September ’17 Recap: Start of Internship & 23rd Birthday!

September ’17 Recap: Start of Internship & 23rd Birthday!

This post recaps my month: my personal life, the fun and not so fun; books I’ve read; movies/ tv shows I’ve watched; and all other things worth mentioning.

I have no other word for September than ‘busy’. September carried so many new opportunities and experiences for me. It was tiring in many ways as new experiences usually are, but also incredibly exciting and fun! Let me recap it all for you.

September marked the end of my summer break and the start of my internship at Overamstel Publishers! I worked alongside my study, but I never worked a full-time job before, so I knew it was going to be challenging. What I didn’t quite expect was how much I was going to love everything about the internship. I have wonderful co-workers who are a joy to work with. I love being surrounded by books all the time as well as getting to know the ins and outs of the publishing trade. I’ve been working there for a month now and I learned so many different things and no event is the same, which is what makes them so much fun, to begin with.

As the post title states, I turned 23 this month! Unfortunately, I was sick on my birthday (the entire week actually…). I caught a sinus infection and felt miserable for most of the week, mainly because my asthma started bothering me as well, but luckily I was at home and my parents made an enormous effort to make me feel like a birthday girl.

September was also the month that I redesigned my entire blog (as you might have noticed, haha). I played around with the idea of this header for ages and finally, I asked Anna Lena from Finelinervreter to design it for me. She truly is an incredibly talented artist and did such a great job designing my new header! If you’re not familiar with her work I highly recommend checking out her Instagram and let yourself be inspired by her work!

Reading wise September was lots of fun! I started my reread of Eragon and I’m currently close to finishing the fourth and last book in the series. I should’ve reread this series so much sooner because I am HOOKED all over again! You can expect a very fun post on this topic on Thursday. Yes, you read that right, I am back to blogging baby! I am completely inspired and the posts are flowing out of my fingertips!

I splurged quite a bit on books this month. But hey, it was my birthday month, I’m allowed a little splurge every now and then (especially when it’s my birthday!). I bought Girls Made of Snow and GlassJane UnlimitedAn Enchantment of Ravens and If There’s No Tomorrow. I can’t wait to get cracking and read them all! I also started a book club! Which I will keep you updated about!

Working out wise this month started out GREAT! I ran two obstacle runs the same weekend: a 7k on 2 September and a 12k on 3 September. Then I got sick, but hey, I’m taking the time to get back to a 100% (my lungs are still not liking me, probably because of that hacking cough I couldn’t get rid of for two damn weeks) and I’ll be back running 12k’s in no time.


I haven’t really paid a lot of attention to keeping track of everything I’ve read, watched, and listened to this month, but I’ll do my best to list it all for you!

Reading:

  1. Eragon by Christopher Paolini. (5/5).
  2. Eldest by Christopher Paolini. (5/5).
  3. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini. (5/5).
  4. Royally Screwed by Emma Chase. (3.5/5). This book was quite entertaining, to be honest.
  5. Paper Princess by Erin Watt. (2/5). For some bizarre reason I had to keep reading, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it at all…
  6. Broken Prince by Erin Watt. (2/5). I have some idiotic fixation wanting to know how this story ends, but still can’t say I enjoy the story.
  7. Twisted Palace by Erin Watt. (2/5). I AM A GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT… WHY?!
  8. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – Currently reading.

Tv-series:

Shooter season 2, episode 1 – 4. I just realized I need to continue watching this! I wanted to wait until more episodes were available and then I forgot *gasps*.

Sleepy Hollow season 1, episode 1 – 5. Rewatching this! Yay!

Movies:

Do not laugh at me… I watched like three completely cheesy and REALLY BAD but terrifyingly enjoyable Hallmark Christmas movies #sorrynotsorry! I don’t even remember the titles, but they were so fun to watch because I could just shut off my brain and enjoy some good old chrismas themed rom coms!

 

Patience, Young Grasshopper: Instagram Tips and Tricks

Patience, Young Grasshopper: Instagram Tips and Tricks

It has been a while since I joined the #bookstagram scene and now I’ve settled into a comfortable Instagram routine I thought it would be fun to share some of my do’s and don’ts. I am in no way a professional or expert on Instagram, my follower count should tell you as much, nor do I know THE magic formula to grow your account. However, I do think that I have picked up on some things that might come in handy if you’re working on building your account.

Now, the main advice I was given when I started was: original content, good quality, and post consistently. Those are three very important things, but when you’re just starting out this might seem incredibly vague and just too broad. How can best be creative? What do you need to ensure good quality pictures? And, what helps you post consistently? I’ll share what I think those three things entail.

Original Content

The problem with original #bookstagram content is that when you first start out you have to find out what works for you. You see tons of people working with beautiful pictures that use tons of props and cool items and the first problem you’re going to run into is where to find all that stuff. Even more importantly, are you good with props? I hate using props… I love how much effort goes into those pictures, but whenever I try to incorporate them my pictures always become so messy. Props are just not for me.

I love working with nature. I love how clean my pictures look, the lush green and brown colors, and how nature does the work for you. My advice: try it all. Try working with props and try going outdoors with a big bag filled with books, but most importantly take lots of pictures. You’ll find something that works for you eventually and you’ll get better at it as well.

Good Quality

I can’t really tell you much besides what you probably already know about this. However, contrary to what you might think, you don’t need an expensive camera to take good quality pictures. If you own a good camera, great! If you don’t have one or can’t afford one, that’s fine. I bet you own a smartphone and one of those will do just fine. I know tons of amazing bookstagrammers that only work with their phone! Plus, there are tons of apps you can use to edit your pictures.

If you want to use props and/or take your pictures inside, you’ll need a good and even background/backdrop. You can simply find a spot with an even background in your house, but if not there are tons of shops online where you can find cool mini backdrops for a reasonable price. Or, if you’re creative you can fabricate one yourself. Just google it! You can have a marble-like or wooden backdrop, there’s something for everyone!

Post Consistently

Now this, I can help you with! It’s going to sound so logical and self-explanatory, but take pictures a week or month ahead. I used to take the picture I was going to post that day the morning itself, which was so counterproductive. Whenever I had something going on that day I often forgot to take a picture and thus had nothing to post that day. So, with a little help, I started taking pictures for an entire week ahead. I would take pictures every weekend (read: I’d drag a week’s worth of books to my parent’s house every weekend) and that way I was sure I would be able to post consistently.

Do you have trouble figuring out what you want to post about? It might be a good idea to join a #bookstagram challenge then! The challenge will provide you with a theme to post about and provides a fun way to meet new people by visiting and interacting with other people that use the same hashtag. It’ll also help you to stay creative! I have been participating in the #grimdragon challenge for about two months now and I love their daily challenges!

Remember, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily have to work for you, try different things and find out what works for you!

 

 

June Recap ’17 | Internship Solicitations & Euromast Celebrations

June Recap ’17 | Internship Solicitations & Euromast Celebrations

This post recaps my month: my personal life, the fun and not so fun; books I’ve read; movies/ tv-shows I’ve watched; and all other things worth mentioning.

June, what a month you were! All the last bits to meet all the requirements for my BA diploma and then unexpectedly adapting my plan for next year to do something scary, new, and exciting! Stressful, but really exciting things went down this month, and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

The beginning of the June I was extremely stressed for my Strategic Management & Leadership resit. I studied hard and long for that test, imagine my relief (and happiness) when I got my grade last week and saw I scored a 7 out of 10! I had to make some changes to my bachelor thesis as well and after my resit that is what I focussed on. I am still waiting on the results of one essay and my BA thesis, but I am hoping to receive those before I leave on holiday to Scotland next week.

Then, on to the exciting stuff! I had no idea what MA I wanted to pursue next year. I got declined for the one I had enrolled for, so I had to make some sudden changes (because, obviously, I need something to do next year). So I started applying for internship positions at various publishing houses. I got invited for three and before I had the third meeting I got offered two. I never did any type of solicitation before, so for me to get offered two is a really big deal for me! I even got to pick my favorite and I am so excited to start at the end of August!

June 28th was my sister’s birthday, her 21st birthday, and we celebrated in style! We had dinner at the Euromast in Rotterdam. For those of you that don’t know what the Euromast is, it is an observation tower and you can see the entire skyline of Rotterdam from on top. Tens of thousands of lights from the city of Rotterdam below form the backdrop during dinner while you see the changing colors of the sky as the sun goes down.Seriously, it is beautiful and quite magical. We chose a three-course ‘surprise’ dinner and it was SO GOOD!

Reading wise, I bought some books (yay!) but read very few (boo!). I blame the stress of the past few months because every time I sat down to read I found myself unable to and just watched an episode of House instead… I’m hoping that will change when I go on holiday!

In terms of working out, I’m still not on top of my game, but I am back to running! I have two running events in September, which I see as a huge motivation to keep training and get back in shape. Running with my sister is also a huge motivation! Her holiday has started, so she’s at my parents’ house as well, which means we can train together! And let’s be honest, running together is so much more fun than alone!

Reading: this is so painful…

  1. Cora Carmack – Roar. 5/5. (Review)
  2. Jennifer Armentrout – The Problem with Forever. 5/5. (Review)

TV-shows:

House season 1, episode 1 – 24. I am watching this with my sister, who is a med student, from the very beginning and it so good! 

Grimm season 5, episode 14 – 22. Fun!

Grimm season 6, episode 1 – 13. Sad this was the end, but glad it ended in a satisfying, albeit weird, way.

Movies:

Brave Enough: Lindsey Stirling (Documentary). This was so beautiful! Really recommend it!

Hidden Figures. Such a good movie!

Wonder Woman. THIS WAS EVERYTHING! 

How did June treat you?

 

Roar by Cora Carmack | Everything and More

Roar by Cora Carmack | Everything and More

Roar by Cora Carmack | Everything and MoreRoar by Cora Carmack
Series: Stormheart #1
Published by Tor Teen on June 13th 2017
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 380
Format: Hardcover
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bol.comBuy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

I’ve read some of Cora Carmack’s previous work, which mainly consists of swoon-worthy New Adult books. As this is her first Young Adult novel, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Roar, except that the premise sounded amazing. After finishing that very first chapter I knew it was going to be good, and the story did not disappoint for one single second. From that first chapter and onwards I was hooked. Roar blew me away!

The plot is complex, layered, and really well done. When I thought I’d finally figured something out, new parts were exposed that were a whole new mystery. The slow reveal allows for lots of anticipation suspense. I love how I had to crack my brain to see if I could find out what was going to happen next during the entirety of the story. There was a lot of action as well that made it really well paced and left me unable to stop reading.

The world Carmack portrays is rich and unique. This fantasy realm is unlike anything that I’ve ever read before. There are so many details and so many new lands to discover, I was enthralled by it all! The premise of a few lineages being able to control storms, and those storms having a “heart” was so incredibly intriguing. There is so much to this world Cora Carmack created and I just want more and more and more (can I please have more soon). The idea that I have to wait for more makes me want to sob.

The protagonist of the story is smart and determined and oh so awesome. She’s struggling to find out who she is and what part to play in her world. She develops a lot throughout the story and even at the end you know she’s going to continue growing and become even more of a badass. I love how she fights for what she wants and believes in. Her determination and her spirit make her character very likable.

All you fantasy lovers out there, rejoice! Roar is everything you need in a book and more. This book has jumped right to first place as my favorite book of the year. This is a must read and if it isn’t on your TBR yet I wholly recommend adding it. You will not regret it!

five-stars

When you Travel +100k to Buy a Book

Last Wednesday I traveled quite the distance to get my hands on a copy of the book I wanted. And when I say quite some distance I mean I traveled from Leiden to The Hague (+/- 20k) and then from the Hague to Amsterdam (+/- 99k). The first wasn’t that big a deal, it only takes about 15 minutes to get there by train, but the second was a spontaneous decision after finding out they didn’t have the book I wanted in the bookstore in The Hague.

The book I am talking about is Roar by Cora Carmack. As I’ve been living under a rock the past few months, dealing with finals and deadlines, the existence of Roar had remained a secret to me, and suddenly I saw tons of posts appear featuring this book on Instagram. The cover is gorgeous and when I read the synopsis I was convinced: I simply HAD to read Roar. I usually order my books online and most of the times that means it arrives in my mailbox the next day. Only this time, the estimated delivery time was EIGHT DAYS, and that simply would not do.

One of my favorite bookstores, ABC (American Book Center), has stores in The Hague and Rotterdam and they regularly post pictures of the new books that have arrived in store. I checked and THEY HAD COPIES OF ROAR. So off to The Hague I went, only to hear there that they did not have copies; only the Amsterdam store had. I was planning to go home after that, albeit a bit disappointed, but when I got to the train station instead of getting on the train back to Leiden I figured ‘what the heck’ and spontaneously got on the train to Amsterdam. Two hours later I came out of the Amsterdam ABC store a very happy girl with a newly acquired copy of Roar in my backpack.

I kinda love how spontaneous this decision was. It has been a while since I did something completely random like this and I had a blast. The Hague is a fun city to be in, it has a very nice feeling to it and while I was there I took some time to grab an iced coffee and people-watch for a bit. It also wasn’t a completely wasted trip because I did find a copy of Fairest by Marissa Meyer for my mother. I have never really been a fan of Amsterdam (except for the bookstores, haha), it is way too busy and tourist filled for my taste, so I really just browsed the bookstores and went back home again.

On the train ride home I, of course, started on the first few chapters in Roar and I am so hooked! It has been a while since I was this excited over a book, but damn, this book is the very example of why I love reading so much. IT.IS.AWESOME. Definitely a trip worth taking the time to make! I have about 100 pages left and I can’t stop reading!

When I told my friends what I’d done they looked at me like I’d lost my mind, or they just said they’d expect nothing less from me haha. This is a perfect example of the lengths a book nerd will go (or travel) to get the books they want.

Have you ever done something like this?