Our bookstore owning friends always joke about people coming in to the store saying “I don’t know the name but the cover is blue.” So we thought it would be fun to compile the most beautiful books with a blue cover that have stories inside that are as wonderful as their fronts.
Elsie of The Tea and Ink Society
For this book list, we asked Elsie of The Tea and Ink Society to help us curate the best blue book covers.
“I started Tea and Ink Society to help former bookworms reclaim their reading habit. Through our Facebook group and subscription box, we’re cultivating community with other like-minded readers.
You’ll find a variety of genres represented in the Tea and Ink Society, but you can we’re partial to classic literature!”
Books with Blue Covers
Looking for books with a blue cover? Whether it’s for a reading challenge prompt, or you’re curating a color-themed bookshelf, or you’re trying to recall a book you saw with a blue cover, this list has you…well, covered!
You’ll find everything from bestsellers to little-known classics, perennial favorites to new treasures. Enjoy!
Classic Books with a Blue Cover
One of the most iconic of the books with a blue cover of all time belongs to Fitzgerald’s 1925 masterpiece The Great Gatsby. Artist Francis Cugat was commissioned to create a painting for the book’s dust jacket before the novel was completed. Interestingly, while the resulting “Celestial Eyes” painting was certainly informed by Fitzgerald’s manuscript, the finished novel was in turn influenced by Cugat’s early sketches and painting, Fitzgerald telling his publisher that he’d written the cover into the book!
If you don’t already know the story, The Great Gatsby is about a self-made man who becomes a mysterious celebrity when he takes up residence amongst the rich elite of Long Island. But for Jay Gatsby, wealth and popularity are simply means to an end: Daisy Buchanan, the love of his life, the one who got away–the woman he’s optimistically convinced he can win at last.
This is an unusual and beautiful coming-of-age novel set in (and written during) the Franco regime in 1940s Spain. In the novel, Andrea is full of excitement and hope when she arrives in Barcelona to study literature at the university. She’s made plans to lodge with her relatives, but when she reaches the house everything changes to a nightmare. Her relatives are eccentric, to say the least. Her uncle Juan, haunted by PTSD, is prone to violent outbreaks. Uncle Román cruelly manipulates his family. Aunt Angustinias is stifling and domineering. And the house itself seems sick, a decaying ruin emblematic of the brokenness of its inhabitants and of the war-wounded country as a whole.
Andrea attempts to separate her strange life with her relatives from her life at the university, but when her best friend takes an interest in Román, the fragile balance threatens to break. This is a short book, but there’s so much to analyze in it–and so much to savor.
Besides writing uplifting, family-oriented novels for girls and boys, Alcott also wrote potboilers and Gothic thrillers. Rejected by a publisher for being “too long and too sensational,” A Long Fatal Love Chase lay forgotten for more than a century before it was brought to light by the headmaster of a small New England school.
Drawing on classics that Alcott loved like The Tempest, Faust, and Jane Eyre, A Long Fatal Love Chase features impetuous heroine Rosamond Vivian, who longs to escape from her dreary, isolated life with only her embittered grandfather for company. She gets her chance when dashing Phillip Tempest appears on the scene.
But what price is she willing to pay for her freedom? A perfect read for a blustery autumn night, this thriller will have you flying through the pages to find out!
Although she already had many mystery novels to her name by the time she published And Then There Were None in 1939, Agatha Christie said that the novel was very difficult to write.
Her hard work paid off, though: the book became the best-selling mystery novel of all time! If you haven’t read this one yet, you should. It’s a standalone novel that doesn’t feature any of her recurring detectives, and it’s a perfect example of why Christie has long reigned as the “Queen of Crime.”
The premise: eight guests are
invited lured to an isolated island off the Devonshire coast, but when they arrive, their host is nowhere to be found. Instead, a recorded message informs them that they are each guilty of murder.
And it seems that justice will finally catch up with them, as one by one they’re picked off by an unseen killer.
If you really want some “shelf candy” for your home library, this gorgeous hardback edition of Elizabeth Von Arnim’s 1922 classic definitely delivers. And the novel itself is delightful. Published just three years after World War I, The Enchanted April delivers a refreshing dose of optimism that’s just as uplifting for today’s world as it was back then.
The story features four British women in desperate need of a holiday who decide to split the rent for a month-long vacation in a seaside Italian villa. It’s chick-lit, yes. But planted in this simple story is a portrait of the transforming power of beauty and love, and the way that these things can break open weary and selfish hearts.
If you like to match your reading material to the seasons, this is an ideal book to read in the spring!
Tolkien was one of the founders of the modern fantasy genre, but most casual readers only know him through his novels The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In fact, there’s a lot more to Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth than what’s in those novels, long as they are!
Middle Earth was Tolkien’s hobby, and he created entire mythologies, languages, and histories for it. The Silmarillion is a collection of stories and legends that Tolkien worked on throughout his writing career, that were compiled and published after his death by his son.
Don’t expect a novel–it’s more like a fictional history book. But the stories are gorgeous, and a testament to the power of Tolkien’s imagination. It’s rumored that Amazon’s upcoming $465 million Lord of the Rings TV series will draw on The Silmarillion for content, so read the book before the series comes out!
Contemporary Bestselling Books with a Blue Cover
British thriller author Ruth Ware has been compared to Agatha Christie, probably in large part due to her closed circle mysteries. A closed circle mystery is a situation where a crime is committed and only a small pool of people can be considered suspects. The crime is usually committed in an isolated setting, where the suspects are cut off from the outside world.
In The Woman in Cabin 10, the isolated setting is a luxury cruise ship sailing through frigid northern waters. But it’s a small cruise ship, so there’s only a handful of passengers and crew on board who could’ve committed the crime–which in this case, is a murder. And the trouble is, the only witness to the murder is unable to find any evidence to back up her claims about what she saw. Everyone who’s supposed to be on board is accounted for–so who did she see get dumped over the side of a balcony in the dead of the night?
If you’re in the mood for something light and witty that also happens to make you want to live life more fully, dive into Where’d You Go Bernadette. It’s an episolatory novel composed of emails, magazine articles, and memos, strung together with narration by fifteen-year-old Bee in an attempt to explain her mother’s disappearance. Bee’s mother–the Bernadette of the title–is an eccentric genius who runs away from home just before her family’s planned vacation to Antarctica.
It’s a zany read that satirizes all sorts of things: the tech industry, private school, Seattle. But it also might nudge you to ask some instructive questions, like “what do you do when life doesn’t turn out the way you’d planned?” “What if your identity is wrapped up in what you create, and then your creation is destroyed? How do you find yourself in the pieces?” or “How can you be known if even the people closest to you don’t get you?” It’s an interesting book because its impact can vary depending on how engaged you want to be. Read it for quickly-consumable, wacky entertainment; or read it to get you thinking. Or both, of course.
Set during World War II, All the Light We Cannot See follows the experiences of Marie Laure, a French girl who is blind, and Werner, an orphaned boy living in Germany. With rhythmic prose, Doerr weaves their stories together, challenging the ugliness of war with moments of beauty and transcendence. The novel won him the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015.
Kate Morton is known for her slow-burning dramas that shift between the twenty-first century and a historical setting–in this case, the 1930s. And there’s always mysteries to unwrap in a Kate Morton novel! The mystery of The Lake House centers around the disappearance of baby Theo Edevane, who disappears from his crib while his family are hosting their famous Midsummer Eve party. Everyone has different theories–and shreds of information–about what happened that night, but the case is never solved.
Seventy years later, Detective Constable Sadie Sparrow stumbles upon the Edevane mansion–now abandoned–during a stay in Cornwall. She’s intrigued by the story of the lost little boy, and initiates her own quest to solve this decades-old mystery. The pieces slowly fall into place as the book glides back and forth between time periods, making this a meandering yet thoroughly engrossing read.
Young Adult and Middle Grade Books with a Blue Cover
If you need a middle-grade book with a blue cover, pick up this beautiful, insightful historical fiction novel by multi-award winning author Lauren Wolk. Set in 1925 on the stark but beautiful Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts, it explores themes of identity, community, prejudice, virtue, love of nature, and family, to name a few! There’s a lot of substance packed into this children’s book, but that doesn’t slow down the exciting plot.
In the story, twelve-year-old Crow is curious when she sees a light shining from the presumably abandoned island of Penikese, former site of a leper colony. The questions she asks about Penikese will lead to adventures involving buried treasure and a dangerous villain, and to answers about her own mysterious past.
There are gobs of fairy tale retellings to choose from, and tons about Beauty and the Beast alone. Nevertheless, Beauty is one of the classics and remains perennially popular.
In this version of the French fairy tale, we get to know Beauty’s family–her two sisters, father, and brother-in-law. The details of their home and family life make it feel almost like historical fiction at first (probably because McKinley researched the period setting). The transitions to the magical and mysterious are fluid and believable, yet filled with wonder, both for the characters within the story and for the reader. Because the novel came out before many of the retellings that populate shelves today, it doesn’t need to rely on gimmicky plot twists to stand out. It’s a beautifully quiet and intelligent book.
You get double points for this one, since the cover is blue and there’s “Blue” in the title!
In this classic book, twelve-year-old Karana is left stranded on an island when her tribe sails away. She fends for herself, hoping that one day her people will return for her. This is a memorable coming-of-age story couched in the compelling survival story genre. Author Scott O’Dell based his novel on the real-life story of Juana Maria, a Native American woman left alone for eighteen years on an island off the coast of California.
This is an unusual children’s book about Nobody Owens, an orphan boy who lives in a graveyard and is raised by ghosts. Gaiman took inspiration for the novel from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
Both stories feature a human child whose parents are tragically killed, and is subsequently raised by a community that exists alongside the human domain but functions as a separate social ecosystem. Some themes and imagery in this book may be too frightening for kids, so I definitely recommend pre-reading before just popping it into their hands!