I was born and raised in the Netherlands, moved to the UK at 18 to study English at Leicester University and I almost have a MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (interdisciplinary, Durham University). These last four years, I've been living in the UK and the Netherlands, 50/50. Leaving England in September 2013, I spent a month in Florence, Italy, before moving back to the Netherlands, where began figuring out what's next.
However, half a year later an opportunity for a temporary international assignment presented itself. Therefore, by April 2014, I was back in the UK. This time it was London and for work. I lived here for another 8 months and came back to the Netherlands yet again... I have to admit that I have fallen in love with London and that I plan on finding a permanent job and relocating there indefinitely.
During my time at uni (2009-2013), I read academic works about the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I have a special fondness for fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian culture, literature, history, and art. I'm always reading classics, then I try to catch up on recent award-winners (Man Booker, Pulitzer, and alike), and best-sellers. In an attempt to close the gender gap, I have started a shelf for male and female authors to keep track of the gap. Lastly, I read the occasional chick-lit (i.e. guilty-pleasure).
If you want to recommend a book to me (one that is not well-known), add a comment to a post explaining why you think I should read this. This way it might go straight to my "Next to read" shelf (c. 10 books), instead of the never-ending "To Read".
Different factors go into my rating and depending how the work performs in each, they can gain, or lose, stars. I consider the language, structure and verisimilitude, and the ideas explored. Also, gender equality is a big thing for me so I take note of inequality, sexism, discrimination and not just towards women.
Given the recent policy changes on Goodreads, I made an account on Booklikes on 26 September 2013. Initially I synced the two. On 12 October, after GR began removing reviews for being "off topic", I chose to move my reviews to Booklikes. I publish the first paragraph there and then refer to Booklikes. Read this post for my thoughts at the time of this development.
I will milk GR's superior recommendation system and use their groups.
This means that if you buy a book on any of these websites after reading my review, I will receive a small percentage of the income. However, my affiliation with these companies does not in any way influence my reviews and/or ratings. After all, the commercialisation of Goodreads as part of the Amazon family was the reason I left Goodreads to begin with (see above).
The difference between my affiliation with Amazon and its daughter companies The Book Depository and Goodreads, is that I will be paid for redirecting traffic to their sites, whereas Gramazon is not paying its users for their efforts, if deleting reviews that affect Amazon's sales, and pockets the money themselves. Booklikes, however, gives its users the full profits.