March in hindsight

2018_March

Dutch Comic Con

I went to Dutch Comic Con and I had a blast! I can really recommend it to anyone, it’s a fun day out especially if you look at different things you can do and experience on DCC. Whether you’re into games, books, movies, television show or comics there is certainly something for everyone out there.

Reading and writing

March was the month in which I’ve finished reading the second book in the Monkeewrench series – Live Bait. I really enjoyed reading it. From the moment I started reading it I was wondering what was going on and I really couldn’t figure it out. Which makes it a good crime novel in my opinion.

Music and songs

I decided to add a new part to my monthly posts. One thing I can say for certain is that I’ve been loving Beth Hart latest album, her collaboration with Joe Bonamassa ‘Black Coffee’! It’s been one of the full albums which has been in my favorite Spotify list ever since the album came out back in January.

However my absolute favorite songs of the past month has been ‘This is me’ both versions of the song are on my Spotify list – the original movie version from The Greatest Showman’ as well as Kesha’s version. Both are beautiful, however I think that the the movie version is much stronger. Keala Settle has a powerful voice and she delivers the song with so much passion. I haven’t seen the movie yet – I really want to see it but I haven’t had the chance – however it is definitely on my to watch list.

Fitness

For a while I have been thinking about changing things around. Part of me was thinking about getting back to running, something which I did a couple of years ago however I the problem was that I had shin splints. A very painful injury which is really hard to get rid off. It comes back and that was what was happening to me. I know that my pain level is pretty high but this was so painful that in the end it made me give up. That was part of the reason why I started doing yoga, I wanted to do a sport and it helped with stress relief of course.

But lately I was feeling restless,  wanted to so something more active. So I decided to sign myself up for the gym. And so far so good, I’ve been going for a couple of weeks now about two or three times a week and things are going really well.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop of course!
  • My birthday is coming up – thirty-six! Ouch!
  • Vacation planning!
  • Camp Nanowrimo has started, I’m not participating but I do love going to those weekly meetings in the Library, it’s so good to see everyone. Even if it is just to talk and have a laugh.
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Book 2 – Live Bait by P.J. Tracy

Reading-Challenge-2018

2018_LevendAas‘Live Bait’ is the second book in the Monkeewrench series, and the second book I’m finishing this year in my reading challenge. Though it is technically not the second book I started reading but that has more to do with the backlog in books that I have. I’m trying to read my ebooks only when I’m away from home. So that I finally get through the books I have laying around my apartment and that is why I haven’t finished the other one at this moment.

Monkeewrench introduced a lot of cool characters, they all brought something different to the table – a team of extremely diverse people who work together and all bring their own . And it was kind of a shame that they weren’t really utilized more in this book. We saw glimpses of Grace and a teeny tiny bit of Annie (which is funny if you think about it!) but not much more about anyone else. I really missed them, I liked what they brought to the story. And given that this story is part of the Monkeewrench series and they are Monkeewrench I had expected them to play a bigger and more important part.

Let’s get on with the story. After the events from Monkeewrench 1 the city has been on a murder dryspell and the detectives are bored. But when an elderly man is brutally murdered Gino Rolseth and Leo Magozzi are in for case which will take much more from them than they ever could have imagined. A case which blurs the line between right and wrong and the way you look at a murderer. When they are called out to the murder of an elderly – very loved by the community – man they can’t imagine what reason anyone can have to kill him. Morey Gilbert is a helpful man, a pilar of the community not someone you’d ever imagine to get murdered. However Morey Gilberts murder is only the first, soon they have more murders on their hands and no real clues as to why these particular people became victims. The only thing which connects the murders is the fact that the three elderly victims are all jewish and have all lived through the war.

It really took me a long time before I grasped what was going on there were so many falls clues and so many potential ways this story could have gone. But what really happened never came to mind until it was quite obvious. And that is what I really liked about this story. It kept me guessing. The line between right and wrong was a very thin one and in a way you can understand why certain people made certain choices. It is one of those stories which makes you think about what drives someone to commit murder and even understand it in a way.

What I like about these books is the way that the characters are all their own person. All of the characters are very well developed, and very natural like regular people. They have their own voice and their own way of looking at things. Which is something that I really admire in a writer or in this case a writer’s duo.

On to the next book – Dead Run!

February in hindsight

2018_February

February flew by, of course it’s a shorter month than the rest of them but still it felt like we went from February first to the twenty eight in a heartbeat. I had plans and ideas but not much came together, I need to be better at this, I want to be better at this. I’m working on it, this post is going up tonight on March first no matter what happens! This is my February in Hindsight post and it is posted on the first day of the new month.

The Lion King

I had a blast this past weekend – the last weekend of February – on Saturday my mom came to visit me and I took her out to a restaurant in the city where we had a really nice meal. The ambiance in De Vooruitgang was just perfect, it looks gorgeous! Followed by a nice evening watching television and talking about stuff.

On Sunday we drove to Scheveningen to go see The Lion King – the musical at the Circus Theater. It was truly a beautiful musical. Definitely one of the best I’ve seen so far – with Wicked being my absolute number one. The musical is simply beautiful, the costumes and the way the different animals are presented. It’s really pretty! If you’re like me a musical lover you’ll definitively like this one!

Pinkpop 2018

The Pinkpop press conference has taken place and let me tell you the line-up is awesome! So much better than these last couple of years, especially last year was not my cup of tea.  I’m so looking forward to the show, of course there is always that nail biting moment when you’re trying to get the tickets but in the end it turned out to be a lot easier that I had expected it to me. The sale started at ten in the morning and at ten past ten I had paid online for my ticket. That means that I will be able to see Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Snow Patrol, Editors, Miss Montreal en Jessie J! And that is just a small portion of the bands that I’ll be able to see. I’ve seen the Foo Fighters a couple of times before and they rock! They are so awesome! Pearl Jam is one of those bands which have always had this vibe around them. Probably because of their legendary 1992 performance, the last time they were at Pinkpop was in 2000! That was my first year at Pinkpop, but at the time I can’t remember if I’ve seen them. I probably did, but I can’t recall it. I always wanted to see Jessie J live! And now I have a chance to see her perform. There is so much more to see and hear. I need to check out the Pinkpop Spotify playlist.

Reading and writing

I’m still working on that second book in the Monkeewrench series, the book is so interesting! I am about half way through it and I literally have no idea where this story is going. The storyline is all over the place, and so far except for some of the same character there has barely been any connection to Monkeewrench. So I guess that once they become involved in the storyline things will become clearer. This storyline is different than any other book I’ve ever read. Interesting book though, a book like this makes me curious and I want to know where this is going.

This is only the first post I’ll be making in the month of March, I still have some stuff up my sleeve. Soon another post will follow, about an album which came out a couple of weeks ago.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop!!!! I didn’t go to Pinkpop last year and the year before that I only went one day. But this year I’m going for three whole days. I can’t wait!
  • I’m meeting my vacation friends again, up for another fun day the first weekend of March.

 

 

January in hindsight

2018_January

The first month of the year is over.
It all happened so fast! Of course there was New Years Eve which I spend with a couple of friends from my writer group. We had of course way too much food, since every one brought something with them. And we played ‘Cards Against Humanity’ which is really cool. We had a lot of fun. In fact we had to keep our eye on the time because chances were that we would miss the celebrating New Year and the fireworks since we were so immersed in our game.

It was fun celebrating it with our writers group through the years we’ve become a wonderful group of friends so much more than just a group that meets up because we have a passion for writing or because we all participate in Nanowrimo. In fact without these friends my life would be pretty empty, we meet up for writing appointments, we go to the movies and sometimes we meet up at each others homes or we go to a convention or fair together.

New car

Okay, so my old Mint Green Opel Corsa 1.2 is twenty three years old! That is very old for a car! In fact I think that a car is called a classic when it reaches twenty five years! Nah, I’m just kidding with a color like that a car never becomes a classic if you ask me. And it was getting noticeable, every time it’s harder to get the car through the annual car safety test. And I was paying a lot of money to keep the car on the road. It’s not really surprising – and while it wasn’t anything bad it’s was just typical car stuff – that’s just the way it is.

I kind of made up my mind about it and I knew that I had to get a new car before September since that is the month when I had to renew my old car safety test. However I was not really doing anything about it – not yet anyway I figured I had some time. But my parents apparently had the same conversation amongst each other and they even started looking for a different car for me. I mean, that is so sweet, let’s face it the only way I can look at a different car is by looking at the aesthetics of it. Does it look good? Does it have the right color? I honestly don’t know anything about cars, I have my dad for that. He’s been working with cars since he was a mere sixteen years old in a garage, he worked on cars in the army and ever since he’s been working he’s done different jobs at a car factory for the last forty or forty five years. So I don’t need to know my way around cars unless it is to drive them or tell my dad something is wrong. But anyway on a Sunday afternoon I was minding my own business, reading a book – when I received a phone call from my mom. She and my dad had been looking around the internet and they had seen a car for sale which according to them had my name on it. I really liked the car it’s bright red! And it drives like a dream! And from twenty three years old I made an upgrade to a car which is only eight years old! So that is a huge step forward!

Reading and writing

I’ve not really done any writing during January except for my book reviews for Nevermore and Monkeewrench. And that brings me to the next part of my January post, reading. I finally read Monkeewrench, a book which I had on my to read list for a while but I never really got around to it. I started reading it a couple of times but for some reason it didn’t continue. I can’t really explain why that is, especially not now that I’ve actually read the book because I really enjoyed reading it. I’m currently reading the next part in the Monkeewrench series, really curious where this is going.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop press conference and the sale of the tickets.
  • I’m going to see The Lion King Musical with my mom. I have a huge weak spot when it comes to musicals I love them and I’m finally going to see this one!

Book 1 – Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy

Reading-Challenge-2018

2018_EngelenmoordI’m trying to clear my backlog, and this book was definitely on that list in fact I first started reading it back in October of 2016! Yes, that was a while back, for some reason – I can’t remember why, but I stopped reading it half way through November. Then I picked it up in January 2017 but after a day I put it away again. I had at that point only read 59 pages. In fact I choose to read ‘The Death Cure’ the third installment in the Maze Runner series over this book.

Which right at this moment I find quite astounding and unexplainable. Because that book really wasn’t what I hoped it would be. It could have been wonderful and interesting. But it was not and instead I allowed this book to stay on my shelve and now that I actually read it I feel bad because it is a good book! And I could have read it years ago as well as a couple of the other follow up books because I have them on my shelve as well, like literally in my living room. Not the digital copies on my tablet but physical copies.

Anyway lets finally get on to this long overdue book review – I’ve been reading this book in Dutch so the tittle of it is Engelenmoord which roughly translated to ‘Murder of an Angel’ (however in English the first part of the Monkeewrench series is called ‘Want to play?’). Which could of course refer to one of the murders in this book where a young girl is killed and is placed on top of a large angel statue in the middle of a cemetery. A very graphic and interesting murder case but that is not the only murder. There is a couple killed in a church, a jogger killed in a forest and another man found murdered at a boat while the entire police force and a private security company was trying to prevent the murder from happening. Each and every murder is very different and on the surface nothing links them together – apart from the .22 bullets which killed the victims – until it becomes obvious that the murders seem to come straight out of a video game. The problem is that the game isn’t out yet and it has only been played by a group of test players. Monkeewrench the company which is developing the game is unwillingly being dragged into a game they don’t want to play.

They all know the game inside and out including all twenty murders which take place in the game which makes them suspect in the eye of the detectives investigating the murders and at the same time the Monkeewrench founders have a huge secret to hide. Because up until ten years ago none of the Monkeewrench founders existed. Not Grace MacBride, not Harley Davidson, not Roadrunner, not Mitch Cross and not even Annie Belinsky existed ten years ago.  The fact that they didn’t exist ten years ago did make them all look suspicious. There are a lot of twists and turns in this story and quite frankly that ending I did not expect that at all!

The book kept me captivated, from the moment I picked it up on January seventh this year and I finished the book on the twenty first. All in all it took me a long time to finish the book but once I finally got into the story I loved it. I should have read this book a long time ago. I immediately picked up the next book in the Monkeewrench series. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

The fascinating thing is that these books are written by a mom-daughter team, PJ and Traci Lambrecht – under the name PJ Tracy. I don’t know how that works, how do you write a book together? Does one person write one chapter and the other person the next chapter. Or does one person actually write and is there are lot of conversation and brainstorming going back and forth? I really do wonder about that process. It fascinates me.

Fun fact, whenever I read the way they describe Annie Belinsky I see a sort of Penelope Garcia type of woman (one of by me very beloved Criminal Minds characters). It’s the image of the type of woman which always pops into my head.

My plan for this year is to get through that backlog of books to read in my apartment. The thing though is that I don’t like to take books with me when I make a trip, first of all because they are mostly a lot heavier than my tablet and secondly because the books get easily damaged when you have them in your bag especially when they are paperbacks which a lot of my books are. So whenever I’m at home I want to read as many books as I can and when I’m out – during a trip with the train or something similar I want to use my tablet. That way I might finally do something about the so far unread books in my apartment. And who knows once I read them I might finally get around to bringing some of my books to a store which resells them and support Books4Life Eindhoven.

 

Book 10 – Nevermore by Nell Stark and Trinity Tam

2017_Nevermore

This is the second book in the Everafter series, so far there are four books. I don’t have the other books yet, but given how much I like these first two books I’m sure that the others will follow soon as well. I read this book literally on the last day of the year which is why I didn’t have the time to write a proper review before the year ended.

If you plan on reading these books do not continue reading, this contains spoilers!

Alexa has made the biggest sacrifice she can to make sure that Val can continue to be herself. The parasite that is changing Val into a bloodthirsty vampire in time will also change her soul unless she keeps her sanity by only taking blood from one donor – Alexa. In order to be able to give Val all the blood she needs, she’s made the decision to become a wereshifter. Wereshifters are able to regenerate their health if they shift and therefor they are also able to endure more trauma. On the other hand pain makes them shift, which imposes a danger to Val. Alexa needs to control her impulses and to do so she has to make a decision which keeps them apart for a while.

This is such an easy book to read, the story has a really good flow to it. Which makes it easy to read. The story has a couple of nice twists and turns especially that one at the very end was a huge surprise. Makes me wonder where that is going in the following books. There are at this point two more books in the series – there is Nightrise and Sunfall. I hope to be able to read them soon, at the moment I don’t own the books. I better go and make sure that I fix that!

 

 

December in hindsight

December_2017

December, the conclusion to another year! The year has been good, all in all very positive year but you can read more about that in a ‘Year in hindsight’ post which will be posted on my blog right before midnight tonight.

December is always a busy month, effectively you have only three weeks of work but you are expected to do the same amount of work you need to do when you work every workday of the month. Intertwined in between those workdays we had Sinterklaas which was really fun. I celebrated it with my friends, we had a blast. I got a gorgeous present made by my best friends son and his dad.

And we had Christmas of course, which I celebrated with my family. For the first time in years my sister and brother in law were with us as well. So that was fun! And we also celebrated it with my grandmother and the extended family.

This past week has been a week off and I took some well deserved rest. I chilled at home with my parents. I went to the movies, I had to go see that last Pitch Perfect movie, I loved it! And there was time to read some books, watch some Netflix shows.

And tonight we’re going to celebrate New Years Eve with a couple of people from our writing group, how cool is that! Who could have guessed that we would now be a group of close friends who celebrate days like this together? Honestly when I started the group I was simply looking for some people who understood what Nanowrimo was about. Today however they’ve become true friends who I can count on when I need them.

Reading and writing

I read a couple of books this month, I finished reading The Circle. A book which gets you thinking about privacy and about what we do in the internet. But the book isn’t all that interesting unfortunately. And to be honest coincidentally a friend of mine borrowed me her blu-ray disk containing the movie. Honestly with a cast that includes Tom Hanks and Emma Watson I had high hopes that they could have made it worth my time. But the movie is definitely wasn’t worth my time. It could have been so much more. A true shame!

The other books I read are Everafter and Nevermore, a supernatural love story about vampires and wereshifters including two awesome women. I really enjoyed reading these books. They are easy to read, not too long and there is a really cool story intertwined. I really want to recommend these books.

Looking ahead:

  • 2018 is about to start, let’s take a look ahead.
  • I want to take another trip, right now I would say Croatia is high on the list but it might also be somewhere else. We’ll see what happens.
  • Pinkpop has some awesome names for this coming edition, though with those awesome names also comes a smaller chance of actually getting tickets. I have to try to get them though – Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters are among them.
  • There are many books which need to read – I want to make sure that the all of those unread books in my apartment get read.
  • I would also like to go to Disneyland Paris, I have been there once before when I was about twelve years old and I think I’m due for another trip to Disneyland. It’s been something that has been on my mind for a while.
  • We’re planning another reunion with the vacation group, Groningen is the plan – like it was in November the one we unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute.