Our Favorite Reads: Pleun, Martijn, Jilles

It’s time for this blog’s favorite posts of the year: the ABC Staff’s Favorite Reads of 2014! We hope these books, magazines, games, and more will help you start your new literary year with a bang.

We want to know about YOUR favorite reads, too.  They don’t have to be books published in 2014, just read in 2014.  Please mail your Top 5 reads, and your reasons for enjoying them so much, to social@abc.nl by Christmas Day.  Your favorites will kick off the new year for this blog, as they have done for the past 7 years, and you will receive a € 7,50 ABC Gift Certificate as a thank you!


Some years feel like an absolute roller coaster, and 2014 was one of them, from the highest high to the lowest low. And then there are books, my biggest escape.  Thank god for books!

Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
Last year I read her book The Husband’s Secret and since that time I have read all her books, and each one is special. This one was another great read. Real women, serious problems, but wrapped up in a cozy blanket.

Life or Death – Michael Robotham
I have been a fan of Robotham for years and years, and I love his Joe O’Loughlin series, but this was a whole different ball game. Set in the USA instead of the UK, and with an incredibly fast pace. A joy to read!

Second Life – S. J. Watson
Yes, being a bookseller does have its perks. We get free reading copies of books that will come out months from now! This second book of acclaimed author S. J. Watson (Before I Go To Sleep) will come out in February 2015 and is a wonderful page turner. Trilling and mysterious, this one has you on the edge of your seat. What if you lose everything in your life to solve a murder?

Revival – Stephen King
It is not one of his best, but it is very good by any standard. I just love the way he writes: the depths of his characters, the slow storytelling. It always leaves me sad to say goodbye to them at the end of the book.

The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton
Set in 17th-century Amsterdam, but it feels like I am walking in a different city. I loved this book with all its twists and plots and turns. Wonderful read, even more so if you come from the same city. 🙂

More of Pleun’s favorite reads can be found on Staff Choice: Pleun.

Ebook available for Little Lies, Life or Death, Revival and The Miniaturist.


Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith
One of the most memorable thrillers I’ve read in some time. The main character is really the Soviet Union, 1953. Very refreshing to read something not set in The UK or US. The sense of secrecy/ paranoia is palpable as MGB agent Leo Demidov investigates the disappearance of several children in a country where crime doesn’t exist.

The Lives of Tao and The Deaths of Tao – Wesley Chu

Skin Game – Jim Butcher

An Officer and a Spy – Robert Harris

The Girl With All the Gifts – M.R. Carey

More of Martijn’s favorite reads can be found on Staff Choice: Martijn.

Ebook available for Skin Game, An Officer and a Spy and The Girl With All the Gifts.


What I Know For Sure – Oprah Winfrey
A lovely book full of wisdom from a woman who, for a lot of people, changed the way they look at themselves and at life.

Money and the Law of Attraction – Esther and Jerry Hicks
By far the best of the Abraham-Hicks books, with lightbulb moments all over the place!

One of Us – Tawni O’Dell
Crime, literature, history, social portrait of a small miner’s town: it’s all in there and makes for a great read.

The Last Kind Words – Tom Piccerilli
This is where great crime fiction and literature meet, in the dark corners of noir country. Amazing book.

The Rhinemann Exchange – Robert Ludlum
Ludlum is my guilty pleasure and his books (the ones he wrote himself) are always page turners that burn your fingertips.

More of Jilles’s favorite reads can be found on Staff Choice: Jilles.

Ebook available for What I Know for Sure, Money and the Law of Attraction and The Rhinemann Exchange.