Book Cover Gallery – #1

Awhile back I posted my reasoning regarding why I judge book covers.  I was looking through some older books of mine today and again was admiring some of the beautiful cover art.  So I am adding a new installment to this blog – Book Cover Gallery – where I will showcase some of my favourite book covers and why I love them (I might also throw in the odd stinker of a cover as well).  I originally had these covers as part of another post but decided they deserved to be highlighted on their own.


The Dragon and the Unicorn by A.A. Attanasio – first off, the yin/yang of the dragon and unicorn caught my eye.  As I said in this previous review – I first read this story at the beginning of a spiritual journey and to have a cover that just exploded with spirituality had me sold.  Once I read the story I understood even more the symbolism of the cover.  The dragon and the unicorn exist in the story and indeed represent a strong theme of duality that it seems every character tries to come to terms with.  I don’t have any tattoos but if I ever got one, this would be it.

The Child Thief by Brom – the author is also an artist and the cover is his beautiful creation of Peter Pan.  If you decide to read this book be prepared; it is dark, horrifying, tragic and absolutely enthralling.  That image of Peter just stirs up a cold, uncertainty in myself.  I am repulsed yet intrigued, attracted yet scared….

Abarat by Clive Barker.  This is a YA novel and I loved every bit of it.  Doesn’t the cover just scream out adventure into the unknown?  Even the title can be read the same backwards – to me this tells me to expect the unexpected.  Barker himself is an artist and this cover depicts his art from the world of Abarat.  The characters (and the story) are just as colourful as the cover.

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch – this cover was on the translated edition (translated by Lee Chadeayne).  I loved the cover immediately for it’s quirky, dark and mysterious nature (salted with a bit of the comical?) – and that is exactly what the story delivered.  Plus, I am naturally drawn to black, white and red art.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – this cover just grabbed the nostalgia in me.  It felt so sad but so familiar, I immediately was intrigued.  It felt like there was a secret within, something shameful hence the man disappearing behind the tent wall.  (The story was okay, it didn’t blow me away or hook me like the cover did, but I was glad I read it if only for the elephant in the story.)

Want an example of a cover that I thought was awful but bought anyway because the summary of the story intrigued me and the first page caught my interest?

The Thirteen by Susie Moloney.  God I dislike this cover (but loved the story).  First off, it looks like Michelle Pfieffer so it took awhile before I could stop picturing her throughout the story and secondly I couldn’t decide if the cover wanted to be a romance, a fantasy or cheesy chic-lit.  The story was so much more than the cover – it was well done, had a poetic beauty to it and some great characters.  I feel the story deserves a better cover than this.  And then a friend showed me her copy with a completely different cover (and a way more intriguing one might I add).

<-The cover I have that I can’t stand.  The swirly swirls don’t match the cold look in her eyes.  This cover makes no sense at all.

<- The cover my friend has which is the far more superior cover in my opinion.  I tried to get her to trade with me but she refused.


About Geeky Book Snob

Learning stuff since birth. Happy introvert who likes socializing when she's not busy being an introvert who likes to read.

Posted on October 16, 2012, in Book Cover Gallery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. You can’t judge a book by its cover but you can envisage how the reading experience would be by a book’s cover.

  2. Great cover choices! I’m constantly buying books for their covers – bad habit, I know, but I’ve also found a lot of great books that way, like “Biting the Sun” by Tanith Lee – I never would have looked twice at it if I hadn’t fallen in love with the cover first, and now it’s in my top five books ever.

    p.s. She does look like Michelle Pfieffer…glad you were able to get past that to enjoy the story inside. 🙂

    • Tanith Lee, is she a fantasy writer? I don’t think I’ve read anything by her before but will take a look. I hear you, really well done covers just grab you and won’t let go.

      • She’s a fantasy and sci fi writer, fairly popular in the 80s and 90s, although she’s still writing books now, too. I haven’t loved her other books as much, but she certainly has a lot of imagination.

  3. I never really thought so much about the cover art on a book, but I see what you mean by the ones you have chosen. As soon as I saw ‘the dragon and the unicorn’ I thought that would be a great tattoo. And your description of ‘the child thief’ was intriguing, so I have just bought it to read!

    • oooh, I would love to know what you think. There were literally moments in the book where I was wondering why the hell I was reading this – and not becuase it was bad – but because it is so dark and violent at times. Yet I couldn’t put it down. Brom captured the devilish spirit of Peter Pan so well that by the end of the book I thought, yeah, I’d probably follow the guy myself (though maybe a few yards behind….) Did you read my review on ‘The Child Thief’? It is here if you haven’t:

  4. I want to read all these books now! One book I bought for the cover, and was not disappointed, was ‘The End of My Y’ by Scarlett Thomas. The edges of the pages are a velvety black, too, which makes it seem extra special.

    • I love it when book covers really go out to engage the senses. I just love it period when publishers get that the cover art is just as important to the story. It is essentially, the marketing piece for the book. I think that might just be my dream job. Reading stories and then coming up with the covers for them.

  5. I LOVED this! I’m going to have to go through my library and do the same. Off the top of my head, I enjoyed a couple of Bach’s simple and pure covers. The simple feather of “Illusions” and the peaceful bird of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” really hit a chord with me.

    I look forward to this series of posts!

    • I googled those covers…Illusions right away grabbed me. It has a quantum physics look to it. I read the synopsis and sure enough – there seems to be a really strong spiritual/enlightenment aspect to it. Definitely putting it on my to read list.
      Thanks for reading, I look forward to doing more of these types of posts. I commented in one of my Thoughts from the bookshelf posts that I wish there was some type of frame that could hold books so you could hang them on your walls like art.

      • Illusions is on my top 10 books that changed my life list. It’s short and deceptively easy to read. The prologue story of the one brave being who let go…. Has stuck with me nearly 30 years.

        Another one I thought of for just the cover was The Blue Day Book by Bradley Greive. Happens to be a really cutesy book of photos and short little lessons on cheering yourself up. It always makes me smile. Definitely not a snob book, but a fun one for kids of all ages or the coffee table.

        Hey, how about saving book covers as digital files or photos, then putting them on a randomizing digital photo frame? Or shadow box frames? I’m sure you could come up with something.

  6. I’m with you in judging a book by its cover…well, I do get attracted to book covers before i decide if i like the plot. In the hands of capable artist the book cover just add that bit of push to your reading and well they look wonderful on the shelf or on the table top. Right now, being a fan of typography can’t wait to see the Penguin alphabet series featuring Jessica Hische’s work. I have a copy of Abarat but have yet to dive into reading it.

    I’d love to see what other book covers you’d be featuring. Wouldn’t it be great to get those covers enlarged into actual wall art?

  7. I’m a sucker for a good cover too. If it happens to match well with the written synopsis on the back (if there is one), I’ve already been sucked in halfway into buying the book. Bad covers on the other hand, often deter me from reading a book even if the story sounds intriguing. I’ve been proven wrong before but a bad cover just feels disrespectful to a good story to me.

  8. I really loved seeing the book covers you displayed. They were really great to see. And made me interested in some new books. More to add to my queue.

  9. Omg – do I need good covers! Thanks!

  10. Believe it or not, I have The Dragon and Unicorn tattoo!
    You’ve got great taste 😉

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