By February 4, 2019 0 Comments Read More →

Books That Would Survive the BIRD BOX Challenge

As I was reading about the recently announced 2019 Edgar Award nominees, the blindfolded girl on the cover of Debra Jo Immergut’s debut The Captives immediately brought to mind Josh Malerman’s Bird Box and the recent Netflix adaptation that has sparked all manner of impressions and challenges (don’t Bird Box and drive, people!). I wondered: Is Immergut’s the only book that would survive in a Bird Box future? I had a surprisingly difficult time finding covers with blindfolds, but fortunately, the characters on these covers were fast thinkers and grabbed whatever was nearby to shield their eyes and save themselves from certain, horrific death.

 

Bird Box Challenge books - collage #1

Elisabeth Egan’s star-reviewed A Window Opens and Charity Shumway’s Ten Girls to Watch both use books (aka “the original blindfold,” according to Penguin Random House staffers in this instantly legendary Bird Box video). As an added bonus, if you’ve picked up a really good book, it won’t just protect you from seeing the entity, it will also provide a few precious hours of escape so you can forget for a while that everyone around you is dying horribly violent and bizarre deaths. Ideal!

Also safe from the entity: two different covers for Lucy Grealy’s star-reviewed memoir Autobiography of a FaceBryan Burroughs’s Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34, and Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close—teaching us that, beyond providing fragrant decor, a bouquet of flowers could also save your life. The girl on the cover of April Henry’s Girl, Stolen is dangerously close to peeking but, soft spoiler, she’s blind so her hands are just doing double duty protecting her from the horrible visage of the entity.

 

Bird Box Challenge books - collage #2

And on the youth side, Sarah Wilson Etienne’s dystopian debut Harbinger came prepared with a blindfold, while W. C. Mack’s Double DribbleLisa Greenwald’s My Life in Pink and Green, and Sue Wyshynski’s The Butterfly Code all look like they’re on track to survive the ordeal with other forms of protective gear. Cucumber slices: good for spa days and the apocalypse—get yourself a veggie that can do both!

Sure, it’s not ideal to have to wear a bag over your head on your wedding day, but unless you want “till death do us part” to be immediately, you do what you have to (take a cue from Blanche Marriott’s April’s Fool). Though they may not all be using the classic blindfold (Belle Aurora’s steamy new adult rom-com Willing Captive is ready for any number of, er, scenarios), from the “Quick, borrow my hat! We mustn’t look!” of William Trevor’s short story collection A Bit on the Side to the conveniently placed red bar of Charles Burns’s star-reviewed graphic novel Black Holethese covers are getting creative when faced with the deadly entity.

Okay, quick! The entity is here and the object to your left is all you have to shield your eyes: Do you survive?

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About the Author:

A former Booklist intern and current Booklist reviewer, Ellie is a reader and writer based in Chicago. She holds a BA in writing from Wheaton College (IL) and is the assistant to the president at Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

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