By Amy MacKinnon
My friends who know me well sometimes call me Judging Amy. No, it's not because I resemble Amy Brenneman (everyone says Hot Lips, not that you asked), it's because I do judge a book by its cover. What, don't you? There are some sites devoted to this very topic, this is my favorite. I don't always agree with their assessments, but I do appreciate the thoughtfulness behind them. I especially like it when the designer comments.
My absolute favorite book cover of all time is Water for Elephants. Isn't it gorgeous? Good book too, but I didn't need to tell you that, did I?
I also love, love, love Cormac McCarthy's cover for The Road. That gold sticker is such a nice tough. And it's a devastating story, one of the best I've yet read.
What do you think of these two covers? Jonis Agee's The River Wife and Anita Amirrezvani's The Blood of Flowers are works of art that belong in a museum, I think. In fact, I would hang Orange Prize nominee Anita Amirrezvani's in my home.
Oh, and here's the paperback of Jon Clinch's Finn (if you're around Boston on March 27, stop by Newtonville Books and say hello to Jon; he'd love to meet you). I like it even better than the hardcover and that was a fantastic design.
Now covers that didn't work for me at all belong to some of my all time favorite books. I won't mention the titles, I don't think it's kind to point, but it does make me wonder what makes a cover engaging and what repels. What do you think? I'd love to know your opinion on what works in a book cover and what doesn't, and what a cover conveys to you.