Book Tag | Elements Book Covers

Jessica from foolishoats tagged me to do the elements book cover tag and although it took me about err... four weeks to get my act together and answer the questions, it's better late than never, right?! I love tags because it gives me an excuse to destroy my shelves looking for books that answer the questions. And I mostly only love that because it means I get to organise them all back after I've taken the pictures. There's something therapeutic about organising book shelves...


  • Find a book with water on it
  • Find a book with blue on it 
Their Lips Talk of Mischief by Alan Warner 
There are raindrops on the cover so that counts, right?! At the top of a rundown block of flats Llewellyn and Cunningham sit hard at work on their words of brilliance that they think will cement their future as stars of the literary scene in between poorly paid jobs writing captions for trashy novels and cat calendars. A truly darkly comic tale of humanity and hope, set against the grim political backdrop of Thatcher's Britain.

With a definite touch of Withnail & I about it and pepperings of literary references, this is a smart novel. It was a fleeting reference but I find myself frequently thinking of 'Brideshead re-wallpapered' and smiling to myself - and I don't know why. It amused me greatly, testament to the wit within the pages that is often so difficult to pull off.  

Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel 
Bit of a naff cover, but the story inside is wonderful. Mandel has a real gift for storytelling. Lilia has been leaving people behind for her entire life and she doesn't know how to stop. She is haunted by the missing pieces of her memory from early childhood as she moves from city to city, still possibly followed by the private detective who has been pursuing her for years. But what I like most about this novel is that it's almost not about Lilia at all. It's about Eli, Michaela and Christopher who in their own unique ways are also looking for their answers and their missing pieces. It's a story of love, loss, abandonment, disconnect and fitting together all the little pieces of life that eventually show you where you're supposed to be and what will make you happy.


  • Find a book with fire on it 
  • Find a book with red on it 
Music For Torching by A.M. Holmes 
So I had to cheat a little with this one. The only book I could find with fire on it on my shelf was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but I figured that was a little obvious. So I've gone with Music for Torching instead because it has a fire extinguisher on it. So no fire. But close enough, right? I also haven't read this novel yet so not only have I cheated a bit, but I can't even really describe what it's about.

On the outside Paul and Elaine are a conventional middle-class middle-aged couple with two sons. Their neighbours Pat and George are similar, although when she's alone with Elaine, Pat drops the Stepford Wife mask and stages loveless orgies and Paul is having an affair. The nice old man down the street isn't as nice as he appears, and nor are the local children. And I'm assuming that the novel is an exploration of character, which tends to be the theme with Holmes' work.

Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles 
Oh this is strange novel, and I mean strange in the best possible way. Oskar is a composer and is very particular about things. He's married to an art dealer named Laura, they have two cats named after composers and and they live in an Eastern European City. While Oskar is in Los Angeles arranging his divorce he has entrusted an old University friend to look after his cats and take care of his perfect apartment. Although Oskar has left many detailed notes that cover every aspect of looking after the place, things really don't go very well at all.


  • Find a book with something related to earth on it 
  • Find a book with green on it 
Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne
This book was part of a children's literature class I took at University and reminded me how much I adore picture books. I think books for children can be so smart and the pictures here are so full of depth with lots of hidden things to look out for. Here four different characters tell their own version of a walk in the park. The differences are fascinating and explore feelings of alienation and friendship. It's just lovely and heartwarming and beautiful.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence 
Oh gosh, if heartwarming stories are your thing this is the book for you. It's so lovely. When Alex, a kid who hasn't had the easiest childhood, meets Mr Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend and someone who teaches him that you only get once chance at life so you have to make it count. When Alex is stopped at customs with some marijuana, an urn of ashes on the front seat and a nation in total uproar, he's pretty sure that he's done the right thing. It starts out feeling like a quirky little lighthearted read, but if by the end your heart hasn't been ripped apart and patched back together again, you're a stronger person than I!


  • Find a book with air on it 
  • Find a book with white on it
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker 
I still feel a little mean only giving this book two stars because it had so much potential, and although it was beautifully written it never really lived up to the potential for me. Or maybe I was just expecting something different. I suppose it is nice to have more an almost whimsical YA apocalyptic novel that doesn't follow the usual formulae. On an otherwise ordinary Saturday Julia and her family awake to discover, with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth is beginning to slow. Along with the longer days & nights and the changes to gravity, Julia is also attempting to cope with the disasters of everyday life like the loss of old friends and the strange behaviour of her grandfather. It's nothing incredible, but worth a read if you like YA I would say.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
In Tokyo, Nao has decided that there's only one way for her to escape her loneliness but before she ends her life she wants to document the life of her Grandmother, a Buddhist nun who has lived for more than a century. Nao's diary is her only solace. Across the Pacific Ocean Ruth is a novelist living on a remote island and one day discovers a collection of objects washed ashore inside a Hello Kitty lunchbox. As the mystery of the box unfolds Ruth finds herself pulled into the past, into Nao's life, and into the future. This novel explores a connection between two people, separated by an ocean and how the journey of discovery can teach us more than we ever thought imaginable.

Spirit bonus. 

  • Find a book with the colours blue, red, green and white on it 
It Was A Dark & Stormy Night
This pop-up beauty was one of my favourite books as a child and one my mum didn't mind reading over and over with me. Lady Penelope Pig hires Inspector Derek Dog to guard the biggest diamond in the world, which she plans to display at her dinner party that night. Doesn't sound like the best idea to display it, right? Yeah, it's not. When the lights go out during the party, the diamond disappears and we have to follow the clues to figure out who the thief is. Such a fun mystery spoof, it's brilliant.

I Tag You!

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  1. As a bookworm, this post is the true definition of perfection. I love love love it and I already added a couple of books to my 'To Read' list! :)

    Much love xx
    Catarina //

  2. Ooh, that pop-up book looks really lovely! Great tag too! xxx

  3. Hi Jennie

    Lovely post. I've added Their Lips Talk of Mischief to my TBR list. It has such a lovely cover. I also added For the Time being to my list.
    This a fun tag!


  4. Omgosh, I want that pop up book! The Jolly Pocket Postman was my fave. :)

    Tara x

  5. Too fun! I couldn't resist playing along.

  6. I love this tag, think I might have to do it on my blog!

    Bethan Likes

  7. I've just filled out a general book tag on a post to go up later on but I love this idea, I wish my book collection was as big to create a post as nice as yours

    Mel ♥ everyword

  8. I love this post, what a cool idea! I also need that pop up book in my life! xx


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