Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Books Whose Titles or Covers Made Me Buy It - Top Ten Tuesday #6

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I judge books by their cover or title all the time. I know that it is childish and silly. I know that I’ve been wrong too many times, but I still cannot help it – I do that. I guess it is understandable. If you didn’t come to a bookstore for the specific book, you have too many options and if you don’t know anything about books on a shelf, the only way you can narrow your options down is by cover and title, unless you are very persistent and will go through each and every book, reading synopsis. So I can safely assume that at least half of the books that I own, I picked up because of their cover or title. It doesn’t mean that I buy or read every book with the cover I liked, it only means that I will pick an unknown to me book up with appealing to me cover or title from a bookstore’s shelf to examine it and make further decision if I want to read it. Here are top five books I picked up because of tier cover and top five that I picked up because of their title.

Top Five Books Whose Covers Made Me Buy It.

1. Fallen by Lauren Kate. One of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen, hiding one of the most awful books I’ve ever read. The main thing that I love about this cover is color scheme - all shades of blue. I also loved the dead forest on the background with tangled branches and crows.  I like the pose of the model, that she is shown in the profile and we don’t see her face. I do not like faces on covers.

2. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I’m a very big fan of black and white photos and if they have a touch of read, it is becoming something that really mesmerizes me. This is precisely the reason why I picked up this book and why I liked Sin City (the movie). 

3. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. I loved the foggy background and Victorian looking perambulator standing under the tree on the carpet of dead leaves. And certainly the center of attention is a knife, scissors and other utterly inappropriate tools hanged above perambulator as if it was a baby mobile.

4. Outlander (20th anniversary edition) by Diana Gabaldon. I missed outlander when it was first published – I was too young and no one in my family read it, none of them ever were into romances. One day I was browsing B&N site and saw this gorgeous deep red and gold cover. It was simplistic from the first sight; however it had beautiful ornaments on the background.

5. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I love books. I love old books with yellow pages and moldy covers. I love books on my books’ covers. ‘Nough said.

Top Five Books Whose Titles Made Me Buy It.
  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Before I knew anything about Gabriel García Márquez, I heard this title. I think it was in some movie or TV series, I don’t really remember now. I think I was around eight or nine years old. But I remembered the title, somehow it sounded magical and poetical. Now that I know and love Gabriel García Márquez and his works, almost every title of his books sounds like that to me. Listen to this, read it out loud: Love in the Time of Cholera, The General in His Labyrinth, The Autumn of the Patriarch, etc.
  2. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I read it only once in Russian translation. In Russian, the title was a bit different – Singers in a Blackthorn – a literal translation of Russian title in English. For me, to sing, means you are happy and to sing in the middle of a bush full of thorns (bad surroundings or unpleasant circumstances), means that even in something completely devastating there is always a light, there is always a hope and so is happiness. For me this title was very metaphorical.
  3. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin. I was always interested in amnesia and in the process how humans collect and store their memories.
  4. The Devil Wear Prada by Lauren Weisberger. I really liked the mix of paranormal with the name of fashion designer in this title. Even though the book turned out to be something utterly different from what I expected from the title, I liked it. I watched the movie later and even though I love Meryl Streep, I didn’t like the movie as much.
  5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I liked this title because it invoked something primitive, something primeval in me (bones), mixing it up with something civilized, something refined (city).
While I was thinking about today’s topic, I came across some books which titles repelled me from buying/reading these books, either ever, means I still didn’t read them; or for quite a while, means I needed a lot of convincing to pick a book up. And even though I know that I probably got titles of half of these titles, if not all, wrong, they still repel me. So as a bonus, here are these books:
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I never liked stories about animals. When I was in the elementary school, we were made to read a lot of stories about animals, and not the ones in which animals are humanized, but the naturalistic ones. They were boring and tedious for me. Water for Elephants title made me think that this book is going to be not only about animals, but about care for animals, as in bringing water to elephants. I wasn’t too far off in my assumptions.
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I do not like self-help books and by its title this is what I thought this book is going to be. I do not like when one person is teaching me how to live my life. I do not like when any religion is imposed on me (the pray part indicated that to me). I have enough of religious solicitors coming to my house, offering to save my soul, so I don’t need that in books as well.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This title made me think about looking for help, asking for help, which essentially means being helpless, not providing help, for some reason. I do not like reading about helpless characters, about passive characters. I want to see characters who make the difference, who fights for their happiness, even if they are losing at the end.
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. This title made me think that the book is going to be focused on a passive wife, a wife that sits and wait for her husband to come home, waits for her husband to notice her, waits for her husband to start her life. I do not like when women portrayed  like this in fiction, even though I know that there are plenty of women like this in the real life, I just don’t like reading about these women.
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green. I already wrote about this book last week: “I was thinking that Alaska in the title was referring to the state Alaska (silly me). So when I was thinking “Looking for Alaska (the state)”, I was imagining something of Jack London’s style and I really never liked it. ”
Do titles or covers make a big influence on your decision to read/buy a book?


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I think you have hit upon yet another future Top Ten prompt: Titles Which Made Me Put the Book Down!

I love quirky book titles. Here's my Top Ten list.

Trish said...

13th Tale made my list this week, too. I love the old vintage books on the cover.

Shannon (Giraffe Days) said...

Ha ha I have Fallen on my list too - it's appeared on a lot of lists today!

I keep wanting to get The Replacements because of the cover but I'm trying to have more self-discipline, less impulsive book-buying. I'm not sure that I'm interested in the story, and that's holding me back.

I had the same reaction to Eat Pray Love - I hate self-help / self-discovery books, am really turned off by the whole "she found religion and her self when her husband divorces her" and can't stand self-indulgent drama like that. It's one I have 0 interest in reading.

I loved The Time Traveler's Wife though, and I finally got a copy of The Help because so many friends loved it - I've only heard good things about it. I had to get the UK edition though, because the purple and yellow North American edition is sooooo boring!

Here's my list!

Alexa said...

Outlander looks intriguing - I haven't read it either and I kind of want to pick it up now because of the cover :)

LBC said...

I think I thought the same thing about Looking for Alaska...but I loved the book.

Come visit my list at The Scarlet Letter.

Anonymous said...

I can't refuse beautiful cover either.
but I also like the content in "The thirdteenth tale"
It's so nice to found that there are still someone enjoy buying & reading books:)
(few of my friends do that)

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