Happy Tuesday everyone! It is the second day of the week, the first for August. I hope everyone is doing well and is safe. Oh well, Tuesday also means one thing, a Top Ten Tuesday update! Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s given topic is Titles or Covers That Made Want to Read/Buy the Book.
And yes, we have yet another edition of Top Ten Tuesday that involve book title and book cover. As I have mentioned previously, I used to be an impulsive book buyer. My lack of knowledge then led me to buying books based on either of these two categories, well, mainly on the book title really. As a matter of fact, most of the books I bought and read during my university days were because of their titles. A couple of years thence, I still buy books based on the cover and title but not as common as when I was younger. Without more ado, here is my list of books with s Titles or Covers That Made Want to Read/Buy the Book.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I am kicking off the list with one of the most popular titles out there, Nobel Prize in Literature winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Ironically, when I bought the book, I barely had any iota on what it was. It was mostly due to the title and the cover that I bought it. I did, however, encounter it in most must-reading list but passed it over. Maybe the memory recall did contribute to the decision to purchase the book as well. It ended up as one of my most memorable reads, one of my first experience in magical realism.
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
At the start of the year, I did a research on books that I can include in my 2021 Top Books To Look Forward To. One of the titles that I kept on encountering was Cherie Jones’ How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House. It didn’t take much convincing for me to include the book in my list and thankfully, I managed to gain a copy of the book without much difficulties. Shortlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, it was also Jones’ debut novel. However, I barely enjoyed the story and I guess it underlined my struggles with literary fiction.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
I believe it was in 2016 that I first encountered Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life in the bookstore. At first, I was kind of apprehensive about the book although the monochromatic cover and the title did pique my interest; they would not leave my mind for the next couple of weeks. The next time I passed by the bookstore and saw the book again, I resolved to finally buy it. Because of my growing interest in the novel, I included it in my 2017 Top 20 Reading List. It was a dark and painful read, covering a vast area of sensitive themes but it was still a memorable one.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I have bought more books based on cover recently that I realized! Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane is another case of a book I was hesitant to buy at first, just like A Little Life. Unlike A Little Life, I am already familiar with Neil Gaiman and his prose but still I was still hesitant. But there was something that kept plaguing my mind: the book’s haunting and enigmatic cover. Mostly in blue, it was the first thing that captured my attention. Although I did hesitate buying it at first, the next time I encountered the book, I bought it without any more ado. However, I am still to read the book.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Same old story. I was passing by the mall on my way home. And then I remembered the mall has a bookstore. Without preamble, I proceeded to the bookstore and then I came across this book with a long title. Doused in blue, it was further propped with seals of the accolades it has won. Interesting. The title of the book? Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I am no fan of young adult fiction but this was one of the rare cases that I adore the book. It was powerful yet subtle. And yes, a sequel to the book is going to be published later this year.
The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
Flash back to over a decade ago. I was still a fledgling reader then; although to my mind, I was otherwise because of the volume of Mary Higgins Clarks, Danielle Steels, Nora Robertses and John Grishams I have read. I had a voracious appetite for reading but my resources are limited so I always go for the cheapest and the most interesting books. One book that immediately captured my attention was Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities. I didn’t have much an idea on what the book was about or who Wolfe was. However, the title captured my interest. Rightfully so, for I enjoyed the book thoroughly and even though a decade has passed, I can still recall how much I enjoyed reading the book.
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
I initially thought that Marina Lewycka’s A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian was a work of nonfiction although it did catch my attention the moment I encountered. I did a further research and learned that it was a novel and was even listed as of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Without more ado, I bought the book even though I barely had any iota on what it was about. Maybe it was a sarcastic or comical narrative that explores the history of tractors in Ukrainian? Of course, I was mostly wrong. Whilst it was marketed as humorous, I barely enjoyed the humor; it was rather bland and dry.
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez
It was late in 2019 when I first encountered Isabel Ibanez’s Woven in Moonlight. Back then, the book was still not in major circulation but the book’s magical cover immediately captured my interest. And whilst I found the title a little puerile, I was willing to make concessions. In her debut novel, Ibanez relates the history of her country using the familiar fairy tale trope. It did work to some extent and I did enjoy how easy of a read Woven in Moonlight was. However, I did find the representations a little imbalanced.
The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar
Here is another random purchase; I shouldn’t be surprised really for most of these novels were random purchases. I was just passing by the bookstore when I came across Zeyn Joukhadar (yes, he changed his name) and his debut novel, The Map of Salt and Stars. The book’s title was the first facet of the book that appealed to me but the blue book cover was also an added bonus. Incorporating elements of myth and history, The Map of Salt and Stars was a fine read, a promising debut from a rising literary voice.
How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang
When I was looking for books to include in my 2020 Books I Look Forward to List, C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills is Gold was one of the titles that immediately grabbed my attention. Without more ado, I added it to my list and despite the pandemic, I managed to procure a copy of the book later in 2020. I absolutely loved the mix of gold and blue (it is my favorite color, obviously). I think it was a fair representation of what the story was about, a glimpse into the twilight years of the Californian gold rush through the lenses of two orphaned girls. It was stunning book worthy of being longlisted for the Booker Prize. And yes, it was a debut novel as well.
And thus ends my Top Ten Tuesday list. To be honest, I do have quite a lot of books I could choose from but these were the titles that immediately came to mind. I do hope you enjoyed my list. How about you fellow reader? What title of book cover enticed you to buy it? I hope you can share it in the comment box. For now, happy reading! I do hope you have a great week ahead.