Shelf Obsession: Marjolein Balm

ABC snoops around Marjolein’s bookshelves  

marjoleinluxe.jpgYou’ve been invited to dinner at someone’s home. Your host is busy in the kitchen and you wait in the living room. What do you do to pass the time? Admit it: you snoop around their bookshelves don’t you? We know you love shelf snooping just as much as we do, and now you can check out all sorts of bookshelves via the ABC blog.

Marjolein Balm has her own blog on which she reviews and recommends a lot of books. She has an MBO in social and cultural work and specialized in Arts and culture; it comes in handy in her work at an after school club (naschoolse opvang). She’s also one of our top reviewers on the blog, a member of our You Review Elite.

What are the three best books in your bookcase?


All American Girl by Meg Cabot (so funny!); The Luxe by Anna Godbersen; The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger 

How are your bookshelves organized?

I organize my books by author, depending on the space I have on my shelves; I have to try to fit everything into my tiny shelf space. I live still at my mothers house,  my bookcase is in my tiny bedroom, and I only have room for a small bookcase. I bought so many books over the last two years that they don’t fit anymore! This summer we are going to clear up and redecorate the room that was formerly my brother’s studio (he’s a painter). Then that room is going to be my reading room where I can put comfy chairs and a bigger bookcase.

you-review-balm-3.JPGYou have a lot of young adult-literature, and you especially like Meg Cabot. Why do you think books from this genre appeal to you?

I like the humor in them. There’s nothing after a long day of hard work than to sit down and read a light and funny book. I can identify with many issues in the stories, too. The books by Meg Cabot are my favourites, because they combine all these elements. Besides, Meg’s books are really American and I like to read about American things. Her books always have unexpected twists in the stories too. My passion for reading American books started with reading The Princess Diaries. Since the sequels after book 4 were not translated into Dutch, I started to order them at the ABC!

Which book is the most precious to you?

I have a few of them. First there are the books that my mom and brother gave to me as birthday presents: Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes and Door Dik en Dun bij Els Ruiters. The other books that are very precious to me are the signed copies that different YA authors like Stephanie Hale and Aimee Friedman from the USA have sent to me, after I won them in contests! I also have Meg Cabot’s autograph, of course. Meg once announced on her blog,that if you sent a stamped envelope with your adress on it, she would send you autographed bookplates and bookcovers!

you-review-balm-2.JPGDo you think your books reflect your personality?

Yes, they do reflect my personality. For example, I can really relate to Mia from the Princess Diaries. Despite the fact that I am not a princess 🙂 She loves musicals like Beauty and the Beast and Tarzan and I love those musicals too! I also had the similar popular clique at my high school and people like Lana Weinberger in my class. I also have a shelf with travel books on the USA, China, Mexico and other places because I love to read about other countries and cultures. And I have craft books for children on my shelves, which are very useful since I work at an afterschool club (naschoolse opvang).

you-review-balm-1.jpgDo you have any awful books in your collection or books you regret having bought?

Yes, I do!

I have two books by Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin, Citizen Girl and Dedication, which I found really disappointing after reading The Nanny Diaries. I also found Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger dissapointing after having read the Devil Wears Prada. And I expected more of Prom Nights From Hell by Meg Cabot.

Which books are at the top of your wishlist?

Big Boned and Pants on Fire, both by Meg Cabot.

If you like reading and writing about books so much, wouldn’t you like to participate in ABC’s You Review program?

You Review is so nice! I already participated! I read and reviewed The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman and Tribute by Nora Roberts, an excellent and beautiful book. The review will be posted when the book is published. I hope to participate in another round!