The beginning of November always brings one of my favourite events… the Antwerp Book Fair! I have been going for years on end and this year was no different…
So on the first day of November I did some serious book-shopping 🙂 Read on to find out which books I bought and why!
Going to the book fair is one of the highlights of the year. I make sure to be there when the book fair opens, I stroll around for hours on end, taking notes of which books I’d like to buy, making a selection of the books I want to buy (because my list is always way longer than my budget allows of course!) and then I start buying the books I want. I always come home being very tired but oh so happy 😀
In the last 30 years, I only skipped one Book Fair, the one in 1999. But believe me, I had a pretty good reason for that: I was close to my due date of my second child, but my sister’s marriage was planned 12th November and I really didn’t want to miss that of course!!! So I didn’t want to risk strolling around a book fair the entire day, going into labour early and miss my sister’s wedding. To console myself I went to a bookstore and bought some books, but that just isn’t the same, is it?!
The last 15 years I have been going with one or more of my kids. I love how they have taken over my ‘system’ of looking around, taking notes and buying books at the end of the tour… I love how they look forward to this Book Fair as much as I do… I love how it has become an autumn highlight for them as wel… and I love how we share the passion for books and reading!!
So last Wednesday it was D-day… Book Fair day… and I was so glad to share it with my three kids… kindred spirits on a mission!!
The four of us have bought a total of 29 books: Elizabeth (my youngest) has bought 9 books, Stef (the one that made me skip the 1999-version!)) 5, Charlotte (my eldest) 7 and I have bought 8 books. We really helped out the book economy a bit I must admit 😀
Which books did I buy?
- Michelin city guide Madrid: I am planning a citytrip to Madrid next April and I like using the Michele travel guide. Especially the city guides are really hand. They’re clear, have a good map and the guide is small enough to put in my handbag!
- Down Under, travels in a sunburned country (Bill Bryson): for more than 30 years now, I am a big fan of everything Down Under… and before you get funny thoughts of me, by Down Under I mean Australia. I have never visited the country though, but Bill Bryson has… he has traversed the country from East to West and from North to South and he has put his experiences about this vast country all in this travel book. Apparently the book is filled with quirky stories about the country and the people living in it and I can’t wait to read it.
- The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini): a couple of months ago, you could read a book review on ‘And the mountains echoed’ by Khaled Hosseini. I was intrigued by his writing style and I wanted to read more from this author… hence this book!
- Paris for one and other stories (Jojo Moyes): I had seen this novel on one of the bookstands and merely picked it up because it looked so cute! A bit further I found the English version, but the cute Dutch version was stuck in my head… and when I knew the author was signing copies of her books, I didn’t hesitate and bought it! Jojo Moyes is such a lovely and friendly woman and I’m sure I will love this book. It’s actually one longer story (about 140 pages), but it also contains 11 short stories, which will be perfect reads when I don’t have much time.
- The complete stories of Truman Capote (Truman Capote): another book with short stories, this time by Truman Capote, the writer of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Most of the short stories in this book were written in the 1940’s. The fact that Capote was an unwanted child in a little village in Alabama, definitely puts a stamp on many short stories. The fact that these are all short stories of maximum 35 pages, made me buy it. I love reading books, but as I am in a book club, I sometimes don’t have much time to read a full novel in between books for our book club. A selection of short-stories however, will be the perfect in-between read as I can read as many as I’ve got time for.
- My brilliant friend, Neapolitan novels (Elena Ferrante): I was immediately attracted by this set of four books, set in Naples in the 1950’s. I didn’t buy the whole set though, just the first one as I want to be sure I like the story and writing style before buying the other three. This Neapolitan novels tell the story about 2 girls/women, how they meet, become friends, grow up and how their life develops. Apparently an HBO series about this book is to be expected soon, so for those who don’t like reading, perhaps you can watch the story on television?!
- The last days of Rabbit Hayes (Anna McPartlin): this is a book about love, wit, power and strength. This book is about Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes who loves her ordinary life, but apparently life has other plans for Rabbit as she gets a devastating diagnosis. This book will probably be an emotional rollercoaster and will probably bring tears to my eyes…
- Ikigai, the Japanese secret to a long and happy life (Francesc Miralles & Hector Garcia): Now who doesn’t want to have a long and happy life?! I know I do 🙂 When reading the cover of this book, I was immediately attracted to the content. Ikigia is actually the happiness of always being busy, as revealed by the daily habits of the world’s longest-living people, the inhabitants of the Japanese island Okinawa. I am curious whether this book will give me enough inspiration to change something in my life to be able to live longer 😀
And that rounds up my Antwerp Book shoplog!! Have you read any of these books? Do you have any other recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!
PS: for those living near Antwerp: you can visit the Antwerp Book Fair until the 12th of November. Check out the website…