They say never judge a book by its cover but that’s not really true. The purpose of a book’s cover is to entice you into buying it and those that do a poor job of representing the book aren’t doing their job well. But book covers are an often overlooked piece that provides an intimate look at the contents before you even open them. Some of them are even artistic masterpieces in their own right. But what are the best? Let’s have a look at some of the best ones and marvel at their beauty.
11. ‘Jurassic Park’ by Michael Crichton
image via Amazon
Jurassic Parkby Michael Crichton is utterly brilliant as a cover. It depicts a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s skeleton against a white backdrop, hinting at terrifying possibilities but nonetheless drawing the reader in for a wild ride. Its also gets bonus points for becoming so iconic.
10. ‘Get in Trouble’ by Kelly Link
image via amazon
Get In Troubleby Kelly Link provides a marvelous and captivating cover. Her stories are offbeat and have a sense of offness to them, showcased by this strange cover. The upside down nature of a seemingly normal house provides an excellent preview of what you’re in for: the normal world turned literally upside down. Not to mention its a really cool visual piece.
9. ‘Heart of a samurai’ by Margi Preus
image via amazon
Heart of a Samuraiby Margi Preus has an instantly captivating cover. The colors of the wave contrasted with the lovely sky, the boat riding atop the wave, and the whales beneath instantly make for a classic image. There’s a sense of adventure, danger, and even action from the cover alone, as it draws your eye in right away.
7. ‘the great gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
image via amazon
The Great Gatsbyby F. Scott Fitzgerald has truly one of the great covers of all time. Created by Spanish artist Francis Cugat, this cover is a pretty work of surrealism and beauty. Every part of it is iconic: from the giant disembodied eyes and lips floating over the colorful, almost theme parking looking location below against the backdrop of the blue night sky, its a wonderful work of art that will always represent its book in the popular consciousness.
6. ‘Beowolf’ translated by Seamus Heaney
image via amazon
Beowolfby Seamus Heaney is a new translation of the classic epic poem that instantly draws your eye through its simplistic but striking cover. All there is to it is a man standing in full chainmail with his back to the camera but it instantly captures the feeling of the poem. The image captures violence and strangeness through what it implies, becoming more the more you pay attention to it. A truly classic image for a classic poem.
5. ‘The Godfather’ by Mario Puzo
image via amazon
The Godfatherby Mario Puzo is a classic, stark novel and its cover matches its iconic status. Created by S. Neil Fujita, conveys the rotten power Puzo examines, even as it intrigues the potential reader. It could just as easily be the cover to a horror novel—which isn’t actually that far off the mark, if you think about it. There aren’t too many book covers that create what’s essentially a brand logo, but that’s just what this one did.
4. ‘The hate u give’ by Angie Thomas
image via Amazon
The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas is another brilliant cover that’s more recent. It uses negative space in a bold way, drawing focus to its central character who holds up her sign and demands the looker’s attention. The lead character is both empowered and obscured by her message, an awesome showcase of the book’s themes in a simple way.
3. ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley
image via Amazon
Brave New Worldby Aldous Huxley’s cover combines the absurd and frightening tone of the story with a simple, bold approach that draws the eye and holds it tortuously. You try to figure out what you’re looking at, even as the sneaking suspicion that you don’t want to know creeps up on you.
2. ‘The Stranger’ by Albert Camus
image via Amazon
The Strangerby Albert Camus is a bit headache inducing to look at but a great image nonetheless. The stark lines converging to create a hidden optical illusion. Once you see it, you’ll never forget it; once you read the book, you’ll forever associate it with this powerful cover.
1. ‘A clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess
Image via Amazon
A Clockwork Orangeby Anthony Burgess is a disturbing cover for a disturbing novel. Supposedly banged out in a single evening, this cover referenced the iconic film, and conveyed the sense of society being broken all at once, showcasing a screaming face contrasted with a fire in place of the upper part of the man’s head. It’s brilliant on a level no other cover has quite been able to surpass.
All of this is a roundabout way of talking about World War Z even though there’s no reason to. And why shouldn’t I talk about that book? It’s awesome. Made of interviews and testimonies, the novel FEELS real. What to know what a solider felt during the zombie Apocalypse? There’s a passage (and in this audiobook, those sections are narrated by Mark Hamill). What to know what the President felt? Israel? Russia? Cuba? The fickin’ pope!
Image Via Amazon
It’s a great novel, and it’s astounding why the heck the film adaptation was such garbage. Why wasn’t this a Netflix series? Who looked at this book and went ‘this could be a great two-hour plus movie’!
Well, the problem lies in the fact that the film adaptation rights were picked up before the novel was completed, probably because the title is cool (which it admittedly is).
In light of that fact, here are five others novels that had their film rights snatched before they hit shelves!
The novel started as a short story inspired by the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant, but even her professor knew that Angie Thomas was secretly writing a novel. After graduation, Thomas put the novel down because it was emotionally taxing, however:
When you hear politicians and others on television basically blaming somebody for their own death, when you see Trayvon Martin being put on trial more so than George Zimmerman, when you see Michael Brown being put on trial more so than the gentleman that killed him, you’re seeing Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child being blamed for his own death … you get angry and frustrated and hurt. And the only thing I knew how to do was write.
Come 2015, Thomas reached out to literary agent Brooks Sherman on Twitter in June 2015 to ask if anyone might be interested in this narrative about a girl’s whose best friend is shot and killed by the police.
February 2016, Harper Collins’ imprint Balzer + Bray outbid thirteen publishing houses and got the rights to the novel. Since everyone hates auctions, Harper Collins sighed a two-book deal with Thomas.
Hidden Figures is about three African-American women who worked as ‘human computers’ to solve problems for NASA from the 1930s to the 1960s because calling them ‘women’ was considered an insult.
So Shetterly is writing this novel. In fact, she’s polishing the final draft when the film rights were sold to William Morrow in early 2014.
Come July 9th 2015, producer Donna Gigliotti had already acquired Margot Lee Shetterly’s nonfiction book, Allison Schroeder wrote the script (so the book must have been completed at this point although it wouldn’t be released until September 6th 2016), and Theodore Melfi was signed on to direct.
For better or for worse, there is history, there is the book and then there’s the movie. Timelines had to be conflated and [there were] composite characters, and for most people [who have seen the movie] have already taken that as the literal fact. … You might get the indication in the movie that these were the only people doing those jobs, when in reality we know they worked in teams, and those teams had other teams. There were sections, branches, divisions, and they all went up to a director. There were so many people required to make this happen. … It would be great for people to understand that there were so many more people. Even though Katherine Johnson, in this role, was a hero, there were so many others that were required to do other kinds of tests and checks to make [Glenn’s] mission come to fruition. But I understand you can’t make a movie with 300 characters. It is simply not possible.
Where would this list be without Jaws? Peter Benchley’s debut novel with a weird title not only its film rights snatched before the book was written, but the filmmakers might be responsible for the book being a hit in the first place.
Let’s back up. I already wrote an article (link here) how Peter Benchley was in the middle of writing the book when film producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown read the novel before it was even published thanks to buddies on the inside.
Long story short, Zanuck and Brown bought the film rights, got newbie Steven Spielberg on board, and were already in pre-production when the novel hit shelves.
Image Via Cinablend
Back to why filmmakers might be responsible for the book being a hit in the first place. John Baxter, in his biography of Steven Spielberg, claims that the novel’s entry on California best-seller list was the result of Spielberg and the producers buying hundreds of copies of the novel to send to the press.
Peter Benchley disputes this. In his autobiography Benchley argues that the novel did exceptionally well in other parts of the country, noting that it was a New York Times bestseller for forty-four weeks, second only to Watership Down.
In 1975, a year after the novel was published, the film was released. It did well—so well that it’s responsible for creating the ‘summer blockbuster’.
Garth Risk Hallberg is known for many things. He wrote city on fire, he has the best middle name in the business, he wrote City on Fire, he got a $2 million advance for City on Fire.
City on Fire is about how there was a shooting in Central Park that happened right on New Year’s Eve during the 1970s. In case you’re wondering, it’s fiction. I too was disappointed to learn this.
It’s an authors dream: Have a film producer snatch the film rights for your story, get a publishing house to buy your manuscript for $2 million, have the novel get released, have the film never get made.
Image Via Entertainment Weekly
Hollywood Reporter wrote that “Rudin and his camp read the book overnight and the producer, known for his literary tastes, used his discretionary fund to option it”. This is probably what caused Knof to write Hallberg such a blood big check.
Upon release Kirkus Reviews called it “very-damn-good American novel”. Other were much more unkind. The Guardian wrote “[t]here is prose in City on Fire as transporting as any you’re likely to see in a book in the next 10 years” and said the characters are “uncannily alike”, Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “Readers wishing to wallow in cultural trivia will find much to savor in Hallberg’s all-encompassing, occasionally overwritten effort, but others will be left to wonder how so much energy could generate so little light”, and the New York Post called the novel a “steaming pile of literary dung” and noted that “[t]he book-buying public isn’t so easily swindled: “City on Fire” lingers at No. 825 on the Amazon sales charts. It can’t even make it up the literary-fiction list, where it’s marooned at No. 134.”
As for the film adaptation? It doesn’t exist…
City on Fire might not be a great book (i’d say based on the reviews it’s probably very mixed), but a film adaption could have given it more of a spotlight.
Sadly, World War Z is a great book but doesn’t have a great film adaptation. Maybe that’s a good thing, it means the book can stand on its own, but that fact makes me feel like crap. Can we get a limited series based on this written word masterpiece? Or, at the very least, can you tell me film adaptation whose rights were snatched before the book shelves that was worse than World War Z.
Hint: You can’t. Don’t believe me? Go and read World War Z.
Featured Image Via The Prince of The Universe | A Book by Alexandria Rosas – WordPress.com
You’ve probably already heard of John Green, YouTube sensation; YA superstar; and the author of the novels The Fault in Our Starsand Paper Towns, whose movie adaptations crushed both the box office and our fragile little hearts. But maybe you haven’t heard about his latest project. Teaming up with Rosianna Halse Roja, literary critic, YouTube personality, feminist, and Green’s own personal assistant, Green has just announced his new book club, Life’s Library. Maybe you recognize the name from theLooking for Alaskapassage that features the same phrase: “I’ve read maybe a third of [the books in her collection]. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.”
Image Via Playbuzz
In his YouTube announcement, Green describes his intentions in founding the book club: “reading is usually a solitary and private experience, but when you’re done with a book, it can be so fulfilling to talk about it with people.” As a group Discord is a crucial part of Green and Roja’s plans for the book club, it’s clear that a feeling of community and camaraderie is crucial to the project’s vision.
As a YouTube personality, Green is tech-savvy and used to creating content that reaches thousands and thousands of people. The video announcement itself already has over 89,000 views. But Green is interested in something more interactive, wanting to “create the experience of a slightly less open, more community oriented internet where we do and make stuff together.” Since it costs no money to access the Discord, it really is accessible to everyone.
So how does the book club work? Every six weeks, the club will pick a new book to read and discuss. There are no restrictions based on length, genre, or subject- the only rule is that the book has to be over a year old. The DFTBA webpage’s new page details the different paid book club packages (and don’t panic; there’s a way to do this for free!). For a recurring payment of $25, you get the “physical subscription,” meaning you get the digital content AND all of the stuff- think postcards, bookplates, pins, and a letter from John Green about his thoughts on the book. Stuff you probably want. The $10 subscription is also a pretty sweet deal, giving you access to the paid digital content- a reading guide with discussion questions and a podcast talking about the book. In the future, this subscription could also include digital artwork. All the proceeds go to Partners In Health, a charitable organization helping the needy access healthcare. But if you’re broke (like just about everyone) you can still have access to the Discord and the community. As for the books themselves? Well, that’s what your local library is for.
But now let’s get to the most important part. What’s the book!?
Image Via Penguin Random House
Jacqueline Woodson’s If You Come Softly, the 1998 story of an interracial relationship at a predominantly white (and rich!) prep school, is a timeless depiction of social issues prevalent in today’s world. A perfect choice for fans of breakout hit The Hate U Give, the novel follows a Jeremiah, a black student from Brooklyn, as he makes a difficult adjustment into a Manhattan private school. There he meets Ellie, a Jewish girl with demons at home that keep her from fitting in with the other privileged students. As their relationship grows stronger, so does the world’s reaction to it. The novel deftly tackles teen romance and social issues in the same breath, making it a strong first addition to Life’s Library.
John Green has one major piece of advice: if you don’t join, it won’t happen! Life’s Library will only thrive if it has members- so sign up for a paid subscription, follow the club’s new Instagram, or grab the book from your library for no cost at all.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of the most important books of the last few years. I haven’t met anyone who was not moved by the book, often after staying up into the early hours of the morning just to finish it. Not to mention the fact that it’s still topping bestseller lists. We’ve known for a while now that a film adaptation of the book is in the works, but as of yesterday, we finally get our first look at the teaser!
The teaser actually premiered at VidCon, but since obviously not all of us could be at the con to see it, Angie Thomas herself shared in on Twitter last night. She also revealed that the full trailer will premiere this Sunday during the BET Awards. After that, everyone can watch it on the film’s official website.
Watch the trailer below and start getting excited. The Hate U Give hits theaters October 19!
This week commemorates the 60th anniversary of National Library Week, allowing bookworms everywhere to proudly celebrate their love of books and the libraries that offer them.
In the midst of celebration, The American Library Association, or ALA, has announced the most challenged books of 2017 in order to remind readers that a major threat that gets in the way of celebrating books is the act of book banning, or censorship.