AFW Book Club // Winter 2017

A new season, a new Almost Famous Writer book club! One of my new year’s resolution was definitely to read more books. I used to absolutely love reading and the last few years I just didn’t do it that much. Now with the cold weather, I just love to curl up on the couch (situated directly next to my heating, which has been a very deliberate choice) with a good book. Over the past few weeks I have collected a few books and I can’t wait to start reading them. From a literature studies classic to a Dutch poetry collection, these are the five books I’m reading this season!

// “The Secret History” – Donna Tartt


“The Secret History” by Donna Tartt is considered to be a classic amongst literature and antiquity students alike. One day we discussed this book during literature class and the speaker was so excited about it, I immediately went to the bookstore after class had ended and bought it. I’m about halfway through the novel right now and it’s amazing. It follows the story of Greek student Richard, who becomes involved with four elite, mysterious and dangerous fellow students and their professor, Julian.

// “Bone Gap” – Laura Ruby


I know, I know. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but then again, I still do. This beautiful and super colorful cover immediately drew my attention in the bookstore and I was instantly intrigued. Magical realism, a recommendation from Elle magazine and a prancing horse on the cover? What else can a girl wish for? Exactly, for the actual novel to be as beautiful and magical as its cover. In the case of Laura Ruby’s “Bone Gap”, it definitely (and quite fortunately) was. The novel follows the story of a small town called Bone Gap, where its quite strange and unique characters cope with a mysterious disappearance. Alternating between different point of views, Ruby offers a funny, magical and enchanting account of extraordinary characters in an ordinary town.

// “Beautiful Ruins” – Jess Walter


Boyfriend gave me this book for Christmas and it was the perfect pick for me. “Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter supposed to be about a great love story (we all know I’m a sucker for a great love story) and set in Cinque Terre in Italy, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Especially with this cold weather, I can think of no better way to spend my time than to curl up with this book and let it take me to warmer, sunnier and magical places. Little side note, director Sam Mendes is rumored to direct the film adaptation of this novel, one more reason to get excited about “Beautiful Ruins”.

// “Lily and the Octopus” – Steven Rowley


Once more, I was drawn in by the cover. The beautiful green (which is remarkably similar to the color of my parents’ kitchen), the cute little dachshund and the classic font (I have a thing for beautiful fonts) all drew me towards this novel by Steven Rowley, titled “Lily and the octopus”. The cute little dachshund on the cover is Lily, the loyal and incredibly loved pet of lonely forty-something Ted. They are best friends – they play boardgames together, watch Cate Blanchett films together and take long, relaxing walks through the city together. Until one day, Ted discovers an octopus on Lily’s face and he is forced to come to terms with the fact he will lose her one day. The novel is funny, heartbreaking and surprisingly easy to relate to when you are a dog-owner/lover yourself.

// “Gedichten van de broer van Roos” – Tim Hofman


This poetry collection was all over the news, social media and talkshows in the Netherlands when it was released only a couple of weeks ago. I believe it has already been re-printed four times, which is quite unusual for a Dutch poetry collection. But television presenter and program creator Tim Hofman managed to do it, with his poetry debut titled “Gedichten van de broer van Roos” (Poems from Rose’s Brother). From the couple of poems I have already read, I can say it’s definitely something different, but with a sharp eye of detail, dark humor and the actual design of the language.

These are the five books that are on my bedside table right now, all ready to be read and reviewed. The upcoming weeks you can expect book review of these five titles on Almost Famous Writer, so stay tuned for those!




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