Tag Archives: books

Books and Their Covers

It is an old cliche to not judge a book by its cover. And like many others, I take exception to it. In its usual application for people, it makes the least sense. A good book may be given a bad cover by a bad publisher, but in general people usually have to be judged, at least temporarily, by their ‘cover’. In almost every situation, you are required to act upon what you think of the people around you without anywhere near enough time to develop a nuanced and non-superficial view of these people.

There is another way that this is flawed as well. Look at this picture, this cover of a man.51_filnerSometimes you don’t read the book because the cover is revolting. And that, I believe, is perfectly reasonable.

The Best Election Map Ever

So I stumbled upon a map at Amazon, based on top selling books by state, whether conservative books or liberal books. It is a fun map, though predictive it is not. They explain:

In recent years, thanks to the color-coded maps the networks use on election night, “red state” has come to represent a state favoring the Republican Party, while “blue state” represents one that favors the Democratic Party. We know that states are not all red or all blue, and readers aren’t either. And books are often too complex to fit into such neat categories. But given the high interest we’ve seen in political books during election years, we thought our customers would like to see what general book buying patterns emerge across the country, and how they change over time.

Alas I cannot figure out how to copy their image over here, but if you click on the quote above, it will take you over to the map. My state of Indiana is 59% ‘Red’ books and 41% ‘Blue’ books, while my other home state of Wisconsin is 52% ‘Red’ books and 48% ‘Blue’ books.

Book List

I generally eschew genre labels, since they mislead and prejudice the reader’s mind. So here is a list of good books to read in the best order I can think of… as they come to mind.

Lisey’s Story, Stephen King
War in Heaven, Charles Williams
All Hallows Eve, Charles Williams
The Sands of Mars, Arthur C. Clarke
Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
Youth, Isaac Asimov
Phantasties, George MacDonald
Lilith, George MacDonald
Perelandra, C. S. Lewis
That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis
Out of the Silent Planet, C. S. Lewis
Desperation, Stephen King
The Worthing Saga, Orson Scott Card
Salem’s Lot, Steven King
A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor
A Sense of Reality, Grahame Greene
In Freedom’s Cause, G. A. Henty
Roverandum, J. R. R. Tolkien
The Smith of Wootton Major, J. R. R. Tolkien
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter’s Tale, Robert Lewis Stevenson
Kidnapped, R. L. Stevenson
The Lady of the Lake, Sir Walter Scott
The Ballad of the White Horse, G. K. Chesterton
The Napoleon of Notting Hill, G. K. Chesterton
The Man Who Was Thursday, G. K. Chesterton
The Flying Inn, G. K. Chesterton
Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis
The Red Rover, James Fenimore Cooper
The Pilot, James Fenimore Cooper
The Deerslayer, James Fenimore Cooper
The Winter of Our Discontent, John Steinbeck
If I Forget Thee, O Earth, Arthur C. Clarke
The Green Mile, Stephen King

Of course, this list is not exhaustive at all, I just felt the need for some list making…