You may have heard the idiom, don’t judge a book by its cover, an admonishment to not let surface appearances sway you. Take the time to read the book, delve beneath the surface, and find what message lies within its pages. Get to know a person instead of letting your preconceived notions quickly fix labels upon them. Don’t judge a book by its cover, someone entreats us, wagging their finger for emphasis. This series does the opposite- I’m judging a book only on the basis of its cover! Read the introduction to this series here.
Today’s Judge A Book By Its Cover candidate is A Curious Invitation, The Forty Greatest Parties In Fiction by Suzette Field. The moment I saw this book on the library shelf, I knew the swirls and swoops of falling confetti on the cover would coordinate very well with these Turkish (Iznik?) floral tiles. I brought the book home to take just this sort of picture, a myriad blues and reds popping against the more vivid color of the block printed fabric. The cover of the book was enticing but the title was also intriguing.
First, a confession: I have only read parts of this book though I plan to read it completely as soon as I have more free time. I haven’t been reading much these days beyond the required book for the monthly bookclub and writing-related research because I’m focusing on my writing. As the writing gains momentum, I’ve adopted a strict, daily schedule and it has meant that my already-meager social life has dwindled to almost zero. Second confession: I’m an introvert and will almost always choose staying home with a book over attending social events. I have now elevated this to an art form which means that I no longer waste time on the usual, pre-party should I/shouldn’t I mental debate as if it isn’t perfectly obvious that I don’t want to go anywhere. Which brings me to this book.
Verdict: Like most introverts, I enjoy my solitude. However, like many introverts, I love the idea of going to a party. This book allows me to imagine myself at some (40) of the great fictional parties (e.g a bash at the Gatsby mansion, The Ball at Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Bilbo Baggins’ Eleventy-First birthday party!) without actually going anywhere. All the fun, without the anxiety and exhaustion + settings that a bibliophile will love. Vicarious enjoyment at its best!