Book Covers and Titles That Got My Attention

I get annoyed by all the copycat book covers out there. Publishers seem to want every book to look like a knockoff of the latest hit. I realize it’s helpful for bookstores to have clear indicators of where to shelve a book, and for people to easily find the latest book that’s just like the last one they read. But for me, these book covers that all look the same are more likely to turn me away from a book.

Similarly, I hate book titles that are so nondescript I have to look them up even after I’ve read the book. Examples are See What I Have Done, How Beautiful We Were, The End of the Day, The Beauty of Your Face, The World That We Knew, What We Lose, All You Can Ever Know. From that list, could you tell me who wrote that book and what it was about?

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is the top ten books with titles or covers that made you want to read the book.

Here are 12 books with interesting, eye-catching titles and covers. I chose only books I loved – in other words, books that lived up to their presentation. 

  • The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
  • Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart
  • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
  • The Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

Here are a few more of my favorite book titles:

  • Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
  • How the One Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
  • Know My Name by Chanel Miller
  • Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

And here are a few books with covers that really drew my attention:

  • Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Finally a shout out to one of my favorite series, the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. These covers by Dan dos Santos are beautiful and keep getting better.

I’d love to hear some of your favorite covers and titles. Happy Tuesday!

  18 comments for “Book Covers and Titles That Got My Attention

  1. lydiaschoch
    August 3, 2021 at 10:14 am

    I love the cover for A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking.

    My post:

  2. WendyW
    August 3, 2021 at 11:24 am

    I love those covers by for the Mercy Thompson series, they illustrate a very strong, and beautiful woman.

    • August 4, 2021 at 8:17 am

      The first few in the series weren’t as good, and a few of them focus more on her chest than I might like. But they are beautiful, and really bring her character to life.

  3. August 3, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    I definitely hope to start the Mercy Thompson series soon, those covers are indeed so gorgeous!

    • August 4, 2021 at 8:16 am

      It’s a great series if you like urban fantasy! Mercy is one of my favorite fictional characters, and I love all the mythology and Native American elements to the stories.

  4. August 3, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Lots of people complain about how many historical fiction novels there are with covers that feature people (usually women) turned away from the camera. I get the irritation, but I actually love these kinds of covers. They just appeal to me and, yes, they’re a quick cue that says this is the kind of book you enjoy!

    That being said, I like the Kopp Sisters covers. They’re eye-catching exactly because they’re different. It’s a great series, too!

    Happy TTT!


    • August 4, 2021 at 8:14 am

      I love the Kopp Sisters covers too, they put you right in the time the books take place. I also love that the titles, at least of the first one, came from an actual news headline. These are such great stories.

  5. masterspj
    August 3, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    What a great list of books. All of those covers are stunning! Firekeeper’s Daughter has such an amazing cover; how could it not catch your eye? And it’s an excellent book as well. one of my favorites for the year.

    When you get the chance, I hope you come over and check out my post:

    • August 4, 2021 at 8:13 am

      I loved Firekeeper’s Daughter! A beautiful cover and a great book. Thanks for the comment!

  6. August 4, 2021 at 10:18 am

    I love the Mercy book, and the covers are just so beautiful! I don’t usually pay attention to cover artists, but in this case, I’ve started following him on social media because his work is just so stunning. I agree about interchangeable titles — it makes me bonkers when I can’t tell books I’ve read apart (when I was gone, when we were yours, etc etc etc!!). Your choices are all terrific, and I do really love memorable titles (like Girl Waits with Gun! Amazing book, and terrific title.).

    • August 5, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks Lisa! Glad to hear from another Mercy fan. It’s a shame when a good book has a bland title or one that really has little to do with the book.

  7. August 4, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Excellent choices! I’ve read four of them (Girl Waits, Maybe You Should, Tell the Wolves, and Started Early) so clearly the titles grabbed me too.

    Even the nondescript titles don’t bug me as much as the “A of B and C” title trend. Those all sound like each other to me (House of Fog and Splinters? A Hat of Thorns and Fog?) and I can’t understand why anybody would still use them. Thank goodness some people are still coming up with original titles.

    • August 5, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      I completely agree, and I can never remember those titles, so it doesn’t seem like a good marketing strategy.

  8. August 5, 2021 at 5:42 am

    Agree with you about the sameness of many book covers – those in the crime genre seem particularly guilty of using the same motifs over and over.

    • August 5, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Yes, thrillers and romances also do this a lot. It’s a shame so many books get pigeon-holed into one genre like that, though it’s probably easier to market them that way. It would be interesting to look at books where their covers misrepresented their content.

      • August 5, 2021 at 4:22 pm

        Susan at A Life In Books picked up on the issue of completely misrepresentative covers. Do you have any howlers as examples to share?

      • August 6, 2021 at 1:50 pm

        I don’t have a good example I can think of, but now I’m going to look and see what I come up with.

  9. August 6, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    I’m also annoyed by copycat book covers–it almost feels like plagiarism to me.

    I particularly like the Masie Dobbs book covers, and I also like the cover of one of my current books, Fifty Words for Rain.

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