Posted on: December 13, 2020 Posted by: Soreh Milchtein Comments: 3
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If you are a book lover like I am, you understand that there’s not much that’s better than sitting down to a brand new physical book. I know a lot of people like to read books on their phone or kindle, but that just isn’t me. The only time I really read on my phone was when I was sitting on the train to work in NYC. I didn’t want to shlep a book with me to work. But now that I now live in the Netherlands and work from home. It’s so nice to be able to read a hardcover/paperback book instead of reading on a screen.

My life is a lot less chaotic and I have way more time for myself. I spend a lot more of that free time reading. I love the smell of opening a new book and flipping through its crisp pages. Ahh, I wouldn’t go back to reading on a screen. I’m going to have a ton of time to read these next few weeks while recovering from surgery. So please let me know in the comments of any books you recommend I read. I would really appreciate it. I feel like now is the perfect time for people to start reading. With the pandemic still in full force, most of us have some extra time on our hands. Why not pick up a book?

My Changing Attitudes Towards Reading

It is actually pretty funny because I didn’t always like to read. From a very young age to about 13 years old, I could sit down to a book and not get up from the couch until I finished it. Then I went through a period when I was in high school and college that I hated reading. It just didn’t interest me at all. I had to read so much for school, that my interest in any books went completely away. You should have seen how hard my foster dad tried to get me to read, but I wouldn’t budge. 

When I moved to NYC a few years later, I started reading again. My commute to work was a bit over 2 hours roundtrip, so I was quite bored sitting on the train for that long. My friend recommended that I read Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. That book rekindled my love for reading. I’m so excited that they are making Firefly Lane into a mini-series. I can’t wait for it to come out on Netflix! Whenever I travel or have some downtime, I always like to pick up a book and read it. I love ordering new books. It’s so much fun to read through all the summaries and pick what to read next. Here are some of my favorite novels that I’ve read so far.  

1. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

This is the book that reminded me of how much I like to read. I really related to it because it’s set in Bainbridge Island and it’s about two friends and their lifelong friendship story. My aunt lives on BI and my grandmother used to live there. She now lives in Poulsbo, which is close to BI. I always love visiting them. My friend and I have also been friends since we were children. We’ve had our ups and downs like the characters Kate and Tully in the book. I loved this book so much, that I even read it several times. Firefly lane can be purchased on Amazon.

2. The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

I don’t usually like books like this that have violence in it, but there was something that really drew me in. The plot of the story is a couple that meets a girl and her sister on the beach in a Nigerian conflict zone. The girl ends up in the couples’ home in England years later seeking asylum. This was a very hard read, but it taught me an important lesson. I, like many people, forget that there are millions of people out there living in terrible conditions and war zones. This reminded me to be grateful for the safety and freedom that I have. The Other Hand was a great book.

3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I finished reading this book on a plane. Sadly, I forgot the book on the plane. But it was a great read, so here goes. An infamous journalist is hired by a rich man to find a girl that disappeared decades earlier. He has a helper, a girl with a dragon tattoo. She is strange and mentally not all there, but her investigative skills are unmatchable. This story is about the search for the disappeared girl and the relationship between the journalist and the girl with the dragon tattoo (the investigator). You can buy this awesome book here.

4. Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Although it is a novel, this story could have been true. Two young women keep their friendship alive during happiness and war. They are separated by an ocean but that doesn’t stand in their way. Their strength is unbelievable. Set in Russia and the USA, this story is insane but incredible. The book depicts a lot of violence, but somehow I just kept reading. The ending is so worth it. The strength of these women is inspiring. I bought this book on Amazon.

5. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book was really lovely. Set in during World War II, a young woman named Vivian from the country moves to NYC into her aunt’s theater. She learns what it’s like to be carefree and live the city life. She ends up back in her hometown after making a major mistake. I loved this novel because it reminded me of all the fun and stupid things I did when I lived in NYC. Although Vivian and I were in NYC in different time periods, NYC remains the same amazing city for young people to explore. 

6. The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton

This story warmed my heart. It takes place in the south of the USA. A woman finds her roots and ends up back in the place where she grew up after a death in her family. She chooses between her successful store in New Orleans and her new love with a man and keeping her family bed and breakfast running. It was such a beautiful and heartwarming story. I really enjoyed reading it. I read this book while on vacation in Poland this year. It was such a good book to read while soaking in the hot tub.

Be sure to follow me on my Instagram and my Facebook where I post all about Dutch living and more.

Which book are you excited to read? What book do you recommend I read next?


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  1. […] I can’t tell you how many incredible cheeses I have tried in the Netherlands, from super young Gouda cheese to years aged cheese. The next time you go shopping, be spontaneous and pick up a few kinds of cheeses that you’ve never tried. Some bars also serve cheese platters. I am especially fond of the aged cheeses. They have an intense flavor and aroma. I love reading a good book and snacking on cheese. Here are some of my favorite books. […]

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