Top Five Saturday: Books with a Colour in the Title

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.

PREVIOUS TOP FIVE SATURDAY LISTS:

7th March 2020 : Trilogies

14th March 2020: Books with Beautiful Covers

21st March 2020: Magical Realism

28th March 2020: Murder Mystery

4th April 2020: Books to Read whilst Stuck Inside / Quarantined

I do like these sorts of lists: a collection of books brought together for arbitrary and random reasons – colours, numbers, countries, eponymous books… There is a tendency for me to feature the same book on multiple lists time and time again if we are just looking for favourites! And as for the order… these are just the five most recently purchased books with a colour in the title.

What is a little strange is that, with one exception, the books below are all nominated for or longlisted for a prize, whether it be the Booker, the International Booker, the Women’s Prize or the Carnegie Medal.

The List

Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black, Marcus and Julian Sedgwick

A lyrical and dreamlike story of two brothers in conflict amidst the devastation of WWII London.

Harry Black wakes in hospital to learn that his brother Ellis has almost certainly been killed by a V2 rocket falling during a German air raid on London. In a state of wounded delirium, Harry’s mind begins to blur the distinctions between the reality of the war-torn city, the fiction of his unpublished sci-fi novel and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Driven by visions of Ellis still alive and a sense of poetic inevitability, Harry discharges himself from hospital and begins a search for his brother that will lead him deep into the city’s Underworld…

Red Dog, Willem Anker

A blistering, brutal novel of the South African frontier from a major new literary voice

At the end of the eighteenth century, a giant strides the Cape Colony frontier. Coenraad de Buys is a legend, a polygamist, a swindler and a big talker; a rebel who fights with Xhosa chieftains against the Boers and British; the fierce patriarch of a sprawling mixed-race family with a veritable tribe of followers; a savage enemy and a loyal ally.

Like the wild dogs who are always at his heels, he roams the shifting landscape of southern Africa, hungry and spoiling for a fight. This is his story; the story of his country, and of our blood-soaked history.

Red Dog is a brilliant, fiercely powerful novel-a wild, epic tale of Africa in a time before boundaries between cultures and peoples were fixed.

Red, White and Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

We children are not just stories. We live. Come and see.

Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows, thinks he’s smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job).

When a boy at school goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from episodes of Police Patrol to find him. With Pari and Faiz by his side, Jai ventures into some of the most dangerous parts of the sprawling Indian city; the bazaar at night, and even the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But kids continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth.

The Green Road, Anne Enright

Longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize
Winner of the Irish Novel of the Year 2015

Hanna, Dan, Constance and Emmet return to the west coast of Ireland for a final family Christmas in the home their mother is about to sell. As the feast turns to near painful comedy, a last, desperate act from Rosaleen – a woman who doesn’t quite know how to love her children – forces them to confront the weight of family ties and the road that brought them home.

Bonus: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Having decided to list these in order of purchase, I cut out the opportunity to rave about my favourite colour title – where the colour is significant because the title is very literal as well as alliterative! – and one of my favourite books of all time. What is not to love? A giant Green Knight; viscerally alliterative poetry; shocking violence, decapitation and an early game of football; generous hosts with seductive wives. Shape shifting.

Þe grene knyȝt vpon grounde grayþely hym dresses,
A littel lut with þe hede, þe lere he discouerez,
His longe louelych lokkez he layd ouer his croun,
Let þe naked nec to þe note schewe.
Gauan gripped to his ax, and gederes hit on hyȝt,
Þe kay fot on þe folde he before sette,
Let him doun lyȝtly lyȝt on þe naked,
Þat þe scharp of þe schalk schyndered þe bones,
And schrank þurȝ þe schyire grece, and schade hit in twynne,
Þat þe bit of þe broun stel bot on þe grounde.
Þe fayre hede fro þe halce hit to þe erþe,
Þat fele hit foyned wyth her fete, þere hit forth roled;
Þe blod brayd fro þe body, þat blykked on þe grene;
And nawþer faltered ne fel þe freke neuer þe helder,
Bot styþly he start forth vpon styf schonkes,
And runyschly he raȝt out, þere as renkkez stoden,
Laȝt to his lufly hed, and lyft hit vp sone;
And syþen boȝez to his blonk, þe brydel he cachchez,
Steppez into stelbawe and strydez alofte,
And his hede by þe here in his honde haldez;
And as sadly þe segge hym in his sadel sette
As non vnhap had hym ayled, þaȝ hedlez he were in stedde.
He brayde his bulk aboute, 
Þat vgly bodi þat bledde;
Moni on of hym had doute,
Bi þat his resounz were redde.
For þe hede in his honde he haldez vp euen,
Toward þe derrest on þe dece he dressez þe face,
And hit lyfte vp þe yȝe-lyddez and loked ful brode,
And meled þus much with his muthe, as ȝe may now here:
'Loke, Gawan, þou be grayþe to go as þou hettez,
And layte as lelly til þou me, lude, fynde,
As þou hatz hette in þis halle, herande þise knyȝtes;
To þe grene chapel þou chose, I charge þe, to fotte
Such a dunt as þou hatz dalt--disserued þou habbez
To be ȝederly ȝolden on Nw Ȝeres morn.
Þe knyȝt of þe grene chapel men knowen me mony;
Forþi me for to fynde if þou fraystez, faylez þou neuer.
Þerfore com, oþer recreaunt be calde þe behoues.'

Upcoming TOP FIVE SATURDAY LISTS:

18th April 2020 — Sibling Relationships

25th April 2020 — Books Under 300 Pages

The Tags

Madeleine @ Rambling Mads

Fadwa @ Word Wonders

Tiffany @ String of Pages

Gil @ Gil Reads Books

Jo @ Book Lovers Blog

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