The Sunday Salon – the first one in a new year

First of all, everyone a very happy new year! With lots of books and lots of blogs.

Yesterday was the day of looking back. Something I don’t like at all. The future, that’s where we’re going to. Nevertheless, I posted an overview of all the books I’ve read in 2011. It’s a list of 49 books of which I rewarded 5 with 5 stars and 29 with four. Not bad, isn’t it?

Today, the first day of 2012. I wonder what this year will bring. Will the year be as good as 2011? Best not to know in advance. Just wait and see what happens. To be sure I read a lot (as if necessary) I decided to sign up for some reading challenges.

First of all the Books-on-the-Night-Stand 12 in ’12 Reading Challenge. Very free format. You can choose as many interpretations of 12 in ’12 as you’d like.

I decided to choose:
– 12 more books than in 2011, that will be 61 books.
– the twelve books of my bookclub Hoofdletters
– 12 thrillers.

The next challenge is the 2012 Ebook Challenge, hosted by Workaday Reads. I’m reading quite some Ebooks as it is, so achieving the dvd-level (25 books) must be possible. And who knows, may be I’ll move up a level once started.

The challenge that probably will be the most difficult is the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012, hosted by Book’d Out.

You’re supposed to read 12 books from 12 different genres during the year. That means stepping out of your comfort zone, which is always more difficult.

And finally, what sounds like a real fun challenge to me, the Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge, hosted by Socrates.

You don’t know what a cozy mystery is? Well, neither did I. If you want to know, check out There are three levels to choose from. I signed up for Snoop level.

What do you think? May you like to join one of them?


The Sunday Salon – a busy week

Have I been busy this week. Almost to busy to read. First of all it was my turn to write a blog in the first blogtour ever in the Netherlands. A tour concerning the book “Blijf bij ons” by Florence Tonk. A story about a dutch couple, Emma and Rogier, who emigrate to the Ukraine. Emma doesn’t like it at all until they buy a small “datsja” in the countryside. She decides to live there on her own. My blog is about the Ukraine itself and Tsjernobyl because to my experience the Ukraine is quite unknown to most people.

Last friday I’ve been setting up a photo-exhibition with some photofriends from fwg De Verbeelding. It took us about four hours to hang up all photos. But it looks great. For those of you living not to far away from Utrecht, the expo is in Louis Hartlooper Complex, Utrecht, until januari 5th. This is one of my photos. Very colorful, isn’t it?

So I was really busy but of course I did read some books. I finished reading Rules of Civility, the great debut novel by Amor Towles. A mustread for everyone. I think it will be my number one this year. You can read my blog here if you like.

After finishing such a wonderful novel I always need some time before I’m ready to pick up a new book. Didn’t have that much time though. Next week we’re discussing The Concert Ticket by Olga Grushin in my bookclub and I haven’t read one letter yet. The story is about four members of a family who  really want to join a concert but it’s very hard to get tickets. I don’t know what to expect but it’s clear that I have to start reading today or I might as well stay home.

I already begun reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. This is a non-fiction book about Berlin, 1933, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. The start is promising.

See you all next week. Picking up my book right now….

Unfortunately for english followers most of my blog this week are in dutch. A bilingual blog has got some disadvantages. Maybe Google Translate will help. Sorry.