They say you should never judge a book by its cover, and they’re probably right. In between pouring our latest batch of book inspired candles, we’ve read some really wonderful stories that came in less-than-pretty packages. We’ve also read a few terrible tales that were wrapped in gorgeous jackets. What’s a book nerd to do?
Sometimes, it’s just too hard to resist a captivating cover. If you’re looking for a visual treat but don’t want to get burned by a poorly written read, we can help. Here are some of our favorite designs that just so happen to grace the covers of truly magnificent books.
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe
We picked up The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe on the strength of its cover alone. In person, the hardcover is absolutely gorgeous, with shiny gold foil that stands out against a deep blue background. The bold title leapt out at us in the bookstore, and the rest is history. Luckily, Ally Condie’s story measures up by introducing us to the titular Poe, a young ship captain bent on revenge. So not only will this YA read look great on your shelf, but it’ll also sweep you up and into an absorbing adventure.
We must have read the tale of Odysseus at least three different times while in school – but never once did we get to hear things from Circe’s perspective. The promising title, along with the bold, melancholy graphic gracing the cover, had us snatching Madeline Miller’s Circe right off the shelf. Inside, we found an absorbing tale of myth and magic, gods and monsters, and one woman who stands apart from it all.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation
That hot pink type overlaid with the 1798 “Portrait of a Young Woman in White” told us we simply had to read Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation. We couldn’t help but be fascinated by our nameless, determinedly apathetic heroine (who we actually picture as the character on the cover). As the narrator, this heroine takes us on a yearlong journey through her conscious attempt to uncouple from the distress and suffering of daily life. She’s determined to sleep an entire year away with the help of a cocktail of pills prescribed by a questionable psychiatrist. The book itself? Anything but sleep-inducing.
The Essex Serpent
The cover of Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent is absolutely decadent, as are its contents. The tale takes place in late 19th-century England, when the recently widowed Cora Seaborne finds herself taking a restorative trip to Essex. Upon her arrival, she begins to hear rumors of the titular serpent that twines so sinuously around the cover. Of course, she must investigate.
We were ready to roll with this read even before we found out that it was an exceedingly rare blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Just look at that those colorful leaves, that interwoven title text – what does it all mean? What connection could there possibly be between immortality and a branching tree? In The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin takes us to New York City at the end of the 60s. A traveling psychic tells the fortunes of the four Gold children, which includes predicting the day of their deaths. Her prophecy sets the siblings on vastly different life paths.
Red, White & Royal Blue
The front of Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue got us pumped for a contemporary take on the classic enemies-to-lovers plot, and that’s exactly what we found inside. Alex and Henry don’t get along, and that would be fine – if they weren’t the son of the President of the United States and the Prince of England. To protect relations between the two countries, the two are forced into an Instagrammable friendship, which soon starts to get a little less fake and a lot more dangerous.
The Queen of Hearts
New details surface every single time we glance at this cover – and that’s exactly how the narrative of Kimmery Martin’s The Queen of Hearts progresses. Best friends Zadie and Emma survived medical school together and are now navigating their marriages, motherhood, and burgeoning careers. When an old colleague resurfaces, the two women begin taking a closer look at their past history. It turns out that both Emma and Zadie have been harboring deep secrets about what happened during their third year of medical school.
Speaking of Aesthetics, Have You Seen Our Book Inspired Candles?
If you pick up any of these fanciful titles, let us know what you think! Do the tales truly live up to their striking covers?
And if you’re in the mood for some handmade goods to go along with your beautiful books, check out our collection of literature inspired candles. Whether you’re a romance aficionado or a fantasy lover, we’ve got the perfect scent to complement your shelf!