Undone Book Club

We’re not ashamed to say we do often judge a book by its cover – though not exclusively – what’s inside is obviously of even more value, but it doesn’t hurt to look good either, right?

So it did place a teeny tiny part in how we chose the next two books for Undone Book Club, though we also did a crazily extensive amount of research, review reading and complex box ticking.

Our first club catch up for the year highlighted that a fiction and a non-fiction option was a good way to go – so here they are!

The non-fiction is hopefully something a bit surprising but interesting in the form of Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (with a cover illustration by Charlotte Day)

Tried to choose with something a bit different from our usual (less annoying/depressing as discussed by club members!) with the fiction title – Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett, but it’s had lots of great reviews from sources we hold in high esteem, plus has a central female character and is set close to our shores with a bit of local heritage/history.

And again mention should go to the illustrations included on the cover and interior pages, by Matt Canning. Little bit of extra info on this below, which we thought was interesting…

In his first commission for a novel Matt Canning’s rustic, hand-drawn illustrations feature on the cover and inside page of the beautifully designed novel Rush Oh!, the debut novel by award winning Australian screen writer Shirley Barrett. See his characters on the cover sitting on old original whaling images from back in the 1900s. “This was a fascinating and rewarding project. Shirley provided lots of archive material of Eden and the Davidson family, so I had a wealth of photography and imagery to work with. This was important because the whaling scenes, the clothing and the geography all had to be accurate. The brief required me to ‘step into’ the shoes of a 19 year-old female amateur artist, which was a challenge, as the finished drawings had to be aesthetically pleasing, whilst having a crude naivety to them. I achieved this by working quicker and holding back on the finer details that I would perhaps usually add to my work.”

As always would love to hear your thoughts/feedback, and happy reading!

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