December 2020 wrap-up

How is it already the end of the month again?

I have read a little less than usual this month, mostly because I started a new job and that took away a lot of time and energy. I still managed to finish seven books, so all in all I’m happy with that. I read a YA historical fiction, a fantasy novella, a sci-fi novella, a mystery novel, a Booker Prize winner and two non-fiction books. So let’s just get to them, shall we?

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The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Title: The Devil and the Dark Water

Author: Stuart Turton

Genre: Mystery

Year: 2020

‘Know that my master sails aboard the Saardam. He is the lord of hidden things; all desperate and dark things. He offers this warning in accordance with the old laws. The Saardam‘s cargo is sin and all who board her will be brought to merciless ruin. She will not reach Amsterdam.’

Samuel Pipps, the most famous detective of his age, is being taken to Amsterdam to be executed for a mysterious crime he might, or might not, have committed. With him is his friend and bodyguard Arent Hayes, determined to prove his innocence.

But before the ship sets sail, a leper places a curse on the ship and its voyage and then bursts into flames, and soon after the departure mysterious things start to take place on the ship. Rumours of a devil stalking in the darkness start circulating among the crew, and with Pipps locked up in a cell, it falls to Arent to find out what’s really going on and solve a mystery that seems to tie all of the passengers in one way or another.

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Five star predictions (1)

Most of the times, I end up finding new favourite books by chance. I pick up a book without expectations, I start reading, and usually by the time I finish the first chapter I know if it’s going to be a new favourite. Just as sometimes I know, from the first page, when something is missing for me. But the moment something clicks in my brain and I know, that‘s the feeling I’m looking for when I read.

Sometimes, though, expectations get in the way. A favourite author has a new book coming out, or I read the synopsis and it sounds like the perfect story for me. Or I see hundreds of positive reviews and I get carried away by the hype. I get the book, I look at it, hold it in my hands… and put it down. What if it’s not good? What if it doesn’t work for me? What if it’s a disappointment?

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