I’m not so interested in the new spring fashions but I am all about trying on the new Spring books. With the fresh crop of new titles every year I feel like I can try on something new, just like I might have done in a clothing store, but there is no risk of a fashion faux pas, and the return policy could not be better. The library is so generous – if I return the item within 21 days there is no penalty at all…and sometimes I can keep it for longer at no charge. This borrowing-books-from-a-public-library deal is just amazing.
So, what if I am looking to inject some colour into my book wardrobe this year? Well, Anna Quindlen’s latest novel, Alternate side, has a museum director and an investment banker living in one of those gorgeous Manhattan neighbourhoods that we always love to read about. After 25 years of a satisfying but uneventful marriage surrounded by people who are living lives very much like theirs the calm is shattered when an arrogant neighbour commits a violent act against their kind neighbourhood handyman. The vibrant book cover depicts the streets of a neighbourhood that seemed friendly and calm but changes in an instant. I am looking forward to another Anna Quindlen read. I can’t see myself wearing these colours but I will carry the book around town.
In books and in fashion you can never go wrong with classic black and white. Christine Mangan’s debut novel Tangerine is given very fine treatment with this colour choice and the ominous shadow behind the figure of woman just adds to the feeling of fear. This novel centres on the relationship between college roommates who meet again years later in Morocco. Alice Shipley is in an unhappy marriage when her friend Lucy arrives and is so relieved to have a friend that she isn’t suspicious about her intentions. This is just her first mistake. When her husband John goes missing everything starts to unravel for the introverted American and the novel has you flipping pages to see where the two women end up. I can’t imagine that Alice’s white shirt stays quite so crisp by the end of the novel but I am keen to find out.
It takes a lot of confidence to carry off a tropical print and choosing one that has a marigold base is even more difficult. Marigold is a colour with a very high level of difficulty – Greta Gerwig carried it off with her Oscars gown but it’s really not for the faint of heart – and Leah Stewart is bringing a beautifully quirky story to match the bright cover of What you don’t know about Charlie Outlaw. Charlie is a TV star who decides to hide on a remote island after he makes an unforgiveable (by Hollywood standards) mistake in an interview. His actor girlfriend, Josie, is left behind at the centre of the hurricane that he caused and the story alternates between their voices. There is a bit of romance, some show business gossip and an opportunity for both performers to learn a bit about themselves. I do like the look of the binoculars on the cover and hope that I won’t be convinced that yellow is a good choice for my wardrobe this year.
And there is nothing better than a Canadian designer… right? In clothing, books, and music we have so many options. This year The Tragically Hip will be the topic of their first print biography by author Michael Barclay. His book will cover the band’s early days, their role in Canadian culture, that epic final tour and Gord Downie’s role in reconciliation with Indigenous people. I don’t think that I will ever be as sartorially brave as Gord and wear a Jaws t-shirt or a shining mauve suit but I’d like to think that reading this book (and listening to the obvious playlist) will help me to be further inspired by this story of five musicians from Kingston.
These gloriously coloured covers match the promise of the stories that their authors have created and this list only gets us through to early April. Just imagine what will hit our shelves in May!