Favourite Book Covers V

Four of the books that I bought during the last six months or so have astonishing covers. I didn’t buy them specifically for that reason. But in the case of some of the books featured in this post, it was the cover that appealed to me to begin with. I usually favour paperback editions, so they dominate my selections of favourite book covers. There is an exception to that rule this time, though. The hardback edition of Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson is so beautiful that I made sure to buy it, despite it being more expensive than the paperback.

Let’s take a closer look at the four book covers below!

 

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

Cover design: Suzanne Dean

Publisher: Vintage Continue reading

‘Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days’ by Jeanette Winterson

My rating: 4 stars

Food and Christmas are indissolubly connected in my mind. Thus, I found the concept behind Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days wholly suitable for the season. Jeanette Winterson introduces this collection of short stories interspersed with recipes with quite an informative reflection on the origins of Christmas, a celebration that borrows elements from various pagan festivities. Reality and fiction are present throughout the entirety of the book. While the stories feature many magical and supernatural elements (snowmen that come to life, fairies, ghosts), the recipes have a real personal story attached to them. Learning about events from Jeanette Winterson’s life made me want to read many more of her books.

Christmas is the main setting of the stories, just one of them takes place during New Year’s Eve. As so often happens with short story collections, some stand out from the others. ‘Dark Christmas’ is characterised by the eerie feeling of being in a house where not everything feels as it should be. ‘A Christmas in New York’, about a thirty-year-old man who learns to appreciate Christmas, is another of my favourites because I could visualise every single action and location. The most atmospheric story is ‘The Second-best Bed’, which revolves around a woman who goes to her friend’s house for Christmas and has to deal with some strange events. I also adored ‘The Glow-Heart’, a story about losing a loved one and dealing with grief.

“Love isn’t a prison. You can’t be imprisoned inside your love for me.”

Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – December 2018

December is inescapably the month of Christmas celebrations, and my favourites reflect that to an extent. Not only have I read six books (the biggest number in a month last year), two of them revolving around Christmas, but I’ve also listened to some unusual music to me, eaten too many sweets and got some new clothing items.

My favourite book from the ones I read last month is Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson. It’s a collection of short stories accompanied by recipes related to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It features many magical and supernatural elements. Some stories stand out because they are extremely atmospheric. Others have incredibly fleshed out characters. I didn’t like all stories equally, but a few were highly gripping. I’ll post a more detailed review soon.

Music-wise, during the first half of last month there was a song I kept listening to over and over again – ‘Santa’s Coming for Us’ by Sia. I don’t tend to like Christmas songs, so the fact that I enjoy this song so much is surprising even for me. My excitement for Christmas diminished as the date approached, but I still listened to this song (which I discovered for the first time in 2017) a few times after that happened. Continue reading

Beautiful Books to Gift this Christmas

If you, like me, unwisely leave Christmas shopping for the last minute (or more precisely for the last week), you may still be needing some ideas about what to buy for the book lovers in your life. Last year, the post I wrote to share gift ideas included both books and related items. This time I’m limiting my recommendations to books which have either beautiful covers or are gorgeously illustrated. Some I own myself, others I don’t but wish I did.

 

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson

I didn’t include this collection of short stories and recipes on my gift recommendations last year, because I was convinced that it was supposed to be read on the countdown to Christmas. However, I’ve recently heard that the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day and end on 5 January, making it a perfect gift after all. I will definitely read it this season!

 

Virago Modern Classics Editions of Daphne du Maurier’s books

After loving Rebecca, I’ve added books by Daphne du Maurier to my wish list almost every other month. And I would love to have them all on the Virago Modern Classics Editions which have stripy spines and du Maurier’s name on the top. One or more of them would make a perfect Christmas gift. Quality content and gorgeous covers – what more could a reader want? Continue reading

Book Haul – September / October 2018

We are less than three months away from the end of the year, and I still have quite a few books left to read in order to complete my ‘EU still 28’ reading project. Last month, I realised that I needed to buy some more of the books on my predetermined list. I obviously also took the opportunity to order a couple of other ones in preparation for winter, although I’m not normally a seasonal reader. Every excuse is a good one when it comes to justify buying books, though!

Below are the nine newest additions to my shelves:

 

Tula by Jurgis Kuncinas

Written by the Lithuanian author Jurgis Kuncinas, Tula takes place in a poor neighbourhood in Vilnius. The narrator dwells on the fringes of society and meets other various curious inhabitants of the same area. I don’t know much more about this book, which I believe also involves a love story. Continue reading