Are you secretly seduced by the cover of a book…..
….or is it the title that whispers suggestively to you?
Of course, there are authors you grow to love and you wait avidly for the launch of their latest book, but when you go into a favourite bookstore how do you make your selection while wandering in a state of bliss between the shelves and around the tables stacked high with literary delights?
While I admire the graphics and artwork on many book covers, it is the title that does it for me. Here are a few books I treasure whose titles whacked me right there in the middle of my hypothalamus and where the content was as profound and as memorable as it’s appellation.
Dancing to the Precipice - Caroline Moorehead
An absorbing biography of Lucie de la Tour de Pin and the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God – Joe Coomer
Coomer crosses the gender line and speaks to the soul.
The Tree Where Man Was Born – Peter Matthiessen
The power of vast open spaces of Africa is tantalisingly balanced against a desperate fragility of a truly wild place.
The Blue Afternoon – William Boyd
Another masterpiece from the man who appears to have no end to his inventiveness, and no tell-tale style except perfection. It is an unforgettable tale of love found, lost then found again.
Still Love in Strange Places – Beth Kephart
A rich and and hugely involving memoir, written with an acute and sensuous observation of memorable characters and evocative settings.
Pigs In Heaven – Barbara Kingsolver
Kingsolver, with a wonderful lightness of touch teaches us a lot about tolerance and seeking out the best in competing cultures while giving us a novel which is almost impossible to put down.
Skating to Antarctica – Jenny Diski
A voyage of self-discovery to the white emptiness that is painted as truth, despair, calm and madness - all at once.
A Dance to the Music of Time - Anthony Powell.
A literary mammoth – to be read little by little…..and savoured forever.
A Dry White Season – Andre Brink
Every so often you discover a writer who is so good you feel you have to read all his work. Brink is such a writer. His ability to disseminate the inherent prejudices and corruptions of South African politics is wondrous. I cannot rate this novel highly enough.
Lullabies for Little Criminals – Heather O’Neil
This is a deeply moving, luminously written and troubling novel exploring the dark side of urban life, where, all too easily, children are still left to struggle against impossible odds.
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star – Paul Theroux
Retracing a journey taken 30 years earlier, this is a brilliant chronicle of change and an exploration of how travel can sometimes be 'the saddest of pleasures'.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
Wildly funny, occasionally alarming and utterly enthralling – and infinitely better than the film.
The Earth Hums in B Flat - Mari Strachan
There is no sentimentality or mawkishness about this tale, merely lovely – often moving - story-telling.
Audrey Hepburn’s Neck – Alan Brown
A story of love and obsession and the clash of two wildly different cultures - this novel is a little gem.
**I’d love for you to share your favourites with us here in the comments - and whether you, too, are hooked by the title or if it’s the cover art that appeals to you first.**