Beautiful Covers, Disappointing Books

I’ve published a few posts about my favourite book covers since starting this blog. I did so by only taking into consideration the allure of the cover. Many times, I hadn’t even read the books in question. When I finally did, some ended up being particularly disappointing, reason why I decided not to keep them on my shelves. I don’t keep all of the books that I read, as I don’t have the space nor the desire to do so any longer.

So, four books with beautiful covers no longer have a place on my shelves:


Homens Imprudentemente Poéticos by Valter Hugo Mãe

I mentioned this book by the Portuguese writer Valter Hugo Mãe on the second instalment of my favourite book covers. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it and rated it with two stars. It is about two Japanese neighbours, Itaro and Saburo, who are in open conflict. Not only did I not find the plot gripping, I also disliked the writing style. It is too pretentious and completely overpowers the story. Continue reading

‘English Animals’ by Laura Kaye

My rating: 3 stars

In English Animals by Laura Kaye, a young Slovak woman depicts the way of life of an English couple in the countryside, while also delving into how they influenced her growing process. Through Mirka’s personal story, the book touches on cultural differences, xenophobia and homophobia. At first, the combination of these topics and a distinguishable set of characters makes for an interesting read. However, more or less midway through the book I started getting bored of following their daily life. It didn’t help that some of the characters’ reactions aren’t fully believable.

Nineteen-year-old Mirka is originally from Slovakia. She was hired to work in a country house in rural England. Her employers were Sophie and Richard. She thought she would be taking care of their children, but they had none. Instead, she was going to help Richard in his “latest grand money-making scheme”, taxidermy. When Mirka arrived at Fairmont Hall, Richard wasn’t at home, so she had dinner alone with Sophie. She was shocked by the way they did things. The kitchen was a mess, and they let the dogs lick the plates which they had just used. Their first meal together is used to showcase their differences in everyday behaviour. I personally found it strange that both Sophie and Mirka associated drinking alcohol with getting drunk. One doesn’t have to lead to the other.

When Richard arrived drunk from the pub escorted by a police officer, he mistreated Sophie. Mirka was concerned but didn’t do anything out of fear. It was with great surprise that the day after Mirka realised that Richard could also be kind. They were at the barn where he did his taxidermy work when she started crying because of the dead bird that he was working on. She only then understood the true meaning of death. Richard held her in his arms until the tears stopped and was sympathetic. Continue reading

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

Book Haul – February 2019

I managed to wait until February to buy books for the first time in 2019! It was really difficult to resist the urge to get new books until the second month of the year, although I still had a few unread ones on my shelves. I bought a total of eight books, unintentionally almost all of them were written by women.


Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Soon after getting married, Elsie became a widow. She has no friends amongst the servants nor the villagers. Her only company seems to be her late husband’s awkward cousin, until she finds a locked room where there is a wooden figure which strongly resembles herself. I am eager to be frightened by this book!


The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

This historical novel immediately caught my interest at the time of its release last year, but I decided to wait for the paperback edition. I started reading it soon after it was delivered and am now more than halfway through. Although I am enjoying discovering more about the characters, I was expecting more in terms of plot. One of Jonah Hancock’s captains sells his ship in exchange for what appears to be a mermaid. At first, he is appalled by the loss of his ship. However, his captain convinces him that by exhibiting the mermaid he can make a big profit. It’s thanks to his mermaid that he meets the beautiful courtesan Angelica. Continue reading