Funky Cover Friday

Welcome to Funky Cover Friday. To those of you who come around every week, welcome back! It’s wonderful to see you again! To those new visitors, I like to explore the world of book covers on Fridays to see what’s great. What is the face of literature today? I find covers both new and old to share with you and to get your opinion. I want to know what you think! Do you love the covers I post? Or do you want to tell me to stop it already and find something new? I’d love to know what your favourite covers are. What elements of design lead you to a book?

This week I’ve chosen a cover that’s popped up quite a bit in my life lately, and has recently made it’s way to my to-read list. Blind by Rachel DeWoskin is a subtle cover that speaks volumes, proving that you don’t need to pack your design with a lot of clutter in order to make a statement. I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m dying too. I love that the word “blind” is barely even there. It’s simply an outline, perceptible only by the thin white lines around it. The braille above draws attention visually, being the only image on the cover. I would hope too that the braille would be embossed/debossed so that it could actually be read, making this cover all the more interesting.

18667798

Blind / Rachel DeWoskin / Viking Juvenile / 9780670785223 / August 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From but NEED to Read More!

5. Lisa Jewell – I so enjoyed reading The House We Grew Up In . Jewell’s writing style is so real and sucks you right into her stories. I’d love to try her other books.

4. Maggie Stiefvater – Okay, technically I’ve read two of her books, but they were both part of The Raven Cycle series. I need to read her other books, not in this series. The first two books of this series are so intense. I had goosebumps all the way through and I couldn’t put them down. I’ve been waiting and waiting for Blue Lily, Lily Blue for what seems like ages! But I definitely should be reading Stiefvater’s other books while I wait. Raven Boys Review.

3. Brian K. Vaughan – A friend told me about Y: The Last Man and since reading it, I’ve been constantly thinking about continuing the series. Getting it from the library is proving to be a hassle, but I’ll wait patiently to get caught up in this series. It’s exciting and if book one is any indication, the rest of the series will be pretty freaking awesome.

2. H. G. Wells – If there’s anyone that I’d love to read more of, it’s H.G. Wells. I read The Island of Dr. Moreau in university, and I’ve been amassing my list of Wells’ books that I want to read. He’s the one author that I constantly think to myself, I really need to sit down and take the time to read more of him.

1. Ruth Ozeki – If you haven’t read A Tale for the Time Being yet, you need to! It’s so excellent. It’s unique and thrilling. I’d love to read more of Ozeki’s work if it’s anything like this one. Her books get consistently good ratings on Goodreads, so it seems I’ve been missing out.

Do you have any suggestions for authors I should check out? Is there anyone you’d like to see appear on my blog?

 

Review: Fables Series

18275594 Title: Fables Series

Created by: Bill Willingham

Publisher: Vertigo

I have spent my my summer reading the Fables series. For those of you who have never heard of this series, or perhaps you’ve heard of it but you’ve never really checked it out, Fables takes all our beloved fairy tales and turns them on their heads. The world within this series sees all of the fable and fairy tale characters and creatures come together in a society that attempts to co-exits not only in the fairy tale universe, but in the real world as well.

This is one of the best series that I’ve ever read. You’ll meet characters like Snow White, Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty), Boy Blue, Bigby Wolf, Beast, and many others. Each builds him/herself into a hero in one way or another, fighting adversaries and armies and even defeating death itself. There are witches, winds, gods, and brave fighters of minuscule size.

Unlike the fairy tales we all know and love, Fables isn’t always about living happily ever after. As with war comes great loss and suffering. This series will have you crying and blinking in disbelief. Let me tell you now, the creators are not afraid to kill of those characters you love. At the same time, it’s full of wonderful tales of true love and triumph. This is a place where the underdog can succeed. So, expect the unexpected and prepare for a thrilling ride. Fables is a wonderful, heart-stopping series that’s not only filled with great stories, but beautiful art too.

Review: The 100-Year-Old Man

15832916 Title: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Author: Jonas Jonasson

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Publication Date: 2012

ISBN: 9781443419109

The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

I know I’m a little behind the times reading this one, but I still remember everyone talking about this book, and tons of people have told me that this is a great book. I have to agree, it’s a pretty good read. Allan Karlsson is the kind of person I want to become when I’m old. He’s hilarious because he does what he wants, and life just falls into place around him, leaving him free of blame and responsibility for the mayhem he causes. He’s an unintentional shit disturber and he’s fantastic!

This is on completely wacky, crazy, wild, unbelievable story not only about the centenary who escapes his ward and ends up in a ragtag group of criminals, a lifetimes scholar, and an elephant. It’s also the story of this mans life as a non-political, unbiased man who asks only for a place to sleep at night, food to eat, and vodka to drink. He travels the world, crossing the Himalayas on a camel and dinning with the world’s best and the world’s worst politicians and government officials. Karlsson, in his life, influences and takes part in most important military exploits that have occurred in recent military history.

There were parts of this tale that had me laughing out loud (like, of course this bomb “expert” names his stray cat Molotov). The writing is quirky and endearing and you can’t help but smile.

My only criticism is that the chapters of Allan’s personal history sometimes tend to drag. There are a lot of long Russian names, and a lot of political talk, so there are points that are dry. For this reason, it took me a little longer than I’d hoped to read this barely 400 page novel. But overall, very enjoyable.

 

Funky Cover Friday

 

It’s Funky Cover Friday! Welcome, welcome, everyone. I’ve been thinking long and hard this week about both this week’s and the upcoming weeks’ covers. I’ve decided to pull from books that I haven’t read yet, are recently out, or are coming out in the near future. I’ve been adding so many new books to my Goodreads to-read list and there are so many new and exciting book covers this fall. The one below is from Harvest by Jim Crace.

I love the asymmetrical arrangement of the typeface and the image and the use of whitespace along the left hand side. Right away there is a balance between something and nothing. I find the whitespace to be very contemplative–a pause before you reach the right hand side where ominous chaos lives. The smoke is so threatening, just beginning its destruction on the “h” of the title. The lettering of the author’s name looks like its been burned on with a brand. This whole cover hints at the destruction of fire. This is a beautiful cover, not over complicated, but its tone is clear. This is a cover, without a doubt, that would encourage me to pick this up off the shelf.

What do you think of Crace’s cover? What feelings does it evoke in you?

15797182Harvest / Jim Crace / Nan A. Talese, Knopf Doubleday / 9780385520775 / February 2013

 

 

Review: Petty Theft by Pascal Girard

18465536Title: Petty Theft

Author : Pascal Girard

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly

Publication Date: May 2014

ISBN: 9781770461529

Petty Theft

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Pascal is in a bad place. He’s out of work, he and his longtime girlfriend have just broken up, and when he goes out for a run to ease his frazzled nerves, he falls and injures his back so badly that he’s strictly forbidden from running. What’s an endorphin-loving cartoonist to do? In a bid to distract himself, Pascal throws himself into his other pleasure: reading. And while at the bookstore one day, he spies a young woman picking up his own book. But then she darts out of the shop without paying. Bemused, he decides to figure out why she did it.

 This book was given to me by a friend and to be totally honest with you, it’s not a comic that I would be drawn to at the bookstore. It’s a little small and it isn’t very thick. It’s a quick read and I wouldn’t think to buy it. It turned out to be so much better than I ever anticipated. It’s a comic unlike any other that I’ve read before. The story is a little bizarre (i.e. Pascal receives a giant paper mache head, a likeness of his ex-girlfriend from an old Halloween costume), but it’s quirky and the more you read, the more you can’t help but like it.

Pascal is out of work and he’s injured his back. He can’t exercise and he’s recently ended a long-term relationship. His life is crappy. In one of his frequent visits to a local bookshop, he spies a nimble kleptomaniac in the store that’s been plagued by theft. Pascal takes on a role of book saviour, while his attraction to the thief grows. Their relationship is awkward and strange, but I liked it. Their interaction really portrayed the discomfort and nervousness, but also the excitement of beginning a new relationship.

The drawings fit emphasize the quirky, but likeable nature of the story. Each scene is depicted as a stand-alone, black and white sketch, independent of the drawings around it. There is nothing typical about the style: no constraining borders, little shadow or depth. The images are honest and revealing, and aren’t trying to embellish the story. What is really quite ordinary, becomes extraordinary.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of drawings. It’s worth looking into and it’ll bring a smile to your face.

Review: Paradise and Elsewhere by Kathy Page

18406310Title: Paradise and Elsewhere

Author: Kathy Page

Publisher: Biblioasis

Publication Date: June 2014

ISBN: 9781927428597

Paradise and Elsewhere

 Synopsis from Goodreads:

The rubble of an ancient civilization. A village in a valley from which no one comes or goes. A forest of mother-trees, whispering to each other through their roots; a lakeside lighthouse where a girl slips into human skin as lightly as an otter into water; a desert settlement where there was no conflict, before she came; or the town of Wantwick, ruled by a soothsayer, where tourists lose everything they have. These are the places where things begin.
 
I’ve said it before that I am not a fan of short stories, but Kathy Page has made me love short stories with this wonderful, visceral, and sometimes disturbing collection. I’ve highlighted more passages and dogeared more pages in this book than in anything I’ve read since graduating from university. I discovered this book through Quill & Quire‘s Cover to Cover feature the development of the cover of this unique set. The stories are surreal and strange, with a strong undercurrent of human emotion coursing through it and the cover captures this feeling so completely. The writing is elegant, reflected in the careful typeface, but often fills you with disbelief, much like the cover image. The book, as a whole, is a work of art.

I was shocked by the story We, the Trees. A young man takes a course with a teacher known for her open-mindedness, however he never shows up to class. He promises a final project unlike anything she’s ever seen. With his perpetual absence, she’s pushed to fail him, but holds off in anticipation of the anticipated final assignment. I won’t reveal to you how the story ends, but it’s brutally shocking and disturbing, but moving and utterly powerful. The conclusion took my breath away. I found many of the stories in this book had this effect.

I want to share a passage with you from one of my favourite stories, Of Paradise: “she was just a little different, not enough to make her completely other. We had recognized her as human from the start. Differentness was not the point, some said. It led both ways. Rather, the issue was that she had come from elsewhere and so we did not know her story or her intention” (31). This observation for me was the perfect description of what it is to be human, to recognize that others are similar to us, but there is always this sense of “otherness” that we struggle with because we do not understand where others come from or the stories they are living. In the same sense, we can always relate because the human experience is always the same; we all feel happiness, sadness, anger, elation. It’s beautiful.

Short story lovers, this one’s for you. I promise you’ll enjoy it!