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Year 2017 in Book Statistics

The year 2018 is already for a month on it’s way and this is my book statistics overview of 2017. Not as many pages and books as in the previous two years but that’s because I’m in the middle of my study programme and achieved a Propedeuse in Software Engineering. I think I have even read more pages in total in articles, tutorials, written code and so on…than all the book pages of the read books of 2017.

The list of 2017
  • Books total: 32 books
  • Pages total: 5241 pages
  • Shortest book: 36 pages ‘The Hedge Knight | Issue 6′ [EN]  written by George R.R. Martin
  • Longest book: 569 pages ‘The Definitive Guide to Yii‘ written by Qian Xue
  • Average length: 164
  • Most popular:Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ written by J.K. Rowling
  • Least popular:The School Investigation – Maarten Brand‘ [NL] written by Maarten Brand
  • My average rating: 3,8 / 5 stars

Goodreads link to my 2017 overview: My Year 2017 in Books

The list of 2017 and reviewed are the linked:

Chronological from first of 2017 to last of 2017

  • The Journeys of Alex | The Olympic Games (#4) – C. Hervan
  • The Hedge Knight | #4 – George R.R. Martin
  • The Hedge Knight | #6 – George R.R. Martin
  • Gestrand – Mariëtte Middelbeek [NL]
  • Hobson & Choi | The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf (#1) – Nick Bryan
  • Midnight Blue – Simone van der Vlugt
  • Advent – Gunnar Gunnarsson
  • Beauty and the Beast | Zielenrijger (#1) – Maxe L’Hermenier
  • Beauty and the Beast | Evenbeeld (#2) – Maxe L’Hermenier
  • Between Title and Position – Marja Visscher
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child | Part One and Part Two – J.K. Rowling | John Tiffany | Jack Thorne
  • Kuifje en de Picaro’s – Hergé
  • Ladies of Harper’s Station | Worth The Wait (#1.5) – Karen Witemeyer
  • Citylights – Margreet Maljers
  • The School Investigation – Maarten Brand
  • Wanhopig Verliefd | Verboden Liefde (#1) – Lizzie van den Ham
  • Loïs Elzinga | Aan niemand vertellen (#1) – Simone van der Vlugt
  • A Deadly Run-Off – Max Rippe
  • Tom Dumoulin – Léon Kort
  • Ginevra | an Italian Love Story – Simone van der Vlugt
  • Saïdjah en Adinda – Multatuli
  • Wanhopig Verliefd | Verboden Kus (#2) – Lizzie van den Ham
  • Chris Froome – Léon Kort
  • Beroofde bejaarde in Oostgaarde – Ben de Raaf
  • Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures – Roy Thomas Fielding
  • phpMyAdmin Documentation | Release 4.7.5-dev – The phpMyAdmin devel team
  • #GIRLBOSS – Sophia Amoruso
  • Web Application Development with Yii and PHP – Jeff Winesett
  • The Definitive Guide to Yii 2.0 – Qian Xue
  • Yii 2.0 Cookbook – Alexander Makarov
  • The Crimson Spell – Cameron Dokey | F. Goldsborough
  • The Priest – Connie Palmen
Did the 2017 challenge beat the 2016 challenge?

So here we are…time for the comparison of years 2017 versus 2016 in a summary:

  • Books total: In terms of completed books…2016 wins. In terms of most read study related stuff beside books…2017 wins.
  • Pages total: 2016 wins
  • Shortest book: 2016 wins, but 2015 has the shortest read book ever so far.
  • Longest book: 2017 has beaten 2016!
  • Average length: 2016 wins, a difference of 25 pages
  • My average rating: 2017 has beaten 2016 and 2015 (draw), with 0.1 in average rating!
Review Overview of previous years
Book reviews I have written in 2016:

Continue reading “Year 2017 in Book Statistics”


Do not ask Why – Simone van der Vlugt

Simone van der Vlugt - Vraag niet waarom - bookcover
Copyright photo Wim van der Vlugt

My book review of “Do not ask Why” [EN]  / “Vraag niet waarom” [NL] written by Simone van der Vlugt

In my view…

This book is a sequel and the last one – but can also be read as a standalone – of the Loïs Elzenga trilogy. Loïs is a police officer in Alkmaar and has had a tough youth with her family, but she is strong. She finished high school and went to the police academy. Now a few years after the academy she is working as a police officer. Different kind of crimes, locations and suspects come along. She loves her job and let her life be the way it is. Spontaneous, adventure and also moments of ease. Life as in “It is as it is”. What I find so beautiful about this main character is the self-awareness she has about her situation, her position in the society as a resident of Alkmaar and her position as a police officer.

The book reads easily and has a few sudden little twists. Different locations, points of perspective from one of the characters and so on. And also a change from main character in a few chapters. Then the angle of storytelling turns from Loïs to a different character with a new situation. These little twists are interesting and you will question yourself again the ‘who-dunnit’ question. But the plot twist, wow, that really stands out!

Writing style / spelling

I have found at this first read, not a single grammar or spelling mistake. But a funny fact is that it is – for now – the book with the most character names I have ever read in a story written in less than 300 pages.

Main characters

As mentioned above, this book contains the most characters I have ever read mentioned in a story that is written in less than 300 pages. In total I discovered 50 individuals that ‘passer le revu‘. Yes seriously it says: 50, fifty!

This series started with around 12 characters in the first book and a bit more than 20 in the second. Of course most of the main characters of the first book come back in the second and third and suspects and witnesses are added and added. But it is incredible that it is not too much. The amount of characters does not distract you from the story and everything stays pretty clear. I have to say I was halfly wrong about the plot, it had such a wonderful twist I did not expect and turned my main suspect into….well discover yourself haha.

Besides Loïs Elzenga and her married sister Tessa van Sevenhuysen – who plays a major role in this sequel – are also a few close acquaintances such as Onno & Guido van Sevenhuysen, the colleagues Claudien, Nick, Ramon, Linda, Jessica, Silvan, Susan, Huib and Fred with his wife Nanda. These are already fourteen names. The other characters are suspects, witnesses, victims or other acquaintances, but I leave those names up to you because I will not reveal which character is in which position in the story.

It would be so nice if this trilogy would be filmed as a small series! Like a little 6-sequel BBC Series, three times part I and part II.

I hope you like the book too. It is definitely worth to read it! The whole series! I am not telling about the story too much– never do in my book reviews – you have to read the book yourself and make your own opinion. 

Greetings by Sophie

Book Facts:

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Ginevra | An Italian Love Story – Simone van der Vlugt

Cover image from

My book review of “Ginevra | An Italian Love Story” written by Simone van der Vlugt

In my view…

The story of this book is an Italian legend. This book is shaped by a fictional story written around a real existed person named Ginevra degli Almieri. She was a young adult living in Florence ca. ~1396. She was ready to grow up, fall in love with a man and marry him. But the habits and behaviors in a noble family that was common in that era, did not make it easy to marry the one you love. This is an Italian historical love story and it mostly written like you would expect a love story to be written. But a certain, true historical, event takes place and you can imagine what happens to all the characters and the citizens of Florence. It is just a particular part during that event that starts shaping the Italian legend of Ginevra degli Almieri It is not a story really comparable to other stories I have read so far. How would I imagine how the characters are dressed, how they behave, how the streets of the city looks like…. and so on. There is a map included in the book just before the start of the first chapter. But I did not understand the drawn footsteps on the map. Now I do understand that it has everything to do with the particular part during the true historical event. And how I imagine the characters? I think of The Vampire Diaries dresses and carriages, the Downton Abbey noble behaviors and the streets of Florence, the Duomo and The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and some churches I have seen myself during a summer holiday in Florence back in 2014. The story with the legend of Ginevra is one everyone should read if you (have) visit(ed) Florence.

Writing style / spelling

In the book I have not found any spelling or grammar mistakes so it was a nice to read. Also the pace of the story quickens up towards the end and this turns the story from a historical novel into a thriller part. And it ends as a historic novel so it is not a spliced book. But really wow that thriller part because I did not expect at all such a situation nor have ever read it anywhere else. Cleverly written!

Main characters

The main character is Ginevra degli Almieri who is the daughter of the noble family of Bernardo degli Almieri. There are two famous Florence families alongside this noble family. This is the Alberti family consisting of Guiscardo, Fiametta – Ginevra’s good friend, Luigi, Emilia, Matteo, Ludovico and Massimo. The other important family is the Rondinelli family existing of Pietro, Chiaria, Catarina and Antonio Rondinelli. Also the noble man who owns quite a palace with several entrances – reminded me of the Medici palaces -, Francesco Agolanti, plays an important role.

There are several side characters but if I would reveal them all I would give away how they are all related to the story.

I hope you like the book too. It is worth to read it! I am not telling about the story too much– never do in my book reviews – you have to read the book yourself and make your own opinion. 

Greetings by Sophie

Book Facts:

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The grave in the forest – Simone van der Vlugt

cover from
cover from

My book review of “The grave in the forest” written by Simone van der Vlugt

In my view…

This little novel is about a woman who discovers a secret about her husband. The book is a literature novel but in my opinion, and definitely towards the end, it becomes more a little thriller. It is a little book you can read within an hour. The tension speeds up a little. It all starts when the couple is walking with their dog in the nearby forest and the dog goes suddenly off-road. They chase their dog and suddenly they stand still near an open space. They discover a digged hole in the forest. In crime series you would expect it to be a grave, but what is it? The end of the book gave the answer and I did not expect that.

Writing style / spelling

In this little novel I have found no spelling or grammar mistakes.

Main characters

I hope you like the book too. It is worth to read it! I am not telling about the story too much– never do in my book reviews – you have to read the book yourself and make your own opinion. 

The main character of the story is the woman Daphne. She has a relationship with Roelof  and they have a jack russell terrier named Jackie. On Christmas Day Daphnes sister Ymke, her husband Hans and their three kids come over for a nice dinner. Also a friend of Daphne named Elise and the nephew of Roelof; Martin, come over for the Christmas dinner.

The book is a nice little one to read and it is a nice addition if you have read books of Simone van der Vlugt before.

Greetings by Sophie

Book Facts:

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Books · Travel

The Empty City – Simone van der Vlugt

Cover from

My book review of “De Lege Stad [NL] / The Empty City [EN]” written by Simone van der Vlugt

In my view…

This is another historical novel written by Simone van der Vlugt. But this time the history is a bit closer. The story takes place just before, during and shortly after the World War II. It is all focused on a woman living in Rotterdam with her family and friends. This town, Rotterdam, the city where I live now, 70 years later after the end of the war. The city has still its antebellum characteristics. Which makes this books beautiful because it is really good imaginable how the people lived through those hard years.

Continue reading “The Empty City – Simone van der Vlugt”

Books · Challenge

The Book Week of Three | Wednesday in June

Wednesday – Three books read

and…three books written by Simone van der Vlugt

My three books I have read shortly and why I chose them to be part of this challenge.

Book one: I have chosen ‘Blauw Water’ it is a slow thriller.
Book two: I have chosen ‘Jacoba | Dochter van Holland‘ because it is a beautiful Dutch historical novel.
Book three: I have chosen ‘De Ooggetuige’ because it is a thriller in a different way, when you are visually impaired.

Greetings by Sophie


Jacoba | Daugther of Holland – Simone van der Vlugt


Mijn boek beoordeling van “Jacoba – Dochter van Holland” geschreven door Simone van der Vlugt.

Titel: Jacoba – Dochter van Holland
Auteur: Simone van der Vlugt
Genre: Historische roman
NUR: 342 = Historische roman (populair)
Uitgever: Ambo Anthos
Jaar 1e editie: 2009
Jaar gelezen editie: 2015 (16)
Originele taal: Nederlands
Gelezen taal: Nederlands
Boekversie: Paperback
Beoordeling: 5/5 sterren

“Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436) was een feministe avant la lettre. Op invoelende wijze laat Simone van der Vlugt zien hoe ze zich ontwikkelde van een kwestbaar meisje tot een sterke volwassen vrouw.”

Mijn verhaal:

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Walking home

In the city I’m living, Rotterdam, I walk and cycle a lot. Sometimes partly guided by the public transport like the tram, the metro or the bus. Or by bikeshops. Just to take a look through the window and search with my eyes for the little hidden beauty of cycling kits, accessories, bikes and so on. Today was a very sunny, warm, nearly windstill day and the first – measured in degrees – summer day of the year 2015! And a – mostly – windstill day, is a rare happening in Rotterdam. I decided to take a break this midday and have a drink alongside a beautiful water place. I enjoyed the view accompanied by a good historical novel book named: Jacoba, Dochter van Holland and written by Simone van der Vlugt. When it was time to go home, I decided to walk back home, it is not a short walk. But with this weather it does not matter how long the walk is. As long as you enjoy walking and arrive back home.

This has been my beautiful view, suddenly a family of swans came for a short visit. 

My question to you: Do you like to walking home from spontaneously instead of taking the public transport?