Top Ten Tuesday: Things I Like/Dislike on Covers

Hi there and welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week we could choose an old topic to revisit. I went with things I like and don’t like seeing on the covers of books. I start with a few dislikes, then move on to likes, then wax poetic about Exit, Pursued by a Bear because I’m obsessed with its cover. Also, just want to mention that the picture below features only covers I like. I felt weird about calling out specific covers I don’t like. On we go!

TTT0808

Dislikes…

Models: Let me imagine the character how I want to imagine them! A lot of the time I try to stray from just assuming that characters are white, and it’s harder to do this when there’s a photo on the front.

Full body shots: There are so many books with boring shots of someone just standing and facing forward. If you’re going to include a person on the cover, give me some movement! Make it interesting!

Uninspired couple shots: This is probably my stance for all of my “dislikes” from this list, but basically if you’re going to do something clever with it, then go ahead. Otherwise, stop and give it a minute until you think of something clever. Don’t just slap a girl in a dress or a couple about to make out on the front and call it a day.

Just plain ugly design: This one isn’t entirely fair because it’s so vague, but it’s true. I love graphic design. I want to see clever, engaging design that makes me want to read the book. Nice covers are an asset! Make the cover help you sell the book.

Likes…

Interesting type: Give me some interesting typography any day of the week. Actually, give me interesting typography every day of the week. There’s so much room to be creative here!

Accented neutral color schemes: I openly admit I’m a Plain Jane when it comes to color. I don’t like schemes with several colors or bright tones. My favorite palettes feature lots of neutrals with pops of color.

Clever illustration: I love clever designs. I always use the New Bedford Whaling Museum as an example because it’s my favorite logo of all time. The Six of Crows cover comes to mind as a book cover example. The edges of the wings turning into towers is exactly what I want to see more of. It is worth mentioning, though, that every square inch of this book is gorgeous and not just the cover.

Just plain prettiness: See the picture above. They’re all so pretty. I truly can’t help myself. I judge a book by its cover.

Getting creative with full body shots: Like I said before, I don’t mind my “dislikes” necessarily. They’re just often used in really boring ways. The cover for Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a great example of one of my dislikes used well. This cover is incredible. It’s eye-catching. It has a ton of movement. I can feel both the stillness of this moment and the action that comes after. The girl’s body makes an H for Hermione. It features a girl and still lets you picture her however you want. It tells you that the book features cheerleading. By showing you the hands of teammates waiting to catch her, you also get some insight into the story and themes within the book. It’s just such a good cover, guys. I love it so much.

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any suggestions for covers I should cry over, let me know!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Buy Right Now

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish). This week’s topic is actually pretty similar to one from December about what books we would want to receive for the holidays. I want to buy books when I’ve read them and loved them, so a lot of those wouldn’t change. I still want to own most of those picks and still don’t own any of them. And I still haven’t read Ferragost, which is honestly a long-running joke at this point. I should honestly dedicate a sidebar widget to all the times I’ve mentioned not reading Ferragost.

Anyways, I did come up with a few other titles I would like to buy given an unlimited gift card. On we go!

TTT0802-1

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke: Gorgeous cover, gorgeously creepy story.

The Daughter of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor: I haven’t finished this series, but it’s already one of my favorites.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury: I had this recommended to me a while ago. Maybe buying it would actually encourage me to read it.

The Coralie Bickford-Smith cloth bound series: These are unreal. I want a bookshelf full of them. Several bookshelves, actually.

 

 

TTT0802-2

Kulti by Mariana Zapata: I’ve heard good things about this, plus I would love to read more Hispanic authors. And my library doesn’t have this, so buying a copy is looking like a good idea.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik: I waited for the audiobook from my library for AGES (well over a month, maybe two), only to return it immediately because I found the narration distracting. So I’m back to waiting, this time for the ebook. I should just buy it and end this misery.

Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales by Angela Carter: Have you seen this cover? It slays me. I loved The Bloody Chamber, so I’m all about bringing more Angela Carter into my life. I hope this collection (she just edited it, didn’t write it), is as creepy as her own work.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black: I finished this audiobook and the setting was so up my alley. I’ll definitely want to do a reread soon, and I’m eager to see how it reads without a narrator.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Hiatus Recap: June

Finally! I’m all caught up after abandoning my blog for seven months. This is the last set of books I read during my hiatus. June consisted of nine books, five of which were so good that I need to talk about them below. Now that I’ve reviewed every month from my hiatus, it’s clear that June was above average in enjoyment levels.

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Set Outside the US

Hello! I’m posting a suuuuper last-minute TTT because I forgot to queue something up last night. The prompt this week, provided as always by The Broke and the Bookish, is to list our favorite books set outside of the US. On one hand, this was hard because I live in the US and the book landscape is here is definitely US-centric. On the other hand, this could have been easy because we also read a lot of books by English authors. I tried to avoid including too many books from the UK.

TTT071916

I would most like to highlight A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston and The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh. I’m not entirely sure in what current-day countries they take place (especially because they’re both fantasy, so they might not even be on “Earth,” in the strictest sense), but they’re both great takes on One Thousand and One Nights. Plus they’re the only books I’ve read recently that didn’t take place in a Western/English speaking setting (For the record, I also read Soundless, but I wasn’t crazy about it).

3. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta: My queen is Australian. Saving Francesca is probably my favorite of her contemporary novels, but that statement makes me feel guilty. Everything Her Excellency writes is great and I have trouble choosing between her books.

4. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K Johnston: This book takes place in Canada, which was cool because I don’t think I’ve read any YA that takes place in Canada. Or…anything, actually. I don’t think I’ve read anything Canadian at all. But anyways, I wanted to include this because I read it recently and really liked it.

5. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray: This book was so interesting! I loved how it jumped settings! I loved the alternate version of Russia! Everyone should read this! I want a print of the cover art!

6. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: I did cave and include two books that take place in London on this list, but I feel like I can justify them. They were both a fantastical take on London, and the city was central to the feel of both stories. Like A Thousand Pieces of You, this involved alternate versions of London/the world.

7. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: This is obviously the other London book. I read this years ago, before I studied abroad in London, so I’ve been wanting to do a reread and see whether the story feels different now. In any case, I loved this when I read it in college.

8. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: I caved again. Here’s another book by Queen Marchetta, also set in Australia. Like all Marchetta, it makes me cry.

I feel like there were a lot of borderline books for this topic. I could have included Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I love and takes place in Prague, but the series has another non-Earth setting that made me reluctant to include it.The biggest takeaway for me is that I need to read less US-centric/Western lit. I’ll definitely be checking other TTTs for recommendations this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hiatus Recap: May

Welcome back to my hiatus recap, where I comment on the books I read during my seven-month blogging break. Whoops. This post covers May, during which I read 10 books. The beginning of the month kind of explains my relatively low book count from April. I finished a bunch of books in the first week of May that I had started the month before. Reading four books in a week seems like a herculean feat, even for me.

Continue reading

Hiatus Recap: April

After yesterday’s TTT, I’m continuing with my Hiatus Recap. I have seven months of books to cover and I’m determined to go over them with breakneck speed. On to April!

I only read six books this time around. This was probably my least productive month in over a year, but I figure that’s fine since I’ve been perpetually ahead of schedule. In spite of my lower numbers, it was a great reading month. Some of my favorite books of the year were from April!

HiatusApril1
HiatusApril2

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Facts About Me

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted as always by The Broke and the Bookish) calls for ten facts about me. I’ve always loved hearing little details about people, so I’m quite looking forward to reading these! For mine, I decided to go with bookish facts.

  1. I read for at least an hour every day. My commute to work is an hour each way, which gives me plenty of reading time, and I usually read a little more before bed.
  2. Since November(ish), I’ve been reading mostly ebooks (and lately audiobooks). Getting library books on my ereader is just so convenient!
  3. I have some cute bookmarks, but nine times out of ten, I’m using some random scrap of paper like a receipt to mark my place.
  4. My favorite audiobook narrator is Khristine Hvam. I loved her narration of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I need a full list of books she’s done!
  5. I like a lot of genres, but for the past year, I’ve been reading a ton of YA fantasy. It might be my favorite genre.
  6. I love to sit in the sun and read on my parents’ porch. One of my least favorite things about living in an apartment is not having a good place to sit outside and read when the weather is nice.
  7. Despite living in a major city, I’m still using my hometown library to get most of my books. I blame my New York pride.
  8. My favorite book as a kid was Ella Enchanted, which I have definitely mentioned here before. I re-read it a few weeks ago and it was just as good as I remembered. I was so relieved to find that I still liked it and I totally thought the story held up. Nothing is worse than being underwhelmed by your childhood favorites. (I re-watched Jumanji a few years ago and the crocodile was much less scary than I remembered. I was terrified of it when I was little!)
  9. I’m currently very afraid that I won’t finish The Golem and the Jinni before it is due back to the library. It’s due within the next two days and I still have six hours left.
  10. As of March, I work in academic publishing. So far, I’m really enjoying it!

Like I said, I’m excited to get back into reading other people’s TTTs. It’s good to be blogging again. Thanks for stopping by!

Hiatus Recap: February

So now we’re getting into the part of the hiatus where my life starts changing quite rapidly. I left my old job at the end of January, finally having had enough and ready to be unemployed for a stretch while continuing to search. In a weird twist, I was actually offered a position about a week after my last day. I would be moving and starting a new job in March.

So February was the only month when I was entirely unemployed. I tried to do a lot of reading and writing, since I was afraid I would have less time to dedicate to them once I started working full-time. I read 10 books. Not too shabby for a short month.

Continue reading