Monday, 12 July 2010

Have you ever bought a novel purely because of the cover?

Call me crazy but I have....

A couple of years ago, I spotted this set of books for sale but it was actually the artwork on the covers that sold me on them.   I guess I should apologise to the author because I didn't even look at the summaries until later at home.
The author - Arlene J Chai - was born in Manila and migrated to Australia in 1982.
The cover illustrations on her first three books were done by Julie Quinlivan.

I recently finished reading, The Last Time I saw Mother, and I was quite impressed! 
It is the story of Caridad, a woman given away as a child and whose past has been denied her.  It is the story of three keepers of the truth, each of whom failed to keep her.  The telling of their stories threatens the fragile ties that hold these women together and yet they find, to their amazement, the healing power of truth.

I am now reading - Eating Fire and Drinking Water - and it's already off to an interesting start.
This story is told through the eyes of reporter, Clara Perez, who went to Calle de Leon to report a story but found herself caught up in another story and discovered her missing history in the process.
This is the story of a country whose people eat fire and drink water, and of an oppressive regime whose decline is foretold by the singing of the river.
It is about how one man's act of kindness changes the lives of many, and of a woman who bleeds from the wounds of Christ and a man whose name is Pride; a leader corrupted by power, a colonel who is an artist of pain, and charismatic young man who dies only to live again.
So far, I have found Arlene J. Chai's novels to have a wonderful sense of depth, interesting and heart-wrenching historical facts and a good storyline.  I'm glad I have finally made time to read them.

Do you have any books that have just been sitting on a shelf for far too long waiting to be read?

~ Love, light and peace ~


  1. sound like interesting books, and the cover art is very pretty :)

    I don't think I have any books right now that have been sitting on the shelves for too long, try to read them as soon as possible. i should actually get rid of a few tho, starting to get overrun by books lol

  2. Looks like you found treasure. The book covers are gorgeous and I am glad you are enjoying the stories too.

  3. I've never purchased a book for the cover. But I'm not as artsy as you!

    I usually finish a book before I get the next one, unless I go to the library and then I have a stack to read. That hardly ever happens anymore though.

    My next book in queue is Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell. I'm taking a break this summer from my usual book club type books.

    I'm waiting for my next book club book to arrive though: The Physik Book of Deliverance Dane. It's about the Salem witch trials.

  4. Ohhhh that's some good reading! And yes, I have bought books based on the cover. I do that with wine too... :)

  5. OMG, Serena...I have so many books sitting on shelves and under my bed (of all places) waiting to be read! It's rediculous! Thanks for reminding me of this, because what better time to read than in the stinkin hot of summer (here), or blasted cold of winter (there)!!! LOL. Anyway, I am gonna pull out all of them today and arrange them in order of how I want to read them, and start today!!!

    AND...yes, I have bought many books based on the cover! He he he! I think we all must do it, and that is why so much goes into cover art. Isn't it amazing that we really do buy with our eyes??? My Mom is always getting on me about that, because she is just the opposite. :)

    Is MIchelle doing OK? I miss popping by her blog...she is gone from it right now, and I miss seeing her posts!

  6. Those do have interesting covers!
    Yes--I have far too many books that have been waiting years for me to read--plus a list of books I'd like to read one day. In fact, the list got so long I quit adding to that years ago--ROFL! :)

  7. A more appropriate question for me would be, have I ever picked up a novel for anything but the cover art;-)

  8. Oh I too would have bought them for their artwork. It sounds though as you are enjoying the contents as well. I have a lot of books Serena, I mean shelves and shelves. I have one wall of a bedroom filled with books and then another shelf in a cabinet with more books. There are too many that I haven't read and many that I have, like text books. I'll leave it at that, "too many." Have a great rest of the week Serena and enjoy the next read. I do love that artwork.

  9. Hi Serena,
    No, I've never bought a book just for the cover! lol
    I do loving reading, mainly Biography's and art books.
    My son gave me a book for Christmas (Can't think of the name) but hard to get into in.
    I've been reading heaps about Journaling lately!

  10. I have all sorts of books, and definitely ones I have bought for the cover. Isn't it great when you find out that the story inside is just as interesting as the cover you have picked? I have so many books that I have bought and not read that it is a bit embarrassing really, waiting for the day when I can sit down and have a good read. This really points out to me that I need to make time to do something that I love. The next book on my reading wish list is Travelling at the speed of Love by Sonia Choquette. I am seeing her in Sydney next month so I have to get my glasses on and start reading.

  11. I can see why you bought the books for their covers. The artwork is beautiful. I've bought lots of things simply for the artwork....a bottle of wine for the label, books for the covers, greeting cards just for the art....I never used them. When you find things like that it's almost like getting a bonus gift of the art.

  12. I know that cover art influences me -- hey, I'm human! But no, I've never gone just with the cover. I'm too much of a word girl to do that, I'm afraid. ;)

    I wish they hadn't switched artists for that fourth cover. It's boring compared to the first three, which all have a very distinctive personality, one that seems to fit what you describe in your excellent review of the first book.

  13. Sometimes a cover will cause me to pick up a book and do the first sentence test. But no, I don't have any unread books on my shelf. I have a compulsion about reading every book and not allowing myself a new book until I read the ones I have. Then again, I don't have too many...which is part of my material minimalism phase (sure to pass into my next accumulation phase, I'm sure).

  14. Yes, serena I do have to admit to doing this on occasion! Sometimes the cover art is so interesting, so inspiring...because it is an art form after all! right!...and it's a bonus when the inside of the book is just as definitley becomes a keeper for the bookshelf!

    I see that you have the illustrated life by danny gregory...i like the cover art on that and the insides! heheee.e....

    have a great night..and thanks so much for taking the time to visit me!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina

  15. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one to buy books solely based on their cover art.

    Jennifer - I usually buy books with the intention to read them as soon as possible but it doesn't always work out that way.

    Shashi - I sure did and the stories are turning out to make my purchase even more worth while.

    Jason - Enjoy your books! The one about the Salem witch trials sounds interesting. My future son-in-law is currently reading a Patricia Cornwell novel....she writes mainly detective/crime stories if memory serves me correctly?

    Caroline - There are indeed some beautiful labels on alcohol bottles.

    Julie - I do that too....arrange them in the order I plan to read them...doesn't always work out that way either. lol Yes, I think artists in particular buy from a visual ARE an artist ~ ;) Michelle is doing fine, thanks...18 weeks along now.

    Rita - I know exactly what you mean ~ LOL

    Sandi - LOL I have one son who doesn't read unless he absolutely has to.

    Gloria - OH, how I wish I had lots of space for wall-to-wall my own personal library.

    Anna - Some books are hard to get into....I usually bear with them thinking things will improve...sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Beware, journaling is quite addictive!

    Lee - I'll be keen to hear what you think of that book as I'm a Sonia Choquette fan too.

    Janet - I knew you would be of like-mind ~ :)

    Kelly - I can't help it...I'm a book addict and I prefer to own a good book rather than borrow from the library. It's come in handy because my daughter now reads favourites I've had on the shelf for many years. :)

    Carmelina - The Illustrated Life is a fantastic addition to any sketchbook artist's collection. I love to read about the drawing media other artists's very helpful.

    Meredith - I so agree! In fact, I was quite disappointed that the fourth book cover was not done by the same illustrator of the first three books.

  16. Yes and yes to both questions. I've purchased books because I love the cover art. I have some books on the shelves that are waiting to be read. And now that I have a kindle ... I also have a list of e-books to be read. Sigh ... so many books, and not enough time!

  17. I'm a fan of Arlene J Chai's books. I've read The Last Time I saw Mother, and Return to Goddess Rock. Both were wonderful reads, I will have to look for the others.

    I don't have many books on my shelf that I haven't read -- not having a telly for so long meant that we powered through novels and I have read nearly everything on our shelf at least once. The exception is Moby Dick, which we got second hand and I want to read but just can't bring myself to start for some reason!


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