A while back, we asked staff and our followers if different fiction genres were biscuits, what biscuits would they be? There were many suggestions – some that made us laugh (‘custard crimes’) and others that led us to ponder (for romance, jammy dodgers, pink wafers and party rings were all suggested.) If you missed that blog, don’t worry, you’ll find it here.
Our deliberations got Bettina thinking – what if genres were sweets, not biscuits? What sweets would they be? If you went into a sweet shop and tried to match what was on offer, both the packaging and sweets themselves, which genres would you match them to?
After some careful consideration (and possibly the odd bite of a chocolate bar/sweet to test a theory), she came up with the following suggestions and we’ve tried to match them to books in our BorrowBox collection.
You might have to use your imagination/tilt your head to see how the cover matches the sweet but we hope you’ll enjoy this journey through the world of sweets and books and maybe discover something new to try from our eBook and eAudio collection. Feel free to also tell us what sweets you would have chosen in the comments section and make sure you have something suitably sweet to eat while you make your way through our suggestions.
This is probably the easiest fiction genre to match to a sweet – it has to be ‘Love Hearts’. It’s an obvious choice! Colours match up – the pastel shades of the yummy sweets with the bright colours of book covers and the titles we’ve picked here are no exception. ‘Secrets of Sunshine’ by Phaedra Patrick is a heartwarming story full of romance and a very summery tale if that’s what you’re after at the moment. You’ll find it on eAudio and as an eBook.
Of course, we couldn’t write this section without also featuring a few books that have hearts on their covers – ‘The Start of Me and You’ by Emery Lord (available as an eBook) features best friends, new love and second chances – what more could you want? ‘Love Hurts’ (an eBook) is perhaps the cover closest to looking like actual ‘Love Hearts’. A collection of short stories and extracts edited by Malorie Blackman, this book features big names such as Patrick Ness, Catherine Johnson and Philip Pullman and “looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak” according to the BorrowBox blurb.
Another genre with a seemingly ready made contender for its sweet equivalent – ‘Milky Way’. Or are we being a little too obvious? Either way, trying to find book covers that are both Science Fiction and that look like a ‘Milky Way’ was tough so we’ve picked three titles instead that are cracking Science Fiction reads.
David Hofmeyer’s ‘ The Between’ is an action-packed science fiction thriller and is available on eBook. When her best friend Bea vanishes, Ana Moon (great name!) must do all she can to find her. Guided by the mysterious Malik and his Pathfinders, Ana travels across seven versions of Earth to get Bea back, battling the sinister Order, monstrous Reapers and a rogue Pathfinder, all of whom want her to fail.
From best-selling and award-winning author Cixin Liu comes ‘Ball Lightning’, also available as an eBook. After his parents are incinerated by ball lightning, physicist Chen pledges to devote his life to the study of this phenomenon. Featuring shadowy government departments, military might and scientists with mysterious motives, this is one cover that does sort of look like a ‘Milky Way’.
Our final choice is ‘Brightly Burning’ by Alexa Donne, listed as an eBook on BorrowBox. Described as Jane Eyre set in space, it follows Stella Ainsley and her journey aboard the haunted starship ‘Rochester’ (do you see what the author did there?).
Bettina felt there were two contenders for ‘Crime Fiction’: ‘Sherbet Dib Dabs’ (looks a bit like fingerprint powder) and ‘Bournville’ (red packaging). See if you think our book choices match.
The colours on the cover of John Gilstrap’s ‘Scorpion Strike’ slightly match those of a ‘Sherbet Dib Dab’. This thriller featuring exotic locations, fearsome assassins and sinister plots and counter-plots is listed as an eBook. Similarly, the cover of the eBook of Richard Roberts’ ‘Hello Friend, We Missed You’ also has the colour and look of the aforementioned sweet. Our other choices, ‘The Stranger in Our Bed’ by Samantha Lee Howe (eBook) and ‘Don’t Turn Around’ by Amanda Brooke (eBook) are probably pushing it but they have yellow on their covers!
A bar of ‘Bournville’ has some pretty striking packaging – blood red in colour so you can see why Bettina might have thought it would suit the ‘Crime’ genre. Anne Cleeves’ ‘Wild Fire’ (eBook) may not have as bold a red on its cover but it’s not far off. Likewise, ‘My Lies, Your Lies’ by Susan Lewis (eBook) has a similarly firey cover. For a truly ‘Bournville-like’ cover though, you can not beat ‘The Lion Tamer Who Lost’ by Louise Beech, listed on BorrowBox as both an eBook and on eAudio.
‘Mint Imperials’ seemed to fit this genre and so our choices reflect the colour of their packaging (or as close as we can get to it). We’ve featured ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris on both eAudio and as an eBook in previous posts. ‘Animals of Lockwood Manor’ by Jane Healey may not have the exact colour scheme but we like the cover so thought we would include it (listed as both an eBook and on eAudio). And similarly with ‘The Parisian’ by Isabella Hammad’, our selection is more to highlight a great historical fiction novel than matching the cover exactly to ‘Mint Imperials’. You can find ‘The Parisian’ as both an eBook and on eAudio on BorrowBox.
Another genre that has an almost obvious equivalent in the world of sweets!
Westerns = Wagon Wheels!
‘The Heart of a Texan’ by Leigh Greenwood (eBook) has the right colour cover to match Wagon Wheels though its “gritty cowboys, strong-willed women, and a whole lot of heart in the Wild West” (taken from the blurb) might be more suited to those readers looking for some romance.
Our other choices fail in the ‘matching covers to sweets’ stakes but are fantastic reads in the Westerns genre. ‘Whiskey When We’re Dry’ by John Larison, listed as an eBook, tells the story of Jessilyn Harney who disguises herself as a boy and heads West into outlaw territory in 1880s America. If you read Larry McMurty’s ‘Lonesome Dove’ or Charles Frazier’s ‘Cold Mountain’, this might be one for you. Our final Western selection is ‘Colorado Kid’ by Dave Mike Rogers (eBook). Set in the wilds of Montana, Ben Baker faces his greatest enemy – Brewster Doyle – and the mysterious ‘Colorado Kid’.
Were journeys you’ve taken in the past frequently accompanied by a tin of boiled sweets? Or maybe a bag of them? Maybe barley sugars were among them? We’ve already featured some covers that could fit here quite nicely (we’re thinking the Susan Lewis title mentioned above especially) but here are a few other choices for you to peruse.
Looking most like a barley sugar is ‘She Speaks’, an anthology of female voices by Yvette Cooper. Bringing together speeches made by women through the years, you’ll find the words of Emma Gonzalez, Margaret Thatcher, Boudicca and Malala all within its pages on eBook.
Looking nothing like a barley sugar, we have ‘Around the World in 80 Trains’ by Monisha Rajesh. This travel writing book (see, it fits into the category that way!) follows the author’s journey to circumnavigate the globe by train. Starting from St Pancras Station in London, travelling through Korea, Russia, Canada to name a few countries, this eBook is an adventure from start to finish. If travelling by train is too speedy for you, why not take in ‘In Praise of Walking’ by Shane O’Mara as either an eBook or on eAudio? Perhaps more of a science book than travel writing, it will still entertain you.
More of an area of fiction than a genre, for our Young Adult books, Bettina thought ‘Jelly Beans’ would be a good match. There are lots of different flavours to choose from, just as there are lots of different types of YA reads to discover. A few YA titles have already been featured in this post as there are some fantastic reads and covers out there that we want to shout about. Here are a few more (some of which have covers that do have a ‘Jelly Bean’-esque appearance!)
‘Almond’ by Won-pyung Sohn tells the story of Yunjae. As outlined in the book’s BorrowBox blurb, Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition. Available as an eBook here. ‘The Hand, The Eye and the Heart’ by Zoe Marriott is an epic fantasy adventure listed as an eBook on BorrowBox and set in a richly imagined fairy-tale China. Both books have covers whose colours at the very least bring to mind ‘Jelly Beans’.
We’ve also chosen ‘Furious Thing’ by Jenny Downham (eBook) and ‘The Light Between Worlds’ by Laura Weymouth (eBook). We love the covers and stories in both of these novels and we think they should be on your book radar. ‘The Light Between Worlds’ has a hugely enticing premise – after being swept into a fantasy realm for six years, Evelyn and Phillippa return to the real world but how will they cope? Likewise, ‘Furious Thing’ centres on Lexi, an angry young woman also trying to navigate the world in which she finds herself.
This is perhaps our most random selection and rather than the books we’ve chosen matching the genre, they match the sweet instead. Bettina’s choice for Family Sagas was ‘Liquorice Allsorts’ so here a couple of books that, with a bit of imagination, could have covers that maybe in a way look like ‘Liquorice Allsorts’.
‘Correspondents’ by Tim Murphy is one such title – it’s not a Family Saga and its cover only slightly looks like some of the sweets you’d get in an ‘Allsorts’ bag. Regardless of that small detail, the book itself was described by Khalid Hosseini, the author of ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ as one that “artfully connects multiple narratives to produce a sprawling tale of love, family, duty, war, and displacement.” You can find it on both eAudio and as an eBook.
‘The Marble Collector’ by Cecelia Ahern (eBook) also has elements on its cover that you could say look like some of the goodies you find in an ‘Allsorts’ collection. We did say you might need your imagination for this post and with our third choice, we’ll put it to good use. ‘The Care and Feeding of Ravenous Girls’ is a striking cover and, while it might not look exactly like an ‘Allsorts’ mixture, it does follow the saga of the Butler family so for that reason, we have included it here. We hope that you’ll enjoy reading this as an eBook or listening to it on eAudio.
Bettina’s choice for Fantasy Fiction was a ‘Lucky Bag’ and for Epic Fantasy Fiction, 2 ‘Lucky Bags’ so as you never know what random things you’re going to get in a ‘Lucky Bag’, here is a suitably random collection of Fantasy and Epic Fantasy titles that look nothing like sweets but that we just want to highlight (and if you want more Fantasy recommendations, check out our previous blogs here, here and here).
For fans of ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Riverdale’ and ‘The Raven Cycle’, we think you should try Christine Lynne Herman’s ‘The Devouring Grey‘ and ‘The Deck of Omens‘, both available as eBooks on BorrowBox. Or how about ‘Stronger, Faster and More Beautiful’ by Arwen Elys Dayton (eBook)? As the blurb describes, set in our world, spanning the near to distant future, this novel explores the possible consequences of advanced medical breakthroughs and how they may shape and reshape humanity.
Why not also try ‘A Blade So Black’ by L L McKinney – a contemporary retelling of ‘Alice in Wonderland’? You’ll find the eBook here. Or dive into the world of Norse mythology with Neil Gaiman on eAudio or as an eBook?
For our final choice in today’s blog, we’d like to highlight ‘All The Birds in the Sky’ by Charlie Jane Anders (eBook). From the BorrowBox blurb:
“Childhood friends Patricia Delfine, a witch, and Laurence Armstead, a mad scientist, parted ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. But as adults they both wind up in near-future San Francisco, where Laurence is an engineering genius and Patricia works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever growing ailments. But something is determined to bring them back together—to either save the world, or end it.”
You can see why we thought this one would be a good one to shout about!
If you’ve spotted other titles and covers that might fit with our ‘genres as sweets’ theme, do let us know in the comments and we hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through our imagination.
If you’re new to using BorrowBox, we have a ‘BorrowBox Basics‘ video available here and a ‘Tips & Tricks‘ video to make sure you’re making the most of our eBooks and eAudio titles. You can also get in touch by email if you need any further assistance with our digital resources – email firstname.lastname@example.org.