Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ten beautiful book covers:

Top Ten Tuesday is a fabulous book-blogging tradition created by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. To tie in with YLCF's March of the Books, I'm playing along with Top Ten Tuesdays -- and secretly hoping it'll become a habit.

This week's theme is 10 favourite covers and I probably should confess: I'm not the best person to be talking about covers of books. The swirly ones with beautiful imagery don't call out to me as much as the simpler ones do. You probably won't find an abundance of pretty books on my bookshelves because I don't generally buy for the covers. Nevertheless, this afternoon I walked throughout my house plucking books from my various bookshelves and stacks to-be-read, searching for the ones with the covers I love the most. These are what I came up with:

Creative Journal Writing by Stephanie Dowrick.
This is a perfect example of the kind of cover design that appeals to me. It's spare, fresh, and classic. The typography is enduring, and the calligraphy is just right.

Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society by Timothy Willard and Jason Locy.
The colour is terrible, but the type -- bold and stark front and centre -- is fantastic.

Finish This Book by Keri Smith.
Keri Smith is a genius and an artist. Her book looks like something I'd want to make for myself, and the fact that the cover consists entirely of hand-drawn lettering makes it just so cool.

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien.
If I someday wrote a book, and it got published, and the cover looked anywhere as cool as this, I would be delirious. This is beautiful. Again, it's all about the type (are we detecting a pattern?), but the graphic elements are perfect, too. Whoever designed this cover should totally get a raise.

Eggs by Jerry Spinelli.
No title necessary -- just the picture. Genius.

Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
I once swore I would never read a book in which the author's name appears larger than the title on its cover. It suggests -- or so I argued -- that the book is sold purely on the basis of the author's past work, and not on its own merit. I obviously broke that vow (it was a silly vow anyway), and this book is one of my vow-breakers. More hand-lettered type, and a cute artwork, too.

Mess by Keri Smith.
Everything I said about Finish This Book also applies here. Looovely!

Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose.
I feel my love for the content of this book made me love the outside irrationally, because now I'm looking at it and it's cute and lovely, but it's not amazing the way Birthmarked is amazing. See? I love books the way I love people. Once I know them and love the insides, it's hard to tell whether they're actually attractive or not because they just ARE.

Sagas of the Icelanders.
There's Icelandic hills and a dragon's head, you know. Plus, this book is super-fat and the edges of the pages are raw and deckle-edged, and overall, it's just really nice to hold in your hands.

The Family at Misrule and Little Mother Meg by Ethel Turner.
Like how I squeezed these in two-for-one? I've had these books since I was in my early teens, and I LOVE the covers. Plus, it's nice that I have some traditionally cute books to share in this post, proving I'm not just obsessed with bare covers and type. I devoured these books hundreds of times in various different imprints, but these remain my favourite covers. I read an article about the artist which discussed how they (she? I think the artist was a woman) crafted her paintings from photos of people she thought resembled the characters in the books. Perhaps that explains why the paintings look so real. And yeah, I admit I had a little-girl crush on grown-up Bunty in Little Mother Meg. He just looks so clean-cut and lovely, and he's so changed and matured from who he is in Misrule. He turned out quite the sweetie.

* * *

Sigh. I guess my book-cover-lovin' styles are a little weird. You should see the books I picked for my "top ten battered old books whose covers I love" post. It's like I figure the daggier the better when it comes to secondhand books -- but I'll save those for another post.

How about you? What cover designs do you love? Or does the cover mean very little to you?

* * * * *


Jessica -- don't worry! I'm behind on blog commenting and reading myself.

Un -- I think you're right! The fact that there's only this little grainy square to work with does, in a sense, make the picture-taking easier. It's like it has to be even more amazing when you have a good camera, too. However, of course that's not the case! Just taking the pictures themselves is awesome. They don't all have to be artworks! (Make sure you email me yours, okay?)

Amanda -- yes! They're just so happy to look at!

Brenda -- absolutely! :)


  1. I've never heard of most of these books, but they sound interesting!

  2. Oh "Veneer"?? I heard someone talk about that book recently - what did you think? Did you like the inside as much as the cover??? The topic really grabs me - just wondering if it's worth reading!!

  3. *takes note of this post as a book cover designer* ;) I think I may have to find the eighth book here, that looks good. :D

  4. I loved Ethel Turner when I was younger....probably still do - just haven't read her books in ages.

    I need to show my husband that egg one.... ;-)

  5. Heyyy, numbers 1 & 3 are pretty cool covers! I love the idea of number 3 - what sort of book is it? like, sort of a journal?

  6. Love your collection! Cool post idea too.

    I love old daggy book covers the best, my favs being ones with embossing everywhere possible. :)

  7. Love your covers:) Beautiful:)

  8. I love the Seven Little Australians Series.


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