Book Covers

Via Broadsheet, I recently read an interesting article by Karen Heller about the covers of books for women, and how they tend to feature “disjointed body parts” — backs, arms, legs, feet — without faces.

The thinking, or so I imagine, is that readers will look at these women’s body parts or backs and identify. “Why that’s me!” or “That looks just like my old friend Susie!” In other words, they think we’re stupid.

Those kinds of covers are usually a turn-off for me, but out of curiosity I turned to my trusty GoodReads to find the best and worst covers of books I’ve read lately.

A Novel Ian McEwan’s Atonement features an entire little girl sitting on some steps.
Little Children The cover of Tom Perrotta’s Little Children catches your eye immediately.
The Monsters of Templeton The Monsters of Templeton initially had a lovely embossed silhouette cover…
… but the next printing featured — the back of a woman’s head.
On Chesil Beach McEwan’s On Chesil Beach features an unidentifiable woman. It’s a horrible book, so go figure…
A Novel Another silhouette cover — this is probably my favorite of all the books I’ve read in 2007-2008!

2007 Books

Not to be outdone by Freedom Toast, I give you the stats on the books I read in 2007.

I read 38 books in 2007. I do not have a page count. 27 of those were in the last half of the year — after I started using GoodReads!

Top authors:

  • Barbara Kingsolver (3)
  • Philip Pullman (3)
  • Susanna Clarke (2)
  • Stephen King (2)
  • Madeleine L’Engle (2)
  • Ian McEwan (2)

The page count is officially 14,278 — but I wasn’t keeping track as I went along the way Freedom Toasted was, so I just pulled those from GoodReads. That number includes all numbered pages in each book — indices, appendices, etc. The actual number is somewhat lower than that; I’d guess it’s right around 14,000.

The average book I read in 2007 was 375 pages long. On average, I read one book every 10 days.