Top Ten Books that I Bought for their Titles and/or Covers

“If you’re not careful, time will take away everything that ever hurt you, everything you have ever lost, and replace it with knowledge.”

Charles Yu

In no particular order:

  1. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe – Charles Yu. I read this earlier in the year – because, seriously, how could anyone resist the promise of that title? – and it was truly fantastic. See? Gambles do pay off, sometimes.
  2. A Novel Bookstore – Laurence Cosse. The blurb did not wow me, but it had “bookstore” in the title, and that was enough for me. And it is a very lovely book about books which I heartily recommend to everyone ever. (I actually recently sent a copy to my grandmother.)
  3. How Not to Write a Novel – Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. Huh. I guess I’m a sucker for pseudo-self-help books. Anyway, How Not to Write a Novel is a very funny and useful guide to Things You Probably Shouldn’t Do if You Want Anyone to Buy Your Book.
  4. Victorian Sensation – Michael Diamond. Actually, I didn’t buy this one; it was in my college library. But I read it for this spectacularly retro cover. It was quite a good read, too.
  5. The City of Dreaming Books – Walter Moers. I mean, books. And it has an awesome and fun-looking cover. It was not as good I was hoping, though.
  6. By Light Alone – Adam Roberts. I just adored the Art Deco, steampunky feel of this cover; it really stood out in the bookshop. Another one which was unfortunately mildly disappointing (but worth owning just for that cover!).
  7. Magyk – Angie Sage. The cover of this book is so lovely. I adore covers made to look like old books. Plus, the book, a gentle fantasy about a seventh son and a slightly evil government, is sweet and original and nice.
  8. The Diamond of Drury Lane – Julia Golding. This is going back quite a few years now, but for a long time I had a slight obsession with the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane because I went to see the musical version of The Lord of the Rings there and this obviously meant that everything that had happened there ever was automatically awesome and deeply interesting. I don’t remember very much about the book, but I think it was quite good.
  9. Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr. I think it was a combination of the cryptic title and that atmospheric orange wash that drew me to this one. I remember almost nothing about the quality of the book, though.
  10. The Looking Glass Wars – Frank Beddor. An Alice in Wonderland retelling? Sold! Pity the execution wasn’t terribly good.

(The theme for this post was suggested by the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.)


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