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

Most Disappointing Books of 2019

Every year there are books that I hope to at least mildly enjoy but that end up being disappointing for a variety of reasons. 2019 was sadly full of those books. And they were not disappointing in the sense that I only didn’t love them as much as I was expecting to. I truly didn’t like them. Some I read in their entirety and rated with two stars, while others I decided not to finish, as I had no hope to start enjoying them at any point.

First, there were three books that I read until the very end but that I didn’t like.

 

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

Two women, Hester and Rebekah, who are developing feelings for one another, try to discover why people are disappearing around London in 1831. The premise sounded promising. However, there is no aura of mystery throughout the book, in part because the descriptions are soulless. The plot is unjustifiably meandering. Some events are completely unnecessary for the clarification of what is supposed to be the main mystery. And there is also too much telling and not enough showing. I only kept reading because I was mildly curious to know the reason behind the disappearances. Continue reading

‘The Wicked Cometh’ by Laura Carlin

My rating: 2 stars

Unfortunately, a beautiful cover doesn’t always wrap up a captivating story. The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin had the potential to be a good book, but its premise isn’t well developed, it lacks atmosphere, and the writing style is far from appealing. Two women with growing feelings for one another try to discover why people are going missing all over London in 1831. The reason behind the disappearances is interesting. If the sole focus of the novel had been on that mystery and the plot hadn’t been so meandering, this could at least have been a satisfactory read.

The main character and narrator, Hester, lives in London with her father’s former gardener, Jacob, and his wife, Meg. Both her parents died, her mother in childbirth and her father of typhoid fever. Her current neighbourhood is plagued by poverty, a condition she desperately wants to escape. She is trying to find her cousin Edward, whom she believes can get her a job outside of London. While looking for him, she is run over by a carriage. Inside is Mr Calder Brock, a 25-year-old physician. He takes her to his home to tend her injured leg. A couple of days after, he insists on taking her with him to the country where he will continue to provide her proper medical care.

That isn’t his only purpose, however. Mr Brock also plans to prove through her that even poor people from the gutter can be educated. He is to join the board of ‘The London Society for the Suppression of Mendacity’ and wants to change people’s perception of poverty. The maids warn her to be careful with Miss Rebekah, his sister, because two girls that were working for her have recently disappeared. 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

2018 Releases I Want to Read… Next Year

I usually don’t attempt to read books around the time of their release date. The main reason for that is that I much prefer paperback editions to hardbacks. They are much easier to carry around and don’t have exasperating slippery dust jackets. But I also don’t tend to read brand new releases, because I don’t feel the need to rush, unless I have been waiting for a particular book for a long time. That can happen, for example, with the next instalment in a book series. In Portugal, books are usually only released in paperback, nonetheless I hardly ever buy them at the time of their release.

However, some of the books that were released this year really caught my attention and, thus, I want to read them sooner rather than later. Soon will have to be next year, though, seeing that I probably won’t have the time to read them until December, as I still have quite a few books left to read for the ‘EU still 28’ project. Also, some of these books will be released in paperback at the beginning of next year, and I feel like I can wait until then and own the edition I most fancy.

The five books I have in mind are: Continue reading