Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Netherlands

Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Netherlands

Welcome to the second week on Netherlands’ edition of the Flyaway Friday! Are you ready to fly off to the Land of Tulips? We even gave you a travel guide to Netherland last week. Do not forget to check it out!

Books That Will Take You To Netherlands

You do know how we travel to a country without passport nor the hassle of the crowd, via the cheapest mode of travel – books. So this week let me talk about books that are set in Netherlands. Let us get on with it, shall we?

Historical Fiction

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Netherlands books

The story is told in the first person by Griet, who is hired as a maid by the master painter Vermeer’s family in Delft. She joins the chaotic family with too many children, an oblivious wife and a husband who doesn’t care about the finance of the family. Griet has fend off the advances of a rich patron, an infatuated young man and fight off the dream of being a wife of the painter. 

What can you expect:

This fictionalized account of the story behind the famous painting also acts as a great social commentary!

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Netherlands books

Set in the Seventeenth Century, eighteen year old Nella arrives in Amsterdam as the wife of Johannes Brandt, who is kind but distant to her and leaves her at the mercy of her sharp tongued sister. Johannes gifts a miniature sized replica of their household and it falls upon Nella to furnish her gift with the help of a miniaturist, whose creations mirrors its real life counterparts. How does this change their lives once and for all?

What can you expect:

A suspense filled story of love and obsession that you can’t put down till the end. 

Contemporary

The Dinner By Herman Koch

Netherlands books

Two brothers and their wives meet in a fancy restaurant in Amsterdam. Behind their apparent polite small talks, they need to discuss matters of grave importance. Their sons have committed something terrible and illegal and they have to decide how it is to be handled. By the time their dinner comes to an end, their trivial facade is broken. Where does all these leave the ‘happy families’ and ‘blood is thicker than water’?

What can you expect:

A mind blowing thriller that spans over a dinner which talks about politics, mental health and other uncomfortable dinner table conversations.

The Light of Amsterdam By David Park

Netherlands books

A single mother, a middle aged couple and 50 something male all heading to Amsterdam for the weekend are united by their misery regarding a close family member. They arrive at the city hoping for a change in their lives and does the city offer them a recourse?

What can you expect:

This slow character oriented fiction explores the complexities of love and relationship.

Classics

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Netherlands books

This classic book captures the poignant story of a young girl from the German occupied Amsterdam. She captures the happenings during the war, especially to the Jews in the form of diary entries between 1942-44 while hiding from the Germans in an attic. 

What can you expect:

Despite the hard times set in the book, it is surprisingly full of life and spirit making it a must read!

Netherlands books

The Fall by Albert Camus

Jean-Baptiste Clamence, a successful Parisian barrister, has come to recognize the deep-seated hypocrisy of his existence. His epigrammatic and, above all, discomforting monologue gradually saps, then undermines, the reader’s own complacency. (From Goodreads)

Other honorable mentions

That is all for now, folks. I will meet you all soon with a guest blogger next week on the Netherlands edition of the Flyaway Friday. Also if you have any question for our Dutch blogger about Netherlands or their culture, do drop them in the comments.

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Netherlands books

Let us chat

Have you read any of these books? Do you know any other book set in Netherlands that is not listed here? What are the stereotypes and facts that you have read about the country that you have heard of? Let us talk.

Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Netherlands

Ten ridiculous book titles that make me question my sanity

You remember a while ago we shared a good laugh at some of the weirdest book covers, don’t you? I thought it would be more fun to share a similar post but with a twist. Yes here are a few ridiculous book titles that make me reconsider the amount of time I am spending on the internet.

It is not a big secret that I obsess over books and bookish websites. I guess this is the prize for all that.

Ten book ridiculous book titles

But I am not letting you guys off without sharing these gems with you all. Shall we get started?

Disclaimer: This post is intended for fun and not intended to hurt anyone. If it did, I am sorry and it was purely unintentional.

1)How to Start Your Own Country

Ridiculous book titles

Why are we even fighting when we can all have our own countries?

2) If God Loves Me, Why Can’t I Get My Locker Open?

Ridiculous book titles

RIGHT? I demand an answer.

3) Italian Without Words

Ridiculous book titles

I wonder how that works. If you wanted to learn a bit of Italian (with words though) you might want to read Camilla’s post here.

4) Knitting with Dog Hair: Better a Sweater from a Dog You Know and Love Than from a Sheep You’ll Never Meet

Ridiculous book titles

I cannot fathom why would anyone need this.

5) Toilet Paper Origami: Delight your Guests with Fancy Folds and Simple Surface Embellishments

Ridiculous book titles

There is frugal living. And then, there is THIS.

6) Everything I Know about Women I Learned from My Tractor

Ridiculous book titles

Because how else would you learn?

7) Fancy Coffins to Make Yourself

Ridiculous book titles

Of all the things that you wanna Do-It-Yourself, you would wanna learn this. Of course.

8) Violent Prayer: Engaging Your Emotions Against Evil

Ridiculous book titles

Let us begin our violent prayer for the world peace, shall we?

9) How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art

Ridiculous book titles

Well, you need to learn that somewhere.

10) Zombie Raccoons & Killer Bunnies

Ridiculous book titles

Now I have more things to be scared of in the woods.

Similar humorous book lists that you may enjoy

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Ridiculous book titles

Let us chat:

Do you get fascinated about such ridiculous book titles? Is there a book that you have read in this list? What is the weirdest book title you read? Let us talk.

Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Netherlands

Hyped books I have never read.. yet

I never seem to catch up with the hyped books train and when I do, I seldom like them. I think it is bane of my existence and I can’t get out of it. And the list of books that I have missed out is too long to even add in a list. But here I am attempting to do that. 

Hyped books Pin me
Hyped books Pinterest

So here are my top ten hyped books that I have never read. Some of them I may or not read in the future and some I would never read and I have divided them accordingly.

Hyped books I am never gonna read

10) Twilight Series

This is one I  may never even touch with a ten foot pole. I have read a few excerpts and that is good enough for me to make this decision.

Hyped books Hyped books Hyped books

9) Hunger Games

Well, the whole internet world had spoiled this for me, I know the story and I don’t want to spend an eternity reading books after books in the series.

8) Vampire Academy

Same goes for this one too.

Hyped books  Hyped books  Hyped books

7) Wonder

I saw the movie already. While I liked it, I have no intention to go through the same set of emotions with the book. 

6) Fifty Shades of Grey

Oh I am definitely staying off this one!

5) My sister’s keeper

Again, the movie was pretty much good and I have no desire to read the book.

Hyped Books I may or not read

4) Ready Player One

I started reading this and most of the references flew over my head. I might give it a chance some day again. 

Hyped books  Hyped books  Hyped books

3) Girl with the dragon Tattoo (Millennium) series

I have a thing against series, but this is one I have had my eyes on for a long time now. I might read it I think.

2) Me before you

I have been putting this tear jerker for a long time, mainly because I am so afraid it would let me down, after all the hypes I have heard for years now. 

1)Harry Potter series

I know. I know. Everyone has read this but I have not. I don’t read many series and I definitely do not wanna read seven books. Still, I may or not read this some day in the future.

Similar lists you might like

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Hyped books

Let’s chat

So what are the hyped books that you have not read yet? Are they in my list? And why have you not read them yet? Let us talk. 

Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Netherlands

Author Picks: The Cult Favorites Of Philosophical Fiction

We all love meeting new authors and their books especially independent or as we call them indies. And no prize for guessing what my first question would be to any newly found author – yes their favorite books!

So here I have Greg answering that ‘not so totally random’ question through a guest post. Don’t we love a good book list? 

Greg Hickey is the author of the accessible, philosophical, grown-up choose-your-own-adventure novel The Friar’s Lantern and the curator of The 105 Best Philosophical Novels. You can contact Greg through the following social media profiles.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | LinkedIn

Passing over to Greg!


Philosophical novels use fictional stories to explore thought-provoking questions that are often challenging, overlooked or controversial. 

The collection of philosophical novels listed below range from contemporary science fiction to inspirational to a mind-bending thought experiment to a few literary stalwarts, all of them devotedly enjoyed by a group of die-hard fans.

These books delve into topics like the existence of God, the nature of self-hood, humanity’s place in the world and more in ways that have inspired thousands of devoted readers.

The Cult Favorites of Philosophical Fiction

1) Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson


Nominated for both the British Science Fiction Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Stephenson’s popular sci-fi novel follows pizza delivery boy and computer hacker Hiro Protagonist as he fights a nefarious virtual villain. 

Along the way, it taps into virtual reality, Sumerian myth and the burgeoning information age and explores other topics in history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography and philosophy.

2) The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma


This fable by a litigation lawyer-turned-motivational speaker and author follows Julian Mantle, a dissatisfied attorney who sells his vacation home and titular car and undertakes a life-changing spiritual journey through the Himalayas. 

Sharma originally self-published this book, but it proved so popular that it was picked up by HarperCollins a few years later.

3) God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment by Scott Adams


The first non-humor book by the creator of the comic strip Dilbert introduces readers to a being who claims to know “literally everything” and explains the mysteries of quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity and more in a way that seems to make perfect sense. 

Skeptical about the appeal of a non-Dilbert book by Adams, his publishers first released the novel as an ebook but quickly produced a hard copy version after its rapid success.

4) Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess


A virus spread through the use of language devastates the small Canadian town of Pontypool, causing victims to lose their linguistic abilities and devolve into madness, rage and animalistic violence. 

Burgess adapted the novel into a screenplay for the 2008 film Pontypool, which was nominated for three Canadian film awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.

5) The Moviegoer by Walker Percy


A favorite in literary circles that never seemed to achieve the same level of popular appeal, this novel about a New Orleans stockbroker’s quest to find his inner self won the 1962 U.S. National Book Award in fiction.

It was ranked sixtieth on Modern Library’s list of the 100 best novels of the twentieth century and was included in Time’s 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005.

6) The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

Pessoa, who attributed his prolific writing to several alternate selves with different biographies and ideologies, left behind this posthumously published “autobiography” of one those selves. 

This incomplete collection of 500-plus fragments of essay, diary, poetry and narrative touches on many of life’s essential questions in what Electric Lit called “the weirdest autobiography ever.”

What are your favorite philosophical fictionalized books? Do you like fiction coupled with philosophy or do you read for just pleasure? Let us talk.

Philosophy

Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Netherlands

Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to Italy

Welcome to another episode of Flyaway Friday edition and we are visiting Italy this week through the best mode of transportation available – through books. I hope you did prepare yourself for the trip with some basic stuff. Let us start shall we?

Historic Fiction books set in Italy

The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella

Set in 1944, after the war the British occupy Naples and things are not any better. Food is scarce and the economy isn’t moving forward with people struggling to meet ends. Soon there is an increasing number of Bristish soldiers applying to marry local Italian women. 

Books set in Italy

Captain James Gould is appointed to discourage this. He is dubbed as ‘the wedding officer’ by the locals. Ironically he falls for a young widow who is a fabulous cook. 

What you can expect:

The Wedding Officer is a perfect blend of history, romance and a lot Italian cooking. Italy and food – your weekend can’t get any better.

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

The Birth of Venus begins with the death of a nun and as her habit is stripped off, a particularly provocative tattoo is found. Thus we are taken on a journey when this mysterious nun was a fifteen year Alessandra Cecchi.

Books set in Italy

Set in the Renaissance Florence that is being suppressed by the religious and political forces, Alessandra is married off to an older man but her attraction to art and a particular artist survives the tumultuous time.

What you can expect:

What is more Italian than painting and painters? Add a bit of renaissance to the mix and you will love the suspense filled romance.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Books set in Italy

If you are into best sellers this one is for you. Set in 1950s, the book follows the friendship of Elena and Lila right from the childhood to their adult life. Lila is the more beautiful, smarter, Elena is understandably jealous but she is the one who escapes their life through education. 

What you can expect:

Read about the dirt poor Naples and the lovely friendship and rivalry between two girls. 

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

The story revolves around four major characters a nurse, a maimed thief, a bomb disposal expert and the nameless English patient just after the World War II. This non linear story takes us through war, love, culture and mostly memories. 

What you can expect:

This Booker Prize winning book is all you need to read this week. Or better catch the movie, which is surprisingly does justice to the book.

Romance books set in  Italy

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Books set in Italy

Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house, a successful career.

But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. 

In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world—all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

A fallen self help author who is trying to restore her reputation while hiding away under the Tuscan sun until she meets a silver screen star is vacationing in
Italy.

With the townspeople trying to driver her away and the guy who wouldn’t leave her alone, she definitely doesn’t have a breathing room. 

What you can expect:

A perfect romantic comedy for a lazy afternoon set in Tuscany. 

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

When Oliver spends his summer in Italy with his Professor Perlman, the professor’s son Elio begins to fall for him.The two young men have so much in common yet they cannot fathom the reason for their attractions. The six weeks’ of powerful romance is dreamy, seductive and the prose is beautiful and lyrical.

What you can expect:

This bittersweet coming of age romance is perfect if you are looking for YA read set in Riveria. 

The Lost Art of Second Chances by Courtney Hunt

When Lucy Parker’s eccentric grandmother dies, Lucy must return a beloved painting to a mysterious man in Italy, leading her on a journey to discover family secrets, secrets buried in the chaotic aftermath of World War II.

Books set in Italy

Lucy’s childhood best friend, estate lawyer Jack Hamilton, agrees to accompany her, opening up a opportunity for them to find their second chance at love. Will they find it? From a tiny town in Massachusetts to the rolling hills of Tuscany, never-told family secrets unfurl in The Lost Art of Second Chances.

What you can expect:

This heartbreaking love story set in WW II is perfect if you are a sucker for happily ever afters.

Classics set in Italy

Where Angels Fear To Tread, by E.M. Forster

Books set in Italy

When a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected.

But that Lilia should have had a baby — and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! — are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, his dour sister Harriet, and their well-meaning friend Miss Abbott.

A recipe for happiness: four women, one medieval Italian castle, plenty of wisteria, and solitude as needed.

The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim

Books set in Italy

The women at the center of The Enchanted April are alike only in their dissatisfaction with their everyday lives. They find each other—and the castle of their dreams—through a classified ad in a London newspaper one rainy February afternoon.

The ladies expect a pleasant holiday, but they don’t anticipate that the month they spend in Portofino will reintroduce them to their true natures and reacquaint them with joy. Now, if the same transformation can be worked on their husbands and lovers, the enchantment will be complete.

A Room With A View, by E.M. Forster

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance.

Books set in Italy

Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.

Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

Young Adults books set in Italy

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Two orphaned children are on the run, hiding among the crumbling canals and misty alleyways of the city of Venice.

Books set in Italy

Befriended by a gang of street children and their mysterious leader, the Thief Lord, they shelter in an old, disused cinema. On their trail is a bungling detective, obsessed with disguises and the health of his pet tortoises.

But a greater threat to the boys’ new-found freedom is something from a forgotten past – a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.

The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

It is 1498, the dawn of the Renaissance, and Venice teems with rumors about an ancient book that holds the secret to unimaginable power. It is an alchemist’s dream, with recipes for gold, immortality, and undying love. But while those who seek the book will stop at nothing to get it, those who know will die to protect it.

Books set in Italy

As a storm of intrigue and desire circles the republic that grew from the sea, Luciano, a penniless orphan with a quick wit and an even faster hand, is plucked up by an illustrious chef and hired, for reasons he cannot yet begin to understand, as an apprentice in the palace kitchen.

There, in the lavish home of the most powerful man in Venice, he is initiated into the chef’s rich and aromatic world, with all its seductive ingredients and secrets. It is not long before Luciano is caught up in the madness.

What he discovers will swing open the shutters of his mind, inflame his deepest desires, and leave an indelible mark on his soul.

What you can expect:

A luminous and seductive novel, it is, at its heart, a high-spirited tribute to the fruits of knowledge and the extraordinary power of those who hold its key.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years?

Books set in Italy

All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries.

A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

What you can expect:

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more

The Eternal City by Paula Morris

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she’s entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon. . . . Everything in this city seems magical.

Books set in Italy

That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark.

Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle — a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core.

Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life.

What you can expect:

Acclaimed author Paula Morris brings the ancient world to vivid life in this unstoppable tale of friendship, love, and the power of the past.

Have you read any of these books? Did these books take you all over Italy virtually? Share with me your favorite books set in Italy. Let us talk more. 

Books in Italy