I like to read. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always had a pile of books nearby with which I spent many hours in a cozy corner. There was only one downside at the library: the limitations on the amount of books I could bring home. I vaguely remember competing and winning in a reading aloud contest! Today I want to share a few remarkable books that have drawn my attention.
Living differently – stories from birds of paradise
Months ago I got an e-mail from Marleen Hartog, in which she asked me if she could interview me for the book she was writing. It was a book about people living in different ways in the Netherlands. Marleen told me that a personal interest was the reason for writing a book about this topic. We met on a sunny afternoon and we had a very nice talk. Her book came out in August and it’s a wonderful and inspiring book! It’s a real feel-good book, filled with short stories about remarkable people, talking about the unusual paths they have taken in which they are searching for their ideal way of living and the sort of life that comes along with it. More and more people are realizing that you don’t need to live in a standard house, but that so much more is possible. Living in a community housing project for example, or a yurt or Tiny House.
When I read the book it was like reading about my own story in every chapter. Everyone describes their own search for living differently. They feel the need to walk a different path because the regular one doesn’t fit them. They share what challenges they faced and the victories on powering through. I wrote to Marleen that I would love to meet so many of them! I think we would have plenty to talk about and would get along really well. Do you recognize the feeling that there should be more to life and that your current living situation doesn’t fit you? This book will give you the inspiration you need to start your own search. But even if you’re perfectly happy with your home, this book is worth reading. It’s just great to take a look in somebody else’s house. Especially if that house is special. Be surprised and inspired by these stories from birds of paradise! You can order it on www.anderswonenhetboek.nl
Tiny Houses – less home, more life
The long-expected book by my friend and Tiny House Nederland ‘partner in crime’ Monique van Orden will come out Tuesday November 14th. Of course I’ve had some digital sneak peeks, but I still can’t wait to have the paper version in my hands. It’s a book that you just want to look through over and over, it has massive amounts of gorgeous pictures. Monique takes you to 25 Dutch and Belgian Tiny Houses. She lets the owners talk about their choices for going Tiny and gives background information about the Tiny House philosophy and the movement in the Netherlands. It also has a bunch of tips from designers and builders. A really useful book!
I’ve known Monique for a while now and I admire the interest she shows in other people. She is a good listener and is very thoughtful. I must confess I can learn something from her in that area. I’m not surprised that she’s a good interviewer and can extract the most interesting facts from those interviews. You can find them as quotes in the book. The book has turned out great. The pictures are awesome and she’s put a lot of thought into the styling. It’s a book you don’t want to put away on a shelf. You’ll want to leave it on the coffee table and show it off to friends and family. As vice-president of Tiny House Nederland and experienced author, there’s no better person than Monique to write the very first Dutch book on Tiny Houses. I couldn’t have thought of a better author. Even better is the fact that she’s donating part of the royalties to Tiny House Nederland, how awesome is that! Go buy that book! You can pre-order it through the link on the right-hand side of this website.
A man called Ove
Something completely different. A novel, but what a brilliant one! Ever since I’ve read his book Bear Town, I’m a fan of Fredrik Backman. A man called Ove is the second book I’ve read and right now I’m reading the third book written by him. He’s that good. This book is hilarious and moving at the same time. I’ve had tears in my eyes several times, only to laugh my ass off a moment later. Those are the best books! I’ve read it in English, but it’s also available in Dutch.
Ove is a cranky old man, terrorising the neighborhood with his Nazi behavior, pity the one who doesn’t follow the rules. When he loses his job after 43 years, he’s had enough. He wants to end his life. But it turns out it’s not that easy, especially when you have neighbors who are useless and need help with everything. Gradually the reader learns that there’s more to Ove that’s tucked away behind his angry façade, and you start to appreciate him more and more. They are all the spoilers I’m giving away; you’ll have to read it for yourself! Right now I’m reading my next Backman book: My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry. Also a page turner!
On the right-hand side of this post you’ll find links to Bol.com, where you can buy all these books. When you buy them via these links, they pay me a tiny bit of commission. So when you’re about to order one of these books, do me a favor and use these links! :)
This blogpost has been written in cooperation with Marleen Hartog and Monique van Orden.