Time To Judge A Book By Its Cover

Okay so we've all heard the age old phrase, 'don't judge a book by its cover', and it's pretty sage advice. When applied to the real world I completely support this message - don't judge something by its physical appearance - make your decision based upon the value of what's inside.

 

Funnily enough, though, when it comes to books (you know, the things the actual metaphor is based on) I couldn’t agree LESS.

 

I'm a sucker for a good hardback cover. And when you think about it, once you've actually read the book, how great is it when you're left with a gorgeous cover that can serve as a groovy interior design addition to your living space?

 

Sometimes a premise of a book isn't enough to entice the reader. Picking up the book after catching your eye on a cover can actually be that one thing that led you to buy and read it!

 

So, you've guessed it, here's a list of my favourite covers in store!

 

'Miri thinks she has got her wife back, when Leah finally returns after a deep-sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear, though, that Leah is not the same. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded on the ocean floor, Leah has brought part of it back with her, onto dry land and into their home.


Moving through something that only resembles normal life, Miri comes to realize that the life that they had before might be gone. Though Leah is still there, Miri can feel the woman she loves slipping from her grasp.

Our Wives Under The Sea is the debut novel from Julia Armfield, the critically acclaimed author of salt slow. It’s a story of falling in love, loss, grief, and what life there is in the deep deep sea.'

 

'One ordinary morning, Laurie's husband Mark vanishes, leaving behind his phone and wallet. For weeks, she tells no one, carrying on her job as a cleaner at the local university, visiting her tricky, dementia-suffering father and holing up in her tower-block flat with a bottle to hand. When she finally reports Mark as missing, the police are suspicious. Why did she take so long? Wasn't she worried?


It turns out there are many more mysteries in Laurie's account of events, though not just because she glosses over the facts. At the time, she couldn't explain much of her behaviour herself. But as she looks back on the ensuing wreckage—the friendships broken, the wild accusations she made, the one-night stand—she can see more clearly what lay behind it. And if it's not too late, she can see how she might repair the damage and, most of all, forgive herself.'

 

'With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a young girl, who, in the absence of a nurturing guide, makes her own stumbling way towards womanhood. Drawing from her own life and the lives of loved ones, as well as pop culture and news headlines, Shire finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women, and teenage girls. In Shire's hands, lives spring into fullness. This is noisy life: full of music and weeping and surahs and sirens and birds. This is fragrant life: full of blood and perfume and shisha smoke and jasmine and incense. This is polychrome life: full of henna and moonlight and lipstick and turmeric and kohl.


The long-awaited collection from one of our most exciting contemporary poets, this book is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of resilience and survival. Each reader will come away changed.'

 

'Edie is just trying to survive. She’s messing up in her dead-end admin job in her all-white office, is sleeping with all the wrong men, and has failed at the only thing that meant anything to her, painting. No one seems to care that she doesn’t really know what she’s doing with her life beyond looking for her next hook-up. And then she meets Eric, a white middle-aged archivist with a suburban family, including a wife who has sort-of-agreed to an open marriage and an adopted black daughter who doesn’t have a single person in her life who can show her how to do her hair. As if navigating the constantly shifting landscape of sexual and racial politics as a young black woman wasn’t already hard enough, with nowhere else left to go, Edie finds herself falling head-first into Eric’s home and family.


Razor-sharp, provocatively page-turning and surprisingly tender, Luster by Raven Leilani is a painfully funny debut about what it means to be young now.'

 

'It’s winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. The cold slows everything down. Bodies are red and raw, the fish turn venomous, beyond the beach guns point out from the North’s watchtowers. A young French Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse. One evening, an unexpected guest arrives: a French cartoonist determined to find inspiration in this desolate landscape.


The two form an uneasy relationship. When she agrees to accompany him on trips to discover an ‘authentic’ Korea, they visit snowy mountaintops and dramatic waterfalls, and cross into North Korea. But he takes no interest in the Sokcho she knows – the gaudy neon lights, the scars of war, the fish market where her mother works. As she’s pulled into his vision and taken in by his drawings, she strikes upon a way to finally be seen.

An exquisitely-crafted debut, which won the Prix Robert Walser, Winter in Sokcho is a novel about shared identities and divided selves, vision and blindness, intimacy and alienation. Elisa Shua Duspain’s voice is distinctive and unmistakable.'

 

'Mariana Enriquez has been critically lauded for her unconventional and sociopolitical stories of the macabre: populated by unruly teenagers, crooked witches, homeless ghosts, and hungry women, they walk the uneasy line between urban realism and horror. The stories in her next collection are as terrifying as they are socially conscious, and press into being the unspoken -- fetish, illness, the female body, the darkness of human history -- with unsettling urgency. A woman is sexually obsessed with the human heart; a lost, rotting baby crawls out of a backyard and into a bedroom; a pair of teenage girls can't let go of their idol; an entire neighborhood is cursed to death by a question of morality they fail to answer correctly.


Written against the backdrop of contemporary Argentina, and with resounding tenderness towards those in pain, in fear, and in limbo, this new collection from one of Argentina's most exciting writers finds Enriquez at her most sophisticated, and most chilling.'

 

'Born to a well-known political family in Olinda, Brazil, Catarina grows up in the shadow of her dead aunt, Laura. Melissa, a South London native, is brought up by her mum and a crew of rebellious grandmothers.


In January 2016, Melissa and Catarina meet for the first time, and, as political turmoil unfolds across Brazil and the UK, their friendship takes flight. Their story takes us across continents and generations - from the election of Lula to the London riots to the darkest years of Brazil's military dictatorship.

The novel builds on the unique voice of Yara's debut to create a sweeping novel about history, revolution and love. In it we see sisterhood and queerness, and, perhaps, glimpse a better way to live.'