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Cover Story, Reprise

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The flip side of last week’s: Are there any good books that you read IN SPITE OF the cover and ended up wondering what on earth the artist and publisher were thinking to pair up a cover that so badly represented a perfectly good book?
And … if you didn’t like the cover, what made you pick up the book? The author? Assigned reading from school? A recommendation from a friend?

My entire office (in which I’m the only man) is crazy about Fifty Shades of Grey. As much as I look at it with my condescending literary eye, I think the books have very artsy covers. I heard buzz about how unbelievable the story is but at the same time it is addictive. Like for many of the bestsellers, my curiosity of Fifty Shades of Grey limits to pretty much what the blurb conveys. I have no desire to peruse it. Fifty Shades of Grey and the two other titles in the series were written by a British author named E L James, a former television executive who began the trilogy by posting fan fiction online. The books, which were released in the last year, center on the lives (and affection for whips, chains and handcuffs) of Christian Grey, a rich, handsome tycoon, and Anastasia Steele, an innocent college student, who enter into a dominant-submissive relationship. I concluded it’s literary pornography after flipping through several pages.

Despite the racy cover, indicative of some trashy low-class supermarket romance, Good Christian Bitches is surprisingly a good read. Packed with schemes, drama, and humor, Good Christian Bitches is a social comedy and commentary. I am not left with the impression that Gatlin goes out of her way to trash Christianity. Instead she is laying out those who claim to be Christian and yet put their worldly desires above the desire to be like Christ. The book is actually well-written and entertaining. It is satirical of our self-righteousness and double standards. Judging from the cover alone this is not something I would even pick up to look at for crying out loud! The voluptuous breasts with a deep cleavage and a cross—the very elements that can break the book for me. But when in doubt, I always take friends’ recommendation seriously, as their taste and opinions are trusted. Like anything in life, there is always exception. There are great books with plain covers and bad books with gorgeous covers.

2 Responses

  1. I have probably missed more than a few good books because of my prejudice against certain kinds of covers. I would have passed on Good Christian Bitches because it appears to be chick lit but with your recommendation I would read it!

  2. Wow, I would not have given that book a second look. Good Christian Bitches sounds like a very interesting read. Thanks for making me “see” it.

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