Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers That Feel Like Summer

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.

Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics

This week’s topic comes courtesy of the lovely Ellie @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm – it is always lovely to see another blogger championing your own favourite authors!

It has been a somewhat busy week as we are hit by another round of mocks to mark – alongside daughter’s birthday and the treadmill that is arranging her new school for 2023/4. Yes, these are things we have to do now, especially as she has a recent diagnosis of autism and the schools that offer the level of support she needs are heavily over subscribed! But I have managed to finish two books: the Women’s Prize winning The Book of Form and Emptiness and an ARC of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau. Now, to find time to write a review of them….

Anyway, on to this week’s list which is a book cover focused one: books with a summery vibe, that feel like summer. For me, the summer consists of relaxation, calm and warmth. It is beaches and the sea. The smell of the ocean.

This is tricky for me: so much of my reading is set in winter and beset with cold chill winds and bleak landscapes over which the wind howls in Gothic potency! However, there are also those hot, oppressive days brimming with the threat of violence… As Benvolio says in Romeo and Juliet

The day is hot; the Capulets, abroad;
And if we meet we shall not ‘scape a brawl,
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

So on the covers we will be looking for summer-based imagery or warm colours.

As this is a topic where the covers pretty much speak for themselves, I present them here in all their summery glory, moving from the cool deep blues of the ocean, to the light blue of the summer scky to the warmth of oranges and those gorgeous burnt colours. More details follow below.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Carlota Moreau: A young woman, growing up in a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula, the only daughter of a genius – or a madman.

The richness of this cover is exquisite, the heady and heavy richness of a summer’s day in a lush setting.

And ‘lush’ describes the novel rather well too!

Big Sky, Kate Atkinson

Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia. It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.

One of the best crime writers around at the moment – and deeply steeped in culture both popular and literary. And this cover? Those heady summer days with skies a mass of blue… and living near the seaside myself, those seagulls!

The Paper Palace, Miranda Cowley Heller

On a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the pond below ‘The Paper Palace’ – her family’s holiday home in Cape Cod. As she dives beneath the water she relives the passionate encounter she had the night before, against the side of the house that knows all her darkest secrets, while her husband and mother chatted to their guests inside…

This cover – and the blurb – feel very American to me, but also very summery! It is the first of a number of books on this list that I have been keeping for the long summer holiday… which never feels quite long enough!

April in Spain, John Banville

On the idyllic coast of San Sebastian, Dublin pathologist Quirke is struggling to relax. And when he glimpses a familiar face in the twilight at the bar Las Arcadas, a woman who was meant to have died in a political scandal back in Ireland years earlier, any chance of a peaceful holiday is lost.

This novel confuses me: April is spring; the colours feel autumnal… overall therefore it does feel summery, doesn’t it? Especially compared to the snipped cover of Snow on the bottom right.

Beautiful World, Where Are You, Sally Rooney

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood.

I am being slow to read this, because I am waiting for the summer holiday to give it time to enjoy. For me, it is the colour combination – sky blue, sandy orange – that makes it feel summery.

Nothing But Blue Sky, Kathleen MacMahon

Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage?

David thought so. But when his wife Mary Rose dies suddenly he has to think again. In reliving their twenty years together David sees that the ground beneath them had shifted and he simply hadn’t noticed. Or had chosen not to

Another book I am yet to read, having bought it on the strength of the Women’s Prize Longlist. The cover though screams summer to me.

All Among The Barley, Melissa Harrison

The autumn of 1933 is the most beautiful Edie Mather can remember, though the Great War still casts a shadow over the cornfields of her beloved home, Wych Farm.

When charismatic, outspoken Constance FitzAllen arrives from London to write about fading rural traditions, she takes an interest in fourteen-year-old Edie, showing her a kindness she has never known before. But the older woman isn’t quite what she seems.

Again, its that band of orange that feels summery to me… I am yet to read this, although I have heard much much praise.

Small Pleasures, Clare Chambers

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 Swinney 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.

I loved this book, and there is a great summery scene where Jean is in the orchard harvesting apples… I also adore the cover: those oranges peeling themselves on the tree is almost Miltonic!

On Midnight Beach, Marie-Louise FitzPatrick

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 . . .

The novel that could have won the Carnegie Medal in 2021! Loved the mixture of myth and modern history, of the small closed-minded Irish community. And the charge that the characters generated.

And also, there’s a beach on the cover!

The Mermaid of Black Conch, Monique Roffey

Near the island of Black Conch, a fisherman sings to himself while waiting for a catch. But David attracts a sea-dweller that he never expected – Aycayia, an innocent young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid.

This was a heady book of curses, the Caribbean and a very sultry mermaid. The colours and the cover, and that image of Aycayia… gorgeous!

The Shape of Water, Andrea Camilleri

Silvio Lupanello, a big-shot in Vigàta, is found dead in his car with his pants around his knees. The car happens to be parked in a part of town used by prostitutes and drug dealers, and as the news of his death spreads, the rumors begin. Enter Inspector Salvo Montalbano, Vigàta’s most respected detective. 

What a gorgeous piece of art this cover is! It is like something from an impressionist gallery! Wonderful.

And what I recall of the novel, it was a fantastic read too, even if the details have been dulled by time.

Hot Milk, Deborah Levy

Two women arrive in a village on the Spanish coast. Rose is suffering from a strange illness and the doctors are mystified. Her daughter Sofia has brought her here to find a cure with the infamous and controversial Dr Gomez – a man of questionable methods and motives. Intoxicated by thick heat and the seductive people who move through it, both women begin to see their lives clearly for the first time in years.

I am still intending to read this at some point: I have heard so much good about it. And that cover conjures up the image of foreign holidays to the continent….

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals but over time he proves himself to be civilised, humorous – and a consummate musician.

Being honest, the content perhaps more than the cover brings this to mind, and the memories of reading it whilst sat on a Greek island in the sun…

Inside the Wave, Helen Dunmore

To be alive is to be inside the wave, always travelling until it breaks and is gone. These poems are concerned with the borderline between the living and the dead – the underworld and the human living world – and the exquisitely intense being of both. 

These were the poems that reminded me that I love poetry, and Dunmore’s own impending death as she wrote them makes them even more poignant!

So these are the books that a quick survey of my book shelves felt summery to me… perhaps tending to head towards autumnal looking at some of the more orangey colours, but then, does not summer always head towards autumn?

I hope everyone has a great summer filled with joy, relaxation and happiness, whether from reading or from family or from the weather…

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes

  • July 12: Book Covers That Feel Like Summer (Submitted by Ellie @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm)
  • July 19: Freebie (Come up with your own topic!)
  • July 26: Books From My Past Seasonal TBR Posts I STILL Haven’t Read (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)
  • August 2: Books Set In a Place I’d Love to Visit (real places or fictional)
  • August 9: Hilarious Book Titles
  • August 16: Books I Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago
  • August 23: Completed Series I Wish Had More Books
  • August 30: School Freebie (In honor of school starting up soon, come up with a topic that somehow ties to school/education. The book could be set at school/college, characters could be teachers, books with school supplies on the cover, nonfiction titles, books that taught you something or how to do something, your favorite required reading in school, books you think should be required reading, your favorite banned books, etc.)

24 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers That Feel Like Summer”

  1. I’ve not heard of most of your books – again, my TBR thanks you :). I love how you grouped them in a color wave – very clever. Thanks for the visit.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been on the fence about reading Mermaid of Black Conch, but I think I should push it up the TBR pile now! And as for Jackson Brodie, loved the first book and the show, which makes me now want to pick up Big Sky too!


  3. All Among The Barley, Small Pleasure and The Shape of Water do look very summery! Great list and thanks for visiting my TTT! 🙂


  4. The Paper Palace and Rooney’s newest are both on my tbr, and you’ve shared several that are new to me but sound amazing! So many summer-y books!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Small Pleasures looks like a great summer-y vibe and Silvia’s, which I’ve been seeing around quite a lot, has all the ideal summertime colors! Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland on this week. Apologies it took this long to visit here.

    Liked by 1 person

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