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I'm Not OPENING a Book to Find Out If It's Good

I'm reading two books right now that I'd recommend to pretty much anyone. Not in a 'YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK IT WILL BE YOUR FAVORITE OMG' kind of way, but in a 'these are just kind of objectively good and I think everyone will at least enjoy them' way.

Those are, of course, The Night Circus and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Just read them. At some point. They're really good. Well. At least halfway through, which is how far I am in each one. If the second halves suck, not my fault.

Now, let's see. Top Ten Tuesday, book covers that made me pick up the book. This SHOULD be easy since I judge books by their covers like nobody's business, but my brain, she is lazy. Let's see what I can recall.

The Children's Book, A.S. Byatt - So...I haven't exactly read this yet. But I bought it the week it came out, because POSSESSION, YOU ARE THE GREATEST BOOK EVER. And look at the cover. LOOK AT IT. I would've bought this if I'd never heard of Byatt, because the cover is gorgeous.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith - We all know what that cover looks like, right? Yeah, it's great. Not so into what Grahame-Smith did with the text itself, but eh.

The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart - Mmm, illustrations by Carson Ellis, aka the Lady Who Draws for The Decemberists. I'm generally on the lookout for attractive YA covers, i.e. ones that look like this. *points to the left* It took me an oddly high number of times of going to the bookstore and looking at it before I finally bought it. And then LOVED IT, because the Mysterious Benedict Society series is amazing. And the illustrations are all just unique and awesome. Mmm, creative fiction for 10-12-year-olds, I enjoy you.

Soulless, Gail Carriger - Look at that. How am I NOT supposed to read that? Parasols, late 19th century dresses and the promise of steampunk + werewolves. Of course, as we all discovered, it's basically just fanfic, meaning I quickly stopped caring about the kind-of-lame plot and just wanted the main characters to do it. Which is not that I want out of my for-reals books. Boo. I do still enjoy the series covers, though.

The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff - This is one of the few books I HAD to read because of the cover. I mean, most of the others, the cover was a big inducement, but I seriously love this cover. And the book doesn't suck! I quite enjoyed it, despite not having read any of the Leatherstocking Tales, and thus probably missing a good deal of the references. But yeah. Great book. Fabulous cover.

The Vesuvius Club, Mark Gatiss - I loved the beginning of this and then it kind of...petered off. But it's funny enough, and I do love the font used for the cover. Again, pretty much whatever lately that's evocative of the 1870s-1910, I'm all over. What is that, Art Nouveau? I suck at distinguishing artistic things, but Nouveau has all the loopy things, so let's go with that.

Anything Vintage Publishes - Omg. Any cover I see that's gorgeous, I assume it's by Vintage. I was first exposed to them when I had to buy eight -- EIGHT -- Nabokov books for my English 455 'Major Authors' class. They were all published by Vintage, and the covers were so pretty I started looking for other books published by them. I trust Vintage more than almost any other publisher, so if they publish a book, I assume it at least KIND of doesn't suck.

Matilda, Roald Dahl - Okay, I don't actually remember if it was the cover that made me read this, or just my brother being all over everything Roald Dahl wrote, but look at that. NOSTALGIA. Which equals happiness. Most people list Matilda as their favorite Dahl book. Mine might be The Witches, but Matilda is completely wonderful and amazing, and QUENTIN BLAKE ILLUSTRATIONS. Roald Dahl would not be the same Roald Dahl in my head without Quentin Blake's illustrations.

Wicked, Gregory Maguire - Oh, cover-judging, how you backfired upon me! I hate this book. It's heavy-handed in its attempts to get political, the thinly-veiled parallels to our current society are ridiculous and out of place, and pretty much everything about it pissed me off. That being said, the musical has some very catchy songs.


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