Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Judge a Book by the Cover

Do you choose a book by looking at the cover? I know what covers put me off (I won’t give you an example because the author might just kill me. Just let me say it features a blonde woman swooning in a beefy-type’s bicep bulging arms). Here, though, are my top ten covers (not in any order):


This is a wordless picture book that tells the story of a village as seen through a window. It’s so beautifully illustrated that words are unnecessary.


The poetic prose of the book is mirrored perfectly by the lovely lavender fields on the cover.  The peaceful (but not altogether happy) story-line made me think of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.



Isn’t that lovely? I haven’t actually read this biography but it traces Marquéz’s early life. The cover conjures up the scent and warmth of Colombia and the sound of Spanish.


I adored this book . The character on the front is Blueberry, a traumatized 7 year-old whose favorite phrase is f***-o*f. She's violent, old far beyond her years, able to break a room up in twenty seconds and streak for freedom in a twinkling. Yet, as you can see from the cover, she is just a kid.


This is a poignant story of how parents deal with a girl who drops out of school and ends up in the wrong company. The empty swing portrays the end of childhood (in my opinion).


Such a typical, everyday village. Yet there’s that circular “dome” hanging over it, and a foreboding that something’s not quite right.


I read this book as a kid and could never forget the images or the story. After the movie came out I read it again – and it’s just as great.


I haven’t actually read this – but I do adore the cover. I think we’ve got a shape-shifter in this one, don’t you? It’s definitely on my TBR list now.


Did you ever read The Wind in the Willows when you were young? If not, then you’ll get a very good idea of the atmosphere of this magical book just from the cover (that’s Mr. Mole and Ratty in the boat).


I like the hardback cover better than the paperback. Its black background shows the circus only happens at night and I like the magical swirly bits, and the spooky hand.

Can you think of a cover that made you buy a book? Or is there one that you wish was your own cover?


  1. I love your choice of covers, I think quite a few of them would be on my list of favourites too.


  2. These are very good looking covers. I agree with you, sometimes seeing half naked people on the front of a cover can be very off putting.

  3. Thank you Jennie - I agree. I think the problem is, Murees, is that there are so many of them.

  4. Just to be awkward :-)... I tend to be drawn to books I can feel - leather bound or embossed. I think the last cover that caught my eye from across the room was a version of Joe Hill's Horns - with the moths. I also think the cover of Diavolino by Steve Emmett is stunning - and it captures the atmosphere of the story brilliantly.

  5. I admit a book's cover draws me in first, especially if it has great graphics.

  6. Oh Steve Emmett's Diavolino - yes, that should be on the list *sigh* there are a lot of them. Thanks Julia.
    Definitely, Alex - book cover designers need to be imaginative.

  7. Yep, covers seem more important than ever these days. I also love the Night Circus cover. One cover I saw that I really loved recently was 'The Forgotten Waltz' by Anne Enright.

  8. Those are great covers!

    I absolutely love the cover for The Starry Rift edited by Jonathan Strahan.

  9. #3 I loved the most. If I saw that on a shelf, I would definitely pick it up.

  10. I'll check on those Joe and GE - love to see cover art. Me too, Tonja - I haven't read it, but I'll definitely check it out.

  11. #3 is gorgeous! I've read Stephen King's latest and that's a great cover for it.

  12. Some amazing covers here, Sue. Maybe we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but when it's a work of art in its own right...In addition to the above, I also love your cover for Hewhay Hall, and I've been very lucky with the covers Etopia Press have designed for me. Most recently, Mina Carter has done a fantastic job with The Devil Inside Her. Those green eyes...that sinister face...

  13. I don't really buy books based on their covers, so I can't really think of one. :-D

  14. Great examples. I sometimes do judge a book by its cover, especially if it's a horrible cover. Then I'm disappointed a lot by books with fabulous covers because I expect so much of them like The Dark Divine.

  15. Those are great. I love the Night at the Circus. :)

  16. I must buy it, Brinda - glad you liked it. Yes, Catherine, Etopia do good covers. LOL, Misha - I don't think I've ever bought a book just for the cover either. But if I see one I like I'll check out the book.
    Thanks Christine and Mina - I'm reading the Night Circus now. Fabulous book

  17. Yep, you definitely picked some interesting covers. My favourite is the one with the pomegranates.

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