Books With a Ferris Wheel on the Cover

I start noticing a pattern. I start saving the covers. I research a little. Bingo! Enough of a pattern for a post! Dead Ferris wheels with creepy atmosphere are popular for dystopian book covers right now! There is something for everyone here–dystopian, steampunk, romance, mystery, nonfiction–even two children’s books! Note: I’ve only read one of these–my review is linked.


Thanks to blogger Lydia Schoch for this one! Click the link to read her review.


All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. My review is here.

Now doesn’t he look fun?

“Aimee Anderson is ten when the traveling carnival first comes to her nice little town. She doesn’t expect her world to change so completely. But meeting Kestrel Donohue puts her life on a different path.

Even though she only sees him for the two weeks of the year when he passes through her home town, his friendship is the most important of her life. As a child’s friendship grows to adult love, the choices become harder, and both Kes and Aimee realize that two weeks a year will never be enough…”

The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey-Berrick

“Gr 4–6—Quirky Star Mackie, who lives in a trailer park and has blue hair, desperately wants to make some friends in her new town. She decides that starting a poetry club is the perfect vehicle. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other 10-year-olds as enamored with Emily Dickinson as she is. The only other kids who will join her club are a couple of boys in detention and a brother/sister team. Star has many dreams—she longs to meet her father, hopes her beloved big sister, who is coping with an unexpected pregnancy, will be happy again and wishes most of all for a true friend.” (School Library Journal via Amazon).

Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera

“The Gillespie County Fair, the oldest fair in Texas, looms insistently over the shoulder of Marc Hess’s new novel. As rampant land development and tourist money begin to transform the old German farming community of Fredericksburg, two intermarried pioneer families lock in a life-and-death struggle over the sale of their homestead. Their vicious feud—in an otherwise harmonious and bucolic community—leads to the demise of two pioneer families and culminates in the triumph of one hard-headed, young girl.” (Amazon).

The Gillespie County Fair: A Novel by Marc Hess

Finally, the story of America’s regional theme parks. Everybody knows pretty much everything about Disneyland—how it got started, how the Imagineers do their thing, and so on. But nobody ever talks about the parks that most of us across the country enjoy far more often. Regional theme parks, different from amusement parks, owe their existence to the magical land Walt built in Anaheim…..Imagineering an American Dreamscape tells the story of the regionals and the strong-willed individuals behind them—where they came from, how they got started, and how they’ve changed over the decades.

Imagineering an American Dreamscape by Barry R. Hill

“THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE is unforgettable historical fiction steeped in authentic Victorian detail and an exotic love story that will sweep you up in Dora’s struggle to adapt to her changing world and forge her unique happily-ever-after….This is the debut novel from DeAnna Cameron and is a richly imagined, romantic historical novel that was formerly published as THE BELLY DANCER by Berkley/Penguin.” (Amazon).


A less racy entry also set at the Chicago World’s Fair–yes, there IS a Ferris Wheel! Look Closely! I’m only including this one due to the coincidence of two very different books at the same Fair.

“Gambling everything—including the family farm—Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the fair’s Machinery Hall makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading. The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?”

It Happened At the Fair by Deeanne Gist

“Since the 1970s, FantasticLand has been the theme park where “Fun is Guaranteed!” But when a hurricane ravages the Florida coast and isolates the park, the employees find it anything but fun. Five weeks later, the authorities who rescue the survivors encounter a scene of horror. Photos soon emerge online of heads on spikes outside of rides and viscera and human bones littering the gift shops, breaking records for hits, views, likes, clicks, and shares. How could a group of survivors, mostly teenagers, commit such terrible acts?” (Amazon).

Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven

“In the first book of Michael Buckley’s Undertow trilogy, the Alpha arrived and the world was never the same. At the start of the second book, most of south Brooklyn is in ruins from a massive tidal wave, and the nation is terrified. Nearly everyone that Lyric Walker loves is either missing or presumed dead, including the mesmerizing prince Fathom. It’s up to Lyric to unite the Alpha before the second wave of a cataclysmic invasion wipes out mankind for good. And a new nightmare is approaching…” (Amazon)

Raging Sea by Michael Buckly

Steampunk does interest me–maybe this will be my year to read it? This is an anthology so maybe I could try it as some of my short story reading, if it isn’t too weirdly dystopian or too fantastical. Hmmmmm.

Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . . (Amazon)

CarniePunk by multiple authors

How about a children’s mystery series with a Ferris Wheel cover?

The Boxcar Children: The Amusement Park Mystery

Need more?

 Click and read Kristen’s Cover Characteristics: Book Covers Featuring Ferris Wheels with even more covers!

Books With Recorded Music on the Cover


I had a similar model only black.

One of the few regrets I have in life is that, when we moved here to Ohio almost 13 years ago I gave up my “records.” Mind you, I had a rare Beatles album and some other treasures like my 8th-grade band album, but they went to Goodwill. I have been cursing that decision ever since. So, to soothe my soul a little, I started with one, then two, book covers with “records” or other recorded music on the cover. I’m old–“vinyl” doesn’t come naturally to me. “Record,” or “album,” or “45” if it was one song per side, those are my terms. I also have had cassettes, a Walkman that saved my sanity on the horrible excuse for public transportation that existed in Indianapolis in the mid-1980 (and sadly still exists, just as bad, today), plus a fine collection of CDs stolen from my car as it sat in the driveway of our Louisville rental home one summer.

The “Play” List



The Forensic Records Society by Magnus Mills.  Thanks to blogger Annabookbel for bringing this one to my attention.



French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain. Thanks to blogger Annabookbel for also bringing this one to my attention. This one was already on my TBR, but I’d forgotten it.



I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson is a favorite of mine. I love this cover for it too. The other covers are fine, but this one is so great for the story. I instantly here the song by my childhood favorite, David Cassidy and the mythical Patridge Family. Read my review here.



Designed for Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP in Midcentury America by Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder. What’s not to love about this cover?



The Music Shop: A Novel by Rachel Joyce only hints at a record, but I’ve included it because the whole story concerns vinyl LPs. Read my review here.



Greyhound: A Novel by Stephan Piper a road-trip and coming-of-age story I loved. Read my review here.



The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World by Damon Krukowski



Telegraph Avenue: A Novel by Michael Charbon has been on my TBR since it was published. It, too, has a new cover that is ok–one of those author-brand covers is the last one I saw for it. I love the red and the record on this one.

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell–I saw the British cover (left) on social media. The US cover is pretty drab by comparison, but both have “records” on the cover. You can pre-order this book now. It releases on July 14.



The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl by Henna Miles

I’m sure there are book covers with a CD in the design, but Google wasn’t very helpful with that. It kept giving me books of cover designs or cd cover!

Can you add titles to this list? Leave me a comment or link to your own post!

When the covers tell a different story on different editions

I DO often judge a book by its cover. And, I’m very picky about cover art. Believe it or not, I’m already stressed about cover art for my yet-to-be-shopped manuscripts! I want my covers to be RIGHT. One thing that troubles me is the way covers are often re-done to “re-launch” a book in paperback or to bring to light a backlist book or just to makeover an author’s books in general. Here are a few books I was attracted to by the cover of one version but turned off by the cover in another. I have not necessarily read these books.

The hardback cover (left) did nothing for me. The paperback one, intrigues me. What are the stories revealed by those windows?

The American cover (left) evokes Mondrian, whose iconic primary colors work I love. The UK cover makes me yawn and think “another women’s thriller.”

Thanks to Rather To Fond of Books for bringing these two books to my attention. Click the link and give her post a read, too.

Had I first encountered the UK cover (left), I’d have passed on a wonderful book. The matches made me think something bad would happen in spite of the cheerful yelllow color behind them. The US cover (right) coveyed the tone of a book I would (and did) enjoy. You can read my review here.

The print/Kindle cover on the left makes me want to start reading this right now. The audio cover I would walk right by and never notice.

Hardback (left) is blah, audio (center) is just a city, but the paperback has an illustration that softens the book to be more my kind of story.

Not sure why anyone would pick up the drab UK copy of this interesting-sounding book. The silhouttes get lost and look like a white blog on that red background, where as the US cover, with its pastels divides the silhouttes and makes in much more interesting.

Wow! What a dramatic difference! The word Hippie and all it conotates is perfectly expressed by the vivid Peter Max-ish vibe of the hardback/audio cover on the left. The paperback cover (right), yawn, brings to mind a lot of navel-gazing gibberish.

Does cover art affect your choices? Have any examples you’d like to share? Leave me a comment or do your own post and give me the link!


Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Redesigns I Loved/Hated


I’m a cover critic! I DO judge a book by its cover. That doesn’t mean a bad cover stops me from reading a book. No way! And, except for #2, all of these CAN be done well. Here are some not-so-good examples.

1. Removing a lovely, evocative, cover for bad black and white photos.


When I think of a British public school in the era of World War I and beyond think of I think of be-gowned masters and suited boys and cricket and rugby and rowing and Latin and silly hats and saying “Sir” every third word. I can hear Jerusalem just looking at it (even though it was just being birthed as a song at this time)! But slum boys playing dice (or whatever) ?? An urchin squatting on the ground in an old sweater? Pass the smelling salts, fast!


Horrible, what’s been done to this author’s lovely books and their beautiful covers. A car chopped off at the top over soldiers of a by-gone era. Was the artist joking?? The woman posed in front of American law books, with lips like a common tart?? Wt?? Dreadful. Another favorite author of mine, Herman Wouk, has had his books debased by this trend as well.

2. Author branding covers done blandly or badly


While this example is a trilogy, others are different stand-alone books done this way, to tie all of the works of one author together. These suck the life right out of the work! No clue what this could be about or why anyone would pick one up. Just awful.


Q must create a gadget to fix these dreadful Bond covers! The originals were hideous too, but these are their own circle of hell.


These just scream book rack at Wal-mart. What a disservice to such a talented author!

3. Movie or TV tie-in covers


Is there a more cringe-inducing way to ruin a book than to slap on a movie or tv-tie in cover? UGH.

4. Vintage-y, throw-back covers


These are also pretty much a type of branding given that the biggest Steinbeck titles have been reissued in these covers. There are much worse examples out there, believe me. It’s a hot trend in covers today.

5. Nothing at all like the story


This cover is an even better example of a terrible title added to a terrible cover. At first glance, you could easily mistake this for an Amish or prairie romance series. Unless you read it,  you’d not know it’s excellence historical fiction based on the life of John Bunyan and the reign of Oliver Cromwell!!  The Preacher’s Bride.


Who would guess, looking at this mess, that one of the all-time great American novels (yes, it is very racists, yes it is very demeaning –it is a product of it’s time. No I do not endorse the racism or of EVER writing anyone in a dialect that demeaning)??? He gown almost seems Elizabethan from that weird neckline. And it takes a while to realize it IS a woman’s gown.

6. Why bother with design, just throw colors at the canvas



7. Copycat covers




I dislike the whole trend of copying the cover of a best-seller for another book. This presumes the public is so dumb they’ll buy the “wrong” book.

I’ve done a few posts on  Copy Cat Covers: 

Green Dress Covers

After The Party (book) Copycat Covers

Tigers in Red Weather (book) Copycat Covers


Check out the rules at That Artsy Reader Girl and join in next week!

Top Five Wednesday: Emerald [green dress] Covers


I love to do copy cat cover posts. The green dress started appearing everywhere! I did an update on my green dress cover post [updated again in today’s post] to show the trend in real life at Prince Harry’s wedding. All kinds of green dresses!  While I cannot swear any of these are the color emerald, especially since one is nearly blue and another is a very pale green, but they form a nice coherent set of green dress covers, don’t they?

I think it is a crying shame that publishers think we are so stupid we will accidentally buy the wrong book! That’s what copy cat covers are all about, right? Yes, imitation is the highest form of flattery, but can’t cover designers have more originality? For the record, I’m also against “branded” covers–where all of an author’s books look alike. Are their stories that boring that they inspire no differences for the covers?


Top 5 Wednesday is a group you can join on Each week participants write a blog post or make a Yutube video post to share their take on the week’s topic. Why not join in?


Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Covers



I have very definite opinions on cover art. A lot of titles I love have new covers this year or last year. I’ve hated most! That said, here are a new book covers–either new publications or new covers on older books–that I like right now, but of course when a topic like this comes up I can never remember any titles!


One Random Book I Know Nothing About


But I love the cover!


The One in Several Collections of Great Covers


Love it!


A Favorite Cover of a Favorite Book


My favorite Du Maurier book.


The Series To Swoon Over



If I had the money, I’d have these! Read more about these special covers here.


Other Cover Posts




Here is a link to last May’s version of this post–5 other new covers.




Here is my Copy Cat Cover’s post for The After Party





Tigers in Red Weather Copy Cat Covers Post.





Red, White and Blue Covers post.

Books With Autumnal Covers post.

Books Covers I’d Live In post [Top 5 Wednesday]

Inaccurate Book Covers post [Top 5 Wednesday]


You can take part in Top 5 Wednesday–just join the group at and do a blog post or video post. The topics are in the group as are the links to each week’s posts. It’s fun!


Copy Cat Covers: The After Party


I love it when I spot trends in cover art. There are some recent ones I’ve truly disliked (i.e. branding all of an author’s books to look alike) and others I’ve enjoyed. Earlier this year I did Copy Cat Covers post starting wtih Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussman. You can view those coveres HERE.

Today I’m starting with the After Party by Anton DiSlafani. You can read my review HERE. In the interest of fairness I will disclose that I have no clue which cover displayed here came first! I put started seeing the look-alikes due to the one I read–The After Party. The rest followed. Some are original covers, others are paperback or later editions.

I know that some are not green and one shows only the green of a dress or coat, but I felt they all belong together. The dress–that’s the image, then the color–green mostly. To me each presents a picture of elegance. Something, we’ve lost for the most part (imho). Who are these women? Seeing these covers, I want to know. I love the almost iconic, slightly “bad girl” pose of the woman on the cover of The After Party–that bit of tobacco she’s plucking (or is it just a pose?). She oozes elegance, but with a nice gust of sexual provocativeness.  I think she’s spotted the man she wants, don’t you?

The Summer Wives does not feature a dress, but an odd belted blouse with shorts. It’s the color and the style of the blouse that drew me in. She’s out in a boat, in summer–it must be New England, Maine likely, due to the long sleeves–or is that her coppery hair means she burns easily and must cover up a bit more? Intriguing. (For the record I did not finish the audio version of this novel).

Do you spot copy cat covers? Have you done a post or two like this? Leave me a comment–include your link, I’d love to see what you’ve spotted.

FYI: You can read my review of the Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan HERE.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Red, White, and Blue Covers!


In honor of the 4th of July, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about Red, White, and Blue Book Covers!





Although I absolutely HATE this cover for the book, it is the write color combination. I love the book (Yes, I am aware and do not support, the horrific way the slaves dialect was written. No, I don’t believe Rhett committed marital rape–jeesh, she woke up singing, remember?)






Oh, the irony! A book by a British author. Let’s not forget the Union Jack has the same colors and that they’re national anthem, God Save the Queen, shares its tune with out My Country ‘Tis of Thee.



Here are a few more of all nationalities




And, the last two…both French



Top 5 Wednesday: New Book Covers That Caught My Eye



Top  5 Wednesday is a great way to connect with all things book-loving! Topics are posted in the group on Posts are either on blogs or videos. Why not join in next week?

I can’t say yet if I’ll be reading any of these, but their covers certainly caught my eye.

My Choices



For Every One by Jason Reynolds

My Ex-Life: A Novel  by Stephen McCauley

Speak No Evil: A Novel by  Uzodinma Iweala

Only Child: A Novel by Rhiannon Navin

The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez


Why not join in next week?

Top 10 Tuesday: Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title)


This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title).  FYI: Top Ten Tuesday is held each week by That Artsy Reader Girl. You can read the rules here. If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ve probably discovered that my favorite color is RED. And, I have no ability with math, so who knows how many are on this list! They’re red!! I’ve read the red books! Yes! I love getting to say that!

So, here are my top 10 RED books!

#1 and #2 the red-covered books I’m anxious to read


How Hard Can it Be? and the prequel, (which I’ve read and loved), I Don’t Know How She Does It, both by Allison Pearson. [Yes, I know! I’ve put this book in just about every post recently! I’m excited, ok?]

How Hard Can it Be? by Allison Pearson [release date June 5]

I Don’t Know How She Does it by Allison Pearson


Puddin’ by the awesome Julie Murphy, author of Dumplin’ and Ramona Blue

‘Cause the fat girl can so get the guy!

So, so, so excited, too,  that Dumplin’ is in production to be a film with Dolly Parton doing the soundtrack!!

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy.

Ramona Blue and my review.

Dumplin’ and my review.

Some Red-Covered Books I’ve Enjoyed

Books With Red in the Title That I’ve Read

Check out my post on Copy Cat Covers: Tigers in Red Weather post

You can read here why The Red House by Mark Haddon is one of my all-time favorite vacation books!

The One with the red cover AND Scarlet (aka “red”) in the title that is on my Kindle, patiently waiting to be read.


Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

But Wait! There’s More!!


Red is just a part of who I am. You might enjoy this post: Childhood Memories: Red Shoes.


And, then there’s that song I keep posting. The song that makes me swoon every single time I hear it. The RED song!


Why not join in next week? Here’s a link to the rules. You can read all of this week’s great Top 10 Tuesday posts here.

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