Top Ten Tuesday

5 Book covers that fit the content of the book and 5 that don’t

Top Ten Tuesday
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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Join us every Tuesday to see MBJ’s Top Ten Listicles!

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WE’RE BACK! This is our first Top Ten Tuesday since the launch of the new site, and we are excited to tackle this week’s theme: a freebie about book covers. After some deliberation, we decided to talk about the covers of books that both do and don’t fit the content of the books.

Covers that DO

1. The Dark Fantastic
by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas [Buy Bookshop]

The Dark Fantastic- Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

Not only is this cover fantastic to look at, but it truly does fit the book’s content. The fantastic is embued in the cover through the patterns on the woman’s dress and the font.

The Dark Fantastic is about the positioning of black women in fantasy, and the cover art doesn’t shy away from that one bit. It’s such a mystical and friendly cover for such a serious and hotly debated issue.

The Dark Fantastic opens the reader’s eyes to the invisibility of Black people in fantastic works. Readers are forced to examine how it’s possible to have dragons and magic in the realm of the fantastic, but a POC as Queen or changing the world in any way is unrealistic and unimaginable. And yet, the cover is so fantastic!

2. wordslut: a feminist guide to taking back the English language
by Amanda Montell [Buy Bookshop]

Wordslut A Feminist Guide to Taking Back The English Language by Amanda Montell

As a feminist language book, wordslut analyzes how words have become gendered in such a way as to keep womxn down. What better way to deconstruct such gendered words than using the word “slut” in the title of your book?

As an English and Linguistics program major, I absolutely love the phonetic spelling of Wordslut, especially because this fall, I’m taking a phonetics course.

I’ll learn so much more about phonetics, which will enhance my love of the book.

3. The Story of Sex
by Philippe Brenot and Laetitia Coryn

The cover of this book definitely fit’s the content. This book is all about the history of sex and our society’s relationship with sex throughout the ages. What makes it even greater is that it is a graphic history of sex. On the hardcover edition, I have the title is huge with illustrations taken from the content. It’s a simple cover but clearly gets the idea across.

4. Temptations Series
by Ella Frank

I have written about Ella Frank’s Temptation series in previous posts like this one: Reasons why I love Ella Frank’s Temptation and Confession series, and I touched on both covers, but it bears repeating.

The new set of covers for the Temptation series really does fit the content of the books. Frank finds great photographers and even better models than the previous book covers. The new covers are more sophisticated and elegant than the last. I especially like how they are sexy without being distasteful. It perfectly fits the content of the books themselves. I love it!

See what I mean?

Ella Frank's Temptation Series #1 -3

5. The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative
by Thomas King [Buy Bookshop]

The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative by Thomas King

If you’ve ever read Thomas King’s The Truth About Stories, then you will agree that no matter the edition, the cover fits the contents of the book wonderfully.

The book’s cover is littered with native memorabilia, which is discussed in depth in each chapter. Each chapter starts with the traditional Native oral story of the beginning of time. Then it goes on to analyze Native culture and peoples in a White supremacist society.

The Truth About Stories is engaging and eye-opening. I don’t think I would have had a chance to read this book if it weren’t for my intertextuality course last winter.

So, if you haven’t had a reason to read the book before, learning about Native culture and how it interacts with the world we live in.

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Covers that DON’T

1. Project Hero
by Briar Prescott

Project Hero by Brian Prescott

Personally, I love the geeky unrequited best friend love trope with the third party person that will be the “practice” run that the protagonist ends up with. Love it.

What I can’t get behind is how different the character on the book’s cover looks from the character description as you’re reading. The cover model is confident, while Andy is portrayed as messy and an old-school version of a “geeky-sidekick.” I wouldn’t say I like it; I mean, I like it, but I don’t think the cover accurately depicts the book’s contents.

2. So You Want to Talk About Race
by Ijeoma Oluo [Buy Bookshop]

As a Black woman, I’ve recommended this book to many a White friend. I find that it addresses the “how” of starting a conversation about race without being lecture-y.

However, the cover is a bit shouty. It belies that the book’s purpose isn’t to call anyone out on race talks but to enlighten and give certain people a new perspective on what it means to talk about race with a POC or talk about race within their own cultural group general.

Though the cover comes in 2 colours (I found it the other day in Indigo), it’s not a great representation of the contents of the book itself, well, the words do, but the text bubble doesn’t.

Or maybe it does; what are your thoughts?

3. Penguin Classics
by Anyone

I freely admit that I am a huge fan of Penguin Classics editions of books. I like the shape, size and even the covers of these editions, particularly the ones with the black band across the bottom. But let me tell you, those covers have nothing to do with the content of the books themselves.

Penguin usually seems to take a piece of art that sort of, maybe could fit the story or the literary period the work was written in. So the cover doesn’t fit the content.

4. Spiral of Bliss Series
by Nina Lane

First, let me say that I find the covers of this series to be very aesthetically pleasing. I just don’t get it, though. I’ve read and enjoyed the series immensely, but I don’t get how the version of the covers I have fit the content of the books at all.

If you’ve read the books, tell me what you think. Do they fit? Do they not?

Also, side note: it turns out this is a series I thought I completed, then it was extended into five books, and I realize that I have two more books to go. *sigh*

Spiral of Bliss Series

5. Romance Novels
Romance novels are great; if you have checked out my yearly reading progress, you know that I read many of them. And you might also notice that a lot of those book covers have “men on the covers with their nipples showing” (Ross, Friends). This is one of the things I hate about romance novel book covers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the eye candy, but it doesn’t have a lot to do with the actual plot of the books. There are some absolutely great romance book covers out there that are creative and have (at least marginally) something to do with the plot. Plus, they don’t get you the side-eye from people on the subway.

Hope you enjoyed our first TTT back. This week we talked about Book Covers that Do and Don’t fit the content of the book.

What did y’all think? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Reply
    Aj @ Read All The Things!
    September 15, 2020 at 20:44

    Welcome back to TTT! I have So You Want To Talk About Race on my TBR list, but I never looked closely at the cover. It does look a bit shouty. I’m glad to hear it isn’t.

  • Reply
    Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books)
    September 15, 2020 at 16:16

    Sometimes you really have to wonder what in the world a book cover artist is thinking! LOL.

    Happy TTT!


  • Reply
    Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse
    September 15, 2020 at 12:11

    Reading your comment about not liking half-naked men covers was interesting. I read mostly romance and I don’t mind those covers. I actually like them for Baller and The Deal. I relate the hard body images on the covers to sports romances, that’s probably why. It makes them easier to pick out I guess. But I also normally read on Kindle. Maybe I would feel different if I had to cart those covers everywhere.

    • Reply
      My Book Jar
      September 15, 2020 at 19:54

      It’s not that I don’t like the covers, more that they don’t always fit the story, are superfluous while at the same time stereotypical.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2020 at 09:07

    It’s always nice when a cover fits a book’s content perfectly.

    My post .

  • Reply
    Patrick M. Prescott
    September 15, 2020 at 07:51

    I’m going to have to read some of Briar Prescott’s books.

  • Leave a Reply