Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted as always by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s theme is Mardi Gras, which is the last party before Lent rolls into town. Mardi Gras is defined by its purple, green, and gold color scheme, so this week we’re going to take a look at book covers that feature these colors!
I’m already expecting this to take a long time, so let’s get to it!
Man, it has been a long time since I read this book, much less thought of this book, but for some reason the purple cover was the first one to come to mind when I started thinking about this prompt! Sure, they’ve changed the cover since I first read the series to something that’s more of a pink than a purple, but rest assured that when I first read this series back in high school, the cover that you see to your left is the cover that was on the book! If you’re looking for a story that screams emotional distress and deals with the literal town of Sleepy Hollow, you’re in for a wonderful treat. Our main character spends her spare time in the cemetery hanging out at her best friend’s (empty) grave. Also, I promise this looks more purple in person than it apparently does in the actual photo.
I’ve been a die-hard fan of the WTNV podcast for years now (and I’ve gone to see the live show twice!), so when I first heard about the novelization I preordered it as soon as I could. Unfortunately the first book isn’t as good as their others, but it’s close enough to the surrealism of the podcast that I can forgive them. It deals with a side character instead of our loveable Cecil Palmer, which I think is why I didn’t like it as much as I should have. It’s got more of an ombre cover than a true purple, but I think that can be forgiven.
I only read the first book in this series, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because they REDESIGNED THE COVERS AFTER THE FIRST BOOK AND THEREFORE MY SET WOULD NOT MATCH ANYMORE. (Seriously, why would you DO THAT?!) I remember being super big into Libba Bray when I was in high school (thanks, A Great and Terrible Beauty), and I read everything I could get my hands on by her, including Going Bovine (which was…interesting, to say the lease). I think I picked this one up at Books-a-Million mainly because of the cover, and the fact that it was set in the Roaring 20s. After this century’s pandemic is over, I’m dressing up at every chance I get when I go out. I understand why they were the Roaring 20s now.
First non-fiction book on the list! This cover practically glows with toxic fumes when you look at it. I own this one on the Kindle so it’s not literally sitting on my shelf, but I think if it was, I’d have a hard time not putting it in a plastic bag and hoping that it doesn’t infect the books around it. Radium Girls tells the story of American watch-dial painters, who worked with radium and would lick their paintbrushes to get a nice point on them to make the radium go on easier, and would wear it like makeup when they went out at night, giving themselves a nice glow. If I’m remembering right, Europe had already realized the dangers of radium but the US downplayed it and it wasn’t until they had someone’s jaw literally rot and fall off that the girls started being listened to by lawyers.
This is the second book in the Septimus Heap series, which I will forever and always tout as being better than the Harry Potter series (especially since Rowling has since been revealed to be a transphobic bigot). I love that each of the book covers in the series are modeled after a book that the characters read in the actual book itself. This one, for instance, is a dragon training manual, fire-proof, of course. The Septimus Heap series follows the seventh son of a seventh son as he learns how to be a wizard, navigates his step-sister’s coming-of-age-as-a-princess issue, and falls into more trouble than a normal kid should ever have encountered in his lifetime. It’s glorious.
While my main Hobbit book doesn’t look like this, I do own this cover! It’s a tiny little hardback book, and the illustration on the book jacket is absolutely gorgeous. I’m an absolute sucker for pretty book covers (which is probably why I own three versions of The Hobbit), and I find that I’ve been burned more than once by judging a book on its beautiful cover only to open it up and find rot and ruin within. (I’m looking at you, Follow Me to Ground.) There’s nothing tricky about The Hobbit, though – no matter what cover you choose, inside you will always find the warm story of Bilbo Baggins waiting to welcome you with open arms.
Is it really a gold book cover if you don’t have some sort of metallic ink on it? I don’t know if my book was purchased new or if it was purchased from the secondhand book store in my city, but I read it a lot when I was in high school and some of the gold on the cover rubbed off. I know I bought Bitterblue at the secondhand book store, and I am equally as certain that I have never read Bitterblue, and instead it has been sitting on the floor in my room (where I’d run out of space for books on my bookshelves) for years at this point. I enjoyed the magic system (or “graces,” as Cashore puts it) in this world, and I really want to get back into it. I should probably rescue these books from my parents’ house the next time I go and visit.
I remember reading this book in fifth grade, and then we watched the movie and I loved it so much (the scene where the sheriff shoots the guys, they fall down – and then they get back up again? Classic), but I don’t know if I’ve ever read the book again. It was the first book I was introduced to that didn’t have a happy ending, and I think that hurt ten-year-old me’s feelings just a bit. I didn’t understand that there would be books I would encounter in the future that would absolutely wreck me, and books that I would love but would cry over because they were so beautiful, just because they didn’t have a happy ending. I was still in the mindset of Disney, where everything has a definitive, happy ending, and could never imagine that the world wouldn’t end up that way.
Man, two weeks in a row with Artemis Fowl! I will admit that I wanted this world to be real SO BADLY when I was in middle school, because I thought it would be the coolest thing ever. In book three, there’s even a secret code that runs along the bottom of the book that tells you how to contact LEPrecon to prove that you’re a friend (because obviously Artemis Fowl is a documentary series, you see?), and I am a little embarrassed to admit that I actually did it. Of course I was sorely disappointed when no LEP officers showed up to take me away and introduce me to Foaly and Holly Short and Artemis, but I never told anyone (except now, when I’m telling the entire internet) because I didn’t want anyone to make fun of me.
While I’m not the biggest fan of the Inkworld trilogy (a lot of the time I’ll pretend that the only book ever written was Inkheart, and be really confused when people mention the others), I have to admit that the covers are gorgeous. I don’t think mine has gold metallic foil on the skull outline, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a metallic version at some point. You’ve got the purple background, the gold skull, and the green woodland interior, and it all fits together beautifully.
And there you have it – a list of ten books with gorgeous Mardi-Gras-themed covers! Which ones are your favorite? I found out during this that while there are a ton of gorgeous purple books out there, I’ve read barely any of them! (New reading goal?)
And as always, keep reading.