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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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- California (11)
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- *Washington, D.C. (1)

International:
Australia (3)
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Italy (1)
Japan (1)
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The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


51 / 51 states. 100% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


21 / 24 books. 88% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


38 / 52 books. 73% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


41 / 52 books. 79% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


47 / 52 books. 90% done!
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Colorful, On Trend Historical Fiction Covers


Carrying on with the Crayola theme from last week, today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about colorful book covers.  Funny thing about that—when you read a lot of dark mysteries, chilling thrillers, and sobering historical novels, you don't end up with a lot of bright, fanciful cover art!  Since those genres are my jam, I struggled to come up with any colorful covers at all, let alone ten.  As I was scrolling through my TBR lists on Goodreads, however, I did see some interesting trends and patterns in the cover art of some of the books I'm looking forward to reading.  Even if you're not a big hist-fic fan, you've probably noticed that dozens of recent additions to the genre feature covers with women looking away from the camera.  If you look further, you'll also see that many of these are done in mostly dark colors—black, grey, navy, emerald, etc.—with just pops of brighter hues, usually red.  While cover trends can get annoying, making books look too much alike, I can't deny that the kind of cover I just described really appeals to me.  It signals that this is the kind of novel I like, the sort I really want to read.  Like, now.  Just yesterday while browsing the book section at Costco, I answered the seductive siren call of a historical novel cover with—guess what?—a woman in a red (I guess it might be more purplish) coat looking away from the camera!  Well played, book marketers.  Well played.  I want to show you what I mean, so my list today will be comprised of historical novels on my TBR list that follow this trend.

What kind of list do you want to make today?  You can use the prompt, twist it up a little, or create your own list.  It doesn't matter what you do, just join in the TTT fun.  Hop on over to That Artsy Reader Girl to get started.

Top Ten Historical Novels on My TBR List With Trending Cover Art



1.  The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin—This is the novel that hopped into my cart at Costco.  Don't you hate it when that happens?  It's about a woman who moves to London just as World War II is heating up.  She finds a job in a bookshop, where she learns about the transformative power of books and stories, especially in perilous times.


2.  The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (available June 29, 2021)—Based on a true story, this novel stars Belle de Costa Greene, who was hired by J.P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, art, and books for his Pierpont Morgan library.  A society darling known for her impeccable taste, Belle was keeping an explosive secret that could have ruined everything for her—her father is Black.


3.  Those Who Are Saved by Alexis Landau—Vera is a Russian Jew living in France.  When the Nazis take over the country, all Jews are ordered to report to an internment camp.  Desperate to save her young daughter, Vera leaves young Lucie with her governess, who vows to protect the little girl.  A chance to escape to America complicates the already impossible situation, leading to a heartbreaking separation that will tear Vera apart.  Will she ever see Lucie again?


4.  The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar (available June 1, 2021)—As France is torn apart by war, a librarian tries to offer her neighbors comfort through books.  When the Nazis threaten to destroy volumes they deem dangerous, she risks everything to save her beloved tomes.


5.  The Clockmaker's Wife by Daisy Wood—Featuring a dual-timeline, this novel concerns a woman in modern-day New York who finds a beautiful watch that belonged to her grandmother, whom she never knew.  Intrigued, she begins looking into her grandmother's past and is shocked by the harrowing World War II tale she uncovers...


6.  Off the Wild Coast of Brittany by Juliet Blackwell—Another WWII story set in France, this one revolves around a woman who's left high and dry after her husband leaves her.  With a half-finished guesthouse to deal with, she and her sister set about making the place inhabitable for visitors.  As they do so, they uncover the home's incredible war-time secrets.


7.  The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat—Having fled Austria, a young Jewish woman is hiding in plain sight on the Nazi-occupied island of Jersey.  


8.  The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly—Okay, so this one has more than one pop of color, but I still think it fits the theme.  The story juggles three different timelines, all revolving around people who lived and worked around the lush garden at Highbury House.


9.  The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman—This one also bucks the trend a little since the person in red is a young girl and she's not facing away from the "camera," just shielding her face.  Still.  Set during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, the story concerns a 13-year-old German girl living in Philadelphia who must face prejudice against immigrants, crippling poverty, and forced separation from the younger brothers she has vowed to protect at all costs.


10.  The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent—When she gets a chance to escape the Texas brothel where she's basically being held hostage, Lucinda Carter takes it and doesn't look back.  With the promise of a pirate's treasure to be had, she embarks on an adventure that she hopes will lead to wealth, love, and freedom.

There you have it, ten books that follow the dark-covers-of-historical-novels-with-pops-of-red-and-women-facing-away trend.  Which others have you noticed?  Have you read any of these?  Which colorful covers did you choose for your list today?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!  

72 comments:

  1. Ooh, The Orphan Collector sounds like a good read!

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-colourful-book-covers/

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    1. Agreed. I have a copy of it - I just need to find time to read it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

      Delete
  2. I love the 2nd and 3rd cover, because they use a pop of color. They feel "old" too in some way to me, which is appropriate given that they are historical fiction

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    1. Yes! They feel vintage. Perfect for historical fiction.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  3. Red is apparently THE color for historical fiction covers! ;D The first two books on your list are both ones I want to read.

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    1. For sure! Makes sense since it's a color that really pops against dark backgrounds. I've also seen a lot of pops of blue, for the same reason.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

      Delete
  4. I've never noticed this particular trend, but it's so obvious now! These are very eye catching, I'm sure that was the reasoning behind the red dresses:-)

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    1. There are A LOT of these covers. Not all of them have the pop of red, but there are TONS with women facing away from the camera. I like that, actually, because I prefer to let my imagination tell me what a character looks like.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Tammy!

      Delete
  5. Great take on this week’s topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Cover prompts are always fun.

      Thanks for stopping in, Cathy!

      Delete
  6. I love that you did this twist on the theme. I just mentioned the latest trend in historical fiction on someone else's blog.

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    1. It really is funny how many of these covers are out there. Some originality would be nice, but on the other hand, I like same-y covers because I know what I'm going to get from the story, you know?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

      Delete
  7. It's fascinating thinking about the different cover trends. Definitely a skill! I really like Wild Coast of Brittany- i seem drawn to covers set near the sea- and Last Bookshop and channel Islands appeal to me as well.

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    1. Same! I love covers with water on them, although I'm more drawn to a moody, broody grey sea than a bright, sparkling blue one. Not sure what that says about me. Ha ha!

      Thanks for stopping by, Greg!

      Delete
  8. Nice twist Susan. It is not just Historical Fiction, I have also seen a lot of Women's Fiction and Drama also with women looking away on the covers.

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    1. True, true. I guess it's a cover trend in general, not restricted to one particular genre. Interesting.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

      Delete
  9. Woman in Red is definitely one of the most popular images among cover. And I've to say some of them look so similar to one another that they've me confused, haha. Still, it's fun looking and comparing the covers, isn't it? :)

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    Replies
    1. Right? That's the bad thing about cover trends. They all start to look alike, which makes it hard to distinguish one from the other. I guess that's sort of the point, but also, ugh.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Melody!

      Delete
  10. You had a bit of a bookish theme going in your first few choices too.

    I would pick up any of these books and give them a better look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Bookish books also seems to be a trend in historical fiction lately. I guess authors and publishers are finally catching on to the fact that we readers like books about books! I know I do.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jen!

      Delete
  11. One thing that I like about these kinds of trends is that I instantly know what to expect. There is something nice about that.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, exactly. That's what I like as well.

      Thanks for stopping by, Alicia!

      Delete
  12. Love the route you chose for the topic! Several of these are on my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good! I hope we both love them :)

      Thanks for coming by, Ali!

      Delete
  13. You have quite the librarian theme going here and I love it. Any book with the words library or librarian in the title always get at least a second look from me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same. I love books about books, whether it be bookstores, libraries, dictionaries, whatever. I'm in!

      Thanks for stopping in, Cheri!

      Delete
  14. The Last Bookshop in London has a beautiful cover. I have The Outcasts on my TBR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm excited for THE OUTCASTS. I love a Wild West story and this one just sounds fun. I hope we both love it!

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  15. Great selections! The woman-looking-away while wearing fabulous clothes is definitely a trend, especially in the world of historical fiction. I don't mind, though, since they're all so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ooooh, beautiful dresses on historical covers could be a list all its own! Definitely a trend I've noticed. And, I agree, those are fun covers to look at.

      Thanks for stopping in, Lisa!

      Delete
  16. These are all lovely covers. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. They are pretty, aren't they?

      Thanks for coming by, Denise!

      Delete
  17. Love your list. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I am familiar with many of these books. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love historical fiction as well. Honestly, I'm a little burned out on WWII stories right now, so I'll probably wait a little while to read most of these. Eventually, I will though.

      Thanks for stopping in, Cheryl!

      Delete
  18. Your post actually had me jump up and run to my bookcases to see if I have any historical fiction books that fit this trend. The Alice Network and to a lesser degree (because the pop of red is the tagline) The Huntress by Kate Quinn were the two I found. Love this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many of these covers! Not always with the red, but definitely with women facing away and pops of color rather than lots of it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

      Delete
  19. This is great! I never put my finger on why so many of these books seem so similiar. The Kate Quinn books would definitely fit in with your list. These book covers don't really appeal to me, but I don't read historical fiction very often except for book clubs.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Isn't it interesting how different cover trends appeal to different people? I've heard several say they hate the woman looking away trend. I don't mind it, but I do think it's funny that there are SOOOOO many!

      Thanks for stopping in, Laurie!

      Delete
  20. Your selection is so good that I would like to get to them all. I particularly like the ones with the WW settings. Such courage and sense of survival.

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    Replies
    1. Right? It sounds weird to say I love books about war, but I really do. They're dramatic and inspiring and always appealing to me.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Mystica!

      Delete
  21. Love your pics (and I'm glad I'm not the only one who has books randomly jump in their cart!) The Julia Kelly book has been one of my favorite reads so far this year. And I do love the pop of color covers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No matter how many times I tell myself I'm not going to buy more books, I'm still drawn to the book section, "just to look." TWO books jumped into my cart at Costco. It's like the books are plotting against me!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

      Delete
  22. Love the twist you gave to the prompt! I read the whole post in a go. All the books sound super interesting!

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. The books all sound good to me as well - I hope they're as good as they sound!

      Thanks for stopping by, Epsita!

      Delete
  23. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Mira, both for coming by and commenting! I appreciate it.

      Delete
  24. What an interesting twist. I love your idea and might copy it one day. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

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    Replies
    1. Go for it! This was a fun list to make and there are tons of other covers out there that fit the theme.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

      Delete
  25. I'd never thought about how dark the covers can be for historical novels before. You did a good job pointing out the more colorful ones.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by earlier!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Most of the ones I read take place during wars and other calamities, so it makes sense that the covers are darker. I do like it when the dark ones have little pops of color, though. That always catches my eye.

      Thanks for stopping in, Astilbe!

      Delete
  26. The woman facing away trend is so big in historical fiction lately! Lots of good examples here.

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    1. SO big! I'm always surprised when I see one that has a woman looking at the camera or has a totally different kind of cover.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Tanya!

      Delete
  27. I love historical fiction, but I hadn’t noticed this trend! Now I can’t unsee it haha. These are all beautiful covers! Great list!

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    1. Ha ha. Now, you'll notice these covers EVERYWHERE! Sorry :(

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  28. Wow, that is a lot of covers with women in red not looking at the camera! I haven't been paying attention to trends lately, but it's always amused me when I've noticed trends like this in the past.

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    1. It's funny how trends catch on and then just keep going and going and going...

      Thanks for coming by, Nicole!

      Delete
  29. Pretty much all of those appeal to me, you manage to find some excellent new books. The Last Bookshop in London is definitely on my radar.

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    1. Great minds think alike! I hope we both enjoy these.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!

      Delete
  30. I can't say that most of these book appeal to me, except for that last one, The Outcasts sounds good. The cover for the Last Garden in England is really beautiful though. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier: https://books.thetechchef.net/

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    1. Different strokes for different folks and all that. I hope we both enjoy THE OUTCASTS. It does sound like an excellent read!

      Thanks for stopping in, Arwen!

      Delete
  31. It's amazing how publishers are so eager to copy the look of the cover art of a successful novel similar to theirs. I suppose they figure that if they confuse enough readers, some of them are almost certain to buy their book by mistake. The last thing I need is something else to make it difficult for me to keep plots straight in my mind...I'm confused enough already.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Confusing the consumer is a solid marketing plan, apparently! I know this particular cover trend drives you crazy, but these covers really appeal to me. I get them all confused, that's for sure, but I still like them.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  32. The last garden in England sounds really interesting, I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction but I might have to give it a try! Thanks for visiting my TTT :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy the book if you do decide to read it!

      Thanks for stopping in!

      Delete
  33. Susan, I loved your post! And those covers are gorgeous choices!

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    1. Thanks so much, Danielle! They really are beautiful, aren't they?

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  34. I love how you approached it this week! How clever spotting this theme. And as someone who's been on the lookout for more historical fiction, I'm spotting one or two perfect additions for my TBR pile.

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    1. I read a lot of historical fiction, so it wasn't hard to notice this cover trend! I'm so glad you found a couple to add to your TBR. I hope you love them when you read them.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Christopher!

      Delete
  35. Ooh, I love The Last Garden in England's cover, and The Outcasts sounds really good. I've been meaning to read The Orphan Collector after loving that author's The Life She Was Given, too.

    I really enjoyed your description of what covers call out to you; that would be a fun topic to write a post about. For books that fit your trend, I immediately thought of The Madman's Daughter and especially its sequels (though it's more a blend of historical fiction and sci-fi), and What The Dead Leave Behind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great idea for a post! There are definitely certain cover elements that call out to me.

      Oooh, yes, all the books in THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER fit this theme. And they're good, too! I love Megan Shepherd. I love the cover for WHAT THE DEAD LEAVE BEHIND. It sounds like a good book, too. I'm going to add it to my TBR.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, RS!

      Delete
  36. Wow, you had a great post this week. I really like the topic you chose. I think I just saw someone talking about how a lot of women in historical fic covers are looking away. Now, here's a ton of evidence!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there are tons more of these covers out there! It's crazy how many. I wonder what the next big cover trend will be??

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

      Delete

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