Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I Have Louise Penny Covered!

You know, I can't begin working on one of these posts anymore without envisioning Harrods fiction department. Heaven help me, I could've backed up one of their delivery vans and filled it up. Of course, then I would've had to figure out how to get everything to Arizona....

A lot of times I choose books for these posts according to the reviews that are posted the same week. This holds true this week. 

Yesterday I reviewed Louise Penny's The Nature of the Beast, so I thought it would be nice to take a look at the US and UK covers for one of her earlier Armand Gamache novels. Which one? 


This one-- book number six, Bury Your Dead.

The US cover...

In many ways the US cover is more about the blurbs than it is about the graphic. I like the colors of the autumn leaves being blown across the snow, and the title and author's name are easily seen. But there's a lot of other stuff on that cover, and it all seems to have been carefully chosen for readers who want winners with proven track records. (Don't get me wrong, I like to read winners, too, but I'm also very willing to explore.)

Booklist calls it "One of the top ten crime novels of the year." "The New York Times Bestseller." "Four-Time Winner of the Agatha Award." At least they do tell you that it's a Chief Inspector Gamache novel, but there's much ado about accolades.

The UK cover...

You can tell by the UK cover that-- at that point in time-- Louise Penny wasn't as well known there as she was in the US. There's only one simple, well-chosen blurb by a famous UK author. The rest is simplicity itself: graphic, title, author.

A lowering sky. Is it going to snow again? A dark figure carrying something in the distance. A trail of footprints in the deep snow. Snow-laden pine trees. The red title and author's name stands out well against the white, although I think they should be a bit bolder. 

All in all a rather mysterious sort of cover, don't you think?

My verdict...

I'm torn. There are elements of both that I really like. I think I would choose the US cover except for one thing: all those glowing phrases turn me off for some reason. Yes, it's Contrary Time. This time, I'm choosing the simple mystery of a person walking away from me in the snow. I'd have to pick it up just to find out what that person was up to. I'm nosy that way.

What say you?

Which cover do you prefer? US? UK? Neither one? Do you like knowing that the books you pick up have won awards or been on bestseller lists?

Inquiring minds are dying to know!



  1. I'm voting for the US cover, too, Cathy. Like you, I'm not a big fan of all of those glowing words, but the cover itself is more appealing to me.

    1. Yes, the graphic on the US cover is appealing, isn't it?

  2. I'm voting for the UK cover. I favor the simple and mysterious more. Rachel E

    1. Welcome aboard, Rachel! It sounds as though you may be like me-- preferring to find out for yourself what sort of a book it is you're reading, instead of being told. ;-)

  3. Neither one of them grabs me too much. I do like knowing about awards or best-seller lists, although the latter hasn't resulted in too many good reads.

    But I wouldn't buy a book based on awards or its being on a top list nor do I pick a book by its cover. I go by friends or blogger's recommendations and their descriptions or I go with an author I like.

    1. But if you just happen to be browsing in a bookstore, what's going to catch your eye if not the cover?

  4. The author's name, the blurbs on the back, the inside blurb if a hardcover.
    Colors may grab me, but then there has to be more than that.

    1. Very true, but the things that catch your eye if you're just walking down an aisle of books are : Cover graphics (including colors), author's name, and title. The rest you aren't going to see until you pick up the book and begin your examination. (That's what I do-- examine it. I don't take just anything home with me! *wink*)

  5. If I saw a book that I was waiting to read by an author and had to have it quickly, I would buy it. If I saw a book by an author I like, but hadn't heard of the title I might buy it if I liked the blurbs.
    But who am I kidding? There are no longer brick and mortar stores near me. There are a few but they are quite a walk, so I don't actually go to a bookstore.
    But I do let my fingers do the walking and buy books online sometimes if I absolutely cannot wait for the library to get a book or if the library does not purchase it -- as is true of some global crime fiction.


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