Top 6 Non-Fiction Books on my TBR

Top 6 Non-Fiction Books on my TBR

Hello fellow bookworms! If you’ve been following me for a while now, you may have noticed that I haven’t written about non-fiction a lot. I am actually quite passionate about non-fiction books, especially subjects like history, politics, feminism, nutrition and psychology (that’s pretty much all of them, I guess). The problem is, I’m slightly less passionate about actually reading them. Reading, for me, is mostly a relaxing activity and non-fiction does not always fit that description. I’ve been picking up a little more non-fiction, though, lately, so I thought it was time to do some non-fiction posts. This is a list of the top 6 non-fiction books on my bookshelf that I am most excited about!

1. Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harrari

Homo Deus is the sequel to Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, although both can be read separately. As the title suggests, Sapiens focuses a little more on the history of humans, where Homo Deus focuses on the future of humankind and the developments that are still to come. I read Sapiens a few years ago and, even though I really struggled to make it all the way through (I bought an extra digital copy in Dutch to read side by side with the English version, because it was easier to get through), I absolutely loved the book. I was instantly excited about Homo Deus, but since it took me so long to get through Sapiens, I decided to shelf it (pun intended) for a little while. Maybe it’s finally time!

2. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A copy of A Brief History of Time has been on my bookshelf for a while now, though I haven’t gotten around to it yet. A book by Stephen Hawking just seems incredibly daunting. It has always been at the top of my TBR, though. Can someone please talk me into starting on this one?

3. How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Two of my interests combined in one book: politics and history. I have no idea where or when I bought this book, but it’s been on my bookshelf for a while now. I’ve always been interested by the idea that the future can be predicted by looking at the past. There’s this Dutch scientist who published a couple of books and papers on the next Word War (2020 Warning by Ingo Piepers). By looking at the patterns in past wars, he predicted that the next World War would happen around 2020, give or take 4 years. Turns out, he might’ve been right. But I digress, I’m so excited to read this book and find out what we can learn from our past.

4. The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton

Don’t worry, I’m okay. I bought this book years ago, because I came across it at a bookshop and it was pink (just because I want to become smarter, doesn’t mean I can’t like pink!) and it looked interesting, so I bought it. I took a course in mental disorders in college and was fascinated by them, so I’m excited to find out what on earth we can learn from psychopaths.

5. The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal

After years of sitting on my ass, reading books, I’ve been getting into exercising and other types of movement lately. I’ve been running three times a week and supplementing that with a bit of yoga here and there (Yes, I’m looking for a little pat on the back.) An Instagram account that has really been a great help motivation-wise is @kaseykfit. She’s an exercise/healthy habit coach and she’s mentioned The Joy of Movement a couple of times. I got curious, so I bought it a few weeks ago. The book is about all the different ways that exercise is good for you (other than just weight-loss). Out of the six books on this list, I think this is the one I’m most excited about!

6. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

This book has been on my bookshelf for over 2 years and I still haven’t gotten around to it. I’m a sucker for self help books with a catchy title, especially if the cover basically promises you eternal happiness and stuff. I guess this is one of those books that you need to read once, put tabs in and annotate the hell out of and then keep it around to open up every once in a while and read the paragraphs you need at that moment. So that’s what I’ll do.

That was it for today’s list! If you enjoyed this list, make sure to subscribe either through e-mail or WordPress, or to follow me on Instagram or Twitter to be kept up to date on new posts.

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February Reading Wrap-up

February Reading Wrap-up

Hi my fellow bookworms! Wow, I just blinked twice and all of a sudden it was March. Uhm, I’m still living in 2020, can we please slow down? February always goes by so fast. After almost 24 years, the 28 days-thing still takes me by surprise. The fact that I’ve been working 6 out of the last 7 days didn’t help much either, which is also the reason why I temporarily only delivered 2 blog posts a week instead of two and why I have been a little late on some of my posts. I apologise for my slacking off, but since I’m writing this blog for fun and I’m not getting paid, I decided not to push myself too much. Thank you for understanding. My reading month started out really well, but I have hardly read a thing this past week. I’ve still got a few busy days ahead of me, but I’m hoping to get my nose back into a book ASAP.

For my February Reading Wrap-up, I wanted to share some of my reading stats from this month, along with a list of the books that I read in February and all of this months reviews and other posts. I didn’t review a lot of the books I read this month, since some of them weren’t really worth the review, some of them I wanted to review as a complete series and some of them I just haven’t had the time for yet. If you’re curious about a book that I haven’t reviewed yet, let me know and I will move it up on my To-Be-Reviewed list.

Reading Stats

I read 7 books in February, which brings my 2022 total so far to 16 books. I set myself a reading goal of 75 books for this year. Currently, I am ahead of my reading goal by 3 books. About halfway through February, I was ahead by 6 books, because I read the first two volumes of Heartstopper in one day, but then work and COVID happened and I didn’t read much for the rest of the month. The only book I finished in the second half of February, was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I really hope things will calm down a little in March, so that I can pick up some books again.

  • I am currently at 25% of my pages goal for 2022. I have read 6.334 pages out of 25.000, so far;
  • I gave 5 out of 7 books a 4-star rating;
  • Out of 7 books, 2 were Graphic Novels, 4 were Romance, 4 were Young Adult and One was Self Help.
  • 6 out of 7 books were Fiction.
  • 5 out of 7 books were digital. The other two were hardcovers.

Books Read in February

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adhieh

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Just wow. This book blew me away. The plot, the originality, the depth of the characters, the world-building, the character development, it was all so good. There’s a full review linked below if you want to know more.

A Bookshop in Algiers by Khaouter Adimi

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Bookshop in Algiers was one of the books I didn’t think was worth a review. It had been sitting on my bookshelf for ages and I was looking for a short read in between The Wrath and the Dawn and its sequel, so I decided to pick it up. I think the story had so much potential, but it just didn’t deliver. A bookshop in Algiers in the middle of multiple wars and uprisings and all they can write about is the paper shortage. Such a shame.

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Adhieh (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The sequel to the Wrath and the Dawn was possibly even better. I didn’t write a review for this one, since I didn’t really see the point of writing a review to the sequel. I mean, it was amazing, what more can I tell you? If you liked the first book, you’re going to continue reading anyway. If you didn’t like the first book, why would you read the second one? If you’re curious about the sequel anyway, let me know and I will see if I can write a mini-review!

Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Heartstopper books were so much better than I had expected. I’m not usually one for graphic novels or sappy high school romances, so I was afraid I’d be disappointed or that it would be cringey, but it was actually very good. It is so cute and sweet and only slightly cringey every now and then. I’m going to postpone writing a review until I have read volume 3 and 4 as well, since I’d rather review them as a series, but I can definitely recommend the first two volumes.

How Not to Die Alone by Logan Ury

Rating: 4 out of 5.

How Not to Die Alone was my only nonfiction book from February. I got a digital copy on sale and it looked interesting. I also hadn’t read any nonfiction in a while, so I thought: why not? The book mostly focuses on dating and finding a partner, so I skimmed through that part, since I already have a partner. The last few chapters focus on how to communicate with your partner to get and stay on the same page with them, building a healthy, lasting relationship through discussing the future. Not a bad read at all if this subject interests you or if you think your relationship could benefit from it (and I think every relationship could benefit from this).

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book hardly still needs a review, right? It almost feels like an insult to even suggest such a thing. I finished the Chamber of Secrets last week for my Rereading Harry Potter series. I’ve been having so much fun rereading the Harry Potter books, I would really recommend it to everyone, especially if it has been a while.

February Posts

Elevation by Stephen King

Every Book I’ve Read in January

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 5

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adhieh

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 6

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 7

My Guide to Annotating Books

Rereading Harry Potter – Week 8

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Books Being Adapted into Movies or TV-shows in 2022

Books Being Adapted into Movies or TV-shows in 2022

Hello my fellow bookworms! Growing up, I had one parent who loved to read and one whose favourite phrase was: “I’ll just wait for the movie to come out.”. In his defense, he is very dyslectic and has been reading the same book for about 2 years (Origin by Dan Brown). This rivalry (oh yes, my mom and me are very peculiar about our books) is what inspired this post about a few of the books that are being made into movies or TV-shows THIS year! I tried to stick with books I’ve already read, but that was only 4, so I decided to add the ones I was most excited about. Now hopefully my mom and dad can finally talk books.

Books to movies in 2022

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot is on vacation in Egypt when he is approached by the rich heiress and newly wed Linnet Doyle. She wants to hire him to stop her former best friend Jacqueline de Bellefort from stalking and haunting her everywhere she goes. Poirot tries to persuade madame de Bellefort to stop chasing Linnet Doyle and her husband, but without success. She boards the cruise along the Nile together with the young couple, Poirot and some other colourful characters. While they’re cruising the Nile, a murder is committed.

This was one of my favourite reads from 2021! Agatha Christie is one of the most amazing and resourceful murder mystery writers I’ve ever encountered. Death on the Nile is from the Hercule Poirot series (which can all be read individually without prior knowledge), which is easily her most popular series of novels. Many of Christie’s books have been made into films already, so if you like this one, there’s much more where that came from. Also, one of the main characters is played by none other than Gal Gadot.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion is a book I’ve been wanting to read ever since I watched the movie The Jane Austen Book Club (Some people with each their own personal problems, organising a book club where they read all Austen books in one year. It’s honestly much less dull than it sounds.). I guess I’m gonna have to hurry up with reading it, because the new film was announced to come out this year! I’m not quite sure why they insist on doing a third movie adaptation for this book (1995, 2007, 2022, plus two miniseries, 1960, 1971), but naturally I am still going go to see it. Jane Austen’s final book is about a woman who is pressured by her family and friends to break off her engagement to the love of her life, for he is unworthy. 8 years later, he returns from sea as a naval officer. Will the two lovers be reunited and married after all?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Secrets of Dumbledore

I guess this is not technically a book-to-movie adaptation, since it is only loosely based on the Fantastic Beasts book, but it still counts, because.. well because I want it to count. I’ve been so excited for this movie since the moment it was announced. One: Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore is incredibly hot and it’s making it a little uncomfortable to consider Dumbledore a hot guy.. Two: Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, doing weird dances to comfort beasts.

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

Blonde is a fictional retelling of the life of Norma Jeane Baker, better known as Marilyn Monroe. I had never heard of this book before, nor did the name Joyce Carol Oates ring any bells, even though she has written more than 70 books. The book sounds really interesting, though it is almost 800 pages, so I’m not sure if it’s thát interesting. It seems like the kind of book that is better off as a movie. So I guess it’s a good thing there’s a movie coming soon!

Books to TV-shows in 2022

Outlander Season 6

Technically, this shouldn’t be on the list, because Outlander is already an existing tv-series. Although, since there is a new season coming in March and I have a soft spot for Jamie Fraser, I put it on here anyway. Outlander is easily one of my favourite shows of all time. I watched the first few seasons before I started reading the books, so those are a little ruined for me, but I don’t mind. For those who don’t know the plot, a British woman named Claire Randall is married to Frank Randall just before WWII. After the war, they go on their “second honeymoon” to Scotland. Frank spends most of his time diving into his family history (he’s a historian), so Claire decides to explore. She is accidentally transported to 200 years in the past, right into a war between Britain and Scotland, where she runs into Frank’s direct ancestor. The British son of a bitch (pardon my French) turns out to be exactly that, a son of a bitch. Claire is rescued by a bunch of Scotsman, who go through great lengths to keep Claire safe. Only all Claire wants is to return to her own time. Or does she? Season 6 of the series is coming next March and I’m so excited! (and that’s only partly because I love looking at half-naked red-haired Scotsmen on a tv-screen.) The Outlander books were written by Diana Gabaldon, who is an absolute genius and an amazing writer.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

I did not know about this tv-series until I couple of weeks ago. If I had, you would have heard about it sooner. I apologise. So apparently a Lord of the Rings series is in the making. It arrives on Amazon Prime on September 2nd 2022 and is supposed to be the most expensive tv-series ever made. It is based on the Lord of the Rings books (naturally), but set thousands of years before the events of the three original books/movies. The best part is, they’re already working on a season 2. Count me in!

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6 Amazing Books with LGBT-Characters

6 Amazing Books with LGBT-Characters

Hello my fellow bookworms and happy Wednesday! Welcome back for a list of 6 great reads with LGBT (main) characters. The books listed below are all books that I have read recently. I noticed that I’ve been coming across more and more LGBT-characters lately, which means that either the world is changing for the better, or I’m changing for the better (or both) that we can finally talk about gay relationships the way we talk about straight ones. I know we’re not there yet, but we’re (slowly) getting there. Let’s start with my current read and the inspiration for this post:

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

I am LOVING this LGBT-romance. First son of the US holds a grudge against the Crown Prince of England. To avoid a rivalry between the two countries, they are forced to spend time together and pretend that they’re best friends. Only, you guessed it, they develop feelings for each other! I can’t tell you how it ends, because well, I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m loving the witty conversations, the teasing and the fact that it’s steamy without being uncomfortably graphic.

If you’re more into the girl/girl romance than the boy/boy romance (or you just need more LGBT romance, period), McQuinston has also written a novel about a girl who doesn’t believe in love, meeting a gorgeous old school punk rocker girl from the 1970s on the subway and deciding to help her crush return to her own time. I haven’t read it yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll make sure to write you a review.

The Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan

You may have guessed it, but the main character of this series is the god Apollo and I probably don’t have to tell you that the Ancient Greek didn’t exactly shy away from same-sex relationships. The fact that Apollo dated some men throughout his 4000 years is revisited quite a lot throughout the books. There are also plenty of queer demigods who have side roles in the story. Riordan does a good job incorporating LGBT-characters in his books without making a big deal about emphasising that they’re gay. It’s less “look at me being inclusive and creating gay characters!” and more, “yes I did say he has a boyfriend, why?”. Kudos for that, Rick.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

If you haven’t read this masterpiece yet, you might be surprised that a book named “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” ended up on a list with LGBT-books. Evelyn Hugo decides to tell her life story to a young woman who is asked to write her biography. The woman keeps asking her who Evelyn’s true love was. I hate to spoil anything, but the answer is not one of the Seven Husbands. I was in tears for most of this book. Evelyn Hugo is kind of a morally grey character, but she is so well-written that you can’t help loving her anyway.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

I had completely forgotten about the fact that the main characters of this book were gay until I found it on a list of LGBT-books. The two main characters, Rufus and Matteo, start out as friends and later in the book grow into something more. It’s an important theme in the book, but not the main one. Rufus and Matteo both get a call from the Death-cast that they are going to die within the next 24 hours. They meet through an app that matches “Deckers” with a buddy to spend their death day with. They decide to spend their last day together challenging each other to do the things they’ve always wanted to do. The whole concept of the book is beautiful, but also deeply disturbing and sad. I’m still not exactly sure how I feel about this book, but it’s definitely worth a read. It’s not your typical romance, though.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

200 years after the tale of Cinderella took place, girls are still required to attend the annual ball to find a suitor and get married. Only, Sophia would much rather marry Erin. She tries to get Erin to run away with her so they can build a life together, but Erin refuses. Sophia flees from the ball alone and runs into Constance, who is the last descendent of one of Cinderella’s step sisters. They decide to take down the King together and free the people from his evil reign. And OF COURSE there is a love triangle between Erin, Sophia and Constance.

I loved this book with all my heart. It was my first fairytale retelling and I wasn’t too sure about it at first, but it turned out to be amazing, though a little predictable at times. I’ll make sure to post a review of this one in the near future. DEFINITELY worth a read.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

I feel like I talk about this book way too much and also not enough. I put a link to my review of this book in the title for a summary of the story. Addie falls in love with both men and women over her 300-year long existence. A few of her “relationships” are described in detail. She spends her days getting to know the same person over and over again, only to be forgotten again in the morning. It’s beautiful, it’s sad, no I’m not okay.

14 Short Reads to get Ahead of Your Reading Goal

14 Short Reads to get Ahead of Your Reading Goal

Hello my lovely fellow bookworms! I don’t know about you, but I always love setting myself a reading goal for the year. I’m kind of an all or nothing kinda gal, so I have always struggled with forming habits, but I feel like having a reading goal helps me with that. The downside of having a reading goal, though, is that it can be a source of stress whenever I’m behind or on track. My favourite place to be is just a couple of books ahead. Right now I’m at 6 books out of 75 for 2022, which is 3 books ahead of schedule. My approach for this year was to start off with some short reads. This way, I would be ahead right away and I wouldn’t experience any stress. This also creates some space for a potential reading slump or to fit in some big books that take a little longer to get through (Stephen King is on my TBR this year). Here are 14 short reads to get ahead of your reading goal (or catch up if you’re already behind) and experience a stress-free year of reading!

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (226 pages)

My first read of the year for 2022 for this exact reason. I wasn’t blown away, but it was enjoyable enough to make this list.

2. We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (64 pages)

Short, but informative. You get ahead of your reading goal ánd you learn about feminism. What more could you possibly want? Plus, she has written many more books, so if you like this, there’s more where that came from.

3. For the Harry Potter fans:

If you haven’t read them yet, try reading Quidditch Through the Ages (105 pages), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (128 pages), The Tales of Beedle the Bard (109 pages) and the Pottermore Presents series (3 short ebooks with short stories from Hogwarts).

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (213 pages)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not actually one of my favourites. My guess is that I may have just been too young to understand the book, since I was about 13 or so and English is not my first language. Since everyone seems to love this book with all their hearts, I’ll probably give it another shot one of these days and I suppose that earns it a place on this list.

5. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (155 pages)

Shakespeare is not the easiest writer to read, of course. Though the plus side of reading Shakespeare is that his plays are always between about 100 pages and 200 pages long. So if you’re into reading plays, poetry or classics like Jane Austen, this would make a pretty good read to get ahead of your reading goal. Since you probably already know the story of Romeo and Juliet, it will be easier to get through than most of Shakespeare’s other plays.

6. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (96 pages)

This book is so cute and so educational at the same time. It was written by the French pilot Saint-Exupéry in 1943 as a kind of modern fairytale. The pilot died a year later after being shot down by a German pilot. The Little Prince was the last book he ever published. Most editions of The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) are illustrated and it’s a great read for both children and adults.

7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman (201 pages)

This book absolutely broke my heart. The plot is so incredibly well thought of and beautifully executed. Definitely worth a read if you like getting your heart ripped out and stomped on. I would recommend this even if you’re not looking for a short read in particular.

8. Animal Farm by George Orwell (141 pages)

Easily one of my favourite classics. I say easily, because I haven’t read that many, so there are not a lot to choose from. Nevertheless, even if there were, this would probably still be one of my favourites. The fact that it’s relatively short probably has something to do with it. I love classics, but not for 600 pages straight. That’s just too much. This one is short and sweet and understandable. I would recommend doing a little bit of research on it before reading, though. That way you might better understand what Orwell is trying to say with his book.

9. The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan (211 pages)

I loved this one. It’s romantic poetry that is told through words from a dictionary. This way the story is not told chronologically, but through short entries, mixed up and put in alphabetical order.

10. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod (172 pages)

I read this book a while ago on my Ipad. If you’re more into the nonfictional/self help books and/or you’ve set some New Year’s Resolutions for 2022, I would recommend this book. Even if you’re not planning on getting up at 5 A.M. every day like Hal Elrod, he still has some great tips and tricks to make the most of your day. And all that in just 172 pages.

11. The Millstone by Margaret Drabble (172 pages)

I remember reading this book when I was about 15 years old. The book was published in 1965 and it’s about a young (unmarried) academic who gets pregnant after a one-night stand. She considers an abortion at first, but in the end she decides to keep the baby and raise it by herself. Not exactly a light read, but definitely one that leaves an impression and it’s only 172 pages. (TW: Abortion)

12. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (206 pages)

What I wouldn’t give to be able to read the Narnia series again for the first time. This book is absolutely magical. If you haven’t read it yet, this is your sign. We named our family cat Aslan because of this book. You could choose to watch the movies of course, but there are only three movies and the series contains of 7 books, so.. You’d be missing out.

13. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (226 pages)

A true tearjerker. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll love the book. I know this is a cliché, but the book is actually better than the movie. Just rip my heart out, why don’t you.

14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (200 pages)

One of the classics that appears on every list, so naturally this one can’t be an exception. It’s relatively short, the story is amazing and it’s a classic to scratch off your list.

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed this list of short reads to get ahead of your reading goal. If you have any additions to this list, let me know.