This week’s theme is “any book you want,” and I chose We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. This was a book I originally read in college when I was working on my thesis about female friendships in Gothic Literature.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a new classic published in 1962. There were two editions printed by Viking. (The left was by Viking Press and the right was by Viking Books.) I actually like both of these cover designs.
There’s something childlike about them, but still polished, and I think the aesthetic suits the story very well.
Favorite English Editions
Fun fact, this is the first Book Traveling Thursday I’ve done that features a classic (even a semi-new one). The thing about classics is that they get reprinted over and over again by many different presses, so I wanted to share some of my favorite English editions with you all.
These were actually all different variations of Penguin editions, and I actually like different elements of all of them. The edition I read about six years ago, was the black one with the drawing of the two sisters, which is actually the Penguin Deluxe Edition.
This book is so haunting that I almost like it better when there are no people on the covers, or at least very obscure people on the covers. So, for this reason, my favorite covers are the Thai, German, Portuguese, and Catalan covers!
The Thai cover is gorgeous! I love the use of color for the text, the white background, and the simple image of a cat being it all. I would definitely pick a cover like this one up at a bookstore.
The German cover is another favorite of mine, because I love the way that it’s cropped. It really emphasized the text. A part of me thinks that maybe the model is dressed in an outfit that is almost too modern, but I still like it, especially when you have to remember that this book was published in 1962.
You may be looking at the Portuguese edition and saying: “Hey Lauren, that cover has people on it!” But I beg to differ! This cover has silhouettes of people on it, and since tea is such an important ritual to the Blackwood sisters I love the vignette on the cover.
The Catalan edition is another design I love because of its simplicity. I love the simple, black, white and blue palette. The ornamentation of a cat and a bowl of sugar are interesting enough that I would pick it up, and after reading the blurb I would definitely understand the significance.
Least Favorite Covers
This week, my least favorite covers are the Spanish, Serbian, Turkish, and Modern Greek editions. They are all on this list for different reasons, so let’s break it down, shall we?
The first, is the Spanish edition. This cover is trying so hard to engage me and it’s not working. I understand exactly what this cover is trying to reference, but it’s too dark and just not appealing to me.
The Serbian edition has an interesting background, that I would have liked, but the font chosen for the text reminds me of Goosebumps! Plus, why choose lime green? Why not just white with a drop shadow? Or like a cream color?
The Turkish edition was so close to being a favorite. I loved the black background and I though that maybe the white was a sugar bowl from above! But then I looked at it, and it’s just a circle. A sugar bowl would have been much more creative.
The last cover on my list is the Modern Greek edition. I really just don’t like the red and yellow color motif. I feel like the graphic could have worked, but the text competes for my attention.