Ten Books with Small Boats on the Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For the rules see her blog.

The topic this week is a cover freebie. Choose a particular item or design element and find 10 books with that thing on the cover! I’ve chosen books with small boats on the covers – a mix of books that I’ve read or are on my list of books to be read. Books marked with an asterisk are linked to my posts, the others are linked either to Amazon UK or Goodreads.

  1. *Secret River by Kate Grenville – historical fiction following William Thornhill from his childhood in the slums of London to Australia. He was a Thames waterman transported for stealing timber; his wife, Sal and child went with him and together they make a new life for themselves. It’s about struggle for survival as William is eventually pardoned and becomes a waterman on the Hawkesbury River and then a settler with his own land and servants.
  2. *The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – narrated by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959, it is the story of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
  3. The Island by Victoria Hislop – historical fiction inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony. A dramatic tale of four generations, illicit love, violence and leprosy, from the thirties, through the war, to the present day.
  4. Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop – short stories – a mix of myths, legends and true stories, Greek history, culture, way of living, family relationships, traditions, customs … with photographs (black and white in my paperback copy) of the stunning Greek landscape.
  5. Recalled to Life by Reginald Hill – Dalziel and Pascoe crime fiction, a cold case investigation into a murder committed in 1963. The title and chapter headings are all from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  6. The Floating Admiral by Members of the Detection Club – Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton and nine other writers from the legendary Detection Club collaborate in this crime novel about an old sailor who lands a rowing boat containing a fresh corpse with a stab wound to the chest.
  7. *The Birdwatcher by William Shaw – set in Dungeness on the Kent coast. Police Sergeant William South (not a detective) is a birdwatcher a methodical and quiet man. His friend, a fellow birdwatcher, Bob Rayner has been brutally beaten to death. DS Alexandra Cupidi, a new CID officer, is leading the investigation and Shaw is reluctantly assigned to her team. 
  8. *The Painted Veil by W Somerest Maugham – set in 1920s London and China this novel is about Kitty and Walter Fane, a bacteriologist. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Kitty is at first very bitter, miserable and lonely but her life is changed when she volunteers to help at the orphanage run by a group of French nuns.
  9. *Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett – historical fiction about Sir Thomas More’s fall from Henry VIII’s favour and that of his adopted daughter Meg Giggs and her love for two men – John Clements, the family’s former tutor, and the painter, Hans Holbein. Bennett puts forward a theory about John Clements’ true identity drawn from an analysis and an interpretation of two paintings by Hans Holbein of the More family and also his painting, The Ambassadors
  10. Lindisfarne: the Cradle Island by Magnus Magnusson – nonfiction, telling the story of the island, also called Holy Island, its people and nature from the beginning to the present day, exploring the natural history and archaeology of the region. There are chapters on Roman Britain, the vikings, st Cuthbert, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the castle, the priory, the nature reserve and managing the wild.

25 thoughts on “Ten Books with Small Boats on the Covers

    • It was quite an easy choice really. I looked at my covers on LibraryThing and saw I have a lot with small boats on them, more than 10. So that was that! 🙂


  1. What a clever idea for a Top 10 post, Margaret! And I do like your choices. You can’t go far wrong with Reginald Hill. And so many people forget that Christie did The Floating Admiral – I’m glad you included that one, too.

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  2. It seems there are a lot of books with small boats on the cover! I’m sure I have a few on my shelves too. The only book on your list I’ve read is The Painted Veil, but I would be interested in reading the Vanora Bennett and Victoria Hislop books as I’ve enjoyed others by those authors.

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  3. My husband would love all of these covers. He’s a sailor and love anything to do with boats, as long as it’s not a motorboat, lol. My favorite cover of the ones you chose is The Painted Veil. I like the feeling of it.

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