#Readathon Mini-Challenge: The Ugly Cover Pitch

October 17, 2015

Welcome to Hour 5 of Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon! The first 1/6 of the event is in the books (hehehe), and I hope you're all still going strong. Now might be a good time to break out a tasty snack. Just sayin'.

I first participated in Dewey's in October of 2014, and it is not an exaggeration to say that my experience is the whole reason I'm part of the book blogosphere today. A year later, I've gotten back into writing for pleasure, read new favorites I never would have discovered otherwise, taken part in a smattering of other readathons and challenges, and even made a few new friends out of the deal. Despite never having met her, all this is to say that my life wouldn't be what it it is today without Dewey. I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Anyway, enough of that mush. On to the challenge!

As we bury ourselves in books today, I want to make sure that all of them get some love, not just the shelfie-worthy. I'm not talking about plain-looking reads either. Those are a dime a dozen and are uninspiring rather than actively off-putting. No, I want to extol the virtues of the downright ugly.

To start, I want to sell you To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

This cover needs some major help. It looks like someone in the art department got a little collage happy; from a glance, we've got a dude, what looks like a ghost, a map of a building, spires from another building, a cat... and that's just what I can pick out. The title design fonts and placement aren't awful, but they're obviously dated and overshadowed by the clutter of the rest of it. Other editions of the book didn't fare much better. I looked through the covers on Goodreads, and they're pretty much all uniformly ugly.

Regardless of its terrible cover, this was a total treat of a genre-bending book (we've got well-researched historical fiction and time travel here!). From my mini-review:
"TSNotD goes full-tilt comedy of errors/romance/mystery in the Victorian era. Willis is masterly in her attention to historical detail without devolving into textbook-style writing—I learned plenty about the customs and architecture of Victorian England while following Ned and Verity's desperate attempts to correct an accidental historical incongruity, all the while juggling lovesick schoolboys, pedantic professors and quite the difficult cat. ... [T]his was an absolutely worthwhile, utterly enjoyable romp. I'd recommend it for anyone who likes a dash of historical fiction with their sci-fi/spec-fic."

Here's what I want from you:

Pick a book that you felt was a winner of a read but was sorely lacking in the cover art department and try to persuade me that it was the best book ever. What greatness will I discover if I can look past its eyesore of an exterior? Leave your pitch in a comment on this post, and be sure to include a link to a picture of the cover!

I will randomly select one winner to receive an Amazon gift card worth $10 USD. The challenge is open to international participants, given that Amazon serves your country.

Want to earn extra entries in the drawing?

1) Tweet about the challenge! Be sure to include a link to this post and tag the Readathon (#readathon).

2) Got a copy of this ugly book? Post a picture of yourself with it on Instagram! Again, share the love and tag the Readathon (#readathon).

If you want extra entries in the gift card drawing, you must include direct links to the Twitter and IG posts in your comment here! I will not go hunting them down.

All right, do your ugliest, y'all. Happy Readathon!

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  1. Hour of the Outlaw! Overly busy cover that seems to make no sense, but it conceals a fabulous story about family and history and find travel. Great for kids of all ages. :) http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FvzYsT39L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg https://instagram.com/p/88fQmquH6p/

  2. Cloud Atlas is absolutely the best book ever. In this book, the character development is so deep that you get love and hate every single one of the characters, and each time anything happens you can just feel a part of them become a part of you. This book is about how everything and everyone is connected, and you can't truly understand that unless you have read the book because it is such an intense and deeply thought out metaphor that it'll make you question everything you have ever done. Cloud Atlas is a great book, sure, the cover might be terrible, but you should overlook that, it's too good not to. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B009GI8J1O/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?qid=1445098697&sr=8-6&pi=SL75_QL70&keywords=cloud+atlas+book

  3. The Duff by Kody Keplinger. Fantastic funny story but the cover.....really?! What makes a girl blowing up a huge bubble gum convey what the story is about or better yet why is that appealing! I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but just looking at makes me cringe and didn't even want to touch that book in the first place. If it wasn't for the movie coming out, I probably wouldn't have even read it. But I did read from my kindle and it was so unexpected then what I was getting at from the cover and I loved it! I wish It would get a makeover not sure what but something other the the original lol! So glad I got that out there. https://mobile.twitter.com/BumbleBBookWorm/status/655427107993075712