Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Not Quite Right: Top Ten Book Covers I Wish I Could Redesign

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was as difficult as last week’s. I tend to buy editions with attractive/interesting covers, even if they’re a little more expensive. There are a few covers though, that popped to mind, but most I had to work to find. I decided this week that I’d include not just the book title and author, but the publisher too. The publishers, from what I understand, have the final say on the book covers. Sometimes I want to ask them what they were thinking. In no particular order, the Top Ten Book Covers I Wish I Could Redesign.

1. New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer, published by Little, Brown. – Why is it a bloody flower? Shouldn’t it have something to do with, I don’t know, a moon? I understand that all the covers have the deep red theme going on, but maybe a bloody moon to represent the large wolf presence in this story would have been better.

2. Self, by Yann Martel, published by Vintage Canada. – When I ordered the book, I thought I was getting the cover with the purple flower shaped smudge. Instead I got this weird white statue thing.

3. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, published by Faber and Faber - I thought I was getting a cover with a flower on it (sorry, can’t seem to find a picture), but I got a morose looking girl instead. It fits with the story, but I thought the girl was obvious, where the flower would be symbolic.

4. The Dark Tower: Treachery, by Stephen King, published by Marvel. – This was an amazing graphic novel. The art is spectacular. The problem I have with the cover is that it’s of a girl I’ve never seen before and have no idea who she is. The title is “Treachery” so you think she’s the traitor, but it doesn’t really work out that way. I just wish the cover was more telling of the story, something with Roland and his mother maybe.

5. The Dark Tower V: The Wolves of Calla, by Stephen King, published by Scribner. – (Sorry Dark Tower, you know I love you.) There are two covers that I like and two that I don’t. They don’t seem to go with the other books in the series. Can you guess which they are?

6. Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective, by Donald Davidson, published by Clarendon Press. I know it’s a book about philosophy of the mind, but the cover doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s not mental enough.

With the next two on the list, the book covers have already been re-designed since they were first published and thank goodness. The old ones were terrible, the new ones are much better. They made it easy to dismiss the quality story-telling in these fantasy novels. I’m not including the pictures of these covers since there are five books in #7 and four in #8. The links will take you to the old covers if you’re interested.

7. The Cleric Quintet, R.A. Salvatore, published by Wizards of the Coast. It could have been worse. Maybe.

8. Legacy of the Drow Series, by R.A. Salvatore, published by Wizards of the Coast. I know Drizzt is around 60 in these books, but that’s Drow years. Drow live for hundreds of years. They should have drawn him as though he was in his late 20s or early 30s.

9. And 10 and 11 and 12…. Any book with the movie poster as the cover. Example of why I don’t like it: Confessions of a Shopaholic. The movie had almost nothing to do with the book. It was so unlike the book; I had to go into watching it, thinking it was something completely different, just so I wouldn’t hate it.

I can wait to see what book covers other people have come up with.


  1. new moon has made several lists--I've always thought it needed a big white moon on the cover. Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  2. You have taken interesting covers. Some of those do need to be redesigned! Some covers are So trashy! I have posted about that.

    Here is my Top Ten post!

  3. Anonymous5/4/11 13:55

    Love your description of New Moon's cover! And getting a cover you didn't order is irritating!!!
    Thanks for stopping by my post so that I could come to enjoy your's.

  4. That Self cover is very strange. I don't think I hate it. I'm intrigued.

    Here is my list: http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/04/top-ten-tuesday-stop-embarassing-me.html

  5. So glad someone else has added film tie-ins to their list.

    I am a Dark Tower fan too but this is the first I have seen other editions of the books (other than the marvel ones - I have those too). I have the red edition and I have to say much prefer it out of the choice.

    I have only ever seen the edition of Bell Jar you have shown here. Maybe that's the British one.

    It's funny but almost everyone has listed the Twilight books or the Twilight related covers on their lists. I don't think anyone understands why there is a flower on the front of New Moon other than the fact the colours match the rest of the covers in the series.

  6. I saw New Moon and the rest of Twilight covers on other lists. Having read the book, I understand how the other images fit with the stories, but I don't get the bloody flower.

    Kathy, not getting the cover I order is super irritating. It's only happened a couple of times, thankfully.

    LBC, I think it's that it was the cover I picked, so it made me not like it. I've seen the newest edition of Self and it has a new cover and it's even weirder. It is a great book though.

    Karen, I like the red cover too, but the one I own is actually the black one.