Monday, November 27, 2006

Best Book Covers

I hope everyone had a happy Turkey Day, and if you are, were, or plan to be a member of the New York Giants I officially ban you from ever reading this site, passing me on the street, or urinating without intense discomfort.

Moving along...

I want to pose a few discussion topics relating to book covers:

What are your favorite book covers of all time?

What are some recent book covers you feel stand out?Are there, shudder, any book covers you feel were so awful that they either made you steer clear of the book, or perhaps even buy it out of curiosity?

Here are some of my choices:

FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury

Just a terrific, evocative and altogether frightening cover that both stands out and echoes the sentiment that by burning books we are in fact burning ourselves as well.

JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton

I've always had a soft spot for a good beastie book where some rabid genetically altered creature runs amok and snacks on dozens of hapless scientists and/or army personnel before being felled by a rocket launcher/machine gun fire/napalm explosion. Needless to say, JURASSIC PARK is the mother, father, grandfather and inbred reheaded stepchild of all beastie books. And to fully appreciate this cover you have to put it on context. This was before TYRANNASAUR ALLEY, before THE RELIC, and was simply the behemoth of techothrillers. With a jacket designed by designer-celeb Chip Kidd, JURASSIC PARK was the King Kong of beastie books when it was released in 1991, and that skeleton defied any reader not to dig it up.

THE BIG BAM by Leigh Montville

I just love this cover. The picked the perfect shot of Ruth, used the perfect font, and let the Babe speak for himself. My biggest pet peeve when it comes to covers is unimaginative or bland font, images or designs that serve no useful purpose other than to simply exist, and elements that just don't mesh or convey any sense of the book. All of those elements mesh perfectly for this cover, in my opinion.

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Ok, cards on the table, I've never read a book by Sherrilyn Kenyon. But I distinctly rememeber surfing upcoming releases, seeing this cover, and thinking Wow.

Just look at this beauty. The red sky, gothic font and "ruggedly handsome" dude on the balcony, and this is one bad ass book cover. Just to make it clear, despite this dude's "Rugged Handsomeness," I could definitely kick his ass. Anyone with cheekbones that high can't weigh more than 47 pounds. No doubt that cloak conceals a frame that would make Napoleon Dynamite laugh. But I digress...I almost bought this book just for the cover (and $19.95 price point) just to see what kind of book could merit such an awesome design.

So these are just a few, most are recent, and I'll post more as they come to me. So what are some book covers that stand out to you?


Blogger Dave White said...

One of my newest favorite covers is Laura Lippman's No Good Deeds. Just very dark and very cool. I'm trying to think of some other eye catching ones, I liked Cornelia Read's.

11:13 AM  
Blogger JT Ellison said...

John Connolly's new one -- THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, is really cool, as is Erica Spindler's COPYCAT. There's just no question about the contents.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

I loved the cover of Elizabeth Gilbert's EAT, PRAY, LOVE. Simple, but rather genius.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Baboon said...

My pick, RED LEAVES by Thomas Cook. It's beautiful yet disconcerting. Great read as well.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Baboon said...

I have to add James Sallis' DRIVE as well. One look and you know you're up for a wild ride from dawn to dusk.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hmm...I would have to say "Hunter's Moon" by O.R. Melling. That is a great cover even though online you can't see the reflection bits of it. I guess it could be called holligraphic maybe?
Cool blog. Just dropping by.

12:00 AM  

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