Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Wednesdays (TTW) - Covers

I have bought books that I thought would be exciting as their covers suggested an interesting story, love, mystery, or simply something new. In most cases, fortunately, I ended up liking the book and more recently using it as part of my home d├ęcor. 

All of us grew up hearing the phrase never judge a book by its cover. Today, however, for the first top ten Wednesday I would like to do something similar to that: judge the book cover. Here I would like to share with you the ten covers that I personally like the most. The criteria for selection is purely personal based on the emotions that surfaced when I saw or bought the specific book. How about you? What are the book covers that moved you? I’d love to know.

1.Life of Pi – Illustrated version

First, I liked the tiger and the majesty that conveyed in the illustration. The image of such great animal made me think of the Indian subcontinent. I imagined a story involving the tiger, placed in India or somewhere in that region, and of someone having to tame the tiger. Farfetched?

2.Harry Potter Half-Blood Prince
I am a big fan of all Harry Potter books. When I saw the cover of this book I expected that Dumbledore, the older man in the picture, would show Harry some important memories in the Pensieve (artifact owned by Dumbledore that allowed seeing and be transported to someone’s past experiences) that could provide some clues as to who the half-blood prince was. What could be more exciting than being able to relive someone’s memories?

3.American Dervish

When I saw the boy in this cover I immediately thought of a story about immigrants. He seemed to me lonely, lost, with a past that was important to him, and faced with the difficult task of inevitably having to move forward. Part memoir part introspection?

The woman in this picture belongs to a different era, to a time when the only color in pictures was sepia. She is alone and not shy to look at the camera. This woman appeared strong and used to receive attention. I inevitably expected the story of a woman too advanced for her time as well as the recollection of more simple times when the only options for a picture were black and white or sepia.

As I saw the cover of this book I was ready to be immersed in a story in an exotic place with a woman as the main character. Her eyes look sad but determined, which made suppose a novel involving hardship, endurance, and huge amounts of determination. The quest for freedom?

The picture in this cover struck me as very powerful. The boy is utterly alone next to a woman (his mother?) who is completely out of this world. I expected a story about abandonment, neglect, and loneliness. Could it be that the woman who was supposed to take care of him was physically somewhere else? Or was it mentally?

When I saw the cover of this book I contemplated a memoir. The little girl in the cover is looking at the three adults in the back – two of them may be her parents. It is an interrogative look, which being part of the young woman’s thoughts, may reflect a series of past events that just happened in a time when she was able to understand that something was going on but not old enough to see the full picture.

Looking at the landscape of this cover, I cannot help but feel totally alone. Not much is as sad as the sight of a beach on a stormy day. My expectation from the cover was that this was a sad story although not a desperate one – somehow the picture conveys a ray of hope or at least acceptance. The path that seems to go from the observer to the sea made me consider an intimate narration.

This cover has to be closely observed. Just as an enchantress, there is an air of mystery and exoticism. By the shape of the woman’s arms I expected a story placed in the Middle East, or at least involving Arabs. The cover does not show her entire body, which made think of a life interrupted.


When I saw the monk in the cover of this book, giving his back to the observer, I thought about renunciation and the start of a new path. Although we cannot see his face there is an implicit invitation to follow him. The halo around his head made me presume that there could be something better ahead, something even divine waiting for him and me, if I dared to go along.

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