Sunday, June 08, 2008
In the last 24 hours I have read three books. I haven't done that in ages, and it's a wonderful feeling to know that I spent my day reading.
So what have I been reading? Well, last night I stayed up late and finished Mrs. Lieutenant, a book that the author herself sent me. Which means I'll actually be writing a thoughtful review later this week. As opposed to my normal half-assed efforts. Then, this morning and early afternoon I spent time with The Way Life Should Be, a book that takes its title from Maine's state motto. The book starts in New York, moves to New Jersey, then migrates to a remote Maine island. Then I moved on to Woman in Red, which is set on a remote Washington island. It was a total fluke that I picked books set on islands, but I happen to like islands, and both books made me long for small-town life. Not that Morro Bay is a thriving metropolis.
Back when I bought the books, I liked the covers of The Way Life Should Be and Woman in Red. However, after reading them, I have to say, for me neither book fits its cover.
In The Way Life Should Be, the main character Angela arrives in Maine right before winter hits, and nowhere in the book does it mention her frolicking on the beach in a skirt. Trudging down to the beach in her pajamas and a down coat with her dog, yes. Skirt, no.
Then there's Woman in Red, which is the title of a painting that is an important part of the story. The painting is of a barefoot woman in a red dress. Not some elusive figure in a red cape. Not even a red sheet. I can see how the color red figures in to the story, but I don't think this cover image works:
So yes, I'm a little picky about my covers. Not that I require the covers to feature a scene from the book, but if there is figure on the cover, I do expect it to illustrate something from the book. The Way Life Should Be gets points for the beach and sort of conveying the tone of the book, but I don't think I'll ever reconcile the cover of Woman in Red with the story told within.