Tag Archives: Book Covers

Reading Challenge 18: A Book With a Blue Cover

I must admit I don’t usually choose my books based on the color of the cover. I considered just going to the library and picking a random title that fit this requirement, but I eventually just decided to pick something I already had on my reading list and that was Life of Pi by Yann Martel. And since Life of Pi has so much water in it, the cover of my copy happens to be blue.

12398995_10204032523053951_1201921122_n.jpg

The story begins with Piscine Motorel Patel, known as Pi, a young Indian boy who is fascinated by religion and by zoology. He’s spent his life growing up surrounded by a zoo his father runs. But a time eventually comes when his family decides to make a journey to Canada to begin a new life. However, in the middle of his voyage, Pi becomes marooned in a lifeboat with several zoo animals, most frightening of all a ferocious Bengal tiger. The story follows his struggle for survival.

So one of the tough things to do is to honestly evaluate a book when you’ve seen the movie before reading the story. Because having already seen the movie, definitely spoiled some things in the book. For me, I think that’s the reason I usually prefer reading the book first.

Nonetheless, I still thought the story was very interesting. The book seemed to develop some much more existential themes about religion, story, and human vs. beast. I really enjoyed thinking more on those alongside enjoying the great story. This book also did make a good movie with all the visual appeal, and I also enjoyed the movie more in some respects because it was less graphic than the book.

So there were definitely benefits to both formats, but overall I appreciated both. They both tell an incredible story, and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for that.

Have you ever picked a book for its cover? What would you choose to complete this challenge? Any thoughts on books to movies?

05522f724b13d270983b73aacb778ed9

Here is a book challenge I did not make. Click it to find the original source.

Previous Posts:

1. A Book You Own But Haven’t Read

2. A Book that was Made into a Movie

3. A Book You Pick Solely for the Cover

4. A Book Your Friend Loves

5. A Book Published this Year

7. A Book by an Author You Love

9. A Book with a Color in the Title

10. A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Always Wanted to Visit

11. A Book You Started but Never Finished

12. A Book with a Lion, a Witch, or a Wardrobe

14. A Book Set in Summer

15. A Book of Poems

16. A Book You Learned About Because of this Challenge

17. A Book that Will Make You Smarter

19. A Book You Were Supposed to Read in School but Didn’t

20. A Book EVERYONE but You Has Read

21. A Book with a Great First Line

22. A Book with Pictures

24. A Book You Loved…Read it Again!

25. A Book that is More than Ten Years Old

26. A Book Based on a True Story

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Reading

Book Challenge 3: A Book You Pick Solely for the Cover

So for my next book in the challenge I went to the library looking for a book I’d never heard of before with an interesting cover. I was glancing over the shelves and suddenly saw a cover I found too intriguing to possibly just put back. I took it back up to check out, not once looking at the description or anything else.

And that is how I discovered The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson.

Remarkably enough, I think this book suited its weird choosing, as it turned out to be one of the most odd novels I’ve ever read.

The story revolves around artists Camille and Caleb Fang, who consider themselves artists. The two of them enter into normal environments and unleash chaos on their unsuspecting victims. In one piece they have their two children, Annie and Buster, also known as Child A and Child B, play songs to raise money for their dying dog, while the Fang parents pretend to be bystanders who boo the children’s pathetic performance. The reactions around them as they act out their strange story creates what they believe to be a pure form of art, not like the stagnant paintings or photographs in most galleries. But what the Fangs don’t realize is what this artistic process is doing to their children.

The story follows the lives of Annie and Buster trying to figure out who they are and what makes art. The two now grown children must try to reconcile their pasts and secure their futures, all while determining if they should help their parents in their final horrifying art project.

This story was certainly bizarre. I try to describe it and still feel like I’m falling short. I cannot capture the oddness in a few paragraphs. The closest thing I’ve ever read to this novel is A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even those somehow cannot quite compare to the strangeness of this novel.

Cover close up.

Cover close up.

It had me interested. That’s for certain. From page one I wanted to understand what was happening. Some people have called this work comedic. And while I laughed some throughout reading, it was often more my inability to find a way to express what I was feeling than truly feeling amused.

If you’re looking for an odd read, I recommend The Family Fang. If you’re looking for something truly funny, I don’t. If you’re looking for something really meaningful and complex, I don’t. If you’re looking for a story about weird families managing to reconcile their differences, I don’t. Really, I’d say just read it like I did to satisfy your curiosity and read a weird story. That’s the best explanation I can find for a reason to pick it up.

I didn’t hate it by any means. I think like Elegance of the Hedgehog, it tried to be more intelligent than it really was. It tried to point out some mysterious part of the universe and ponder on that, and it sort of failed. At least unlike Elegance of the Hedgehog, it didn’t take itself quite so seriously.

So that’s my analysis. How much do you take a cover into account when reading? Have you ever picked a book solely for the cover? What’s a favorite cover of a book you own or have read before (feel free to post links)?

Here is a book challenge I did not make. Click it to find the original source.

Here is a book challenge I did not make. Click it to find the original source.

Other posts in the challenge:

1 A book you own but haven’t read

2 A book that was made into a movie

5 A book published this year

9 A book with a color in the title

17 A book that will make you smarter

19 Comments

Filed under Reading

Moving Beyond Gendered Book Covers

Image

With all my research on publishing, one of the most interesting elements I’ve run across is the making of book covers. Whether we like it or not, we do tend to judge a book by its cover, and, as a result, the art on the front often determines whether or not we put the book back on the shelf or pick it up to read.

Just this morning I ran across an interesting article about the gender tones behind book covers, and how females books get passed off as romance novels (even if they are not) and therefore are considered for the less educated. Women are apparently more likely to get a paperback while their male counterparts get hardbound copies. This is a sad reality of the world we live in. Please feel free to read the article and I encourage you to watch the video that goes along with it: Coverflip: Maureen Johnson Calls For An End To Gendered Book Covers With An Amazing Challenge

I had never noticed this influence in my life before. I had never stopped to think how a woman’s book about the same subject matter often gets a female image on the cover, or slightly more feminine print for the title. I had never considered that I might subconsciously assume something about the books intended gender just from the images on the front. We live in a world where images are constantly being flashed in front of us, and I suppose books are no different. Sometimes we just need to stop and think.

And so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to examine title and the description more than the outside imagery of the book. Just because there is a female on the front doesn’t mean it’s filled with romance or other more “feminine” plot ideas. I hope in the future of our society we’ll begin to move away from having gendered covers. Men and women should be able to read and enjoy the same things.

As a future author I shudder at the idea of men putting my book aside simply because someone decided to slap something “girly” on my cover instead of something gender neutral. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean my ideas are any less valid or that I only want to write about females finding love. I want to go beyond that, and I hope that in the future book covers will help me and other authors finally conquer the idea that women’s writing is somehow worth less.

Any thoughts? What makes you more or less likely to pick up a book? Why do you think we do this to our book covers? Is there a good way to change this or do you think it should remain the same?

And school is finally done for summer so I should be able to get back to posting regularly. Thank you loyal readers for your patience!

7 Comments

Filed under Reading

Alex Rider: Spying Marketing Strategies

 Image

As an adolescent one of my favorite book series were the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz. I discovered them by first watching the movie and after falling in love with the story, decided to pursue the written version as well.

For those who don’t know, Alex Rider is an action packed spy novel based on the story of a reluctant fourteen year old British agent. The books were suspenseful and interesting, never failing to keep me involved. I was hooked on them and followed them all the way to the end of the series.

Looking back at the books it is interesting to consider how the marketing of them affected me. The movie was what first got my attention. This method of marketing does seem to be rather effective. The making of a book into a movie is not only a sign that the book was a success, but a reason for those who haven’t already read it to do so before (or in my case after) they view the film.

Other factors behind it may have been the covers with intense looking backgrounds and a simple symbol on the front to represent the adventure. Once within the book the fast paced plotline kept me going much as it had in the movie.

As the last book, Scorpia Rising, came closer to release there was a good deal of advertising that went into it. Though I didn’t need such hype over the book (because I had eagerly been awaiting it for more than a year) the methods used were interesting when considering how marketing affects a book.

One particularly interesting method was the use of book trailers posted online. Those were the first video trailers I had ever seen for a book, and while somewhat cheesy and simplistically animated, they were very effective in drawing me in at the time.

Marketing is a fascinating part of the literary world. Book trailers have been particularly popular in the last few years. They are a good way to interest readers to pursue a book due to their compelling nature. They provide a visual and often tease at plot elements to come. As an Alex Rider fan I remember sitting on the edge of my chair as I watched the first of the three trailers. The mysterious music, the small hinting plot developments, the dramatic phrase: “one bullet. One life”.

How has marketing affected you as a reader? What do you think of book trailers? These aspects of writing never fail to interest me. I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reading, Writing