Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ttt: books covers i would redesign

This week's Top Ten Tuesday on the Broke and the Bookish is a rewind week (pick any past topic). So I'm going with Top Ten Book Covers I Wish I Could Redesign. Whether because the cover is old-fashioned, unrelated to the book's plot/style, or just plain ugly, here are my choices.

* Note: I do realize that a few of these books have multiple covers available for purchase. I'm going with the cover that stuck out in my mind and, obviously, made me want a redesign.

TOP TEN TUESDAY:
Top Ten Book Covers I Wish I Could Redesign



1. Cathedral by Raymond Carver. I can't pinpoint why exactly, but this screams 80s/90s to me. Much too trendy and cheap for Carver's lauded short stories. I would design something simpler to fit with his simple prose.



2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. If my list were numbered in order of most angering cover, this would be #1. I love Gone with the Wind. It was my favorite for years. But I have always hated the covers, which look old, cluttered, boring (right pic), or cheaply dramatic (left pic). Someone needs to step in and fix this travesty of American literature. The cover should capture the drama and romance of the story, not simplify it or reduce it to melodrama. 



3. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. It's clean and I don't hate it, but the pink doesn't suit Mia. I wish they'd somehow combined Mia's awkwardness with princess imagery (like the tiara). 




4. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I just read this a month ago and I really enjoyed it, but like many nonfiction covers, it's not showing off the content within. It looks like a basic writing textbook when really it's a rambling, meditative look at the writing life. I imagine something more in tune with nature (Goldberg is into Zen, meditating, etc.) in soothing, brown/blue tones. 



5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. As I shared when I reviewed this a few months ago, the cover completely threw me off. I expected something dark and haunting, but this book is really meant for children (11-13-year-olds). The cover is too dark for such a young audience.



6. On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar. I read this a few months ago, hoping to learn about personal finance in a simple and straightforward way. And I did. It was fantastic. I highly recommend it for any other young people (not just girls) wanting to learn about investing, budgeting, saving, etc. Filled with great information, it also utilizes a lot of bullet points and graphs to make the concepts simpler. I only wish the cover matched the contents. To me at least, it looks like a cheap book for dumb girls. I was actually embarrassed checking this out at the library, hoping the people around didn't see me with the "chick-lit" version of a finance book (which it appears to be).



7. The Vanishing Point by Mary Sharratt. This isn't awful, but it doesn't capture the darkness of the story. According to the cover, it could be YA (YA books are much more prone to depicting the main character on the cover), but it's not. I would eliminate the girl and enhance the spooky woods, maybe adding a little cabin as well.



8. Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger. Just too simple. I like that Salinger's books all fit together, but I'd like to see someone produce new editions of his wonderful works.



9. Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi. So 80s/90s. Again, I would eliminate the depictions of the characters (which don't allow for as much imagination) and focus on the time period (Revolutionary America).



10. The Last Silk Dress by Ann Rinaldi. And another dud from Rinaldi. Too 80s/90s. Bad depictions of the characters. Ann Rinaldi is a great author of preteen/teen books and she deserves better than this.


Agree with me? Want to argue for one of the covers? Which book cover have you always wanted to redesign (or see someone else redesign)?

12 comments:

  1. Great choices, and this seems like a fun Top Ten Tuesday subject! I actually kind of like the Gone with the Wind cover on the right, but I do see your point. And so many '80s covers are...well, very '80s in style and sensibility, it makes sense to have included them here. :)

    Thanks for sharing your list!

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    1. I don't know what it is about the 80s, but they didn't seem to have the best taste in cover design. Or maybe they're just not in style right now? . . . I'm glad I could just say "80s" though and you got what I meant! I'm not sure how to describe why I dislike them so much.

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  2. Oh I SO AGREE on the Gone With the Wind covers! I love that book, but it's a good thing I first read it in 7th grade because the covers would make me pass it over as an adult.

    And now I'm slightly worried about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, because I totally expected it to be dark and I didn't realize it was geared toward such a young audience.

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    1. Don't let me stop you from reading it! It's still dark, just not as dark as I expected from the creepy photos on the covers (front and back) and inside. It is geared toward a younger audience though. The NYT described the age range as 12 and up.

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  3. Yeah, the Gone with the Wind covers always seem to disappoint-- they look either boring or like romance nover covers. I kinda think Miss Peregrine's turned out to be more popular with adult/older teen audiences, maybe because of the dark feel of the cover. It definitely doesn't look like a kids' book, and I don't know many kids who read it... not that I know a ton of kids, though.

    The Princess Diaries covers are very chic-lit-looking... I remember when I was younger and read the whole series, I disliked the covers and how they were all basically vague variations on the crown on the first cover. Great post!

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    1. It's a shame, isn't it? Because the Princess Diaries really were a great series and geared toward a variety of girls-- not just the girly, princess, pink-wearing girls. And I'm glad you agree on GWTW. When I recommend the book, I'm always afraid people will get one look at the cover and run away!

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  4. I'm so with you on Gone with the Wind. I don't like it when movie images are used for any cover but if they had to do that with GWTW, there are so many other images from the film that would have conveyed the book better.

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    1. Definitely! The image they chose looks vaguely Italian to me and doesn't showcase Scarlett's feisty personality at all.

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  5. I agree with those Ann Rinaldi ones, I never liked how it took away the aspect of imagining the character in your own way.

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    1. Nearly all of her books had disappointing covers. A shame, because they really were good.

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  6. Miss Peregrine for middle schoolers? Ummm, no, I don't really see that. But I agree with your other pics completely.

    My TTT: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/10/top-10-tuesday-rewind-top-ten-bookish.html

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    1. Just to prove I'm not crazy, the New York Times does list the age recommendation for Miss Peregrine as 12 and up. But I guess it all depends on the kid/parents and what they're comfortable with. I can definitely see why you might think it's not fit for kids in middle school.

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