Here are the rules:
Find a book on your bookshelves that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category. You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes!! (or longer if you have way too many books on way too many overcrowded shelves!)
Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell
This was my first Thirkell novel, and it couldn’t have been more charming. I really love the cover as well.
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
I haven’t read this dramatic historical fiction novel about survival, class, and power, but it sounds like a gripping read.
The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis
A butcher’s hook is an especially horrifying weapon.
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Cyril the dog manages to steal many a scene in this highly entertaining time travel novel.
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
I loved this book as a child, and plan to re-read it soon as part of the upcoming Bonnets at Dawn podcast read-along.
6. Something You Read
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
A very bookish cover in keeping with this book about books, reading, and the stories we tell.
7. Body of Water
The Lake House by Kate Morton
I really enjoyed the Cornwall setting in Kate Morton’s latest dual-timeline novel. Her books are always perfect escapist reads that transport me to another place and time.
8. Product of Fire
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I can’t believe I still haven’t read Little Fires Everywhere! I was blown away by Everything I Never Told You, and am looking forward to Ng’s second novel, as well as the upcoming adaptation.
Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber
I don’t remember too much about this work of nonfiction, but I do remember that it was very readable and incredibly interesting. Weber looks at the ways in which Marie Antoinette used fashion as a means of establishing her fame and power, and how ultimately those same choices led to her downfall.
Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase
Novels centered around historical houses are some of my very favorite; the houses are characters unto themselves. I loved The Wildling Sisters and look forward to reading Chase’s debut about a country estate and family secrets.
11. Item of Clothing
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice
How gorgeous are these dresses on the cover?! I adore everything about The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets; a coming-of-age historical fiction novel set in 1950’s London, and one of my favorite comfort reads.
12. Family Member
The Sisters: The Sage of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell
I find the Mitford sisters to be utterly fascinating, and I can’t wait to learn even more about them from this popular biography.
13. Time of Day
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
The night, and the things that go bump in it, are central to this mysterious novel about a young woman’s death and a reclusive horror film director. Night Film is dark, surprising, and unputdownable.
Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
Corelli’s Mandolin is a beloved wartime love story with lyrical prose. I’m interested to see if I’ll be amongst the many who seem to adore this novel.
15. Paranormal Being
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
It might be a bit of a stretch to classify a mermaid as a paranormal being, but since I’ve just finished this exquisite novel, it is still very much on my mind. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a certain ghostlike element in the story as well.
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
It may be a dubious and illegal occupation, but it’s still an occupation. I didn’t love this art world novel that draws inspiration from the real-life Gardner Museum art heist, but it was a quick and entertaining read.
The Peacock Spring by Rumer Godden
I’m excited to finally read Rumer Godden, and may have to pick this up soon. A coming-of-age novel set in India sounds like an engaging spring read.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
This novel repeatedly broke my heart, but I’m so glad I read it. Morrison’s writing is incredibly vivid and powerful, and I can’t wait to explore more of her work.
19. Celestial Body
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
I thought I knew all there was to know about the story of Peter Pan, but there were still plenty of surprises to be had in reading the book. This Puffin Hardcover Classic edition has a charming and very celestial cover.
20. Something That Grows
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my favorites, and Francie Nolan is one of my favorite heroines. I’m way overdue for a re-read of this classic which celebrates books and reading.
If you’d like to participate in the I Spy Book Challenge, consider yourself tagged! I look forward to seeing what books you spy on your shelves!