Thoughts

Thoughts #2: Favourite Book Covers

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These are the covers that I could just stare at for hours, the kind that instantly draw me to a book – sometimes it is the reason I read the book in the first place. I definitely do judge a book by its cover…

One of the things I am always looking out for in bookshops (even if I don’t intend to buy them) is pretty versions of Homer’s The Iliad or The Odyssey. The new Penguin Classics hardbacks are beautiful, and I absolutely love the colour of this one:


Here are just some of the beautiful clothbound editions you can buy:

The cover of The Snow Child, by Eoywn Ivey, is also gorgeous. It mirrors the storybook within the book itself, and the print effect looks fantastic.

What covers do you really love? Do you judge a book by its cover?

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Review

Review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

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5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads
Set in early twentieth century Alaska, this book has a bleak setting, made ever harsher by Eowyn Ivey’s fantastic prose. From the very first chapter, the reader has a real idea of how tough life is out there, how remote and isolated everything is, and how hard the homesteaders must work to simply survive. In a landscape like this, family life and happy moods are something to cling on to, to keep you going through the cold, winter months. But for Jack and Mabel, life is difficult. Not only do they have to work through the harsh weather, but Mabel is still struggling to cope with the grief of losing a child a decade past.

Suddenly, a young girl starts to appear around their homestead, and over time they earn her trust. Their longing for a child is evident, and the girl’s presence turns a miserable landscape into something magical and wonderful. Ivey’s writing is especially effective here – pointing out the beauty of nature, how the snowflakes fall on eyelashes, the many wild flowers and plants, the variety of animals.

The characters are also wonderfully written. Mabel, whilst at first seemingly weak and fragile, proves herself to be headstrong and hardworking. Jack is stubborn and perhaps a little gruff, but softens up. The Snow Child’ herself is as much of a mystery to the reader as Jack and Mabel, which gives everything a bit of an ethereal feel.

The relationship between Jack and Mabel is very realistic – they are not a passionate couple, they are an old couple, familiar with each others ways, the initial spark long gone. The Snow Child brings them back together, reignites that spark, and that is one of my favourite parts of the story – seeing these two people, who clearly love each other very much, finally appreciating each other once again. Mabel gains confidence, her grief lessens although there is still a melancholy air about her. Jack softens, the wall between him and his wife breaking down.

Overall, this was a beautifully written book that explored various themes – relationships, loss, grief. I especially liked how all of the Snow Child’s speech was written without any quotation marks, as if she was talking directly into the heads of the other characters. It made her all the more mysterious. This should hopefully appeal to many groups of readers – those who like fiction, and those who like something a bit more fantastical.

Past Features

Weekly Roundup #14

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My ‘Weekly Roundup’ is where I share the books I have received in the past week, whether bought, gifted, borrowed etc.
 

Bought

 
I used my Waterstones gift card at Waterstone’s Cirencester on Saturday. It was really hard to choose, since there were so many books that I wanted, but I finally settled on these two.
 
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – I don’t remember when I first heard about this book, but I do know that I was purely drawn in by the cover at first. It’s received some very positive reviews, and there is a massive waiting list for it at the library – so I thought why not?
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – I’ve been wanting to read some John Green for a while (he is a god on Tumblr). I know The Fault in Our Stars is the big one that makes everyone cry, but I thought I’d ease myself in to his books…
 

Edelweiss

 
  • The Daylight War (Demon Cycle #3) by Peter V. Brett – The Demon Cycle series is one of the fantastic fantasy series I discovered last year. This is the third and final book, and it is due out in February – however I spotted an ARC on Netgalley in November. I got rejected on Netgalley, then saw it Edelweiss. What I like about Edelweiss is that you can write why you want that book in particular, so I posted links to my reviews of the other two books, explained how much I loved the series and have recommended it to others – and I got an ARC! I am so excited to read this one!

What have you received to read this week? Have you read any of these?