Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You Had Me at Hello: Top 10 Book Covers/Titles

Image from The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog spot hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, who I learned about from Anna Reads.  Today's topic - the top ten books you've judged based on their cover/title - was too good to resist! 

Here's my list:

1. Shiver, Linger, and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
I was not interested in reading about werewolves....or so I thought until I spotted Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver on the shelves.  After passing the book over several times because of its plot, I finally picked it up.  I just couldn't resist that beautiful cover(!), and I am so glad I didn't.  You can find my thoughts on the entire trilogy here, but suffice it to say, the content of Shiver is executed as beautifully as the cover.  The subsequent volumes in The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy are also eye-catching.

2. Any Ellen Hopkins cover
If I didn't already know what an accomplished writer Ellen Hopkins is, the simple, but surprisingly forceful covers of her books would lure me into reading them.  Many of the titles are designed to reflect the book's theme (see Crank and Burned), but my favorite at the moment is her most recent young adult novel Perfect.

3. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
I read Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, the first collaboration between David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, solely because of the cover - the original cover.  The newest edition's cover is also cool, but I am partial to the original - blame my sense of nostalgia.  Nick and Norah is hilarious, moving, and fast-paced all at the same time - like your favorite song.  Levithan and Cohn's Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List is not quite as compelling (or well-designed), but their most recent collaboration, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is outstanding.  Smart and quick-witted, Dash and Lily are the people I wish I could be or at least be friends with.  It also has a pretty cool cover.

4. Speak, Wintergirls, and Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
I am noticing a theme in my list: awesome authors tend to have awesome designers.  Case in point: Laurie Anderson and the trifecta of Speak, Wintergirls, and Chains.  I haven't had an opportunity to read Chains yet, but Speak and Wintergirls are hauntingly beautiful books with hauntingly beautiful covers.  I know Chains will not disappoint.

5. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
I have mentioned in a previous post, that the cover of Joyce Maynard's Labor Day caught my attention before I even knew what the book was about.  It's a good thing too because the plot - a single mother falls in love with an escaped (and wrongfully accused) convict over the course of a weekend - is so far-fetched, I may never have read it otherwise.

6. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Don't let this book's placement on this list fool you, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is my favorite book of all time, and while it may not have the most eye-catching cover, I was drawn to its title.  Anything that claims to explain "love" is a must-read for me, and Krauss does not disappoint.  The History of Love is the epitome of craftsmanship and utilizes one of my favorite literary tropes - a book within a book.

7. The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue
This is another novel whose title rather than its cover grabbed by attention even though its cover is equally gorgeous and intriguing.  The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue paints a moving portrait of the afterlife and first love.  Domingue's prose, like her title, is as delicate as gossamer.

8. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I stole this one from Anna Reads, but The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin has been on my to-read list ever since I saw its arresting cover.  This one speaks for itself.

9. Sabine and Griffin by Nick Bantock
I was introduced to the Sabine and Griffin series by Nick Bantock in graduate school when a girl I knew presented a project on "interactive" novels for a composition theory course.  Although I have collected a few, I have yet to read any, but they relate a correspondence between two friends, Sabine and Griffin.  The best part is the reader gets to "open" each letter, which come in all different shapes, sizes, and penmanships.

10. Postsecret by Frank Warren
This last book may be a cheap shot, but it is a book (and a project) that has infiltrated every aspect of my life - personal and professional - so it deserves some props.  Frank Warren's Postsecret project is now a worldwide phenomenon, and I can remember vividly the first time I picked up his first published collection of postcards bearing the shocking, hilarious, and downright heartbreaking secrets anonymously shared with him on the back of a postcard.  The entire book is, in fact, a piece of art, but the simple brown paper wrapping stamped with an unfamiliar address was just begging to be opened, so I did - along with millions of other readers - and what I found inside is the purest definition of humanity.

Have you ever judged a book by its cover?  What are your top ten? 
Happy Reading!


  1. Awesome list! Shiver books are definitely my favorite -- the tactile feel of reading them, the colors...so perfect. Glad you're joining in on Top 10 Tuesday!

  2. I forgot to mention the color of the text! You're right, though, reading The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy is an all-encompassing experience.