The Post Summer Book List

booklist_postsummer

So this summer hasn’t been my best one book-wise. I have been living in Madrid for two months doing a Spanish course, so naturally eating tapas and drinking wine were my new priorities. However, I do have a few book tips to share, so let’s begin…

THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton

This book has been on my list for quite a while, and I even started reading it several times. However, I never really got into it and kept putting it away. This summer, however, I finally felt like reading this and I really can’t complain. I imagine this book to be perfect for a film script, since it is such a vividly described story with lots of interesting characters. If the movie was ever made, I would for sure go see it. In short, the story is set in the late 1800s in New Zealand and evolves around of group of men who try to make their fortune in the goldfields.

BLAASMUZIEKPOP OF HOE DE WETENSCHAP NAAR DE BERGEN KWAM by Vea Kaiser

This one I couldn’t find in English, since it is originally a German book and I read the Dutch translation. However, if it is ever translated in English, I believe it would be a total hype. It kind of reminded me of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. The story is not to heavy and made me laugh plenty of times. It’s a quirky and fun book.

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

Another one that has been on the list for quite a while now. Normally I don’t really like reading stories set in the WWII, but this one was different to me. I found it beautiful that death was the storyteller in this book and I can even say that it made me cry for time to time. That says a LOT if you would know me, because I never ever cry at movies or books. Anyway, I loved it and I think I am watching the movie next. On that note, be prepared for a few movie suggestions in the upcoming weeks as well!

THE GIRLS by Emma Cline

This last one is the one I am reading right now. I am a few pages in, so I don’t have that much to say yet. The one thing I know is that it’s about a girl winding up in a cult in the late 1960s. I’ve read quite a few good reviews about this book, so I was willing to give it a try. I’ll probably put it in next month’s book list.

JULY CRAVINGS

july_cravings

This months cravings involve lots of clothes, all the clothes to be exact. Since summer is in full swing, summer clothes need to be purchased. You may think that mid summer is a bit late to buy your whole summer garderobe. Unfortunately, summers in Amsterdam are not quite that summery and daily showers are no surprise. This is why we buy all our summery clothes for when we travel to the most tropical destinations we can imagine (note that the south of France is already quite tropical for us Dutchies), and if the weather gods are merciful we can wear them at home too. So let us begin: July cravings for our most wonderful vacations and staycations too.

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THE APRIL BOOK LIST

april_book_list

Last summer I made a summer book list, but I decided to do it by month this time. So every month, I will pick at least 4 books that I want to read or have read this month. Why start this now? Because in Amsterdam, spring seems to have finally made it’s entrance. And for me, sunshine means putting away your laptop, tablet and phone (i mean, you can’t use them in the sun anyway) and saying hello to the wonderful world of books!

A HUNDRED SUMMERS by Beatriz Williams

This book was the first one I read when the sun started to make its appearance. That turned out to be a great choice, as it is the perfect summer read. It is not too heavy, but stil has a few of those ‘wow, what happend there?’ moments. The book is set in the 1930’s which gives it a nice historical background. I won’t go too much into detail about the plot, since I wouldn’t want to give anything away. If you are looking for an easy read, then you should definitely go for this one!

THE ROSIE PROJECT by Gramae Simsion

I have to say: I LOVED THIS BOOK! It is described as an hilarious feel-good novel and I have to agree with that. This book tells the story of an awkward genetics professor searching for love. He is a very lovable character for me, because I can relate to him in a certain way. I wouldn’t say I am as awkward as he is, but I believe that everyone can relate to this. I was so very sad when I finished this one, but luckily there is a sequel (yay!). It is called the Rosie Effect and I am planning on reading this for next months blogpost. So keep an eye out for that!

WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE  by Maria Semple

So if you loved The Rosie Project, you will love this as well. It is as hilarious as TRP and quite quirky as well. I won’t give away the plot, but it is about a mother who doesn’t really fit in the normal life. One day she goes missing (hence the title), and this story leads up to that moment. That is all I am going to say about the story, but I do want to say that I also loved the cover art of this one. So if you loved TRP, you will love this too!

A GAME OF THRONES by George R.R. Martin

Now onto the ones I wanted to should have read this month. As many of you know, Game of Thrones has finally (!) started again, and I couldn’t be happier about that. My plan was to read the first two books in the year between the two seasons, but I seem to have failed. I have started the first book: A Game of Thrones, but it is quite hard to get through. Firstly because it has more than 700 pages, which even for me is quite a lot. Secondly, I already knew what was going to happen and I couldn’t bear  that very sad moment at the end of season one (I won’t spoil anything). But maybe I will pick it up after this season is done, because I can’t bear another year of waiting.

SALSA SHOP

salsa_shop

I have eaten A LOT lately, so let’s bring out those hotspots! Let’s start with Salsa Shop This is a Mexican take on fast-food, and I have to say: it tastes a lot better than regular fast food! Four childhood friends have decided to start this restaurant after some time traveling in Mexico and the US, because the real Mexican taste was nowhere to be found in Amsterdam. Bulls eye if you ask me! The guys from Salsa Shop make everything right before your eyes with the freshest products. You can choose your meal (burrito, tacos, salad or burrito bowl), your meat/veggies, what goes inside (guacamole, sour cream, you name it!), the salsa and some extras like tortilla chips. And you can even drink in style; their homemade lemonades are a real gem, but the mexican soft drinks are pretty good too. Sounds tasty huh?

I would personally recommend the tacos, because you get four small ones which you can compose the way you like. This way, you can try a sorts of meat and also different salsas. Like I said, the fresh lime lemonade is real good and works perfectly with those spicy salsas.

Off you go, amigo!


SALSA SHOP
AMSTELSTRAAT 32-A
1017 DA AMSTERDAM
020 2051040

salsashop.nl

CARROT CAKE

I would have never guessed it before, but carrot cake has become one of my favorite cakes in the world. yes, the entire world. Therefore, I present to you: my carrot cake recipe!

carrot_cake

carrot_cake_ingredients

Mix the eggs, the brown sugar and sunflower oil until it is a smooth mixture. Add self-raising flour and baking powder and mix it together. Add the mixed spices to the batter. Chop the walnuts in small pieces and add them to the mixture. Add the grated carrots to the batter and but it in a baking mold (about 23 cm). Pre-heat the oven on 170 degrees Celsius and bake the cake for about 60-70 minutes. This timing can fluctuate, so you can test if it’s ready with a cocktail pick (or satéprikker if you’re Dutch). If it comes out dry, it’s ready!

Time to make the frosting! Whip up the butter until it’s smooth and light. Make sure that the butter becomes white. Mix the cream cheese, the lemon juice and the icing sugar with the butter. If you like it sweet, than you can add more sugar. Wait until the cake is completely cold before you start frosting, otherwise it will melt off. Garnish the cake with the leftover walnuts or whatever you like.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

happy_holidays

This Sunday I will be heading to Scandinavia for the first time! For as long as I can remember, my family and me go to Southern Europe in the summer holiday. This year, however, we wanted something different, so we decided to go to Sweden (and Copenhagen and Oslo). Things will be different since the weather is just not the same as in South France. However, I am really looking forward to visiting Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. I really hope that we will not regret the decision to do it differently this year, but I think it will be good. Have a happy holiday, folks!