Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Pretty Covers

a.k.a. The Books I want to Read Because of How They Look Like.

Some people think it's shallow to choose the books by their covers. Some others, like me, think it's fun, and it leads to some wonderful discoveries, even new favourite writers, if you're lucky. Of course it can bring to huge disappointments, but at least you're left with a pretty book...right?
So here I'd like to share with you the books that are on my wishlist mainly for their attractive exteriors. There's LOTS! Sometimes it can be just a pretty design. Sometimes the title, or the quirky feel. I can't get enough of collecting list of books based on their appearance. And frankly, I think that's what they are supposed to do. Attract you. Otherwise they will all be just plain covers with the name and the author written on them. True, it's not fair for those unfortunate books stuck with horrendous covers that might be awesome, too. But for those I have the internet to rely on, we have recommendations, reviews, word-of-mouth...
That comes after. Also, I believe in the publishers. They know our tastes, what we are attracted to. An ugly cover for me can be an irresistible cover for someone else. An interesting cover for me, can repel some others. I'm not saying it's a rule we should stick to. I'm only saying it's fun! And rewarding some times. So here we go. Let's call this my introduction to the "Cover Attraction" feature hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page every Wednesday.

The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw.
You can't see it but the pages are lined with silver. Oh so pretty.

From Amazon: A mysterious and frightening alchemical metamorphosis has befallen Ida Maclaird - she is slowly turning into glass, from the feet up. She returns to St Hauda's Land, where she believes the glass first took hold, in search of a cure. Midas Crook is a young loner, who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defenses. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart, and they begin to fall in love...

Falling by Sharon Dogar.
It's also endorsed by Philip Pullman so...

From Amazon:Neesha is haunted by violent visions of the past; of another Southeast Asian girl, far away and forever ago. Just when the echoes in her head threaten to overwhelm her, to rob her of her fragile sanity, rescue comes in the form of Sam--a white boy she's known since childhood.

Scatterheart by Lili Wilkinson.

From Amazon: It's 1814 and Hannah Cheshire leads a privileged life in London, with fine clothes, servants and a handsome tutor. Then one day her father disappears and she is left to fend for herself. Not equipped for the real world she ends up penniless, and sentenced to transportation to the colonies for a crime she didn't commit...

Ghosts and Lightning by Trevor Byrne.
Also, It's Irish and it's recommended by Roddy Doyle.

From Amazon: Happy or unhappy, all families are a mystery. None more than the Cullens. Having escaped their clutches and moved across the water, Denny is just beginning to make a life for himself when a call from his sister brings him back to Dublin, city of his birth. Back to square one. As if squabbling siblings and unhelpful childhood friends weren't trouble enough, a ghost starts making appearances in the family home and Denny's life starts to get a lot more complicated.

These are only the latest I've fallen for. The following have been on my list for a while now, but they still look awesome:

aaaand I think that's all, for now!
And what about you? What kind of book covers do you feel attracted to? And do you feel ashamed for choosing them because of that?
As I said, I don't. I've discovered Daniel Pennac, one of my first favourite authors, thanks to one of his covers. Then there's Jenny Valentine, Meg Rosoff, Diane Setterfield...
The disappointments that first come on to my mind are fewer. The History of Tractors in Ukrainian was alright, but not brilliant. The White Tiger was also alright, but not my favourite. I'm still happy I read them, otherwise I'd be still here dying to open the pages of those faboulous cover!


Amanda said...

Whatever they say about not judging a book by its cover, I think a good cover helps to make a book. I've read many books I probably wouldn't have looked at otherwise because of their covers. I've really liked some of those discoveries, too.

Memory said...

Those are gorgeous. I especially like the second and third ones you posted.

And it looks to me like you're a big fan of the red and the blue. :) I concur. I find that I'm more likely to take a second look at a book with a red cover. I know they aren't all wonderful and amazing reads, but I've read enough mindblowingly good red books that I have trouble actually believing that.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Oh wow, I love a ton of these. They just look amazing, esp. the one based in Dublin or whatever. I need to check out some of the books you just posted covers of. I'm always judging books by just depends. that or titles. It's bound to happen when you are just browsing.


Court said...

I have a think for art nouveau posters... and the cover for Scatterheart totally has that same style. LOVE it!

The Ladies of Grace Adieu is also a lovely cover! (It's a really good book too!)

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

You know what they say about judging a book by a cover, right? :P They are indeed really beautiful. What strikes me about many of these covers is the whimsy. Love Fairie Heart and Dream Eaters covers.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Oh and by the way--when I'm just browsing for books I definitely judge by the cover!!

Sarah said...

I pick up books for many reasons, including a pretty or interesting cover. Like you say, it can lead to some wonderful discoveries!

From your picks above, I can recommend Butterfly and indeed anything by Sonya Hartnett- not always cheerful reading, but hard to put down or forget.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

I liked Thirteen O'clock,book-info/store,kids/products_id,5268/title,Thirteen-OClock/

and The Tin Forest

Lovely blog, Valentina!

valentina said...

Amanda, yeah I think the people who say they don't choose books by their covers are either hypocrite or they never go to bookshop/libraries just for browsing!

memory, I never thought about it this way! but it's true! although I don't like all red or blue books, there is a high percentage of them in my lists.Also purple and lilac...I wonder why!

Lauren glad you agree:) I think I want to read that Irish book soon, it's just calling me, and it looks like a quick read...

Court, I have a think for art nouveau too! I went to see Mucha's museum in Prague and I was smitten!

Trish, I know what they say,but I don't believe them:) or more precisely, I don't judge them, I just admire them and choose them over others...;)

Sarah, Sonia Hartnett is already under my radar (ghost child), and this looks really interesting.

mother (re)produces...yes! I love love love the tin forest and all of Wayne Anderson's work!

Jimmypie said...

As much as I truely despise the twilight books their covers are quite gorgeous!

I always go by a cover, if the author wasn't smart enough to get a nice cover than then it isn't the author I want to read books from. Thats just my personal opinion though.

Judging a book by its cover is sort of how you do it. Or by its title. A bad title can ruin a book and a good title can make it magical.

I am attracted to white covers a lot, and covers that don't have pictures on them, but just a color or maybe a single object. Textures on a cover will attract any girl, just like shopping, you always have to feel anything that looks like it must be felt even if its ugly haha.

I'ven ever read the Luxe or Rumor, (whatever they are) novels but those covers are pretty. I love the dresses on all of them.

Jimmypie said...

Oh and I forgot to mention 'Realm of Possibilities' By David Levithan. The cover on that book is briliant, as is the book.

I highly reccomend it. Its a reread book. I've read it several times and you get something new everytime. The first time you don't get much at all cause its a tad bit confusing, the second time is when you notice the magic flowing through each beautiful line in that book.

valentina said...

Yes, Twilight especially has a beautiful cover,I love it.
I'm not that attracted to the Luxe books, too chick-lick looking for me, but I see your point for the dresses:)
David Levithan is an author I need to discover, everyone seem to love him a lot, I'll keep the Realm of Possibilities in mind, thank you!

Lenore Appelhans said...

I love The Girl with Glass Feet cover - WOW!

celine said...

Ooooo 'Blankets' I love 'Blankets' So sad and honest and the art work is just flawlessly beautiful.

Ana S. said...

Those are all seriously gorgeous! I do judge books by their covers and I'm not afraid to admit it :P

I've been so curious about The End of Mr was recommended by Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman and Douglas Coupland, all authors I love. I almost ordered it based on that alone. But then I read some things about it online that made it sound like a book I could seriously hate...especially all the Derrida references in the story (not a fan of the guy). I hope some blogger I trust reviews it some day so I can make up my mind about whether or not I want to read it :P

Unknown said...

I hold my hands up, I judge books by their covers. I love the one for The Girl with Glass Feet especially knowing the pages are silver edged. I recently bought Scatterheart based on it's cover as well.