Front Cover Friday – 27

This is a book I’ve looked at for months and finally do own it. (Haven’t read it yet, but it’s next on the list) The cover was the first thing that caught my eye. To be honest, I cannot pinpoint what exactly it is about the cover that appeals to me. On the one hand, it looks very crowded and yet, there’s something intriguing about having two cups standing out in the crowd. Almost like it implies that in the crowd of similar people, two stand out most for some reason. And possibly, the story is about these two people. Any way, maybe I’m reading too much into it!

A synopsis of the book according to Goodreads:

Major Ernest Pettigrew, retired, of Edgecombe St. Mary, England, is more than a little dismayed by the sloppy manners, narcissism, and materialism of modern society. The decline of gentility is evident everywhere, from tea bags, to designer sweaters, to racism masquerading as tolerance.

Mutual grief allies him with Mrs. Ali, a widowed local shopkeeper of Pakistani descent who has also resigned herself to dignified, if solitary, last years. The carefully suppressed passion between these two spawns twitters of disapproval in their provincial village, but Pettigrew hasn’t time for such silliness: real estate developers are plotting to carpet the fields outside his back door with mansionettes and his sister-in-law plans to auction off a prized family firearm. Meanwhile, Mrs. Ali’s late husband’s Muslim family expects her to hand over her hard-won business to her sullen, fundamentalist nephew, a notion she finds repellant and chauvinistic.

It’s a testament to Simonson that in this delightful novel, Pettigrew must navigate the tragic, the absurd, and the transcendentally joyful aspects of a familiar life turned upside down by an unfamiliar and unexpected late-life love affair. That two people from opposing and mutually distrusting worlds are able to bridge every gap with unerring respect and decorum serves as a quiet suggestion that larger conflicts might be avoided or resolved in much the same way. Finally, a way forward that Major Pettigrew would approve.

So does it appeal to you? The story and/or the cover?

I’ll put up a review as soon as I finish the book.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

Front Cover Friday – 26

Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris

Elegant and simple…I fell in love with this cover the minute I saw it. I think I was attracted to it because the ‘letters’ factor…in this day and age when getting a handwritten mail has become a rarity, seeing something like this definitely puts a smile on my face.  And the flowers  – oh they just add more sweetness to the setting, don’t they?

It’s a nice front cover, don’t you think?

Here’s the description of the book from Shelfari

Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn’t need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she’s set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain. They share only a brief exchange–cut short by the soldier’s evident interest in Betty–but Liz can’t forget him. Thus, when Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, stationed overseas, Liz reluctantly agrees. Thousands of miles away, Morgan struggles to adjust to the brutality of war. His letters from “Betty” are a comfort, their soul-baring correspondence a revelation to them both. While Liz is torn by her feelings for a man who doesn’t know her true identity, Betty and Julia each become immersed in their own romantic entanglements. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings. Beautifully rendered and deeply moving, Letters from Home is a story of hope and connection, of sacrifices made in love and war–and the chance encounters that change us forever.

Sounds interesting. What do you think?

Do you like the cover? The plot? Do share.

Front Cover Friday – 25

Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth

Came across this book as I was browsing through the store few days ago. The cover caught my attention and intrigued me enough that I bought the book even before reading what it was about. That picture is just so fascinating, I think.

Here’s another cover for this book that I found online…I quite like this one too, although the one above remains my favorite –

Here’s the synopsis of the story

In Land of Marvels, a thriller set in 1914, he brings to life the schemes and double-dealings of Western nations grappling for a foothold in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire.

Somerville, a British archaeologist, is excavating a long-buried Assyrian palace. The site lies directly in the path of a new railroad to Baghdad, and he watches nervously as the construction progresses, threatening to destroy his discovery. The expedition party includes Somerville’s beautiful, bored wife, Edith; Patricia, a smart young graduate student; and Jehar, an Arab man-of-all-duties whose subservient manner belies his intelligence and ambitions. Posing as an archaeologist, an American geologist from an oil company arrives one day and insinuates himself into the group. But he’s not the only one working undercover to stake a claim on Iraq’s rich oil fields.

Interesting?

I started reading the book yesterday and it’s so far so good. Can’t wait to dive deep into the plot!

Do you like the cover(s)? The storyline? Do share.

Front Cover Friday – 24

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

I like how soothing the shade of green on this cover looks. It’s calming and peaceful, and the purple border on one side adds charm to it as well. And the bird flying away from its cage symbolizes freedom; a fresh beginning; a chance to start a joyous life. Put it all together, and I love it!

Here’s another cover of the book I came across online –

The first one remains my favorite.

Here’s the summary of the plot from Borders

Situated in Ohio, a free territory before the Civil War, Tawawa House is an idyllic retreat for Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their enslaved black mistresses. It’s their open secret. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at the resort, building strong friendships over the years. But when Mawu, as fearless as she is assured, comes along and starts talking of running away, things change. To run is to leave everything behind, and for some it also means escaping from the emotional and psychological bonds that bind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, the women of Tawawa House soon learn that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the most inhuman, brutal of circumstances— all while they bear witness to the end of an era.

An engaging, page-turning, and wholly original novel, Wench explores, with an unflinching eye, the moral complexities of slavery.

Sounds interesting to me…will definitely read it someday.

How about you? Like the cover? Storyline? Do share.

Front Cover Friday – 23

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

What’s not to love here? The cover, the title, the tag line – everything about it is so intriguing, don’t you think?

Here’s the story synopsis from Shelfari

In the tradition of The Orchid Thief , a compelling narrative set within the strange and genteel world of rare-book collecting: the true story of an infamous book thief, his victims, and the man determined to catch him. Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves, of course, steal for profit. John Charles Gilkey steals purely for the love of books. In an attempt to understand him better, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett plunged herself into the world of book lust and discovered just how dangerous it can be. Gilkey is an obsessed, unrepentant book thief who has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rare books from book fairs, stores, and libraries around the country. Ken Sanders is the self-appointed (book dealer with a penchant for detective work) driven to catch him. Bartlett befriended both outlandish characters and found herself caught in the middle of efforts to recover hidden treasure. With a mixture of suspense, insight, and humor, she has woven this entertaining cat-and-mouse chase into a narrative that not only reveals exactly how Gilkey pulled off his dirtiest crimes, where he stashed the loot, and how Sanders ultimately caught him but also explores the romance of books, the lure to collect them, and the temptation to steal them. Immersing the reader in a rich, wide world of literary obsession, Bartlett looks at the history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages, to examine the craving that makes some people willing to stop at nothing to possess the books they love.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this one once I get done with the stack of books I have. 🙂

What about you? Do you like the cover? The story? Do share.

Front Cover Friday – 22

In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut

Doesn’t the cover have this mysterious look to it that’s just so charming? I loved it!

Here are the other versions I found –

Although I like the first one the best, each of these covers have an alluring factor to them – if it’s the lantern and the glow of light at dusk that makes the first cover attractive, it’s the closing in clouds and the summit that makes the second one beautiful; if it’s a eerie feeling that the fan on the third cover evokes, then it’s the warmth of a sunny day that the fourth cover brings out. All in all, every cover is so creatively done, I think.

Here’s the story synopsis from Shelfari

A young man takes three journeys, through Greece, India and Africa. He travels lightly, simply. To those who travel with him and those whom he meets on the way – including a handsome, enigmatic stranger, a group of careless backpackers and a woman on the edge – he is the Follower, the Lover and the Guardian. Yet, despite the man’s best intentions, each journey ends in disaster. Together, these three journeys will change his whole life. A novel of longing and thwarted desire, rage and compassion, “In a Strange Room” is the hauntingly beautiful evocation of one man’s search for love, and a place to call home.

What do you think? Of the story? Of the covers? Which cover do you like best? Do share.

Front Cover Friday – 21

Doesn’t this cover speak volumes? You can see two boys up to possibly no-good. Something naughty. Something unconventional. Set in a great backdrop. I love the silhouetted tree and the two young boys’ silhouettes…there’s something sinister and yet so beautiful about it. And of course, the gorgeous sunset in the background…

Here is a synopsis of the book (which I am currently reading and hoping to review in a little while) from the Allen and Unwin website:

Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress.
Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.
And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

Here are some of the other covers I’ve seen:

What do you think?

I still love the first one…and it’s the one I’ve got! 🙂

Until next time,

Cheers!!!