crows on the Netherlands, because according to her we are a small, but powerful and mighty country. I quite like that, haha. She would love to be a Heartrender (who doesn't? Best power ever), but she believes she would be a Fabrikator. One of her favorite characters from the Grisha trilogy is Genya (and I agree) She never made real outlines for Six of Crows, but the characters kind of spoke to her and made their way into the story. Wylan was supposed to get his own POV, but it didn't seem to fit and now he gets his own part in the sequel. She likes to make a first draft, then another draft where she add more parts, creates more details, etc. Nina is her favorite (mine too)

She told us she sometimes writes down 'INSERT SOMETHING WITTY' and then she comes back later to insert that. Leigh believes it's not important to create the right world-building right away. It's something that should evolve naturally and there is no wrong way to do it. She used to create stories in her head by walking around her garden - and later on riding her bike- when she was a little child. Writing became her escape when she was in a difficult part of her life, right after her parent's divorce. She also said she always laughed at authors who cried after killing a character, but she understands now. You become attached to that character and it starts to life, so for her it's just as hard as for us.

It was followed by a quiz and then the signing part itself. It was really busy, but we got to make some pictures with Leigh during the signing. I also went ahead and purchased the hardback from Six of Crows too and at the end of the night we went in for a second time – and we ended up being the last ones, so we had the opportunity to make a group picture too!

Leigh BardugoLeigh Bardugo2

We also went into the break-out game as the Bekker’s bitches and we ended up being the fastest people (but we still lost, because we didn’t break out in time) There was this safe that was really closed with a lock and there were a lot of lockers. You had to answer the question and behind the right answer was a number. Then you had to run like crazy to find the locker and if you were right, there was a new card with a question in it. I was glad we had the help of two other hardcore fangirls, because it has been a while since I read the Grisha series.

We also got a tote bag filled with some goodies.


I had an amazing time with my friends and I have my fingers crossed that there will be more events like this coming up in the future. I definitely have some authors on my wish list that I would love to cross off.

Best book of the month:
Six of crows - Leigh Bardugo
1. Jenny Han – To all the boys I’ve loved before. 3/5.
2, Sarah J. Maas – Queen of shadows. 4/5.
3. Brianna Shrum – Never never. 3/5.
4. Alison Wilgus – A stray in the woods. (Online comic) 3/5.
5. Leigh Bardugo – Six of crows. 5/5.
6. Margaret Haddix – Just Ella. 2.5/5.
7. Heidi Heilig – The girl from everywhere. 3.5/5.
8. Victoria Schwab – The unbound. 4.5/5.
9. Victoria Schwab – Leave the window open (Novella 3.5) 5/5.
10. Dakota Chase – Mad about the Hatter. 2/5.
-Avengers: age of Ultron. Loved it.
-Man up. Very funny movie, I highly recommend this one!
-Mr. Peabody and Sherman. A bit too much.

-Daredevil, finished season 1 and it was good, but I’m still not addicted.
-Big bang theory, up-to-date.
-White Collar, started season 1 and we’re currently at episode 4. It’s funny!

Book haul

Margaret Haddox – Just Ella.
-Leigh Bardugo – Six of crows.
-Magnetic Disney bookmarks by the Etsy shop: The sticker alley.
-J.K Rowling – Illustrated version from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone.
-On the signing, the hardback edition from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It has those beautiful black pages.

Debby wanted to get rid of a pile of books, so I took with me:
-Scott Westerfeld – Afterworlds. ARC.
-Shanna Swendson – Rebel Mechanics. ARC.
-Emily Murdoch – If you find me. Finished copy.

Also through the Debby –> Daisy train I borrowed Mary E. Pearson – The heart of betrayal.

IMG_0963Harry Potter
This is something new I want to add to my monthly recaps. You can always find tons of links to interesting posts on Christina reads YA and I thought it would be fun to highlight some articles and news that interest me. It is divided in Whozits (random stuff with gadgets and gismos for YT and scientific articles) and Whatzits (bookish).

News about the new Sherlock Holmes season! See this tweet.
Zoe Marriott announced she is writing a trans*Mulan retelling. How exciting!
Tweet with two pictures from the Harry Potter colour book. I wantz it!
Gorgeous Disney illustrations by Rafael Mayani.
100 things you might not know about Harry Potter. And here you can read everything extra J.K Rowling has revealed.

How was your October?


  1. It looks like you had a great October! I still need to read Six of Crows so I need to get on that.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow what an exciting month October was for you Mel, I'm sorry that the new job didn't come through for you, but I'm glad that you still have a bit more time at your current place to look for a new one. And that's amazing that you were able to meet Leigh, I met her last year and she is amazing! And look at all the awesome swag! I hope November ends up being a brilliant month for you too! :)

  3. I'm so sorry that you got turned down for another job. Job searching can be horribly demoralizing but you have to keep telling yourself that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH and the right job will find you when the time is right ♥ The Japanese Gardens look amazing!! A bookish sleepover sounds like heaven, I wish more bloggers lived closer to me. And YAY for book author signings and meetups :D Glad you had fun Mel^^ xxxx

  4. The Leigh Bardugo event looks like it was so much fun! I'm glad you were able to go, and that you had such an incredible time <3

  5. Authors never come here, how awesome that Leigh Bardugo did! If I had the time to come all the way to Amsterdam, I would've!

    The Illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is on my Christmas wishlist. That would literally be the best Christmas gift ever!

  6. Leigh is such a sweetheart!! I went to her first stop on the book launch, and it was nothing less than magic.

    I am so sorry to hear about the job. It always hurts when you have your heart set on it, only to be turned away. I recently tried for a new position in my company, and I made second place. Someone else got the spot, and it really ruined my overall spirits for a while.

    I hope you do land something good - I'm going to be cheering for you!!

  7. Looks like a beautiful garden your bf took you too. I'm jelly over your Leigh meeting. How cool is that?! Happy November!

  8. That gorgeous garden is hslf an hour away? I think I would be there everyday! So pretty.
    The LB events looks like so much fun. I love all the swag, especially the mug!

  9. My gosh, how did you ladies manage to have a read-a-thon AND sleepover? I would be so distracted by everything!

    I feel you about the interview rejections. My temporary job ended two weeks ago and even though I've sent out over 40 applications in the past three months, only one has invited me to interview.

    Keep your chin up!

  10. Yay, I'm so glad you got to meet Leigh and had so much fun during the read-a-thon! =)

    The Japanese gardens look so beautiful! I'm always here for nature photos, heh.

    Yeah, it sucks to be rejected for a job you really want so I'm glad you do have a temporary one for now. Sending you good vibes! <3

    So here for a Nikolai book, yay!

  11. The Six of Crows signing sounds like it was amazing!!! Job searching is rough. Don't worry though, you will find something even if there's some rejection along the way.

  12. So sorry to hear about your interview knockback, it always stings a little doesn't it. But HOORAY to having your current contract extended, I hope that takes some of the pressure off. You sound like you a fabulous time at the signing, I must admit that I haven't read any of her books *hangs head in shame*. I'm hoping to start Six of Crows soon though. And those Japanese gardens look divine! I'd love to see more photos <3

  13. Sorry to hear about the interview Mel, but I'm glad your contract got renewed temporarily! I'm sending some force your way that you'll find something that suits you soon. It sounds like you had a really fabulous time at the signing, the photos and the recap makes it sound like we are right there with you! I haven't read Six of Crows yet but I'm really looking forward to it. Have a fabulous month ahead!

  14. Those Japanese gardens are absolutely BEAUTIFUL. We don't really have Autumn over here because our native trees don't shed their leaves, so I am always in awe of how pretty true Autumn is (that's why it's my favourite season).

    I cannot believe you got to meet Leigh Bardugo! That is SO amazing, and it sounds like it was such a great time. I really hope to meet her one day because I love her books. I cannot wait to read SIX OF CROWS, because everyone loves it, it sounds amazing, and it continues the Grisha books.


  15. Wow it's been a pretty good month! I'm sure it was so much fun meeting Leigh. The break out game sounds like such fun and so creative. YAY for Nikolai book!! Sorry about the job interview, you'll find something! Wow such pretty pictures, that garden is gorgeous. Wasn't Age of Ultron so good?!

  16. I'm sorry to hear about the job but I hope the right one comes along soon! It sounds like you had an amazing month otherwise! Leigh will be in PA next Wednesday and I can't wait to see her again and hear her talk about SoC. What's this break-out game you guys played? Is that part of every stop on her tour or just at your bookshop? I am also super jealous of your sleepover! I need to get my bookclub to do something similar :) Have a great November!

  17. This post is SO AWESOME :D Sounds like October was awesome for you. <3 But aw, I'm so sorry about the job sweet girl :( I hope you will be able to find a perfect one very soon. <3 Hugs. And ahh, so jealous of you getting to meet Leigh :D Sounds like such an AMAZING time. So happy for you :D Yay for swag and signed books. <3 Those are the best. And yay for getting new awesome looking books too :) I really loved If You Find Me. <3 Happy reading sweetest Mel :) Hope you have a great November so far. <3

  18. I am going to see Leigh Bardugo tomorrow night. I haven't had a chance to read Six of Crows yet, but I am so excited!! I have no idea if it will be anything like the awesome craziness you got to have. That must have been *such* a fun night :)

    Also, those Japanese Gardens look AMAZING!!! so beautiful :)


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