Friday, December 18, 2009

Judging Books' Covers

While we all know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we all do.

I do have favourite authors and genres that I read faithfully. But working in the library is like working in a candy/toy store - there is always something that catches my eye, saying “read me, read me”. Here are a few book that caught my eye enough to take time from my busy schedule and favourite books to take a chance on them. Who knows, you might find your own new favourite book that way.

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow has a striking cover. No manufactured red shiny cover for this title - red linen with a black dog baring his sharp teeth. It makes you step back and say “whoa what is this?” While a lot of genres have covers that you can tell right away if it is a romance or western, etc. this novel does not. Based on the cover you can’t quite tell what waits for you inside. What awaits you is a most unusual work, a free verse epic poem about werewolves. It is the story of a dogcatcher in Los Angeles who, unknowingly, falls in love with a werewolf. These werewolves don’t only change upon a full moon, they can at will and they are out to dominate humans.

The Cure for Death by Lighting by Gail Anderson-Dargatz has a cover that has a variety of images on it that makes you wonder how these things are related. The novel is a coming of age story that takes place in British Columbia. Fifteen year old Beth’s world is about to spin out of control with strange things happening to her, her family and her friends. The plot includes physical and mental abuse, incest mysterious disappearances, etc. This is one of the few novels I have come across that has a index. With the cast of characters and complex plot it would be a perfect for a book club.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. I know, a thousand things have been written about this book, expecially since the controversy the author had with Oprah. Yet the cover was what attracted me to the book. Frankly it reminded me of sprinkles on a doughnut, yet it was in the non fiction area (and not a cookbook). This novel spent 15 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. The authors riveting tale of drug abuse and recovery follows his times in rehabilitation and the interesting people he meets. The second book by this author is My Friend Leonard, the tale of a mafia boss he met in rehab. This book also has a wonderful cover.

Some other fabulous covers include those for the Twilight series, Pest Control by Bill Fitzhugh (which I have already blogged about), The Kind One by Tom Epperson and John Elder Robinson’s biography “Look Me in the Eye”.

There are thousands of books out there - each with its own cover. Hopefully at least one or two attracts your attention.

This post has been written by our newest staff blogger, Rosemary

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