Introducing Lovely Books! Each Saturday during the month of February, I'll be focusing on a different aspect of those wonderful bundles of dead trees and ink that we like to pet and sniff and sometimes devour. Best of all, I'm making this my first ever link-up, inviting you to join me! Because what's better than one bookworm gushing over books? Two or three or several dozen bookworms gushing over books they love, of course.
Today is all about lovely covers and lovely titles. Shallow? Mayhap, but none of us can deny the power of a strong title or an eye-catching cover. We really do tend to judge books by these surface qualities. (Though sometimes an incredible story is disguised by a shabby cover, or a glitzy cover may hide a second-rate tale.) But I'm not here to discuss the rightness or wrongness of such tendencies, so let's get on with the show.
The rules are so simple, they're almost non-existent. Just grab the picture, and use it in your own post talking about covers and titles you adore! Be sure to use the linky I included at the end.
(This will not be a comprehensive list. I'm sure if I browsed the library or a bookstore to jog my memory, I'd have five times as many to show you.)
(Most of these will be books I either own or have at least read, but at the end I'll point to a few covers of books I haven't yet explored. This is all about the looks here, not what lies underneath, which will come later this month. Though I'd say most of what's on my list has content to match the covers.)
The Bones of Makaidos - Bryan Davis
There's so much epicness happening here! Several characters manage to fit onto this cover without making it feel cluttered. The battle raging in the background definitely piques one's interest.
The Errant King - Wayne Thomas Batson
This. Just--what are words? It's clever and unusual and gorgeously illustrated. I love the depictions of both characters (and that's such a hit or miss kind of thing, illustrating characters on the cover--what if they look weird, or different than how I imagine them?). But this is fabulous.
Isle of Fire - Wayne Thomas Batson
Pirate ships! Fire! Skull and crossbones! Ahh!
If We Survive - Andrew Klavan
I know I've mentioned this book before, but I have to drool over the colors and jungle-y-ness of it again.
Shadow Hand - Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Quite possibly my favorite cover of the entire series so far!
Illusionarium - Heather Dixon
I couldn't talk about gorgeous covers without mentioning this one, now could I? The steampunk detail on the borders, the period clothing, gah, EVERYTHING. (Though I still can't figure out which character the girl is supposed to be. She has the wrong hair color to be any of the main females, except for maybe one, and I'm sure this is not her.
Plain Kate - Erin Bow
Whimsical with a faint hint of eeriness . . . beautiful colors . . . yes, preciousss.
Outlaw - Ted Dekker
It looks like someone cut a hole right through the book, focusing our attention on the dark jungle background and the silhouette of a mysterious somebody.
Forbidden - Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee
Simple and gothic in style. The bleeding heart makes sense once you read the book. I always love it when I get to the point in the story that reveals the cover's meaning.
The Dark Unwinding - Sharon Cameron
One of the only other steampunk books I've read besides Illusionarium. Pretty blue dress, eye-catching title graphics, and can we take a moment to appreciate that humongous, creepy mansion in the background?
Raven's Ladder - Jeffrey Overstreet
Come on, it's an epic guy holding a sword! And the sweeping perspective is perfect for a fantasy novel. (As a side note, this cover--it's the third in the series--is what got my brother interested in reading it. Not book one, two, or four. This one.)
Offworld - Robin Parrish
Dark and brooding . . . an eerily abandoned bicycle lying on the highway . . . If you like sci-fi and/or space even a little bit, go read this one.
Nightmare - Robin Parrish
Creepy, once again . . .
Illusion - Frank Peretti
Another cover that wonderfully captures the content of the pages within. The colors are soft and golden as memory. The birds and the bit of theater curtain on the edge allude to the main couple's magician life.
Emissary - Thomas Locke
You saw this coming. Serious cover love going on here. (Maybe it's because the orb on the staff reminds me of an object in my own fantasy series.)
Return of the Guardian King - Karen Hancock
Kind of just screams classic fantasy, doesn't it?
House of Dark Shadows - Robert Liparulo
There's something about a creepy house that always gets my attention. And I love the title font used for this series!
The Black and White Rainbow - John Trent & Judy Love
This is here partially for nostalgia's sake--it was one of my absolute favorite childhood books--but also because the illustrations were so pretty and fun. It starts out black and white, but as the story progresses, colors are added. The cover portrays both a world of color and a world without.
And now for a few covers of books I have not yet read (but probably will).
Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies - William Joyce
I've been meaning to read this series since I saw the movie based off it, Rise of the Guardians. This cover in particular is so prettyful, and that shade of teal is one of my personal favorites.
The Golden Braid - Melanie Dickerson
I read the first two books (which were so-so), but this cover depicts Rapunzel rather beautifully, don't you think?
Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
This book has been stalking me around the blogosphere lately, and the cover keeps snatching at my eyeballs. Crows are just kind of cool, okay? (Except when they're being pesky, raucous creatures in my neighborhood.)
Passenger - Alexandra Bracken
I know exactly zero about this book, but THAT COVER. A city in a bottle, a ship in the reflection--ack, it's so pretty.
Ink and Bone - Rachel Caine
I 'overhead' a conversation about this book in the comments section of a blog recently. Not only is the premise totally gripping, but this cover is lovely too.
Plenilune - Jennifer Freitag
I've heard bits and pieces about this book, mostly that it's HUMONGOUSLY LONG--but that is one powerful cover.
The Progeny - Tosca Lee
(It doesn't come out until May 2016, just so you know.) Again, I'm quite enjoying the gothic feel of the cover, and masquerade masks are a sure-fire way to make me perk up.
Five Magic Spindles - ???
Seriously, this might be one of my favorite covers EVER. I'm completely in love with the golden, autumnal colors! (And because I need an outlet, however brief, to release some excitement . . . THE WINNERS ARE BEING ANNOUNCED IN 24 DAYS!!!!!)
In summary. . .
It appears that I have a color scheme going on, consisting of a lot of blues, greens, reds, and golds. Huh. I also gravitate towards epic artwork rather than abstract (though there's a tiny bit of that in there, too). Covers that promise something exciting, beautiful, or slightly creepy definitely get my attention!
We're not finished just yet! To rest your eyes from that overwhelming collection of gorgeous cover art, here's a short list of just some of my favorite titles, in no particular order.
- Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
- Circles of Seven (Bryan Davis)
- The Tide of Unmaking (Wayne Thomas Batson)
- Solitary (Travis Thrasher)
- The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
- Heartless (Anne Elisabeth Stengl)
- Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell--nonfiction, by the way)
- The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)
- First the Dead (Tim Downs)
- The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
- The Windy Side of Care (Rachel Heffington)
- The Grand Sophy (Georgette Heyer)
- The Last Thing I Remember (Andrew Klavan)
- And I'm drawing a big, fat blank now . . . I know there are more delicious titles that I love, but no more are coming to me. Like I said before, I could probably wander a library and end up quadrupling this list!
I like titles that roll off the tongue, like The Windy Side of Care. I like short, punchy titles like Heartless, Solitary, and Outliers. I like alliteration (Pride and Prejudice) and classics (The Hobbit). I like titles that hook me upon first glance, such as The Last Thing I Remember. Words like Screwtape or Unmaking are unusual and demand that I understand them.
Seriously, I wish I remembered enough awesome titles to make that a longer list. Ah, well.