ABC’s Favorite Books of 2008 (H – J)

(My NaNo wordcount: still 14104)

Another post chock-full of this year’s favorites, right here!

This post has recommendations from Hester (Biography, Fiction, Poetry and Yoga buyer, Tante, Amsterdam), Jasper (Art, Animation, Fantasy Art, and Film & Television Buyer, Amsterdam), and Jesse (Fashion Buyer, Amsterdam) – after the jump, of course.



1. SCULPTURE magazine (available in Den Haag)
Great interviews with different kinds of people, the only thing they have in common is they’re all sculptors. Great pictures, and profiles on different sculptors.

2. The Road Home –  Rose Tremain
Never read anything by her but going to read everything by her now. I read this Orange-prize-winning novel in one go.  It’s about how Lev, an Eastern European man, finds work, love and new friends in London. I loved this wonderful book on the goodness in people. Made me give an asylum-seeker 10% off today (why don’t we always do that?). It’s so easy to help people out a little – in my opinion that’s the most important message Tremain gets across with this book.

3. The End of Mr. Y – Scarlett Thomas
Lovely yummy gothic story with instant-best-friend-feeling female main character. Great if you like Gothic novels like The Unburied by Charles Palliser or The List of 7 by Mark Frost, but with a lot more humour.

4. Loving Frank – Nancy Horan
A stunning, gripping debut, for architecture- and adultery-lovers alike!

5. A Fraction of the Whole – Steve Toltz
Pushed, plugged and positively smeared into my face by a Penguin rep, but worth the read in the end. This is a very Australian roller-coaster-y ride. I’ve missed a female touch in it, but still, parts of the story keep coming back to me at the weirdest moments. (Harry, one of our former fiction/crime buyers, would very much like this book).

And honorary mentions go to:

1. Nihilist flavorless mints in an incredibly cook black box (Den Haag store)
2. Joe Speedboot by Tommy Wieringa. I hope it will be translated into English ASAP, though it’s a typically Dutch coming-of age-polderdrama.


1. Ivan Bilibin by Ivan Bilibin (Russian artist)
2. Black Hole by Charles Burns (graphic novel)
3. Coppola by Peter Cowie (Francis Ford, that is)
4. The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena (paranormal encyclopedia)
5. Last Night by James Salter (short stories)


Illustration Play
This is a really nice book on various contemporary designers and illustrators. I’ve had the book for almost a year now and I still look at it daily.

Surprisingly well-written autobiography and a lot of fun to read.

Erwin Olaf
One of Holland’s best photographers came to ABC to sign his latest book on October 4th.

Nylon Magazine
Not your typical fashion magazine, there’s also a lot in it about art, music design,  and books.