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Chapter 12 - Judging a Book By Its Cover

I have found here in North Myrtle Beach that a gray morning does not mean a gray day, all day. We have fog that rolls in or clouds that drift by which, by midday, move out and leave us with beautiful sunshiny days.

So, since you can't tell from the morning if the day will be pretty, it made me think - can you judge a book by its cover? The recent trend in hardback book covers is to make them 3-D with tears or raindrops or sparkles embedded in the dust jackets. This seems to be a little more difficult with trade paperbacks so don't expect the trade paperback cover to match the original hardcover dust jacket. Mass market (the smallest size) paperbacks don't get nearly the creativity of the hardback designs.

Here are some of the best (and worst) book covers of books I've read.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - I had not read this book since I was a child and received this beautiful edition at our book club's Christmas book exchange. It is a special edition from Barnes and Noble and one that will not be leaving my collection. The story is about four children who set off looking for their scientist father. This is the first of a trilogy and lucky me - this edition has all three stories.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee - Pachinko is a Japanese arcade game which is a cross between pinball and a slot machine. In this book Lee does in fact "pinball" her characters through life. Starting in 1910 Pachinko follows a Korean woman through the 20th century. It is a novel of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty.

Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear - This group of books always interests me because they have a very branded look. Maisie Dobbs is a private investigator in post WWI England and the covers look like travel posters from that period. Start with Maisie Dobbs and continue through the series and you won't be disappointed.

Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice - Here is a book that has a terrible cover in it's first iteration but was a great book. It was republished after the movie was released but you probably wouldn't have picked up the original book if you were just walking by. If you don't know the story, it is about an unnamed boy who sits down to interview Louis, a vampire. Louis's tale starts in 1791 when a vampire named Lestat attacks him but does not kill him. Instead Lestat turns Louis into a vampire because he wants to take over his plantation. It is a good, spooky read.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs -

This is another great cover and a great read. The girl is levitating, that's peculiar. The background looks scary, the book is. The title is partly written in chalk so the reader thinks it may have taken place in the past. The story is about a boy whose grandfather is killed and he ends up finding out the secrets of why.

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain is another book with a beautiful cover. The story is about Beryl Markham, an aviatrix who was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. Growing up in Kenya, she led a colorful life as a bush pilot, racehorse trainer and author. This novelized account of Markham's life, by the author of The Paris Wife, is a captivating read.

Oh, by the way, here is the way the morning above shaped up into the day.

Do you have any books you've judged by their covers?

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