Late again! Written yesterday as I was on the train (without signal), FirstTranspenine definitely need to get some wifi sorted. Thanks as ever to the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish for hosting. Book titles link to each book’s goodreads page.
1. Dave Shelton – A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (hardcover). Shortlisted for this year’s Carnegie medal, this book has one of the more intriguing covers I’ve seen in a while; a simple blue checked grid accompanied by a tea cup stain. It gives the feeling of a travelogue, or adventure documentation, which I guess it is. Either way, it’s a refreshing change from the norm that has probably attracted readers who may not have picked it up otherwise, it’s a shame the paperback is so different.
2. Rainbow Rowell – Eleanor and Park. The US cover as opposed to the UK’s copy (damn transatlantic discrepancies). However, this is the one I love. Spare yet super-effective, it’s an image that goes to the heart of the story and how it makes me feel.
3. Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie – Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. I probably need to do a ‘top 5 dogs in fiction’ post at some point, because Biff (the hero of our story) would certainly be in there. His face. This book is mainly on this list because of his face.
4. Patrick Ness and Jim Kay – A Monster Calls. I’m not sure if choosing illustrated books is cheating in some way. However, I think Jim Kay’s illustrations in this book are superb, they suit the narrative perfectly, and the image of the monster used on the cover is just awesome. Definitely something I’d put on the wall, given the chance.
5. Sally Nicholls – Ways to Live Forever. It’s always interesting when books move through a number of different covers in a short space of time as with this book – 6 years since publication, and we’re already on to its third cover. While I don’t mind the current incarnation, I’m certainly glad we’ve passed the misery-memoir cover debacle. But it’s the original that I love. The lovely purple binding feels lovely in your hands, and the simple silhouette of the tree against the moon is a lovely image that recalls one of the more moving moments in the book.
6. Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale. I love Vintage’s covers, and this book is no exception. An incredibly striking image, it just looks great.
7. Ned Vizzini – Its Kind of a Funny Story. One of my favourite things about trips across the pond (excesses of coffee and cinnamon flavoured everything aside) is visiting new bookshops; my trip to the famous Powell’s (Block of Books) while I was in Portland a few years ago is the perfect example. Working where I do, a shop’s YA section has to do a lot to impress me, but theirs, wow. IKOAFS had a kinda cute cover, different to what’s usually about in the UK, and somehow I found myself going home with it.
8. Oliver Jeffers – Lost and Found. Ok, so Jeffers’ boy character has spindly legs and a nose that doesn’t look quite right. However, the penguin is so beautifully captured, and the whole thing is just lovely. Jeffers’ at his best, in my opinion.
9. Sue Hendra – Barry the Fish with Fingers. Sparkly fingers, made to look like the foodstuff. Barry is a surreal and genuis invention.
10. Stephen Chbosky – The Perks of Being a Wallflower (the MTV cover). The best part of a decade on, and I still don’t know how to do justice to this book in words that make actual sense. Suffices to say that while I own all the covers I’m aware of (beside the film cover, bleurgh), this is the one that recalls the magic of reading this most special of books for the first time.