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May 21: Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I’ve Read.

Well, this is another difficult one. Ten books out of everything you’ve ever read?

What lies beneath the surface?

1. 1Q84; Haruki Murakami. The image is under a translucent dust jacket, reminding the reader of the layers of this complicated book. A man’s face is on the back–if you’ve read the book, you know who they are.

This cover hints at what's going to be different about this fairy tale...

2. Cinder; Marissa Meyer. This cover hints at what’s going to be different about this fairy tale. Stark and shadowy, the pop of red is attention-catching.

Look at the colors!

3. Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain; A. Lee Martinez. The bright colors make this cover stand out in a crowd. It’s busy and graphic, and who can resist ‘He came, he squirmed, he conquered?’

What better for a zombie book than words drawn in blood on concrete?

4. Feed; Mira Grant. What better for a zombie book than words painted in blood on concrete?

Pictures can't do this cover justice. The lines are glossy black on black, revealed only as you angle the book, and the strip of color is because the front cover is smaller than the book, revealing a jumble of images on the next page.

5. House of Leaves; Mark Z. Danielewski. Pictures can’t do this cover justice. The lines are glossy black on black, revealed only as you angle the book. The strip of color is actually the next page, thick glossy paper with a jumble of objects on it, revealed because the front cover is smaller than the rest of the book.

Some covers capture the story perfectly.

6. The Inexplicables; Cherie Priest. Some covers capture the feel of a story perfectly.

Lovely and haunting...

7. Ironskin; Tina Connolly. Lovely and haunting… Simply looking at this cover made me want to read this book.

This one's simple, but it makes me think of monsters beneath the surface.

8. Kraken; China Miéville. There’s monsters beneath the surface. Beware.

last hero

9. Last Hero; Terry Pratchett. What happens when old heroes refuse to die? It isn’t pretty… but is hilarious.

I love that little bird... it sold the cover for me.

10. The Peculiar; Stefan Bachmann. I love that little bird… doesn’t it make you wonder about the world it flies over?

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

16 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    These covers are all wonderful, Caitlin! I love cover art, too, and have definitely bought books based on the cover. Clockwork Angel comes to mind. Couldn’t help myself. I have many covers that really move me, and it would be hard to choose favorites. But anything by Chris McGrath would be in the running, with White Night of the Dresden Files probably being my favorite. I just love the misty, interesting background textures of his work. Ad it doens’t hurt that the models are gorgeous. See how shallow I am?

    Thanks for a great post, and I’m going to be checking out some of these books.

    • caitlinstern says:

      After doing this post, I realized I’m more attracted to bright, bold colors than realistic cover art.

      …Not that a little eye candy isn’t nice. 😉

      • Marcia says:

        I like the graphic aspects of some covers, too, don’t get me wrong. House of Leaves looks especially interesting in that regard, and Emperor Mollusk makes me laugh. Ironskin is beautiful. But I always come back to Chris McGrath. I can spot a McGrath cover all the way across the store, and immediately have to go see if it is a book I might want to read. Of course, he does the covers for several of my favorite U.F. series, too: The Dresden Files, The Leandros Brothers, the Toby Daye books, Vampire Empire, and that helps, too.

        • caitlinstern says:

          I love those covers, too. The Dresden one with Sue always makes me snicker. 🙂

          • Marcia says:

            Oh, lordy, that was a wild one! Perfect cover for a wild tale! It’s amazing how much the Dresden books have changed over the years, getting bigger, more complicated, more serious, and just plain better and better. And the covers, along with them. But who can ever forget Sue?

  2. I’ve not read 1Q84 yet, but I do love the cover. Unfortunately, Murakami was recommended to me by someone whose taste seems to be in opposition to mine (he hates Neil Gaiman!), but I think I need to get over that. 🙂

    Have you see the TED talk by Chip Kidd (who designed 1Q84 among others)? http://www.ted.com/talks/chip_kidd_designing_books_is_no_laughing_matter_ok_it_is.html

    • caitlinstern says:

      Maybe your friend isn’t very brave, like me. Some of Gaiman makes me shudder and back away as if faced by a dinner-plate sized spider.
      I loved Sandman, Stardust, and Coraline, and am reading American Gods–so maybe I’m getting braver!

      You might want to start with a smaller Murakami book, though. 1Q84 is really two books. (945 pages!)

      No, I haven’t, but soon I will. Thanks for the link!

  3. […] I was exploring other posts for this week’s meme and when I saw 1Q84 on the list at caitlinsternwrites, I was reminded of this excellent TED talk, by Chip Kidd, who designed the covers of 1Q84 and […]

  4. ablightedone says:

    I really like the Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain cover and the Kraken cover! Spectacular!

  5. Disquietus says:

    The cover for Ironskin is gorgeous. I’m definitely going to have to give that a read.

  6. Akilah says:

    You’ve picked some covers that I haven’t seen before. They’re so striking. Great list.

  7. vmcarswell says:

    Great list! I have been wanting to read House of Leaves forever. I started it, but had to put it down for some reason and haven’t gotten back to it yet. Thanks for stopping by!

    Vyki @ On The Shelf

    • caitlinstern says:

      Why are these pages printed diagonally, or in a little box?

      Because Danielewski, crazy man that he is, wanted you to experience the book like the characters experienced the House.

      I’d recommend moving it up a spot or two in your ‘so many books, so little time’ list.

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