Written by Lília

In our summer edition of the ABC Staff Picks, the last of this season, Luke and Bella are back highlighting many different genres, including quite a few translated works. We also have crime, romance, horror, memoirs, fantasy, general fiction, art and more! Read on!


Jilles highly recommends The Night Shift by Alex Finley, which he enjoyed during his vacation. Says Jilles: “It’s a good summer read, has many twists and is fast-paced.”

Bella just finished The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji, a translation from the Japanese crime cult book. Inspired by and loosely based on Agatha Christie’s None, and it tells the story of a mystery-loving group of university students who, during a visit to an island where a real murder has been committed, begin to be picked off one by one by an anonymous murderer. Bella liked it so much that she is planning on reading the newly translated The Mill House Murders by the same author.


Sywert suggests Sister Maiden Monster by Lucy A. Snyder, a Bram Stoker Award winner. Sywert says: “This title has a bit of a weird mix, with quite a lot of gore, but is very interesting.” It tells the story of three women during a pandemic in which the virus changes people and slowly transforms some of them into monsters. It’s quite visceral and not for the faint-hearted but has an intriguing storyline.

General Fiction

Lynn loves Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead, co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2023, which has also been short-listed for the 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction. According to Lynn: “Anything from this author is worthwhile, and this title has well-developed characters, interesting settings and an unusual narrative.”

According to Jonna, Whale by Myeong-kwan Cheon is “a fast- to medium-paced book, full of magical realism. It follows the endeavors and misdemeanors of a Korean entrepreneur, showing Korean society and culture in a fairy-tale/folkloric light.” It’s full of surprises and wicked humor. It’s interesting, though a bit weird. Translated from Korean and released this year in English, it was short-listed for the International Booker Prize 2023.

Even though A Death in the Family: Book 1 by Karl Ove Knausgaard is actually more of a memoir, it’s listed as fiction and can be found in the fiction sections in our stores. The book gives readers an insight into Karl’s life after his father died of alcoholism, its influence on his adult life, and the aftershocks of losing a parent. Knausgaard writes very detailed descriptions of an ordinary life, as those who have read his previous books are familiar with. About A Death in the Family: Book 1, Bob says: “It’s a look at life beyond the façade we tend to put up.”

Bella is now reading Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali, the best-selling Turkish classic of love and loss in a changing world, with a new introduction by David Selim Sayers, and is enjoying it immensely.


Iris M. loves fantasy and is actually counting the days until her vacation so she can read Witch King by Martha Wells, which has just been published. Author of the Murder Bot series, Martha Wells writes wonderfully rounded characters, with tons of humor, and is always a joy to read.


Natalia says: “I would be lying if I said I read The Nanny by Lana Ferguson only for the plot. This is one of my favorite romance reads so far this year.” The cover doesn’t give away that this book is actually quite spicy. So, if you like your romances spicy, this one is for you.


Max W. recommends Queen and Philosophy: Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind by Jared Kemling and Randall E. Auxier. This book is part of a “Pop Culture and Philosophy” series and has many different titles available. Max also read the ones about Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd and likes the premise: the authors talking about the deeper meaning of the musicians’ lyrics, lives and the world around them.


Creative Struggle by Holly Blondin is a book for innovators, design strategists and entrepreneurs—and everyone who feels the pain of the struggle at some point while managing the everyday distractions and noise that can block us from reaching our full creative potential.

The author was in the Netherlands during The Next Web Conference 2023 on June 15 and 16 and popped into our Amsterdam store on June 16. So check for signed books!

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Luke and Bella presenting the Staff Picks Summer Edition on the ABC channel.