I had a nice time following up this challenge from the Broke and Bookish this week. I had a lovely look through my books and then a little hunt online. For Christmas this year, I had the Spineless Classic edition of Pride and Prejudice framed for my mother and it is certainly imposing. My Mum really liked it but she asked me politely not to get her another. A few years ago my best friend bought me a collection of Puffin postcards for my birthday and these are currently decorating my bedroom. Books are very decorative objects. With the advent of the Kindle, the book itself has had to become a desirable object once more. A bland cover will make people reach for the e-book, the customer has to want the real thing. And I do.
Given that this is a book which recently celebrated its two hundredth birthday, it has had rather a lot of covers. I find it difficult to select just one so … I have picked two. The Pulp Classic edition from last year was truly hilarious but the Penguin Classics edition really captures the story in so little.
2) The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly
This is such a fantastical and deeply disturbing fairy story, uniting elements of the terrible with the magical. The cover shows the tangled wilderness the lead character walks in – my own copy is battered and beaten by now but still beautiful.
3) The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff
Another family saga, a woman searches for her family through the complex and winding history of Templeton, fictionalised. Again, both covers are lovely and I would happily have both or either on the wall. Both capture the web of the family tree, the mystery, secrets and stories that hide within the branches.
There is so much of the story in this one picture; the tidy and particular Clare waiting for her errant husband, waiting from childhood but always expectant. The meadow behind her, the meadow which brought them so much happiness and such danger. A wonderful cover for a wonderful book.
There are many lovely covers for this book but I like this one best by far. We can see Cassandra in her bath, Topaz with her lute, Rose dreaming of better things and Mortmain presumably doing a crossword puzzle. The only pity is that Stephen and Thomas appear to be elsewhere but it is a real piece of art.
6) Le Petit Prince, Antoine Saint-Exupery
I actually do have quite a number of Petit Prince related postcards on the wall, particularly those with inspiring quotations about the beauty of love and friendship etc. I just love this book, it is dazzlingly sweet without any kind of sickliness.
7) Le Petit Nicolas, Goscinny and Sempe
Again, like the above I also have a fairly wide selection of Petit Nicolas related postcards. He is like a witty Just William, crashing about and creating havoc without any true realisation of having done so. The film reminded me of just how beautiful the original was. I plan on teaching any children I may have French purely so that they can enjoy this little gent’s adventures.
8) The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
It is an ambition in my life to one day own a poster featuring the cast of The Wizard of Oz. I have never actually read the book but I decided I was permitted a little cheat here – I am mildly obsessed with the film.
9) Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
It always interests me how changing covers reveal how attitudes have changed about a book. Little Women has been embraced by so many different girls (and boys) over time but the way we look at it has definitely shifted. I would want to put all of these up together.
10) Persuasion, Jane Austen
Another double bill here because they are both so beautiful in their way, the one showing how Anne Elliot is trapped by her family and her desperate though silent unhappiness while the other captures her longing.
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