Here are our recommendations for February!
And here we are again with a new episode of our ABC Staff Picks, with titles that have been recently released, will come out shortly, or we’re just simply really excited about.
Today we present 9 very different titles, from Crafts, to Sci-Fi, middle-grade and even a game! And we cannot forget Fiction, Mystery and Psychology either.
First on the list is Ahead of the Curve, by Jenny Rushmore, the founder of Cashmerette Patterns. This is a sewing book, with patterns for curvy women, something very much in need in the sewing world. It’s a Staff Choice of Lília, the seamstress among us in The Hague. Staff Choices are our way of recommending titles we’ve read and liked, and it has some personalized information, much in the ABC personal touch way of selling books. In The Hague and Leidschendam they are blue, and in Amsterdam they are yellow-ish.
So if you find a book with an inset in those colors, it’s probably a Staff Choice from one of our colleagues, new and old!
Second in the list is How High We Go in the Dark, by Sequoia Nagamatsu. Set in the future, it deals with an ancient virus released because of the melting of the ice caps. Doomsday scenario much? Sequoia Nagamatsu is known for his short stories and this book is a combination of short stories linked together forming a bigger one. Also very interesting is that he has Japanese roots and shows a trend of eastern writers becoming more prominent in our western shores.
It is a recommendation from two of our Amsterdam colleagues: Sywert – who is still reading and loving it – and Jitse – who read it and loved it so much he’s written a blog review about it. If you’re interested, go check it out.
The third one is from our previous blog mistress Sophie, from The Hague and Leidschendam stores/ Coming out in March is the newest Madeline Miller title Galatea, this time a re-imaging from the Pygmalion and Galatea Greek myth. Madeline Miller is well known for written the TikTok success The Song of Achilles – another of Lilia’s Staff Choices – and the beautifully written Circe – this last one a Staff Choice of our own ABC Picks mistress Iris.
Number four is actually a game! Amsterdam game buyer Max thinks this is a great game, totally different from the board games we mostly think of when the word game comes to mind. Originally a Dutch card game, it’s been released in English as well. Vertell?s is a card talking game – you get a deck of cards with questions that go from simple to intimate, depending on the deck set you have. At the moment we have Vertell?s: Chapters and Vertellis: Friday Questions Game in stock at our store in Amsterdam. We should also have them in The Hague shortly.
On our website we have a similar game with three sets: So Cards, So Cards Unstuck Yourself and So Cards More Than Friends.
Now we go back to The Hague and Simone’s recommendation of a very underrated author: Tessa Hadley. Free Love has just been released and Simone really liked it. It is a psychological drama and if you like Rachel Cusk and Joanna Trollope, you should enjoy this author as well.
From our website: “With scalpel-sharp insight, Tessa Hadley explores her characters’ inner worlds, laying bare their fears and longings. Free Love is an irresistible exploration of romantic love, sexual freedom and living out the truest and most meaningful version of our lives.”
Bella, who works in Amsterdam, came up with The Dance of the Serpents, by Oscar De Muriel. According to her, even if this title is the 6th installment of a series, all the books can be read individually. This series follows English Inspector Ian Frey and his Scottish boss McGray in their fight to solve impossible mysteries in spite of different vantage points. One of them does not believe in the occult and the other totally embraces it. They are very different people, but they work very well together. In this book they need to go on a mission and end up finding a conspiracy…
Iris came up with 2 ARCs – Advanced Reader’s Copies, books we get from publishers in order to read up front and recommend to our buyers and customers – that she really liked.
The first ARC was Gallant, by V.E. Schwab. It has a similar vibe as A Darker Shade of Magic series – Staff Choice of Natalia and Martijn.
A girl goes to her ancestral home and finds out about a parallel version of it where a demonic figure holds sway. It’s about the conflict between the two worlds and her very real struggle to be heard – she’s deaf –, her choices and its consequences. It has a coming-of-age vibe, but even though it is listed as YA, you can find it under Fantasy in our stores. This is coming out in March.
V.E. Schwab also writes YA stories under the name Victoria Schwab.
Colleague Maarten, from Amsterdam, came up with Psychedelic Apes, by Alex Boese, also a Staff Choice of his. The subtitle of this one says it all: From Parallel Universes to Atomic Dinosaurs – The Weirdest Theories of Science and History.
Maarten, in his words: “The latest of science historian Alex Boese. A funny and sometimes mind-blowing collection of scientific theories that turned out not to be true but could have been possible if the world was even weirder than it is now. This book also gives a nice insight into how science works or should work.”
And last but not least, and also coming out in March, is the second ARC Iris chose for us: The Last Firefox, by Lee Newbery. Iris actually follows him on Instagram and thinks he’s a cool dude. This is his first published book and she really liked it. Mostly because even if it’s a book for middle-graders from ages 9 and up, his writing is not condescending (as we often see in children’s books.) It’s a super plus for him.
Charlie Challinor finds life scary, and it gets even scarier when he becomes the guardian of a fox cub. Cadno, the cub, is not only a furry cute fox, but a firefox – the only one of his kind – and being hunted by someone from another world. Charlie will need to find the bravery necessary to save his little flammable friend… he will need to find his inner fire.