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Friday, February 15, 2013

Cover Conundrum

What is a cover conundrum? A book cover that does NOT match the book.

Today's Cover Conundrum: Golden Country by Jennifer Gilmore (Thorndike Large Print edition)

Let me explain.  First of all, I have not read this book.  I am judging solely on the cover.  I realize that you "should never" do this, but as a librarian, I've learned that covers matter.  A lot.  A book with a bad cover isn't going to circulate.  I have noticed since taking up the Large Print collection that these books often get stuck with awful covers that do not match the original versions (probably for copyright and publishing reasons).  This book is not only perfect example of a terrible cover, but also has (what I am assuming) is a complete disconnect from the book.

Here is the synopsis from the book's back cover:

Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Golden Country vividly brings to life the intertwining stories of three immigrants seeking their fortunes -- the handsome and ambitious Seymour, a salesman-turned-gangster-turned-Broadway-producer; the gentle and pragmatic Joseph, a door-to-door salesman who is driven to invent a cleanser effective enough to wipe away the shame of his brother's mob connections; and the irresistible Frances Gold, who grows up in Brooklyn, stars in Seymour's first show, and marries the man who invents television. Their three families, though inextricably connected for years, are brought together for the first time by the engagement of Seymour's son and Joseph's daughter. David and Miriam's marriage must endure the inheritance of not only their parents' wealth but also the burdens of their past.
Epic and comic, poignant and wise, Golden Country introduces readers to an extraordinary new voice in fiction.

Here are two versions of the regular print covers:

 I had a huge "aha" moment when I saw the bottom cover.  I've totally seen this book on the regular fiction shelves.  I get these covers.  There are hints of "the big city" in there. Why does the Large Print version have honey and apples on it??? Does one of the characters really like honey?  Does some sage grandmother make a profound comment about gold honey vs. gold wealth?  The ONLY relationship that I can see the Large Print cover having with the book is that honey is a gold color.  The end.  It just makes me think of a cozy mystery.  Or maybe one of those Amish books.  It's been a long Friday afternoon and now I'm really in the mood for a snack.  Or to watch Winnie the Pooh.


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