Showcase Sunday: building & reviving

Showcase Sunday is hosted by the lovely Vicky from Books, Biscuits and Tea and is about showing the books you received, bought and borrowed in the previous week. :)


Revival | Bouwpakket van een meisje

Do you notice how grey the picture above is? That’s how the weather has been here all week and I’m loving it: winter is coming and I’m ready! Winter is always great for discovering and reading new books, so here I am again, showing you which books I received this week. Because I live in the Netherlands it’s always been hard for me to receive books from non-Dutch publishers. And because I don’t write in Dutch, it’s also hard for me to get books from publishers that are Dutch. So writing at CultuurBewust has brought me a great joy: I can ask for books and I actually get them, yay. :)

This week I got two books in the mail. These are the Dutch versions of Revival by Stephen King and How to build a girl by Caitlin Moran. I’ve already started reading Revival and I’m so addicted to it: can’t stop reading! So you can expect a review from me soon. :) After that I’m planning on reading the other book I received, because I’ve heard so many positive things about it (and I’m really sorry I missed the readalong at River City Reading).

What have you been buying, receiving and borrowing this week?

Non-Fiction November: Diversity in books

It’s time for my second Non-Fiction November post (I skipped last week) and today is all about diverse reading. This week’s discussion is hosted by Becca from I’m Lost in Books, so make sure you visit her blog to join in the discussion. :)

This event is not really going according to plan for me, because I haven’t had the time to read any non-fiction this month. But I think it’s great to contemplate what we read, which is why I’m still going to participate in this week’s discussion.

What does “diversity” in books mean?

At the moment I’m studying for my Masters degree in Intercultural Communication, so it’s only logical that I love to read about other countries and cultures than the ones I’m already familiar with. It’s eyeopening to read about things you don’t know yet, both in fiction and non-fiction. But I don’t think diversity only points to other cultures. I think it’s reading about anything you’re not familiar with, like gender, age and in general experiences you’ve never had or are never going to have. I especially love short stories taking place in other countries, but I’m open to almost everything.

What I like

While I’m trying to learn Arabic, I’m really interested in reading more about the Arab and muslim culture. I especially love reading short stories taking place in Arab cultures, but I haven’t read a lot of them. So do you have any recommendations? Don’t hesitate to share! The Underground Girls of Kabul is already on my To-Read-list. I’ve heard only good things about that title, so a copy is on its way.

I also love reading about the history of things I like: language, books, maps, etc. It’s great to see there are so many popular non-fiction titles out there that are both informative and humorous at the same time. I always try to make people enthusiastic about these books, like when I praised two non-fiction titles in my previous Non-Fiction November post.

Recommendations?

And as I told you in my previous post: I love to discover new (for me) titles on Arab countries and culture: both older and upcoming ones. What do you recommend?

Showcase Sunday: tigermilk

Showcase Sunday is hosted by the lovely Vicky from Books, Biscuits and Tea and is about showing the books you received, bought and borrowed in the previous week. :)


Tijgermelk

This week has been so busy and next weeks will be too (but I already can’t wait for Christmas to be here!). So for this showcase I’m just going to show you one book I received, which is (in Dutch) Tijgermelk. I got this book for review for CultuurBewust.nl and it seems like a pretty good read, so let’s hope I can start reading it soon.

Which books did you receive, buy and borrow this week?

Review: Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
Title: Mr Mercedes
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publishing Date: June 3, 2014
Pages: 407
Source: Bought

bol | amazon | thebookdepository

Retired homicide detective Bill Hodges is haunted by the few cases he left open, and by one in particular: in the pre-dawn hours, hundreds of desperate unemployed people were lined up for a spot at a job fair in a distressed Midwestern city. Without warning, a lone driver ploughed through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes. Eight people were killed, fifteen wounded. The killer escaped.

Months later, on the other side of the city, Bill Hodges gets a taunting letter in the mail, from a man claiming to be the perpetrator. Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on hunting him down.

Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. And he is preparing to kill again.

Hodges, with a couple of misfit friends, must apprehend the killer in this high-stakes race against time. Because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim hundreds, even thousands.

Oh my. What a thrilling read this was. I didn’t expect less from Stephen King, but seeing that I’m not that into thrillers, I was still pleasantly surprised by this novel. Oh, and did you know this is only the first book of a trilogy? The King has announced that the second book in the Bill Hodges trilogy will be released somewhere in 2015. Couldn’t be more happy after reading this one!

So, what’s it about? As usual, King makes a simple plot into a marvellous read. Mr Mercedes is about a man who drives into a crowd of people and never gets caught. Bill Hogdes, ex-cop, is still haunted by this case, until he receives a letter from said killer and the hunt begins again. What’s so great about this story is that it doesn’t feature real heroes. The killer is a sensitive young man and the cop is a depressed senior. They’re ordinary people doing extraordinary things: exactly the type of characters King often writes about, and it’s genius. As a reader you can really get inside the head of either the killer or  the cop and the story never becomes unbelievable.

What’s also a lot like King is the longwinded plot. Though the plot is very simple, the manifestation isn’t. In the middle the book got a bit slow, but I still read through the pages at a high pace, because King is a master writer and I wanted to know how the story ended. The ending did disappoint me a bit though, because I thought it was predictable. I was actually hoping for a more gruesome and awful ending, but hey, you can’t get everything you want. ;) So, to conclude: I LOVED the characters and King’s writing was marvellous, as always, but the plot could have been more original at some points. Still, four stars out of five isn’t bad, mister King, and I can’t wait to read the next Bill Hodges novel.