I moved!

Just a little update to say I finally moved out after five years of building my own house. The last few weeks have been tough (mentally even more than all those year of hard work) and as a result I have read little.

Although I did manage to finish Alison Weir’s book on Henry VIII (The heart and the crown). That was a chunky book, but Tudor England felt like a warm blanket during this turbulent time. I didn’t have to think too hard about the plot and that was just perfect. The review is coming up soon.

Slowly I’m picking up reading again. And this time I chose to start in one of Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge novels (“A Column of Fire”), because I again wanted a tome for some strange sort of reason? 🤷‍♀️ More stories set in the 16th century, in a new 21st century house :).

Besides, I’m super excited to pick up blogging again and finally write some non-review content. Hooray!

How are you?


The outstanding blogger award

I was nominated by Aleks and the books for the outstanding blogger award. Original created by Colton Beckwith RPC, you have to answer 7 questions provided by the blogger that has nominated you. I can nominate myself 10 new blogs and ask them some questions. But as this is a 2020 challenge, I will not do that anymore (I’m quite late with answering Aleksandra’s questions 🙈).

If you could only read one author for the rest of your life, who would it be?

I would choose for an author who has written a lot of books that include different elements to like (drama, romance, action, history…). The name of Bernard Cornwell pops up now, because he has written different series. But I might choose Elizabeth Fremantle because she’s my favorite historical fiction author.

What did you think was cool when you were younger, but is not cool anymore?

This might be a more serious answer than you would expect. But I do hope that being busy or the strive to be busy all the time as a status symbol is not cool anymore. ‘Cause it isn’t. Mental health and the courage to be vulnerable to others is so much more important.

You are about to get into a fight, what song would you play to pump yourself up?

What a funny question! When I as a teenager I listened to the songs of Simple Plan all day long and they have some perfect songs for a fight. Shut up, Freaking me out and Last one standing for instance.

What superhero do you wish you were?

I would like to travel in time. Not to change things in my own life. Although that would be tempting. But to really travel through history to understand better certain things that happened. I don’t know if I would like to be a person travelling through time, because I think I would be butchered in a war then or burned as a witch. So maybe I want to be a fly who can travel in time :D. Just to take a look into the middle ages and ancient Rome for example.

Another superpower I would like to possess is to take away someones worries and pain. But, don’t we all want that?

Do you prefer reading a book before seeing a movie or seeing a movie first and then reading a book?

I always try to read the book first. This means that I haven’t seen some hyped series and books yet, just because I’m being stubborn of reading the book first. Game Of Thrones is a great example for that.

But I do make exceptions: for movies that are based on a book I have no intention reading. For classic books made into a BBC series because it helps me to define if I really want to read the classic or not. (And I just love BBC costume drama!). And sometimes I don’t know that a certain series or movie is based on a book and I do start reading it afterwards. I’ve discovered some of my favorite book series through their TV adaption. Outlander and The Last kingdom for example, but with both I’m ahead on the books now.

What is your favourite book/movie quote?

For this one, you’ll have to read my next answer to understand but my favorite reading quote is this one:

The Mad hatter: “Have I gone mad? Alice: “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

What is your favourite book/movie quote?What was your favourite fairytale growing up?

I had two favourite fairytales as a child: Alice In Wonderland and Peter Pan. Both stories take you away from the ‘real’ world to another place where everything is possible: Wonderland and Neverland. I think a story is really powerful when it can take you away to somewhere else like that. I still love both stories!

What’s your favourite fairytale?

Historical fiction in Belgium

I didn’t properly introduce myself yet. But you may already know that I live in Belgium. Why does a Belgian girl read and write about medieval historical fiction on an English blog?

This is not my first blog. For over 5 years, I’m writing on GoAnnelies. It’s a personal blog where I write about—let’s say—everything I want to talk about. Also about history and books. So why In Another Era? Well, if we take a look at the Belgian book market, you may find some clues there. Regarding popular culture, we are influenced by the Dutch and the French market, depending on the part of Belgium you live in. I live in Flanders which means translations of international books are in Dutch, mostly coming from publishers from The Netherlands.

But we do have our own writers and publishers. Especially thrillers and detectives (international thrillers are also among the best sold books—I think we just love to be scared? ;)). Some literature. And cookbooks. I’m not joking here. At our annual big book fair, more than half of the books sold are cookbooks. On national TV we have a lot of cooking programs and the cooks become as famous as any actress or singer would be. So they bundle their recipes in a book and that’s what makes them rich.

We have some older works that can be classified as historical fiction (Louis Paul Boon with Daens for example). But I can only name one Belgian contemporary author writing historical fiction (Stefan Hertmans, known from War and Turpentine). That already says a lot. It also indicates that if historical books are written they tell stories about the World Wars, as our country was heavily impacted by them (WOI brought ruin to a whole bunch of Flemish towns).

But a change is coming, not with historical fiction, but the last two years some history non-fiction books are topping our top 10 sold books for months. Bart Van Loo and Johan Op De Beeck are names that won’t say much to you but in my country they made parts of our history (Louis IVX; Napoleon; the court of Burgundy…) come alive to a broader audience. They set things in motion, and now I’m waiting for historical fiction works following the huge success of their non-fiction counterparts.

So given all that, it might not surprise you that I look to the international market for historical fiction works on the countries and periods I find interesting. And I read almost exclusively in English, as that’s the only option… Not even all of Philippa Gregory’s books (the most-known author that writes about England and the Tudor period) are translated. We do have the Wolf Hall trilogy of Hilary Mantel in our own language, but that’s merely because she won two Man Booker Prizes for it.

So last week I bought an Amazon Kindle since I was tired to add books to my ‘Want to read’-shelf on Goodreads that weren’t to be found at the local library or ordered at a book shop. And that seemed the perfect moment to start another blog. Where I can write about those books and stories that I love and hopefully reach an audience abroad that does too.

Want to follow my reading journey on Bloglovin?

What kind of books are most popular in your country?