Book Covers

CNN contributor Bob Greene suggests that book jackets are a dying art. In this article, he spotlights nine great covers. Which ones are your favorites?

I am a sucker for great packaging. Though I try to never judge books by their cover, I admit that there have been a few I’ve picked up simply because the jacket caught my eye. Two recent attractions yielded drastically different results.

oracle night cover   The woven blue notebook of Paul Auster’s Oracle Night lured me in much the same way that the possibly supernatural journal ensnares the protagonist. Oracle Night was my first foray into Auster’s work. I loved the mysteries and complexities on every page and now I can’t get enough Auster. I scour the library and bookstore shelves for his books and since I discovered we are almost neighbors, keep my eyes peeled for him when I’m walking around Brooklyn.

I expected to read something fascinating or scientific after opening the cover of Galt Niederhoffer’s A Taxonomy of Barnacles. I find this book polarizing. Some critics call it a contrived vanity project and others find its zaniness charming. I agree with with the former. I will steer clear of the author’s future endeavors, but I admit a desire to talk to her agent or editor about how structuring the novel more like the science project-like cover could have improved the writing and, ultimately, sales.

taxonomy cover

(originally posted on on 4/20/2010)



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