The first colour I chose to collect was red and I found it really easy – so easy, in fact, that I could have made a stack at least twice as high as the one in the photograph!
I decided to limit myself to the first 20 books with predominantly red spines or covers that I pulled off the shelves – there really is quite a mix!
King’s Dragon by Kate Elliott
The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil. King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her banner. Internal conflict weakens Wendar’s defences, drawing raiders, human and inhuman, across its borders. Terrifying portents abound and dark spirits walk the land in broad daylight.
Suddenly two innocents are thrust into the midst of the conflict. Alain, a young man granted a vision by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman with the power to change the course of history. Both must discover the truth about themselves before they can accept their fates. For in a war where sorcery, not swords, may determine the final outcome, the price of failure may be more than their own lives.
My sister introduced me to this series year ago after I saw the second volume in our local library. I don’t know how well it would stand up to rereading now, but I read it twice as a teenager and loved it! My boyfriend even made fun on me for starting to speak like the characters in the book because I couldn’t quite draw myself back into reality…
Through the Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World by Guy Deutscher
Generalisations about language and culture are at best amusing and meaningless, but is there anything sensible left to be said about the relation between language, culture and thought?
*Does language reflect the culture of a society?
*Is our mother-tongue a lens through which we perceive the world?
*Can different languages lead their speakers to different thoughts?
In Through the Language Glass, acclaimed author Guy Deutscher will convince you that, contrary to the fashionable academic consensus of today, the answer to all these questions is – yes. On an odyssey that takes us from Homer to Darwin, from scientists to savages, from the corridors of Yale to the rivers of the Amazon, from how to name the rainbow to why Russian water – a ‘she’ – become a ‘he’ once you have dipped a tea bag into her, this book explores some of the most fascinating and controversial questions about language, culture and the human mind.
I picked this up years ago and devoured it – I am an unashamed language geek! While I don’t entirely agree with many of Deutscher’s conclusions, it is a fascinating journey through the vagaries of languages.
Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan
Tangled tales of earth, salty tales of water
Bewitched retellings of thirteen classic fairy-tales with brave and resilient heroines. Tales of blood and intrigue, betrayal and enchantment from a leading Irish YA author.
With 13 stunning black and white illustrations by new Irish illustrator Karen Vaughan.
READ THIS NOW! One of my top reads this year, this collection of dark, twisted fairytales will stick in your mind and challenge you to face your own assumptions and prejudices. Loved this so much!
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honour the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honouring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
Another top read of the year, I am so excited about the second book which is due out in the new year. Based on Russian fairytales and perfectly-suited to the wintry weather, this is a must-read!
I was going to put all 20 books in one blog post but just realised how insanely long it would be…Part 2 coming soon!
Have you read any of these books?
Have you got any favourite books with a red spine or cover?