Top Ten Tuesday: Colourful Book Covers

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.

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Having warmed up with the fun Crayola topic last week, this week retains the visual and colourful theme with a look at bright covers… which is a challenge for me because most of my reading is done these days on my old reliable Kindle Paperweight, which is distinctly monochrome!

But at least Calibre can show me what the covers look like – as do regular trips to bookshops now that lockdown is eased.

So these are (predominantly) book on my current TBR list with colour featured on the covers – not always bright colours, but also dramatic and calming colours. Not many comments here because 1) this is all about the covers and 2) I’ve yet to read most of these!

Peaces, Helen Oyeyemi

Okay so the background is black, but that just makes the blue hands, the green leaf, the red train carriage all the more bright. And I do love Oyeyemi’s prose!

Peaces is the story of Otto and Xavier Shin, a couple who embark on a mysterious train journey that takes them far beyond any destination they could have anticipated. As the carriages roll along they discover each is more curious and fascinating than the last, becoming embroiled in this strange train and its intrigue. Who is Ava Kapoor, the sole full-time inhabitant of the train, and what is her relationship to a man named Prem? Are they passengers or prisoners? We discover who orchestrated the journey, hurtling them all into their past for clues.

The Lamplighters, Emma Stonex

Still a dark colour but definitely dramatic and powerful! And who doesn’t love a locked room mystery in a lighthouse?

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

Love in Colour, Bolu Babalola

How could a book with this title not have a colourful cover? And international folktales and myths being retold… wonderful.

Bolu Babalola finds the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology and rewrites them with incredible new detail and vivacity in this debut collection. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines iconic Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from countries that no longer exist in our world.

A high-born Nigerian goddess feels beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover and longs to be truly seen.

A young businesswoman attempts to make a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life.

A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether to uphold her family’s politics, or to be true to her heart.

Consent, Annabel Lyon

Heavy pinks on this cover! They feel heavy and cloying to me.

Saskia and Jenny are twins, alike in appearance only: Saskia has a single-minded focus on her studies, while Jenny is glamorous, thrill-seeking and capricious. Still, when Jenny is severely injured in an accident, Saskia puts her life on hold for her sister.

Sara and Mattie are sisters with another difficult dynamic: Mattie needs almost full-time care, while Sara loves nothing more than fine wines, perfumes and expensive clothing, and leaves home at the first opportunity. But when their mother dies, Sara must move Mattie in with her. Gradually, Sara and Saskia learn that both their sisters’ lives, and indeed their own, have been altered by the devastating actions of one man…

Small Pleasures, Clare Chambers

Unlike some of the others, the colours here are rather calming and peaceful and soft….

1957, the suburbs of South East London. Jean Swinney is a journalist on a local paper, trapped in a life of duty and disappointment from which there is no likelihood of escape.

When a young woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud.

As the investigation turns her quiet life inside out, Jean is suddenly given an unexpected chance at friendship, love and – possibly – happiness.

But there will, inevitably, be a price to pay.

Milk Fed, Melissa Broder

Golly this one is bright… a book that would light the room were it not on my kindle! And with what appears to be a stylised boob in the middle of it.

Well, what might you expect from the author of The Pisces?

Rachel is twenty-four, a lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. By day, she maintains an illusion of control by way of obsessive food rituals. At night, she pedals nowhere on the elliptical machine.

Then Rachel meets Miriam, a young Orthodox Jewish woman intent upon feeding her. Rachel is suddenly and powerfully entranced by Miriam – by her sundaes and her body, her faith and her family – and as the two grow closer, Rachel embarks on a journey marked by mirrors, mysticism, mothers, milk, and honey.

On Midnight Beach, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

This novel has wonderful cool blues and purples… wonderfully evocative!

When a dolphin takes up residence in Carrig Cove, Emer and her best friend, Fee, feel like they have an instant connection with it. Then Dog Cullen and his sidekick, Kit, turn up, and the four friends begin to sneak out at midnight to go down to the beach, daring each other to swim closer and closer to the creature . . .

But the fame and fortune the dolphin brings to their small village builds resentment amongst their neighbours across the bay, and the summer days get longer and hotter . . . There is something wild and intense in the air. Love feels fierce, old hatreds fester, and suddenly everything feels worth fighting for.

I loved this book – a retelling of the Irish myth the Táin Bó Cúailnge or the Cattle Raid of Cooley, and the hero Cú Chulainn – set in 1970s Ireland riven by the Troubles.

The Mermaid of Conch Beach, Monique Roffey

This has the colours of the sunset with the wonderful blue mermaid in the centre.

March 1976: St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, at the start of the rainy season. A fisherman sings to himself in his pirogue, waiting for a catch but attracts a sea-dweller he doesn’t expect.

Aycayia, a beautiful young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid, has been swimming the Caribbean Sea for centuries. And she is entranced by this man David and his song.

Detransition Baby, Torrey Peters

Again, with the pinks…

Reese nearly had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York, a job she didn’t hate. She’d scraped together a life previous generations of trans women could only dream of; the only thing missing was a child. Then everything fell apart and three years on Reese is still in self-destruct mode, avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

When her ex calls to ask if she wants to be a mother, Reese finds herself intrigued. After being attacked in the street, Amy de-transitioned to become Ames, changed jobs and, thinking he was infertile, started an affair with his boss Katrina. Now Katrina’s pregnant. Could the three of them form an unconventional family – and raise the baby together?

A Room Called Earth, Madeleine Ryan

Woah, these colours are vibrant! Let’s hope the novel is too!

A young woman gets ready to go to a party. She arrives, feels overwhelmed, leaves, and then returns. Minutely attuned to the people who come into her view, and alternating between alienation and profound connection, she is hilarious, self-aware, sometimes acerbic, and always honest.

And by the end of the night, she’s shown us something radical about love, loss, and the need to belong.

The Mitford Murders Series, Jessica Fellowes

I love the cover design and colours on these novels, and they are the perfect light Sunday evening crime capers – even if the scenarios are getting increasingly strained.

It’s 1919, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London, and most of all her oppressive and dangerous uncle.

Louisa’s salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside. There she will become nurserymaid, chaperone and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially sixteen-year-old Nancy – an acerbic, bright young woman in love with stories.


So there we have it, the most recent, most colourful covers that I have acquired. I might add another quick cheeky bonus, though, just because I love the luridness of the greens and purples – and the luridness of the concept!

Meddling Kids, Edgar Cantero

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader… which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics

  • April 27: Animals from Books (these could be mythical, real, main characters, sidekicks, companions/pets, shifters, etc.) (Submitted by Paige @paigesquared and Jennifer Y. @ Never Too Many to Read)
  • May 4: My Ten Most Recent Reads (maybe share a one-sentence review to go with?)
  • May 11: Books with Nature on the Cover (flowers, trees, landscapes, animals, etc.)
  • May 18: Book Titles That Are Complete Sentences (Submitted by Jessica @ A Cocoon of Books)
  • May 25: Book Quotes that Fit X Theme (Pick any theme you want, i.e., motivational quotes, romantic dialogues, hunger-inducing quotes, quotes that fill you with hope, quotes on defeating adversity, quotes that present strong emotions, healing, etc. and then select quotes from books that fit that theme.)

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