Book cover twins, worthwhile reading
If you find yourself mixing up hot new reads because they could be cover twins, you’re not alone. Once publishers find a style that grabs readers’ attention, they like to run with it. You might have noticed this while browsing your favorite genres: women staring wistfully into the distance (historical fiction), bold and striking typography (literary fiction), or cartoony covers with flowing script (rom-coms). We’ve pulled several cover doppelgangers that even librarians have been known to mix up. No matter which of these pairs you pick up, you’re in for a good read.
For dramatic but discussable reads with seasonably appropriate covers, we’ve got you covered. Fans of dysfunctional family sagas will be hooked by the secrets in The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, which interweaves an Oak Park family’s most chaotic year with stories from their past. [e-book | print | audiobook | large type]
In A Good Neighborhood, author Therese Anne Fowler warns from the first page that this will be a tragedy, complete with a Greek chorus of neighbors that chimes in throughout. Tensions run high when a new neighbor demolishes everything to build a mansion. What follows is a compelling but devastating story about privilege, race, and forbidden love. [e-book | print | audiobook | large type]
Despite the similar covers and shared setting of 20th-century New York, these two reads head in different directions. The Godmothers by Camille Aubray is a sweeping saga about four women who must lead the less-than-legal family business after their husbands go off to war. [e-book | print | large type]
More leisurely-paced and character-driven, The Lost Family by Jenna Blum centers on Peter, a Holocaust survivor who has found success as a chef in 1960s Manhattan and the family he never intended to have. Told through the point of view of Peter, his wife, and his daughter over three decades, his survivor’s guilt and traumatic past slowly lead to more and more fractures within the family. [e-book | print | audiobook]
These botanical book covers bring us back into contemporary settings and are just asking to be discussed (book clubbers, take note). When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson is for anyone who enjoys well-developed characters and stories of determined women. Moving and at times suspenseful, this book explores issues of motherhood, friendship, and loyalty as three women from different walks of life try to survive under Saddam Hussein's regime. [e-book | print | audiobook]
After a fifteen-year publishing hiatus, Julia Alvarez returns with Afterlife, a compact but powerful story about grief, the immigrant experience, and family. Retired professor Antonia is already overwhelmed by the sudden loss of her husband, but finds her life turned even more upside-down by the unexpected arrival of a pregnant, undocumented teen. [e-book | print | audiobook | large type]
Almost creating a negative film effect of each other, these covers both feature a striking trio of figures, hinting at the journeys within, both literal and figurative. Three inseparable orphans navigate war-ravaged Laos with the help of a dedicated local doctor in Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon. As the group is given the chance to evacuate, their lives take them in unimaginable directions over the years, making for a thoughtful but often heartbreaking tale. [e-book | print | audiobook]
Beautifully translated from Korean, Kim Ae-ran’s My Brilliant Life is a short and poignant look at how a teenager with a terminal illness tries to make the most of his time by writing the story of his beloved parents and filling his remaining days with empathy and wisdom. [e-book | print]
For something lighter, the skylines and cutesy cursive titles are a sure sign of a satisfying romance. Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn is a quirky slow-burn romance about a calligrapher who ends up falling for her complete opposite after hiding a message in his wedding invitations. Charming and occasionally steamy, this love story is both an ode to New York City and to finding your place in the world. [e-book | print | audiobook]
Crossing the country to Seattle, Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur is another great story about the attraction of opposites. Laid-back astrologer Elle and sensible accountant Darcy agree to make it through the holiday season by faking a relationship but, as always, this leads to not-fake feelings and plenty of heartwarming rom-com moments. [e-book | print | audiobook]
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