Top Ten Tuesday: Typographic Book Covers

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics

Last week I lamented that I was in a reading slump and it seems that I am still there: I have begun The Trees by Percival Everett as a book and The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward. I had hoped that Needless Street might jolt me out be being a shift of genre… but it is not gripping me. The language feels a little too obvious and self conscious maybe, and the narrative voice of the cat is just not working for me… In contrast, The Trees feels much fresher, with the advantage of tiny short chapters and it always feel good to whizz through five chapters in a twenty minute break at work!

So, things are starting to look up in time for my birthday on Friday, even if my feelings on reaching 49 are a little mixed!

Anyway, this week’s topic focusses on covers. I am always a little insecure about cover lists: the vast majority of my reading is done on my Kindle and I use Calibre to manage my books, which draws in covers from who-knows-where on the net! I have no idea whether the covers I have are the official UK ones! But, we can always use Amazon to double check! And the focus for these covers is typography which the internet describes as

the art or work of preparing books, etc. for printing, especially of designing how text will appear when it is printed

or, visually, I did like these images

In more layman’s terms, as I scroll through my book covers, I am looking for covers where text is the main feature rather than imagery, and which is itself interesting or gorgeous!

Many thanks to Mareli @ Elza Reads for suggesting this theme. I do also apologise for Mareli for any offence caused to Elza her cat and feline inspiration for her blog for any offence caused by my comment about the cat as a narrator in The Last House on Needless Street!

Ruth Ozeki, The Book of Form and Emptiness

For a novel which is all about the eponymous book, and which is narrated by The Book, and in which The Book narrates and / or controls characters, and which plays with and mocks and tips its hat good naturedly at the processes of writing and inspiration and language, words are bound to be its focus on the cover, aren’t they?

After all, the opening paragraph reads

A book must start somewhere. One brave letter must volunteer to go first, laying itself on the line in an act of faith, from which a word takes heart and follows, drawing a sentence into its wake. From there, a paragraph amasses, and soon a page, and the book is on its way, finding a voice, calling itself into being.

Belinda Bauer, Exit

I loved this book… but I was disappointed in both the cover and the title, and had exactly the same reaction to her earlier book, Snap.

I mean, they are both simple and clean, I suppose…

Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You

How have I still not read this?

But there is something wonderfully distinctive about the lettering here: the top curve of the B and R, the perfect circles of the O and R…. and the cut-out effect as we seem to look at snips of characters through the words is beautiful!

R. F. Kuang, The Poppy War

I am yet to read this series – and I have picked up R. F. Kuang’s Babel to read first – but I love that smokiness around the lettering and the characters.

It gives an ethereal and unreal tone as if they are dissolving into, or appearing from, mist…

Bella Mackie, How To Kill Your Family

A wonderfully blunt title to a book, and a great cover – I love the way that the Y of Family appears to become a grave… although I have some questions if all that remains of the corpse would fit in that shape… and are the forks of the Y for feet (where are the arms and head) or for the arms (surrendering perhaps?)

Maybe I’m over thinking a light hearted joke!

And somehow the pink cover feels both girly and feminine, but also oddly… meaty.

Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

One of my favourite books of all time – although my physical edition is red. The antiquated style of the cover’s font and typography takes us right back to the eighteenth century.

V. E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

It only seems fitting, for a novel about a girl who is cursed that, whilst she may be immortal, she will never be remembered does not appear on the cover of her own book.

Or does she, but we don’t remember it?

Holly Jackson, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Who doesn’t love a good murder board? Red string connecting clues, suspects, alibis, motives… the staple of so many iconic TV detective shows.

Holly Jackson plays with the cliché rather knowingly here – and over the series she does subvert the detective genre massively.

But still, a great image for the front cover, building the text into it – and the font that is mimicking a young girl’s curvy cursive handwriting contrasting with the straight lines….

Lara Maiklam, Mudlarking

I love the typesetting printing styling of the letters here.

Lisa McInerney, Glorious Heresies

MiInerney encapsulate the dark humour of Irish writing at its best: irreverent, hilarious, brutal and also humane.

The dripping pain effect – almost perhaps like that of blood dripping down a wall…? – superimposed on the colours of the image of Mary does somehow capture that dark, humourous, Irish tone wonderfully.

Tana French, In The Woods

I think I said last week that I could get one of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad into most Top Ten Tuesday lists!

So here we have the gorgeously monochromatic hardcover for In The Woods, the first of that series, with the trees sprouting from the lettering in an almost Blakean manner!

So there we have it, another list… and my last TTT as a sprightly 48-year-old!

As always, I look forward to reading your comments and your posts, and to commenting and replying.

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes

October 4: Favorite Bookstores OR Bookstores I’d Love to Visit (The UK celebrated National Bookshop Day on October 1, so I thought it would be a fun topic!)
October 11: Books I Read On Vacation (bonus points if you tell us where you were!) (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)
October 18: Favorite Words (This isn’t so much bookish, but I thought it would be fun to share words we love! These could be words that are fun to say, sound funny, mean something great, or make you smile when you read/hear them.)
October 25: Halloween Freebie

20 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Typographic Book Covers”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.