Monthly Recap September '17 | The Big Book Bonanza.

25th Annual_thumb[2]

This was a relative busy month, in a good way!

September started out with a family dinner at a tapas restaurant. It had been a while since we did something with my grandparents. The day after I went to Amsterdam to buy my boyfriend's guitar – my birthday present for him.

We celebrated our engagement with a party that turned out to be bigger than I anticipated, so all the more fun! We had a couple of friends coming over, but mostly family, and we had the best time. We decorated the house with helium balloons (I bought a helium tank) in the theme colors of our upcoming wedding :) A friend, sister and brother-in-law stayed over for the night.

High Teagarden

I went on a high tea with my mom and sister. We like to try different places and this was quite successful. I will never be a lover of tea (I did try, but.. nope), but the snacks were delicious!

I went to the Big Book Bonanza with a friend. This event was hosted by HarperCollins and Van Ditmar (one of the biggest English book importers in the Netherlands) after I was invited by Karlijn from Van Ditmar. I'm still flattered I was invited to join this fun event. HarperCollins International even posted a picture of my friend and I on their Instagram.
                    Harper celebrated their 200 years of publicizing and they showcased their upcoming books in a 30 minute video. There were short movie clips and some authors who introduced themselves and their work. I remember Kasie West - Love, Life and the List and Soman Chainani - Quest for Glory They also mentioned Three Dark Crowns, a series from Kendare Blake I really enjoy.
                    This was followed by two skype chats with A.J Finn, about The Woman in the Window, and Karin Slaughter, about The Good DaughterA.J Finn wrote the book with a character inspired by the fact he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It tells the story of Anna Fox who is alone and unable to venture outside. One day she sees something, but then she isn't sure if it is real or if she imagined it. He has always been a fan of thrillers, so writing one felt natural. His interview was cut off due to technical difficulties, which was a shame.
                    Karin Slaughter was asked if it is easier to write female or male characters. She basically said that it is easy for her as a woman to write both, while she thinks it is harder for a male to write a female character; they often don't get emotions right in certain situations, because they simply can't imagine how it feels like to deal with them as a female. Writing The Good Daughter was both easy and challenging. She has to come up with these new characters, but at the same time, she doesn't have to be afraid she makes them boring by repeating details like with her ongoing series.
                    Laline Paull, author of The Bees, was there to talk about her new book The Ice and her inspiration behind it. She was on a cruise and found out about the melting of the ice. She returned later and decided she wanted to write a book about it.
                    The rest of the afternoon was filled with socializing with people working in different branches of publishing. We were told to 'take as many books as you can carry with you', so we did. I'm stoked about the ones I managed to take with me in my goodie bag! Afterwards we had some tacos at the station before we went home.

We had a random family weekend. First we went to a garden where you can pluck your own fruit and vegetables – and it depends on the season what you can get. This time we went with strawberries (the sweetest I've probably ever had) and string beans. We had such sunny and warm weather, we even sat outside with some fresh made cakes, before going to the beach where we had some fish with fries.

The next day we went to an escape room, a late father's day present, and oh my! It was amazing! I picked on that had 7 different rooms. We were spies who had to break into a laboratory to steal a virus they were planning to use to destroy the world. There was a room filled with lasers and mirrors, where you had to walk like a ninja to avoid the red lights (and yes, there was a really loud annoying alarm if you touched it). There was a laboratory with science puzzles and even a space where we had to crawl through a dark tunnel into the next room, which contained an elevator we had to hack. It was such a blast to do this with our group and I think I made them addicted to escape rooms too.

Bookclub! We read The Flame in the Mist, but in the end I finished it right after our dinner.

The first photo is the haul from the Big Book Bonanza. I decided to pick up a copy from The Gunslinger by Stephen King, because I'm curious about the movie. I read Tower of Dawn the moment it arrived (and I loved it) and I got a copy from Warcross for our November bookclub. I am currently reading Wonder Woman.

The September Fairyloot Box! I'm impressed, again. This month was 'All That Sass'

-High Warlock candle from In The Wick of Time, inspired by Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments.
-Rattle The Stars beanie by Reverie and Ink, inspired by Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass.
-Nonsense Tote Bag by Miss Phi, inspired by Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices.
-Bad Ideas Notepad by Alexis Lampley, inspired by Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha trilogy.
-Hot Chocolate for Sassy Demi-Gods, vegan, from Brontie & Co, inspired by Percy Jackson.
-Solemny Swear Magnet from Ink and Wonder Designs, based on the Weasley twins from Harry Potter.
-Delilah Bard (Shades of Magic) and Carswell Thorne (Lunar Chronicles) prints by Taratjah.
-Even The Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett, signed, interview with the author and a handwritten letter.

Bonus: Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue sampler & Tower of Dawn bookmark.
Read_thumb5 1. Neil Gaiman – American Gods. 1/5. NO. I hated everything about this book.
2. Heather Ross – Boys: Illustrated Field Guild. 3/5. Adorable book every parent should read with their child(ren)
3. Laline Paull – The Bees. 3/5. Not sure I truly enjoyed it, but it certainly is unique.
4. Sarah J. Maas – Tower of Dawn. 4/5. Loved it! Chaol is everything and this book is more like TOG.
5. Renee Ahdieh – Flame in the Mist. 3/5. A little disappointed, especially because I didn't ship it + Mulan is a far stretch.
6. Jodi Lynn Anderson - Midnight at the Electric. 3/5. Lovely writing, but I wasn't connected to the characters.
TV Shows: We finished season 3 from The Blacklist and I still haven't got all my answers. The anticipation is real.
Sense8, the first season. All the love for this show.
Sherlock Holmes, season 4. It felt like everyone was using drugs this season, but I liked the twist.
Black Mirror, season 1 – 3. I still don't know if I like it, but it makes me think. I talked more about this show in my latest Mel in Movieland post | Three new TV shows I am currently watching.
La La Land. Disliked most of the songs.. There is one I loved, but all the others didn't do it for me.. 
Masterminds.. yeah, typical comedy. Enjoyable, not memorable.
Rewatched Guardians of the Galaxy and saw part 2 for the first time, finally! Groot <3
Pete's Dragon. Cute children movie. Such a fluffy dragon.
New music:
First Aid Kit released their new song from their upcoming album. It's a Shame.
I'm also obsessed with this beautiful, almost haunting, song from Sleeping at Last - Saturn.
  What did you do in September?


  1. Glad you had an awesome September Mel! I didn't necessarily have high tea before, but it was close enough, and it was pretty good haha. And the HarperCollins event sounds cool! Looks like you were able to hear a lot of authors talk :D

    (I also did not like any of the songs from Lalaland. I guess they tried)

  2. I'm floored by your choice of words for American Gods.... Just wow.
    Happy October!

  3. I'm dying to try an escape room! A couple of friends did one a few months ago and they had a great time. The idea makes me a bit anxious though, in case we don't complete it in time.

    The Dark Tower was actually a really good film. There were some holes but I really enjoyed it, and it made me want to read the series and look forward to the (potential) TV show.

    I'm glad you had a good time at your engagement party :D

  4. Ah, such a lovely recap Mel :D I'm so glad that September was so amazing for you. All the hugs. <3 You are have done SO MUCH awesome :D Yesss. And so happy about all of your wedding plans and such :) Wishing you all the best. <3


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