The library is closing

At the beginning of this year, I put A Fantastical Librarian on hiatus to see whether I was really ready to let go of it. And now that we are halfway through the year, I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, I’m ready to let go. I’ve been reading more than I was last year and I’ve been having fun choosing my books by whimsy instead of publication date again. And I haven’t missed actually writing a long blog post once.

So… it is truly time to say goodbye to my little corner of the web, to this thing I built. I’ve loved my time as a book blogger; I’ve met so many fantastic people through blogging and had some amazing opportunities as well. Thank you to my fellow bloggers, to the friends I’ve made along the way, to the publishers, publicists, and authors who’ve sent me review copies over the years. And of course thank you to my readers, to those who followed from the start and those who just dropped in occasionally.

While the blog will disappear from the web in about a month — and I’ll be deleting the mailing list and the Facebook page at the same time — I’ll always be a Fantastical Librarian. If you want to keep up with what I’m reading and doing, you can always follow me on Twitter or Instagram or friend me on Goodreads.

Thanks for everthing and see you around the web!



I don’t really know how to start this post. But here goes…

This past Christmas vacation I’ve been doing some a lot of thinking. Last year wasn’t my most productive one on the blog and it was my worst year reading-wise since I started tracking my reading in 2009. I have 28 books I still need to review and every time I look at them I feel awful. And that is also why I’ve slowed so much in my reading, because finishing books would only add to the guilt. To which the logical answer would be “well just write the reviews, dummy.” But to be honest, I don’t want to anymore. Right now, reading and reviewing feels like an obligation, like a job that isn’t fun any longer and I don’t think that is how this thing is supposed to work.  Read More …

Bag of Holding, type V: Books

I have been reading a lot lately at work. This has prompted me to write more reviews for this blog and also gave me the need to protect my books from the hazards of backpack travel. So my wife, the lovely Fantastical Librarian is knitting a lot these days. As I posed the problem of bent cover-corners and folded pages I proposed she make me a book protector. This is the result of our deliberations and the true hero behind my increased reading:

This sack of stretchable wool will fit anything from a hardback (snugly) to a small pocket book (or three). It has significantly decreased damage travel in my backpack does to books and it even protected one from a lunch-box accident. But wait, there is more! It is machine washable! 

I am sure my wife will share the pattern or tips with any and all who can make such a thing and I thank her for the wonderful Bag of Holding, type V: Books.

Wiebe van der Salm

[Editor’s note: If anyone is interested in the pattern, just let me know! – Mieneke]

The Librarian’s Cat

Every library needs a cat and we just lost ours.

In early fall 2002, I didn’t yet work in a library and my library at home was significantly smaller, but I did get the first element of a true library: my own library cat. This small, orange creature, who was scared of even his shadow, spent his first few months hiding under the desk of my student room. He was small and nervous and very, very fluffy, so we decided to him call him Elmo. It took a while, but after a week or two of mainly hearing him scuffling around at night, he finally came out of his hiding place and made it to the sofa.  Read More …


As you may have noticed, it has been rather quiet of late. I know that I still owe you a winner of the Julie Czerneda giveaway, which will come later this week. But today I want to announce some changes to the blog. In the past year, finding the energy and time to blog has been a struggle. In some ways blogging just wasn’t fun anymore. I often jokingly said that I had three jobs: being a mum, my day job, and the blog. But that’s actually not a really healthy situation, especially if I want to do other things as well. So to make the blog feel like a joyful thing again instead of a chore, I will have to make changes.  Read More …

In The News: Killing Rumer Unbound

I’ve previously reviewed Joshua Winning first two books in the Sentinel Trilogy, Sentinel and Ruins, which I really loved. When Josh contacted me about his new book Killing Rumer, which is currently in the pledging stage over at Unbound, I was excited that he had more work on the way. I was immediately intrigued by its main character Rumer Cross; dark, hard, and tough as nails, she sounded really cool.  Read More …

Cover Reveal Hair In All The Wrong Places 2: The Perils Of Growing Up Werewolf

Last year, I had a great time with Andrew Buckley’s Hair In All The Wrong Places. It was a fabulous middle grade novel about a thirteen-year-old boy, Colin Strauss, who discovers he is actually a werewolf and consequently uncovers the strange, true nature of Elkwood, the town he lives in. The book was released by Month9Books and was also picked up by Scholastic Book Clubs in North America. I really enjoyed the book and expressed the hope that we would get to return to Colin, Becca, and Elkwood in the future. My wish is about to be granted as the second book is on the way.  Read More …

Service announcement

Hello there! This is just a quick update to let you know that posting might be spotty in the near future. We’re currently in the middle of remodelling our home and my downstairs currently looks like this:








And while it is exciting to make the house completely our own, not to mention the fact that I’m getting my own personal library, it is also not very conducive to quiet weekends where I can sit down and write reviews. As such, I’ll be trying to keep to my weekly Monday post, but as the past two weeks have borne out, that might not always be in the charts.

However, this week I’ll be making up for the past two with not one, but four reviews. I’m having a bit of a Peter Newman theme week, reviewing not just his latest book, The Seven on Thursday, but reviewing the second book in the series, The Malice, and the novelette and novella he published in-between as well. After that, we’ll see!

As ever thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week’s posts.

Excerpt: Edward Glover’s A Motif of Seasons

Last month Edward Glover dropped by for an Author Query on the occasion of the publication of his latest novel and the last book in the Herzberg trilogy, A Motif of Seasons. It was an interesting interview and the Herzberg trilogy sounds as if it has a lot to offer historical fiction lovers. Today I get to share an excerpt from the book in question with my readers. I hope you enjoy the prologue of A Motif of Seasons and that you check out the book if you do!

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