The Broke and the Bookish started Top Ten Tuesday, and I have finally gotten around to taking part.
To see a list of upcoming Top Ten Tuesday topics, please click HERE.
Top Ten Books That Whose Titles Or Covers Made Me Buy It
I was excited to make this my first Top Ten post because I had an experience with a friend last week at Barnes & Noble relating to this topic. We were standing in front of a bookcase that had about 30 new titles facing us. I told him we should each think of three that strike us most by cover, title, or both. We took a minute to silently do this, then shared our winners. Conclusion: Two of our three choices ended up being the same book. I thought it was cool.
Anyways…here is my list.
1. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
Sometimes I wonder what those professors are thinking about when reading, but then I realize they’re going to tell me anyways. Being an English major, I constantly read something and form an opinion, then go to class and learn that there were several additional points that I somehow missed. For instance, we spent an hour of my Shakespeare class last week discussing nine lines of Richard III. NINE LINES! Seriously. I love the class, but come on. Nine. Anyways, I bought this book because I wanted to know (as the title says) how to read literature like a professor. I haven’t actually read this one yet, so we’ll see in time how their minds work.
2. When You’re Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Take David Sedaris and add a smoking skeleton…how can you go wrong? If you have the opportunity to hear Mr. Sedaris’ speak, you’ll begin to read the way he sounds, and I’ll be honest to say it makes his already hilarious words even more hilarious. I try to avoid this word with grown men, but he’s adorable. The cover imagery was enough for me, really, but wanting to know what “engulfed in flames” meant, I had to buy it.
3. Shakespeare’s Wife by Germaine Greer
There is a town called Hay-on-Wye in Wales that hosts a major literary festival every summer. The town has a couple thousand residents and thirty-some used bookstores. Translations: Reader’s Paradise. One of the shops I went into had this book sitting up high on a shelf. I had already purchased five books on my England trip and told myself I wouldn’t get another, but something about this book made me “need” it. We just got done visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon and learned all about Shakespeare, but even so the image of a woman without a head (the real identifier) holding a book (presumably Shakespeare’s work) fascinated me. I knew nothing of Anne Hathaway (not the actress) at that point, so I was eager to learn more.
4. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour an Introduction by J.D. Salinger
Talk about a mouthful title! I remain iffy on Salinger’s classic Catcher, so I wanted to see what else he had to offer, and I’m glad that I did. This book made me fall in love with Salinger. I’ll say no more to prevent spoilers, but the reason I was attracted to it was because of how radical the font was, and yet the cover is so simple. You’re learn this is common with his books. The cover art is minimal, but the title intrigues you enough to buy it.
5 & 6. Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
I was lazy and put Ishiguro’s novels together. I think they go nicely together because it’s obvious that people will be involved in some way. (That was an overly obvious statement, I know.) I also liked how the face is looking up towards the man. Titles with gripping words like “Never” interest me for reasons I won’t go into. The face also seemed very determined and thoughtful, which goes well with the title. I was excited for Remains of the Day because of the dainty looking gentleman on the cover. I had also read Never Let Me Go at this point, so I knew I would enjoy another Ishiguro novel.
7. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Who doesn’t love a glossy hand? I have an assumption that when words are jumbling in closely and wrapping randomly with various font sizes (AKA not on a straight, boring line), I almost always think the book is going to be amazing. Add in the giant hand as a focus, and you’ve got a hit.
8. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
I came across this book a few weeks after reading the poem Leda and the Swan by William Butler Yeats. As awkward as the idea of Zeus in swan form raping a woman is, I loved the poem and was instantly attracted to this title and cover. Sometimes titles/covers remind you of something else and because of that memory you want to read the new book. That’s pretty much what happened here. I’ve also been around swans in both England and France, and that’s exactly how I remember them. Wings out and fierce.
9. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
The cover art is more than enough reason for me to want to buy this book. I would love to say it was the word “Witches” that did it, but I’ve only read Harry Potter in that realm of literature, so that was merely a bonus. I like how it’s called a history of witches, like they are in fact real and the history is going to be explained in the novel. I also want to figure out what all of those symbols mean. I haven’t read this yet, so please no spoilers!
10. The Making of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr
Waterstone’s is the Barnes & Noble of England, at least in my opinion. I came across this book on the 3 for 2 shelf. I should have reminded myself that three books in one store was unnecessary considering I had space limits with luggage, but I also wanted to learn about the making of modern Britain, and what better way than a book with such an obvious title. The flag on the cover also played a role, of course.
Be sure to check back next Tuesday for another round of Top Ten.
Question: What books make your list?