I’ve been reading a lot during my holiday. Most of the books are classics: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I have also picked up a copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, which I keep within arm’s reach at all times. The most recent addition to my bookshelf is De muziek van het huis by Cor Gout. (Unfortunately, my English readers, it’s written in Dutch.) Gout’s poems are about the house he grew up in, or rather, by it: the house itself is the storyteller. Some of the stories gave me goosebumps (“Pijn”), some made me laugh in recognition (“Metamor-phosen”), and some were simply mesmerising (“Het zijn de”). His poems have a marvelous melody to them, which shouldn’t be surprising, given that he is also a singer-songwriter. The book presentation was an emotional tour-de-force – where poems sprung from memories naturally. The book itself is like your favourite album that you want to listen to on repeat.