BOOK BY ITS COVER

When did June sneak up on us?! Pinch punch and all that. We’re now officially in the summer months – not that anyone has informed the weatherman upstairs – and so naturally on the hunt for some great summer reads. Here is my pick of the best this week…

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (W&N)
What a cool cover! I love the bold, cartoony, graphic approach to the design (by the talented Sinem Erkas.) It packs a colourful punch and really grabs your attention on shelves filled with samey, copycat covers. The book, mostly written in diary format, is about the disappearance of the notorious Bernadette Fox, and her daughter Bea’s quest to find her. Funny and heart-warming.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (Dial Press US/Macmillan UK) 
Whatever you do, do not read the end of this book on public transport at rush hour. Snivelling, mascara-streaked women weeping on their own on the tube are always eyed with suspicion and visibly mounting horror by fellow passengers. Fact. I know because it happened to me when I finished this gorgeous debut about the relationship between a young girl and her uncle, the only person in her family who truly understands her. I actually think the UK cover is disappointingly bland for such a wonderful book, but I’m completely taken with the wacky American cover (above.)

Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark (Harvill Secker)
In a world where publishers are constantly trying to work out the latest trends for their book jackets, the cover for Clare Clark’s new novel about London society and politics during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee is pleasingly dated. Using a swirling art nouveau design and striking typography, this cover is as enticing as its beautiful, bohemian heroine.

Joy by Jonathan Lee (William Heinemann)
When a successful young lawyer – Joy – plummets forty feet onto a marble floor one ordinary workday, her friends, family and colleagues are left to cope with the fallout in this amusing and fascinating novel. I really love the eye-catching cover created with hundreds of staples – used or otherwise – to form the outline of the title on a standard blue office folder. Ingenious!

Gold by Chris Cleave (Sceptre)
For those who, like me, loved Chris Cleave’s mesmerising The Other Hand, the wait is over for the next novel. This one is centred on the Olympics and the rivalry between two competitive female cyclists in the run up to the games. This book is cool as they come; Sceptre has opted for a cool, non-standard format, with a stunning, bright cover and bright orange boards and end papers. This is a timely June must-have. As well as a great read, Gold will plunge you into London’s ever-escalating Olympic spirit.

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