A little haul from my favorite English bookstore in Brussels

On a recent visit to Brussels, I had some time to kill in the city center while waiting for my friend to arrive. Since it was January, and thus sales month, I figured I was due for a browse in Sterling Books, my absolute favorite English bookstore in Brussels.

It’s not always easy to find English books in Belgium since the country’s official languages are Dutch, French, and German. Most ‘regular’ bookstores have either no section of books in other languages, or a very small one. That’s why I adore Sterling Books so much. It’s a bookstore that only has English books, and the staff speaks English as well. I can’t even remember a time where someone addressed me in Dutch or French in the store. Not only do they have all the beautiful books, they also stack some fun bookish items such as mugs, tote bags, and other merchandise. If you’re ever coming to Brussels, I’d highly recommend taking a look in the store!

The downside of the bookstore, however, is that their books aren’t cheap at all. While I was a university student, I lived above the bookstore – dream come true, right? – and became very familiar with their selection and workings. That’s why I know that during January they have their 50% off and 75% off sales. Actually, they hold these sales twice a year: once in January, once in July (or August).

Here are 4 books I purchased during their 50% off sale in January!

The City of Brass (The Daevabad trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
I had owned a ebook of The City of Brass for ages, but never picked it up. For some reason, I find it very difficult to read long fantasy novels on my Kindle. There’s something about those huge, dense books that makes me want to hold them and see my progress with a bookmark. I finally read The City of Brass once I bought a paperback during this sale. I’m so glad I did, because this ended up being a 5-star read for me. It was so atmospheric and fantastic.

This is a fantasy novel set in 18th century Cairo following a woman who accidentally summons a djinn.

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
I had seen some positive reviews on Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing, which is on my Goodreads to-read list. When I saw Her Every Fear in the store, I thought I’d try this one first to see whether I like the author’s writing. This mystery novel follows Kate who experiences panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped and nearly killed her. A distant cousin of hers suggest they house swap for a while so she can have a change of environment for a while, so she moves from London to Boston only to find out her new neighbor has been murdered. This sounds like such a great mystery/thriller, and I’m excited to pick it up.

Maresi (Red Abbey Chronicles #1) by Maria Turtschaninoff
I’ve wanted to read Maresi for a while so I’m incredibly happy to have a copy of it now. This is a Finnish fantasy series about Maresi, who came to the Red Abbey when she was 13. Red Abbey is on an island inhabited solely by women, which is unheard of in a time when women aren’t allowed to learn or do as they please. One day, Jai arrives on the island on a ship, having escaped terrible danger. But the men hunting her will stop at nothing to find her. This sounds absolutely epic, and it will count for my ‘read the world’ challenge as the author is Finnish.

Empress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies #1) by Rhoda Belleza
I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, but it hasn’t been on the top of my to-read list which is why I’ve never picked it up. It’s one of those books I want to read but never actually think about when purchasing others. I spotted it in the sales pile though, and immediately picked it out. I actually am not entirely sure what this book is about – oops. Something about taking back a throne and outer space? Let’s go with that.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know which one you want me to pick up first! If you’ve ever been to Brussels, have you been to Sterling Books? Or do you have a favorite independent bookstore in your town/country?