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10 Best Book Covers That Help You Discover New Beach Reads

Updated on August 30, 2017

Finding New Holiday Books With Hauntingly Beautiful Book Covers

It is a well known fact that people buy books impulsively based on their cover (you know the adage, never judge a book by its cover - well at least people spend their money on it anyway, including me).

I'm a bookaholic, a book addict and I can't stop myself from buying books, especially when I come across something that has a cover that totally attracts my eyes, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. The fact is, cool book covers sells books, period.

Since I bought quite a few books this year in my favorite genre, mystery sequels, I know for a fact that some of them have some of the coolest book covers made, and I realized that there are many real gems in between the 'trash with golden covers' that I'd like to talk about here. I hope to give you some great reading material that you might not know of yet, something that you'll really enjoy reading during the next holiday.

If you've read a book with a really cool book cover and it's not listed here, let me know in the Guestbook section below, as I'm also looking for some more reads, especially with the summer holidays being right upon us!

Note: The book covers and books reviewed here are based on my own biased idea of what is beautiful. You might, or might not agree, but I hope that you will find here a few new undiscovered gems to read and enjoy.

Image credits: Creative Commons

Life After Life - by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life
Life After Life

I love the cover of this book, and I love the book as well. The cover is deceptively simple: a rose shown straight up and upside down. And sometimes the most simple of images give the strongest impression, especially with the bright red on a grayish surface, which makes an amazing contrast.

I loved the book as well and if you've read some of my previous reviews, you might even know why: the book has some reincarnation theme in it, but if you don't care much about past lives, don't let that theme hinder you because it's a wonderful mystery, a great lyrical piece of writing that has the power to touch.

And if that still doesn't draw you in, how about the idea of being able to live as many times as it takes to do it finally the right way. How many of us make mistakes which we wished we could 'live all over again to fix'. Well, with this book you can. It's really a worthwhile read.

My Copy In Hardcover

My Copy In Hardcover
My Copy In Hardcover

The Mist on Bronte Moor - by Aviva Orr

The Mist on Bronte Moor
The Mist on Bronte Moor

This book has one of the coolest covers I've recently seen, you really have to see it live and I bet your eyes will follow it right away, along your hand to grab it for yourself. And the best thing about it is that I've discovered a new author through this book.

I think the book was initially published in December last year, but this particular cover saw first time the light of day in January this year, so we're good to go.

One of the reasons I picked up this book for my iPad was because it's about time travel, and I love the subject of time travel. But when reading it, I discovered it's about so much more!

I'm sure we've all read at least one book by Emily Bronte - well this book takes us back to her being a teen where she meets Heather Jane Bell, a girl of our times who is diagnosed with alopecia (strong loss of hair) and who somehow ends up on the Bronte estate and becomes close friends with Emily and her entire family.

This book is a great summer read and I especially loved how the author brought the Bronte family to life. It is a very moving book, one that not only teens, but anyone who loves books with romance, bit of time travel and especially loves reading historical fiction.

A book I really recommend, and not only for its awesome cover.

One Week Girlfriend - by Monica Murphy

One Week Girlfriend: A Novel (One Week Girlfriend Quartet)
One Week Girlfriend: A Novel (One Week Girlfriend Quartet)

Usually I'm not much into 'khm' erotica, but I bought his book really based on its book cover. I saw it at the airport and had nothing to read with me, so I grabbed it.

Was not quite sure what to expect, although the cover clearly hints and romance, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is a GREAT holiday read, especially for the summer.

A new author to me, one that I'm glad I discovered based on the book cover.


Mind Games - by Kiersten White

Mind Games
Mind Games

This is another book which drew me to buying it based on its cover, and one that I was not disappointed in. The novel is dystopian fiction, a genre that i like, so probably I would have bought the book even with a less colorful cover. But isn't this cover just gorgeous?

The book is in fact the first in a new series called Mind Games, so now I can't wait for the second one to come out. It is about two sisters, Sofia and Annie who both are born with some special abilities that the government wants to exploit.

They are both in a boarding school for kids with special gifts, and while Annie is blind, she can see the future with her mind's eyes. Sofia on the other hand has some very uncanny instincts and she always knows what to do, she always chooses the right course of action even when she has no clue why she has chosen the path.

And this is just the premise of the book. I don't want to give away the plot, but it's really suspenseful, and if you like to read dystopian novels, you'll have and especially fun time while devouring this novel.

Btw, I think the book in the UK is called Sister Assassin.

Dust to Dust: A Memoir - by Benjamin Busch

Dust to Dust: A Memoir
Dust to Dust: A Memoir

Usually I don't like to read memoirs and biographies, however I got it... you guess it, because of its gorgeous book cover.

Also usually biographies have rather bland covers so it's no wonder this one grabbed my eyes. I know I mentioned above that I would only review novels, but this book truly reads like a novel. It's a beautiful meditation on the passage of life and coming of death, a moving memoir that will stay with you long after you've closed the cover.

The memoir was written by a U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, and later in life became a writer and this truly shows in this biography, which has really touched me deeply and made me remember a lot of my own childhood. A well worth read for any time of day, season, or year.


The Dazzling Darkness - by Paula Cappa

The Dazzling Darkness
The Dazzling Darkness

I love this book covers! It's for the Kindle and eReaders only, but boy it's gorgeous, especially when you know the setting of the story, which is around a cemetery called The Old Willow :)

Basically the book is a horror/thriller type of novel, and the cover beautifully conveys the whole aura of mystery, horror and supernatural on one almost monochronistic page.

Btw, this book cover actually won the e-Book Cover Design Awards in April this year. It is hauntingly beautiful, especially when seen on the eBook reader.

When I bought the book I thought it's a typical ghost mystery, but it wasn't really. I was actually pleasantly surprised to learn while reading the pages that it's about life after death (reincarnation being another of my favorite reading genres), a tad bit of science mixed in and a crime mystery as well. I think in fact its genre can be quite a lot of things, it's not really defined, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying reading it. A recommended little gem that I hope won't get unnoticed.

Blood & Beauty: The Borgias - by Sarah Dunant

Blood & Beauty: The Borgias; A Novel
Blood & Beauty: The Borgias; A Novel

I think this cover is attractive in a renaissance style. I do like all the covers of books by Sarah Durant, and this new one (which came out just this July) doesn't disappoint.

The Borgias are well known in history and the author has put a great deal of effort in depicting the family in an intriguing way. While there is some fiction in it, there also enough real fact that want you to start researching more about it, or at least want to pick up some of her other books written about Renaissance Italy.


Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book for Grumpy Days - by Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book for Grumpy Days
Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book for Grumpy Days

Well, so sue me if you don't like it, but I literally bought the book because of the grumpy cat. Beautiful cover or not, the grumpy cat is just way to cute!!! I've been following the various Facebook pages and posts about the grumpy cat with the funny captions and they usually brighten my day with a giggle or two.

So it was a no brainer to get the book as soon as I saw it was published. And boy was I not disappointed. This book is perfect as a gift as well for anyone who adores this cute grumpy kitty and its amusing replies to pretty much anything and everything.

Hilarious? Maybe not, but definitely funny and entertaining especially as a nice holiday read. And if you haven't watched on Facebook the story of the grumpy cat, here is the Facebook page that you should like and read several times a day.

Love My Copy Of The Grumpy Cat :)

Love My Copy Of The Grumpy Cat :)
Love My Copy Of The Grumpy Cat :)

Do You Buy Books Based On The Book Covers?

See results

Mistress - by James Patteson and David Ellis

Mistress by James Patterson
Mistress by James Patterson

For the fans of James Patterson, here is his latest book with a cover that really grabbed my attention. Maybe because I love collages, but this definitely speaks to me and tells me it's all about murder, intrigue, mystery and the story of one's life carefully put together.

I've just finished reading the book in ebook format and wow I loved it. In fact these days I'm rarely moved by a James Patterson book (don't get me wrong, I love his Alex Cross series, but this wasn't one of them so I was not sure what to expect).

This is again one of those books that I 'virtually' picked up based on its cover. First the cover drew me in and then I saw the author, which makes it two strong points for buying it.

Btw Amazon seems to have it with a different cover, which truthfully, I think does the book no justice.

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe - by Mary Simses

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Cafe: A heartwarming, romantic summer read
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Cafe: A heartwarming, romantic summer read

Now why would I showcase a book cover of a jar of blueberry jam? Well because as soon as I saw it it left my mouth watering - literally.

The colors are so vivid and so lively shown that there is just this feeling that if you extend your hand you can grab that jar and the spoon and start eating it all by itself.

There are many people who will buy a book with a beautiful cover with some food on it, it's human nature, and boy these books do sell!

Interestingly enough, the book is not a cookbook, but a nice chick-lit summer read, perfect for those hot days of summer at the beach.

A great romance, with a bit of mystery and history thrown in the mix, it's a fun read that will keep you distracted for a few hours while you recharge your batteries. I literally read my book on the beach.


So What Makes A Good Book Cover?

I'm pretty sure that everyone their own favorites when it comes to cool book covers. The ones shown above are some of the best covers I've come across this year and I'm sticking to them (at least until I find something more appealing).

However this got me thinking...what makes a good book cover anyway?

Image credits: public domain

At least for me, there a few elements that come into play:

  1. An image that evokes something, a memory, a feeling, an idea of a time period, something that makes us stop and feel our heart beat.
  2. Clear and possibly large title, along with clear author's name - basically a good typography.
  3. The image should be stunning, but not cluttered. See the image of the double-rose on the first book reviewed. It's simple, uncluttered and an eye grabber at the same time.
  4. A picture that stands out from the crowd, something that you don't usually see elsewhere. For example there are authors that have lovely book covers for their book series, but after you've seen the first, the next ones are simply variations on the first. This no longer stands out, it's just a run off the mill cover.
  5. The emotions evoked should be positive. If you have a disturbing feeling when you look at the cover, you'll be less likely to buy the book - at least that's what comes into play when i'm buying my books.

What Do You Think Makes An Appealing Book Cover?

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    • WeeCatCreations1 profile image

      Susan Caplan McCarthy 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I usually find the title of a book appealing. When I look at books online, the covers are usually so small that the artwork isn't what grabs my attention. You've described a few books that I want to add to my wish list.

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 

      5 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      A beautiful picture that tells it all together with a appealing title and subtitle! Great Lens, I can't give a like because I reached my like maximum for today, sorry about that!

    • DreyaB profile image


      5 years ago from France

      I like the Kate Atkinson one. I haven't read that one, but I've enjoyed a few of her others and always seem to have interesting covers. I'm not quite sure what it is that catches my eye, but I generally like something that's a bit different. :)

    • mamabrat lm profile image

      mamabrat lm 

      5 years ago

      Great topic and Lens

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      5 years ago from Colorado

      I think this is an important subject because I see so many self-published books that are crying out for a decent cover. Those books probably won't sell because the covers lack a professional, compelling graphic or image (and the right typography). The most important thing to me is the first sentence or two. The writing has to draw me in by either taking my breath away, or stunning me, or mesmerizing me, or making me wish I had written it. But I must admit that I am extremely visual. The right book cover gets me inside the book to consider those first words.

    • HughSmulders LM profile image

      HughSmulders LM 

      5 years ago

      I guess that it is a real piece of art to make a nica cover which will be catchy enough for the book to be picked up from the bookshelf.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      So now you've made me want to buy more books, (as if I need them!) Your study of book covers and their appeal is excellent. I've decided I'll have to buy "Mind Games," for sure, and maybe "The Dazzling Darkness," "Mistress,"...and, and, oh heck, I'm a goner for most of the books you've featured.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I am always interested in learning more about a book cover if it is really unique. I like to know who designed it and it was chosen for a particular book.


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