Everyone knows it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover. I especially feel it’s wrong because I wrote a book that has the worst book cover of all times. It’s so bad, I actually discourage people from reading it.
“You wrote a book?” people ask. “Oh my God, can I read it?”
“I’d say yes, of course, unfortunately it’s out of print, and I don’t have any extra copies. Oh well.”
The truth is I hide my extra copies of that book in the far corner of my basement. To be fair, all of our books are in the basement at the moment because we don’t have bookshelves yet. The reason we don’t have bookshelves is because there are almost no walls in this house, and I’m afraid if I build the bookshelf downstairs there will be a flood and I will lose all of my books.
Okay, that was a lie. I’m not afraid of floods.
The truth is I decorated this house to look like a flower shop so the entire thing is white. When we finally build bookshelves, they will most likely be white. Naturally, I can only put white books on a white bookshelf in an all white house.
Most of the books in our current collection are either beige, green, red, brown, rust or teal. These are my least favorite colors and that is the real reason our books live in the basement.
However, since Covid took us all hostage, I’ve begun to rebuild my book collection. The way I collect books for this house is I go to the book store disguised in a mask and hoodie, and look for something I’d like to read. When I find something, I slip off its book jacket (when no one’s looking, obviously) to see if the actual book itself is black or white, which are the only two acceptable book colors for this particular house. If the book is any other color, it goes back on the table, and I go home to read it on my kindle.
I’m guessing you want to kick yourself right about now for not properly researching and accidentally buying so many ugly books, but the good news is you never have to make that mistake again, because I’ve already done all of the work for you! And I’m happy to share the color of every single book I’ve bought since Covid, plus I’ll even throw in a very short review of each book, if, in fact, I’ve finished it. I’ll also list the ones I read on my kindle if I think it’s something you might want to read.
So, here we go. Here are the books I (mostly) read and judged during Covid, according to color:
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo: White Binding! Definitely going on the future bookshelf. Unfortunately, this book got lost under my bed at one point so I never finished it. It may have been because it was extremely long.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub: Red spine, yellow cover. Not gonna make it on the shelf. I should have read it on my kindle but I must have bought it by accident. The writing is so tight and so good I could smell calamine lotion. I don’t believe Emma Straub ever mentioned what Astrid Strick smelled like, but that’s how well she writes. You can smell her characters a mile away. You should read this book along with all of her other books just to see how good they smell. Also, this book has a very cool secret in it. I’m dying to tell you what it is, but I can’t.
The Shape of my Head: Oh, hold on, that’s not the name of a book. That’s my next blog post.
Want by Lynn Steger Strong: Pretty Powder Blue with White Lettering. Might make an exception for this beautiful sky blue book, which I fully intend to read.
Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner: Powder Blue binding with pink front and back cover. Not the right shade of pink and I haven’t finished it either.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh: Read on my kindle and nearly passed out. If you read this book, all you’ll want to do is take pills, go to sleep, wake up when this is all over, and write like whatever her name is. This book is next level, out of this world, pure genius. I made anyone I know, who enjoys sleeping as much as I do, read it. I’m thinking of buying it and wrapping it in white paper.
Bunny by Mona Awad: I read this one on my kindle too, and I’d just like to say, it blew my mind. If you read it, you will know that was a pun. This is a beyond brilliant, slightly deranged, work of art about pretty girls who like to blow up men. It would be good to have this book in a library. Too bad.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins: Reading on my Kindle as we speak. So far it’s making me feel spoiled and fat and scared. And very American. In a spoiled fat scared way. I should take a peek at this one in person too. Maybe I can make an exception.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Again, I read this on my kindle long after everyone else read it, but I loved, loved, loved this book so much I might buy it and put it on the white book shelf, even if it’s green like a swamp.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Read: Read on my kindle. Best book of Covid. As soon as I started reading it, I knew I found the one. And then I discovered that Reese found it too. Good is good. I might have to buy this book some day.
The Best of Me by David Sedaris: Bright Yellow, will not allow it on the shelf unless something crazy happens. And that would only be because he’s my favorite author, next to J.D. Salinger. Speaking of which, my copy of The Catcher in the Rye is Red. (May allow it on the shelf due to my inability to move on from adolescence).
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver: Beautiful lime green binding and white book. What a gem this author is. But I honestly can’t remember what this book was about.
Just Like You, Nick Hornby: Pink binding Red front and back cover. Willing to make an exception and perhaps lay it flat. That’s how pretty it is, and I believe it could work with white. One of my favorite writers. I love when a writer is so good you can’t hear the words. Just the story. I wish I was Just Like You, Nick Hornby.
Touched by the Son by Carly Simon: Black book bought for me by my very smart friend who is a character in one of my books. Will definitely go on the shelf because, above all, I love Cindy Sinclair. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that Carly Simon has all the same insecurities that I myself enjoy, which made me feel like a famous singer.
What Remains by Carole Radzwill: Another book given to me by Cindy. It’s black and white so it will definitely make it up there on the shelf. If you lived in the 70’s, are a fan of the Kennedys, or like watching the Housewives of New York, you will love this book.
Writers and Lovers by Lily King: Black with red lettering. May or may not make it on the shelf because of the lettering, but highly, highly recommend this beautifully written book about the decision to live a creative life, which is always sad.
Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan: Red all over. The whole thing, red. For some reason I didn’t finish this book even though I was enjoying it. It has something to do with a babysitter who befriends her boss and her boss’s father-in-law for a cause. I will finish this and get back to you.
Grown Ups by Marian Keyes: Black front and back cover! Winner! Also I love Marian Keyes and everything she writes. This book is about families and secrets and you will love it. Did I mention she once gave me a blurb? Definitely going on the shelf.
No one asked for This by Cazzie David: Depressing little brainiac with a knack for registering exquisite details like her father Larry David (my make-believe boyfriend). I truly love her. I read this on my Kindle. I highly recommend this if you’re in a bad mood or would like to be in a bad mood for fun.
Beach Read by Emily Henry: Read on kindle. It’s about cute competition between two cute writers.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: Read on Kindle. Also about cute competition but this one takes place in an office and there’s a lot of almost sex before there’s actual sex, which is probably why it became a movie.
Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein: Again, so cute! About a matchmaker who plays with her matches. You’ll see. I might buy it even though I already read it on my kindle because my gut tells me it’s black or white and will Match my decor as well as the title of this book matches what’s under its covers.
Angel by Elizabeth Taylor: Not that Elizabeth Taylor, but every writer needs to read this book so you can feel like an imposter and want to drown yourself in a river. I regret to say I read this on my Kindle because I would very much like to have this book in my house.
Here’s to Us by Elin Helderbrand: Jackpot! Pure White book, definitely going on the shelf, but I’m still reading it and having trouble remembering who’s who. At this point I’m rethinking my whole decorating philosophy. Maybe I’ll even dig my own book out of the pile of garbage in my basement.
Educated by Tara Westover: I only peaked at this on my Kindle, but I saw enough to know I already love this book. It’s clearly reminiscent of A Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. So I’m guessing in the end, our heroine will have gotten the education she so deserves and go on to write an incredible novel. I’m only guessing though, and I know I’m the last one to read this one, too, but it seems I had a lot of very uneducated decorating to do.