So I’ve come to the end of my seven day book cover challenge. It’s been an interesting journey. At the beginning, I thought this would be quite easy. I went through my book cases and picked out my seven books. Great, I thought, I’m done! But as the week went on, I started to remember other books, books I hadn’t seen for a while, or even thought about for a while. And then the deliberating began and my book selection at the end of the week was quite different to my initial choices.
My book choices:
Day One: Wild Swans by Jung Chang
Day Two: La casa de los espiritus by Isabel Allende
Day Three: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Day Four: Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt
Day Five: Nirgendwo in Afrika by Stephanie Zweig
Day Six: The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead
Day Seven: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Looking back at my both my choices and the books I nearly chose, I’m struck by two things. Firstly, that my books take me around the world – India, China, Spain, Chile, the USA. And even where they have been written by a writer based in a certain part of the world, they often take me somewhere else. Stefanie Zweig’s Nirgendwo in Afrika is written in German yet takes me to Kenya. María Dueñas’ El tiempo entre costuras is Spanish yet leads me Morocco.
The second thing I notice is the emotional connection I have to these books. These aren’t just words on paper; they remind me of places I have been and people I have known. While Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies takes me back to India, A Suitable Boy reminds me of the friend who first recommended it to me. Zweig reminds me of my time in Austria while Allende and García Marquez return me to Mexico where I first learnt Spanish and fell in love with LatAm literature. I feel like I’ve visited some old friends and it has brought back some amazing memories of places I’ve been.
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