Monday, April 27, 2015

I judge books by their covers

Even though I don't have an natural artistic talent, probably not even what would be considered a "good eye," one of the jobs I dream about is graphic designer, specifically for book covers.  I decided to create a quick post on this subject after falling in love with the cover for The Harder They Come.

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One of my very favorite writers of adult fiction--T.C. Boyle.  I recently read his newest, The Harder They Come (and as usual with his work, Very Dark Stuff Happens). I love this cover with its contrast between black and white and for how it hints obliquely at plot elements (the poppies, the evergreens, and the more jungly leaves).

One of my other favorites of his is Riven Rock, the story of real-life Stanley McCormick, his mental health battles, and his doomed marriage.  Although I normally hate covers with real people on them, this one works for me, as the book is historical fiction and the shading and the real photo contribute a suitable moodiness and verisimilitude.  

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baa9a573f619b1ded684cc7a6bc9ecd5.jpg (1688×2550)If I had only looked at this cover (the one on the left hand side) of All the Truth That's In Me, I would never have picked it up, thinking it's about a "bad" girl who gets in trouble somehow and has to fight her way out of it, while perhaps stopping to re-apply heavy black eyeliner every now and then. 

 I am glad I ignored the cover, as it's smart historical fiction that feels timeless, with an unusual heroine and a compelling plot.  I love the simplicity of this alternate cover--black and white with just that little hint of danger with the colored petal.  

Here are some other recent books with both covers I love, as well as stories I will definitely re-read.  My favorite colors are blues and greens, so it's a bit of a surprise to scroll through my book covers and see how many spare and clean black and white ones appeal to me.  

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