Top Five Saturday: Beautiful Books

The Top 5 series is back! Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. Previously on the blog I have focused on witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. I am going to try and bring this series back for every Saturday.



  • 21st March – Magic Realism
  • 28th March – Murder Mystery

Are not all books beautiful? And that saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is so scary – judge books by their covers! That is literally the point of the cover – the point of paying for insanely talented people to create your covers! And is it my imagination, but are book covers getting altogether more beautiful, more sensual, more clever…? Is this a response to the kindle generation because as a kindle-convert I sometimes don’t even know which of the covers available online are the right ones for my version. And I do find myself tempted – and occasionally giving in to the temptation – to but a physical copy just for the beautiful cover….

I did publish a post for Top Ten Tuesdays – am I doing too many list memes? – about beautiful books a little while ago (you can see the post here) so this time, I will endeavour not to repeat the same book choices. Perhaps I will go for striking rather than simply beautiful covers – which is perhaps a distinction without a difference!

And I am going to cheat by doing two lists, one adult list for me and one children’s list for my daughter.

The Adult List

Starve Acre, Andrew Michael Hurley

I love the simplicity and stylised illustration here: the hare is vivid, bloodied, skeletal and furred all at the same time. And printed with the woodprint effect, it has a physicality and presence – as well as being apt for the novel.

It is striking and unsettling – exactly as the hare in the novel itself turns out to be.

Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir

Chaotic, mad, sinister… I am yet to read the novel but the cover teeming with skeletons and fading from the blackness of space to the grey of bonedust with the figure striding towards us purposefully is wonderfully striking.

And I love that font!

Daisy Jones and The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid

I must find time to read this! It’s been on my radar for a year and on my bookshelf for six month now!

But I love that face, the parted lips, the dreamy smile and half-closed eyes. Sultry, sexy, vulnerable all at the same time which, from what I have read of the opening chapters, seems a good match for the character.

Combined with the font and the bold colours circling the cover, the time and place of Los Angeles in the late Seventies.

Circe by Madeine Miller

I mean, just look at it!

This is just beautiful!

The colours, the shape, the font, the flowers…

And for a novel that focuses on the female, and on the transformative powers of the flowers Circe finds around her, it is a delight.

His Bloody Project, Graeme Macrae Burnet

I adored this novel – and I love the cover which maintains the meta-fictional construct of the novel.

Burnet present the tale of Roderick Macrae’s brutal upbringing and, subsequently, the brutal murders he was carried out, as if it were a found narrative discovered whilst researching his family tree.

And here, there rather gory blood fingerprints smudged on the cover beautifully capture and continue that fiction!

I also love the covers to the Georges Gorski books.

The Children’s List

The Amelia Fang Series, Laura Ellen Anderson

The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman

The Jolley-Rogers Series, Jonny Duddle

Fing, David Walliams

The Wolves in the Walls, Neil Gaiman

Yes another Gaiman, but look at the creepy eyes…

I look forward to see the other beautiful covers you guys have found!

Again, a David Mitchell book is an event, and a thing of beauty! But the music industry is not my natural setting and again I was caught between this and another book – Daisy Jones and the Six in this case – and Daisy Jones was read first. This time, because it was nominated on a book club I was part of.

Bonus: The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.

Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.

This one has been on my TBR for years. Literally years. I have heard nothing but praise for it, but so far have never quite got around to reading it! Go figure!

So, there we go: a range of books that I got in 2020 – save for the Scott Lynch – and do regret not reading during the year. Is regret the right word? Probably not to be honest: I do not regret the reading that I did do last year at all. But these are books that I would like to find time to catch up with this year – before prize season hits us again!

Pop in the comments below your thoughts on these – maybe let me know which I should read first!

5 thoughts on “Top Five Saturday: Beautiful Books”

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