Walking in a winter wonderland

Dear reader,

Here in Holland we have the first day of Christmas on December 25th and the second day of Christmas on the 26th. Yes, we celebrate Christmas twice and we love it! No work, no shops, just relaxing, visiting family and food.
As we don’t visit family with Christmas, me and my mum spent Christmas in our pj’s on the couch watching Christmas movies.

But, we didn’t have a white Christmas. As soon as the second day of Christmas was over, it started snowing. So yesterday and today were the third and fourth day of Christmas, this way we still had a white Christmas this year! I love cheating like this.

I love snow. I walked to my work instead of taking the bike. And I loved every second of it. A coworker drove past me and stopped to ask if I wanted a ride, but I declined. It was still snowing and everything was so beautiful. I thought to myself; even if it’s gone in an hour because of the shovel trucks and the salt, I’ve still had my Snow-walk. I even wanted to take pictures, but my phone stopped working because of the cold.

Yesterday afternoon, most of the snow was melting and it started freezing at night, so now everything has turned to ice. The weather today was lovely, so I took out my camera and went for a stroll. It was like walking in a winter wonderland.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Much love,

Sam

Advertisements

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore

Dear reader,

I’m late with this review as it’s already October. But who cares? I finished reading this book ages ago, so it’s OK. I already had my review up on my Bookblog. But let’s review!

This book is about Clay who is in desperate need of a job. He searches everywhere but can’t find anything. One day Clay walks past Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore. There’s a poster on the window saying ‘Help Wanted’. Clay goes in and runs into Mr. Penumbra himself. He gets the job with a set of rules he must follow. His shift though, is during the night. It starts out boring and what not. But at one point it all kicks off and there’s no way to stop.

First off all, I thought that Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore was actually a bookstore that was open for 24-hours and then closed permanently to open up somewhere else again. But boy, was I wrong. The bookstore is actually open for 24-hours a day.

Secondly, I wish all jobs had such low requirements. That way I would’ve found a job already. But enough of that.

I thought this book was very adventurous. And it was a real page-turner. I really could not stop reading. At one point I was so tired that I really needed to stop reading and just go to bed, but I really couldn’t put the book away. The way it is written is so good, you become a part of the story and you forget that you’re actually reading a book. And you forget that the world you’re living in whilst reading, isn’t actually the real world.

And even though the situations at the bookstore aren’t always as great as they should be, this book really makes me want to work at a bookshop myself. And it’s not that I didn’t want that before I read this book, but this story just made it a lot worse!

Needless to say, I really really liked this book. It’s an easy read and a real page-turner.

Read it, love it, cherish it.

What about you, Maxx, did you like it?

Much love,

Sam

The Beach by Alex Garland – Smaxx Review

Dear reader,

I have a confession to make. And I’m quite ashamed to tell you all. But it’s something that I really have to get off of my chest.
Okay, here goes nothing.

I did not read the book.

So, that’s that. Now please let me explain. Thanks.
I started reading it and on August 22nd I was still only on page 57. I tried reading it, I just couldn’t do it. And it wasn’t the story, cause that was actually not that bad. It was just that it didn’t really tickle me. Is that the right way to put this?

But to be fair, I did download the movie. I watched it, so I could write this review and really tell you all what I thought of it. Now, I know it’s not the same, that became clear to me right at the beginning. But still, I guess the plot is the same and everything.

It’s about a guy named Richard and he’s traveling all by himself. He stays at some sort of hostel where he meets this guy Daffy. Daffy is a bit weird, starts talking about this beach which is really some sort of paradise and then they go to sleep. Alone, that is. Sorry if that sounded different.
The next day, Richard finds a note on his door. Only, it’s not a letter, it’s a map. Richard and his French hotel-neighbors go on a trip to find this island and then it gets weird.

Now, I don’t know if it gets weird too in the book. But I really don’t know what to think of this all. So I think it is safe to say that this is my least favorite entry of our Smaxx adventure. Sorry, Maxx. I really tried, but it just didn’t work for me. I promise that I don’t do this very often. I normally finish books, but there are just a few that I can’t get into.

Sorry that this ‘review’ wasn’t really a review. But when I say it gets weird, it really did. If you get curious, just go watch the movie and see it for yourself. Richard is played by Leonardo Dicaprio, so you might want to check it out anyway. He’s really good!

So, let’s hope other books will be more suited for me. See you next month!

Much love,

Sam

Smaxxpoints:
Hele Smaxx

Book Tag #1

Dear reader,

I saw this on Tumblr when a friend of mine did this tag and I wanted to do it as well. So I decided to post mine on here. Here we go.

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag [ten] friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.

These books are listed at random

1. Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus
I think about this book a lot. Ever since I read it, I want to read it again. This story is so good, and so magical. If you haven’t read it yet, please do.
This story is about a circus that arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

2. Jojo Moyes – Me before you
I like this book because it’s about an ordinary girl with an ordinary life. But she will do anything for someone she’s only just met. And I think that’s beautiful. It’s also very well written.
Will had a motoraccident and is in a wheelchair. He doesn’t know how to go on living and he wants to die. Will Lou be able to make Will’s life better. Can she show him that Will can still have a good life?

3. Catherine Ryan Hyde – Pay it forward
To be fair, I saw the movie first. And I cried. A lot. When I went shopping with my grandma in Dartford I came across this book in a secondhand bookshop. I bought it, I read it and I cried. Again. A lot. This story is so heartwarming, and the end of it is so tear-jerking. It’s almost impossible not to cry. I dare you to read it and not cry.
The story of how a boy who believed in the goodness of human nature set out to change the world.

4. Jordan Weisman, Sean Stewart, Cathy Brigg – Cathy’s book
I got this book for my birthday if I remember correctly. I thought it was amazing. It’s like someones diary. And there’s an envelope in the front with ‘evidence’ and everything. There’s a whole website, and a phone number. When I was fifteen I thought this was amazing!
Things weren’t so peachy in Cathy’s life before Victor broke up with her. Her father died unexpectedly, she’s failing school, and her best friend is mad at her. But when Cathy decides to investigate Victor’s reasons for ending their relationship, things suddenly go from bad to very, very, very bad as her findings produce more questions than answers.

5. Hans Mijnders – Verdacht (it’s not on goodreads)
To be honest, I don’t really remember what this story is about ( I believe it was about teenagers dealing drugs). But the story is not why this book is in this list. It’s in this list because this is the first writer I’ve ever met and it’s the first book ever to be signed for me. Like, with my name in it. I thought it was amazing. I met him at the library when I still was in primary school.

6. J.K. Rowling – The tales of Beedle the Bard
Maybe not the Harry Potter book you would imagine, but still. As much as I love all the other books, this one is the one I’ve read the most. And I still do every now and then. It used to lay on my bedside table, so I could read it when I couldn’t sleep.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore.

7. John Green – Paper Towns
Yes, I chose this book over The Fault in our Stars. And you can’t really compare these stories and say which one is better, because they’re both really very good. I chose this book, because it made me think. It made me nervous and I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what was going on. It was a real page-turner for me and I’m really excited about the movie!
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues — and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

8. Gayle Forman – If I stay
I only read this book a few weeks ago. It’s really good and sad and beautifully written. And I really hope that the movie is just as good. Possibly even better.
One February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

9. E. Lockhart – We were liars
So good.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

10. Jay Asher – Thirteen reasons why
Weird, but good. Maybe a little scary at some points. But read it.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

*****

I want to do more tags on here, so I am going to try and stick to it. I’ve got two more weeks of internship left and then I’ll have to start looking for a proper job. So bare with me. I promise to try.

I tag all of my followers to do this tag. Especially Maxx. It doesn’t have to be this detailed, just book titles are fine too. Please tag me back, cause I want to see your results! Or leave a comment when you’ve already done this.

Much love,

Sam

Love letters to the dead

Dear reader,

I picked this book for June (and July as it seems) because I saw so much about it on Tumblr. I didn’t really know what to think about it so I wanted to give it a go.

Now, I really don’t know what Maxx thought of this one, cause last time we talked about Smaxx she hadn’t finished it, and unlike last time, I really don’t know.
But I do know that I didn’t think it was going to head this way.

This story is about a girl who gets an English assignment, the entire class has to write a letter to a dead person. She writes the letters, but they aren’t really letters. They’re more like diary entrees, but with a different name at the top every time.

The way it was written, with the letters and stuff, it made me think of Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Anyways.. I actually really liked this book. I think it shows that even though people don’t act like it, there might be more behind their smile.

See you next month with a new book.

Much love,

Sam

Smaxx Confession & Update

Dear reader,

Maxx and I have a confession to make..

The last few weeks we’ve both been very busy with school, internships and I’ve been ill as well. And on top of that we are both also very busy in July. I don’t know what Maxx will do, I hope she’s going to rest for a bit. But I’m doing Kermis FM again, so I won’t have any time to read for about three weeks. This is why we both still haven’t finished reading our book for June. Bad girls, I know. Sorry!

So we’ve decided to read our current book (Love letters to the dead) in June and July. I know, I know, we made a deal to read one new book every month, but we’re just not going to make it.

This means that Love letters to the dead is our Smaxx book for both June and July and in August we’ll read a new one, chosen by Maxx.

So that’s all on this Confession & Update and I will speak to you soon.

Much love,

Sam

Internship, Sweet revenge & Books

Dear reader,

It’s been a while since I last ‘spoke’ to you, so let’s get started.

I got myself an internship at RTL Boulevard, the biggest showbiz television programme in Holland. I got it and I threw it away again. The work was great and the team I worked with was amazing. For years I said I wanted to work there, but sadly, it didn’t work for me. So now I’ve gotten myself a new internship at the local newspaper and in the first week I’ve already made it to the front page!

Narcissen

Maxx and I are still doing the Smaxx-Project. Today I gave her our book for March, and let’s say it was very shiny. Let’s say I got my sweet revenge as she has given me five books filled with confetti. Thanks Maxx.

stars1 stars2

I am changing my reading routine. I always picked a book at random and started reading. From now on I’m going to do that differently. From now on I’m reading my books from A to Z as I’ve got way to many books that I haven’t read yet. So, starting this week with our new Smaxx book and then it on to my shelves, starting with The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom.

tccotditnt TDAT

Also, I went to see James Arthur in concert in Amsterdam, but it got cancelled last minute. Not kidding. Five minutes before opening the venue they showed up with these posters telling us that James was sick and that the concert was moved to April 14th.

JA

Oh and by the way.. This clock is now mine. How cool is it?!

clock

Much love,

Sam