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Written by Lília

Winter and Gift Season have arrived in our part of the world, so it’s time to talk about special editions and new titles to up our present ante! We have a huge pile of recommendations and also some advice: get your books and presents ASAP. The sooner you come to an ABC store, the more time we have to order those special titles we might not currently have in stock.

In the meantime, get inspired by the Gift Edition of our ABC Staff Picks, where Luke and Iris talk about art, crafts, general fiction, biographies, young adult, photography/music, romance, poetry, juvenile fiction, a children’s book, travel literature and even a traffic manual.


Sofia Coppola: Archive is Luke’s first pick: in softcover, with many pictures, it reads as a love letter to her films. A popular book that’s been reprinted, we just received some new copies from the publisher.


Emma V. loves crafty books and lately is very charmed by the Antiquarian sticker book series, which includes Antiquarian, Bibliophilia and Imaginarium. According to Emma V., they are “Victorian style sticker books, with quirky and curious images. Bibliophilia is very nice for book lovers, with its many letter stickers, but Imaginarium is my favorite, because of the fantastical imagery of animals and mystical objects.”

General Fiction

Zeynep just finished Big Swiss by Jen Beagin and thought it was “bold, weird as f***, sexy and dark, about a woman working as a transcriber for a sex therapist who falls in love with a patient. One of the best books I’ve read this year. Also, one of the coolest covers ever.”


As a musician himself, Luke is a great admirer of musician biographies, and he points to two new popular titles: My Name is Barbra by Barbra Streisand and The Woman in Me by Britney Spears. Both musicians have dealt with, and still face, a ton of challenges in their lives. Very interesting.

Young Adult

Sophie recommends two of the many special editions that came out in the last few months.

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare is the first title in her new series Chronicles of Castellane. The publisher just released an exclusive edition with beautifully sprayed edges. According to Sophie: “You can expect lots of swoony love, a historical fantasy setting and determined fighting-against-the-evil-forces action.”

The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson is a popular title and there is now an exquisite hardcover collector’s edition with sprayed edges and a reading ribbon. Relive Pippa’s first adventure as she digs into a cold case involving her village and her school.

As a very prolific reader, Shirley suggests five titles!


Shirley says:A Book of Days is Patti Smith’s Instagram photos in a book, really lovely and inspiring.”

With great pictures, it’s in hardcover and features a cat on the back cover, which according to Luke, is already a win.

Luke describes Patti Smith as “a very down-to-earth lady, who comes to the store whenever she’s in Amsterdam for a gig.”


Between Us, the new novel by Mhariri McFarlane, is, according to Shirley, “a nice mix of emotions and drama.”


The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck: “Beautiful, heartbreaking poems from my favorite poet, also a favorite of Obama’s. Unfortunately, she recently passed on.”

Juvenile Fiction

The Storyteller’s Handbook by Elise Hurst is a book where magic is something you create and every page is like a story prompt.

Shirley says: “Wordless books are always very inspiring. You have to think and make up your own story. Beautifully illustrated.”


Mr. Coats by Sieb Posthuma “is a nice little story about Mr. Coats, who is always cold. Sieb Posthuma is a Dutch illustrator and David Colmer did a good job translating the story. Colorfully illustrated.”

Travel Literature

Tom recommends Clanlands in New Zealand by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish.

Even though Travel Literature is quite a niche, the original Clanlands by the same Sam Heughan-Graham McTavish team became a great success. Now Sam and Graham have returned with Clanlands in New Zealand, a land Graham calls home and Sam has always been curious about.

With a foreword by Peter Jackson.


And for those of you who still need to get your Dutch driver’s license, Floris recommends the Traffic Manual in English and the Exam Manual in Dutch bundle with a separate English booklet translation.

Our next Staff Picks will be on Friday 26th January, with our Valentine’s 2024 Edition.

Merry holidays and Happy New Year!

May 2024 bring us all many good things…