End of Summer Update

Hello readers,

That's right, it's that time of the year again where I have to unfortunately announce that I will be a little less active in comparison to last month. University starts again tomorrow, and though I'm excited about it, it also means that I will be spending many more hours in the school library studying, and less hours blogging.

However, I've put in a lot of effort during summer break to change the interface of Brilliant Bookshelf and develop some new features, with success! Some of these features have been online for a while already so you might have noticed already, but just to sum it up Brilliant Bookshelf has acquired:

Review: The Other Typist

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
◆ Read August 2014
◆ English Edition
❝ New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition and the whole city swims in bathtub gin.

Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.

But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist's spell. As do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls' friendship blossoms and they flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the precinct by day, it is not long before Rose's fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.

But just who is the real Odalie, and how far will Rose go to find out?
Well, this book is just classy as hell, with its cigarette holders, expensive frocks, speakeasies and lunch outings. Everything about it breathed the 20's to me and it's no secret that I'm a sucker for historical fiction, especially for a time period like this. Though certainly not without flaws, I thought The Other Typist was a really enjoyable and exciting read.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don't Own Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works!

Liebster Award

I've been  nominated for the Liebster Award by my sister at Go Mommy Go. The Liebster Award serves to put smaller blogs in the spotlight. Thanks for the nomination! Like I said, her blog is in Dutch so many of you won't be able to benefit from it. I do really recommend it to any Dutch followers though: Ze heeft een ontzettend leuke schrijfstijl en zeker als je zelf moeder bent, of wordt, zitten er leuke posts tussen met handige tips. 

Fanmix Friday: Anna and the French Kiss

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Recommendations: Back To School

These books are recommendations for your first few weeks back at school after a blissfully long summer. They are high school/college themed and will put you in a good mood for a brand new school year, or a fresh start.

Review: Anna and the French Kiss

◆ Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
◆ Read August 2014
◆ English Edition
❝ Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
Pretty much everyone and their neighbor has read Anna and the French Kiss and are ecstatic about it. I'm incredibly late to the party, but I can safely say that the hype that surrounds this book is completely justified. It's adorable and contains everything you could possibly desire from a romance/chick-lit novel. Bonus points: the writing is considerably better than in the average chick-lit! 

Giveaway: One Year Anniversary

Brilliant Bookshelf will exist a year in September! To celebrate this one year anniversary and to thank my followers, I'm hosting a giveaway. Two winners get to choose one book + a bookmark from the list above. All of the books listed above are ones I've reviewed over the past year. 

Review: The Blue Bistro

◆ The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
◆ Read August 2014
◆ English Edition
❝ Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she is desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket's hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business...and they share an instant attraction. 
But there is a mystery about their situation: What is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro's chef, who captures Thatcher's attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether she'll move on, as she always does--or finally open her heart...
I expected The Blue Bistro to be an easy read, something you can take with you to the beach or the park to lose your mind in for a couple of hours, and it turned out to be exactly that. The plot is somewhat predictable but this very predictability and summer setting make it an enjoyable summer read. You don't have to make the gears in your brain work to figure out details as the plot progresses, and sometimes that is just the kind of book you need. 

Recommendations: Beach Reads

These beach reads are recommendations for hot summer days at the beach, with sand between your feet, the sound of the ocean and a light, summer-themed read in your hands.

Review: Cress

◆ Cress by Marissa Meyer
◆ Read August 2014
◆ English Edition
❝ In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
It seems that every book in the Lunar Chronicles series is even better than the last and Cress is not an exception. This book picks up where Scarlet left off, adding more details to the plot and introducing new characters. 

Fanmix Friday: The Night Circus

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Review: Gone Girl

◆ Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
◆ Read August 2014
◆ English Edition
❝ On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
Let me just start of by saying: holy shit, I did not expect that. The plot was interesting to start with, but the narration and mindblowing plot twist changed Gone Girl from being an average crime novel into an actual masterpiece. As you may well gather from this description, I loved this book and am giving it 5 stars. 

August Book Haul

It's been a few months since I've last purchased books. Because of my money budget I opted instead for downloadable e-books. This month I was able to buy some though, so here is my August book haul! 

Review: The Night Circus

◆ The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
◆ Read July 2014
◆ English Edition
❝ The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
The Night Circus captured my attention from beginning to end, dragging me into the dreamlike Victorian world of magic and mystery. A black and white place where peculiar things happen, but there is no apparent need to explain them because the beauty itself is enough.

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