Downtown books in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I’m going to judge y’all so hard

Never judge a book by its cover? What am I supposed to judge it on then, its content? But that would require me to read, and I can’t read! Sure, don’t judge a book entirely by it’s cover, but there’s a reason that covers exist, right? I may not judge the book itself by its cover, but I definitely will judge whether or not I’ll read a book I’ve never heard of before based on how snazzy of a cover it has. So, in that spirit, let’s judge some book covers!

On Friday, I visited Downtown Books and met a wonderful cat. As I traversed the aisles, I realized that there were A LOT of books in the store (wow Dan, great observation skills, there are books in a bookstore, proud of you). I don’t think you understand. When I say a lot, I mean no shelf bare. Packed to the gills. This bookstore is something like 50 yards deep, 15 yards wide. The shelves go floor to ceiling, and the ceilings are at least 12 feet high, probably more. You could fit every Hardy Boys novel in there at least twice!

Okay, without further ado, let’s judge some book covers!

Nick Carter: Killmaster #184 – Caribbean Coup

Nick Carter: Killmaster #184 - Caribbean Coup

There’s so much to unpack here. Is he pointing that gun at his own chin? The man, who I assume is Nick Carter, is wearing a turtleneck and jacket, while his gun-toting… sidekick(?) is dressed as one of the lost boys from Hook. The weather on this Caribbean island must be localized per person. Also, is Killmaster a nickname or title? Either way, it’s very on the nose. Unlike the pistol, which is on the chin.

SNAZZY RATING: 8/10, MAKES ME WANT TO CREATE AN INTERNATIONAL POWER STRUGGLE

The Magician of Lublin

The Magician of Lublin

The Magician of Lublin is what I imagine a drunk Irishman calls himself when he’s had about nine too many. The fact that they apparently modeled the cover off of 1965 Ronald Reagan is… a choice. I know absolutely nothing about this book, but according to its Wikipedia page, it was adapted into a movie in 1979. On that page, the final sentence reads “Yasha truly had learned to fly.” Oh, such hope! That’s all I need to know.

SNAZZY RATING: 6/10, YASHA TRULY HADN’T LEARNED HOW TO FLY

How to Survive Your Freshman Year

How to Survive Your Freshman Year

The only thing that matters here is the fashion. I can overlook the slime green border with satanic faces. The fact that this book shames college dropouts right on the cover? Fine, I’ll allow it. I can even overlook the fact that this book costs MORE THAN FIVE TIMES the cost of Nick Carter: Killmaster – Caribbean Queen, No More Love On The Run. But what I simply CAN NOT OVERLOOK are the fashion choices man squatting in the front of the picture. Curtained hair! Half-calf white athletic socks! A shirt that’s 19 sizes too big on him! Velcro shoes? 2004 was a trip, man.

SNAZZY RATING: 1/10 I’M GOING TO FIGHT THAT HAIRCUT

I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory

I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory

I Could Tell You Stories? Well yeah, I sure hope you can! That’s what a book is! Overall, though, that’s a great piece of cover art. Water, chairs, paint, everything that you want when you’re painting a picture of water and chairs. And, is that, do I spy in the background some… sky? Ugh, wonderful.

I COULD GIVE YOU A SNAZZY RATING: SOJOURNS FROM THE LAND OF PAINT

The Case For Ghosts: An Objective Look at the Paranormal

The Case For Ghosts: An Objective Look at the Paranormal

Overall, this is a pretty blah cover. Some vaguely “ghost-like” colors, an author with a first initial to make it sound official, and an authoritarian title. At least they say it’s an objective look. With a title like The Case For Ghosts, there’s no possibility of subjectivity.

SNAZZY RATING: SPOOOOOOOOKY/10

Bonus Round: Can Anyone Tell Me The Name of the 11th Largest City in Japan?

Hiroshima, by John Hersey

Thanks, John Hersey.

(In reality, this is supposed to be one of the greatest books of all time).

And that’s it for Sunday Funday! Come back tomorrow where I’ll be talking about leaf peeping.


Dan O'Keefe

Dan O'Keefe is the head chef at 21 in New York City. He has never cooked before in his life. You can find him on Twitter @danokeefe86 or on Instagram @dlraar

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