Ep. 6. Seeing Red: Books with the color red in the title

Colors, in general, have been associated with many feelings, holidays, ideas, even individuals. But the symbolism associated with red is probably one of the oldest and better known. Such a symbolic color had to find its way into books, and in a prominent place since several authors have chosen RED to be part of the titles of their books. What follows is a list of such instances.

This novel is set during the times of the biblical Old Testament. The book follows the story of Dinah, a minor character mentioned briefly in Genesis, who is the daughter of Jacob and sister to his twelve sons. The red tent refers to the place where women were relegated during periods and childbirth, and Dinah's story tells us what was like to be a woman during the time.

If the book inspires you to travel, there is a company called Red Tent Tours for Women that specializes in tours for women only in Israel and other countries. They state in their website that the company is non-denominational and it is not affiliated with any organization or cause.

This novel from a Nobel Laureate is a mystery and love story set in 16th century Istanbul. The Sultan wants to produce an illuminated book in honor of his reign; but, since representations of the human figure are considered offensive in Islam, this work has to be done in secret. One of the artists involved in the production of the book goes missing, and the only clues to his disappearance can be found in the unfinished illuminations.
If you ever find yourself in Istanbul and loved My Name is Red, there is one place you should not miss. The miniaturists in the novel worked at the Topkapi Palace
                  Topkapi Palace (photos by Metic Dagli)

There is another must-visit spot for book lovers in Istanbul: Minoa Bookstore and Cafe. While in there, enjoy floor to ceiling bookshelves and Turkish coffee.

Minoa Bookstore (Photos by Hatice Yardim)

We would also like to recommend two recipes we particularly like from Ottoman cuisine, that pair well with this book. We found a traditional recipe for red lentil soup from the Turkish Cultural Foundation, and a recipe for red pepper and tomato salad from TheSpruceEats.com.

In this novel in verse, the narrator, Red, starts telling us his story when he is 5 years old. He grows up to be a young man and winged red monster who leaves home and falls in love with Herakles, in a modern recreation of the Greek myth of Geryon and the tenth labor of Herakles. 

The 1999 paperback cover for this book is one of the two covers we have chosen this week for our Cover Gallery for its evocative minimalism and the highlight of the color red.
1999 Paperback edition by Jonathan Cape

In this novel, Julien, a man of humble beginnings, uses hypocrisy and intrigue to advance in 19th-century Parisian society. He seems to be succeeding until an unexpected event takes place.

If you like foreign films, there is a French adaptation of The Red and the Black from 1997.

This memoir of the author's life in communist China is our selection to be reviewed using six words: Disturbing childhood during Mao's last years. You can give us your Six-Word Review in our page.  

Brown writes about a future society in which humans have achieved space travel. The caste system in this fictional future society is color-coded and reds happen to be the lowest class. When a young red man living as a miner in Mars realizes upper colors have been exploiting reds, he infiltrates the upper gold caste and take a stand for his future.  

"There is a flower that grows in Mars, it is red and harsh, and fit for our soil." This quote inspired Fiction To Fashion create an outfit based on the YA novel. The picture of the outfit and information regarding where to purchase every item, can be found here

There are two books that explain how red has helped shaped history and art. We are pairing the following two titles in our weekly Book vs. Book

Cochineal red, a dye used by the Aztecs, was introduced in Europe through Spain. The red dye was a sensation, producing the brightest shade of red ever seen until then. The Spanish monopoly over the red dye lasted three centuries, during which pirates, scientist, and spies attempted to find the source of the fascinating dye. 

Pastoureau tells us how the history of red is the social, religious, artistic, and political history of the Western world. The book illustrates how through the centuries, red has fallen in and out of favor and has carried different connotations and symbolism  

There is a very popular book, which has been adapted into the big screen, that is our GuessWork for this week. Can you guess the title?

I am sure there are many other titles with Red in them, you can share them with us in the comments.

To buy books covered in this episode, visit our TBR Bundles


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