Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics:
January 7: Most Anticipated Book Releases for
the First Half of 2020
January 14: Bookish Discoveries I Made In 2019 (these could be books, authors, blogs, websites, apps, products, etc.)
January 21: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf
January 28: Book Cover Freebie (choose what kind(s) of covers you want to talk about: prettiest, most unique, most misleading, weirdest, most memorable, creepiest, ugliest, etc.)
Book covers for me are very much a secondary – if that – consideration when it comes to selecting a book to read. And, as someone who typically reads on a kindle, I often am blissfully unaware of the cover in any real sense. So, for this week, I have approached the task simply visually – and with the input of my six year old daughter. Strangely we have similar ideas on what makes a striking, beautiful cover – and there does seem to be a theme running through these covers.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow
“In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.
“But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.”
The Deathless Girls, Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Gothic, intoxicating, feminist and romantic – this is the breathtakingly imagined untold story of the brides of Dracula, by bestselling author Kiran Millwood Hargrave in her much-anticipated YA debut.
“On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.
“Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.”
The Binding, Bridget Collins
“Emmett Farmer is a binder’s apprentice. His job is to hand-craft beautiful books and, within each, to capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory.
“If you have something you want to forget, or a secret to hide, he can bind it – and you will never have to remember the pain it caused.
“In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and secrets – are meticulously stored and recorded.
“Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of the volumes has his name on it.”
Gingerbread, Helen Oyeyemi
“Perdita Lee may appear your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor flat with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there’s the gingerbread they make.
“Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it’s very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (and, according to Wikipedia, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee’s early youth. In fact, the world’s truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread is Harriet’s charismatic childhood friend, Gretel Kercheval – a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met.”
The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern
“When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.
“Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover – a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club, and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.”
Melmoth, Sarah Perry
“One winter night in Prague, Helen Franklin meets her friend Karel on the street.
“Agitated and enthralled, he tells her he has come into possession of a mysterious old manuscript, filled with personal testimonies that take them from 17th-century England to wartime Czechoslovakia, the tropical streets of Manila, and 1920s Turkey. All of them tell of being followed by a tall, silent woman in black, bearing an unforgettable message.
“Helen reads its contents with intrigue, but everything in her life is about to change.”
Everything Under, Daisy Johnson
“It’s been sixteen years since Gretel last saw her mother, half a lifetime to forget her childhood on the canals. But a phone call will soon reunite them, and bring those wild years flooding back: the secret language that Gretel and her mother invented; the strange boy, Marcus, living on the boat that final winter; the creature said to be underwater, swimming ever closer.
“In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but to wade deeper into their past, where family secrets and aged prophesies will all come tragically alive again.”
Fish Have No Feet, Jón Kalman
“Keflavik: a town that may be the darkest place in Iceland, surrounded by black lava fields, hemmed in by a sea that may not be fished, and site of the U.S. military base, whose influences shaped Icelandic culture from the ’50s to the dawning of the new millennium.
“Ari – a writer and publisher – lands back in Keflavik from Copenhagen. His father is dying, and he is flooded by memories of his youth in the ’70s and ’80s, listening to Pink Floyd and the Beatles, raiding American supply lorries and discovering girls. And one girl he could never forget. Layered through Ari’s story is that of his grandparents in a village on the eastern coast, a world away from modern Keflavik. For his grandfather Oddur, life at sea was a destiny; for Margrét its elemental power brings only loneliness and fear.”
Black Leopard Red Wolf, Marlon James
‘The child is dead. There is nothing left to know.’
“Tracker is a hunter, known in the thirteen kingdoms as one who has a nose – and he always works alone. But he breaks this rule when he joins a band seeking a lost child. His companions are strange and dangerous, from a giant to a witch to a shape-shifting Leopard, and each hides their own secrets.
“As they follow the boy’s scent from perfumed citadels to infested rivers to enchanted darklands, set upon by murderous foes, Tracker wonders: who really is this mysterious boy? Why don’t people want him found? And, crucially, who is telling the truth and who is lying?”
The Dreamers, Karen Thompson Walker
“One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her room and falls asleep. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.
“Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life if only we are awakened to them.”
Beautiful dreamlike images all! And I appear to be drawn to blue book covers for some reason – and with natural imagery on them. What struck me as really odd, though, is the number of keys that appear in these book covers. Keys? How strange.
Looking forward into February, the list of upcoming topics is now:
- February 4: Books On My TBR I Predict Will Be 5-Star Reads
- February 11: Love Freebie
- February 18: The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover (submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)
- February 25: Characters I’d Follow On Social Media (submitted by Tilly @thebiblioshelf)
- March 3: Books With Single-Word Titles (submitted by Kitty from Kitty Marie’s Reading Corner)