The Friday Face-Off: A Little Soil to Make it Grow


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature seeds or spores.

The first book which sprang to mind as a near perfect example of this week’s theme was Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, and luckily it has the artwork to back it up! The two covers selected for this comparison are the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition with artwork by Eric Nyquist, and the Destino edition with artwork by Pablo Delcán. Take a look and see which one is your favourite!


Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Cover #1

Cover Art by Eric Nyquist

Destino | Cover #2

Cover Art by Pablo Delcán


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

I absolutely love the Eric Nyquist covers for The Southern Reach Trilogy, they’re eye-catching and blend simplistic, bold type with detailed and fluid forms. I love the refined use of colour, the twist of the plant as it spears its way through the title, and the split text to form a central block which immediately draws the eye. This cover is the most successful in overall composition, with type and artistic detail working together to create an outstanding cover. And it almost won. Almost.

The Pablo Delcán cover is strange and abstract, using naturalist illustrations to create beautiful and alien plant-life which seemingly spreads and grows across the page. The coloured illustration is made bold by the stark black backdrop, making it reminiscent of an old oil painting, and it’s easy to become lost in the detail which flows out from the centre of the image. The typography is a little bland and uninteresting, especially when compared to the Nyquist cover, but I love Delcán’s artwork so much that this week’s winner is Cover #2.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations

A cover featuring a family

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

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The Friday Face-Off: The Tower


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature towers.

Featuring only a single tower between them, this week’s covers for Steven Erikson’s ‘Gardens of the Moon’ showcase the diversity in style in today’s fantasy books. Take a look and see which cover wins your vote this week!


Tor | Cover #1

Cover Art by Steve Stone

Subterranean Press | Cover #2

Cover Art by Michael Kormarck


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Tor cover, whilst not overtly eye-catching, creates a pleasing a fantastical composition. Bathed in green light, with a landscape shrouded in mist, the crumbling stone tower is a strong focal point, with the single illuminated window drawing the eye.  I love how the mist and the clouds filter to the dark black of the backdrop, and how realistically the landscape is rendered; and I love how the moon in the background lights the scene, creating an eerie green glow.

The Subterranean Press cover, however, is an entirely different creation. Focused on the back of a central, sword-bearing figure, this cover is bold, colourful and immediately draws the eye. I love the strong orange red glow of the sun which illuminates the figures face, the surrounding landscape and the birds which can be seen in flight; and I love the wisps of smoke that come off the sheathed sword. This cover was my immediate favourite.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

A little soil to make it grow

A cover featuring seeds/spores

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

H.P. @ Every Day Should Be Tuesday

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

S.J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Brittany @ Perfectly Tolerable

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This Week by Proxy: 01 – 18 March


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I look back on the past week to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted and the goals I’ve completed.


| This Week by Proxy: 01 – 18 March 2018 |

I seem to have managed to avoid doing an end of week or end of month post for some time so this week’s post will be a little more beefy than usual! Even though it serves to make me look as though I’ve read a hefty amount of books, it really does highlight the abysmal number of reviews that have surfaced over that time. A big fat zero. I definitely need to schedule in a few more… or at least one. Yes, one would probably do it.

I hope you’ve all had wonderful weeks, happy reading everybody!


| Books Read |

| 1. |

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

A complete impulse buy, the hype surrounding this book completely went over my head. But wow, were they right. With a band of gritty and dangerous characters, Kings of the Wyld is a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish.

| 2. |

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Following on from my Top Ten Tuesday post about books I could re-read forever, I realised it was about time I reread The Secret Garden, one of my childhood favourites. As charming now as it ever was, this book is an enchanting tale of growth, friendship and childhood in Edwardian England.

| 3. |

The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

Having spent far too long on my bookshelf, the sequel to the wonderful Copper Promise lived up to all expectation as an exciting and dangerous adventure through icy kingdoms and frozen wastes. The Silver Tide, here I come.

| 4. |

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Another book from my Top Ten Tuesday list, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a book I can return to again and again and always find enjoyment.  Nonsensical and amusing, Lewis Carroll’s famous works never get old.

| 5. |

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My favourite book of all time, this year’s re-read of The Lord of the Rings couldn’t come soon enough. The absorbing narrative, the beautiful descriptions and the intricately drawn characters all work together to create a book that is a perfect component of the whole.

| 6. |

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti is a beautifully wrought novella which, in its few pages, manages to create an absorbing tale with believable characters, and wonderfully succinct worldbuilding. I cannot wait to continue Binti’s adventures in book two.


| Currently Reading |

Shamefully I’m still currently reading The Vagrant by Peter Newman and The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu. Neither of these books have really got my juices flowing so they’ve fallen a bit to the wayside, however I am determined to continue with them both!

Having also added two classic re-reads to my currently reading list, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë I’ve decided I’ll probably put together a Classics Club list in the very near future.

Added to this, I’m also re-reading The Builders by Daniel Polansky, a beautifully dark novella and Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell, the second book in the wonderful Spellslinger series.


| Posts |

Tough Travelling: Apprentices

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read Forever

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book Quotes by P.G. Wodehouse

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books With Plot Twists and Surprises

Teaser Tuesdays: February 27 – Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Teaser Tuesdays: March 06 – The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Teaser Tuesdays: March 13 – Binti by Nnedi Okorafor + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Waiting on Wednesday: The Hyena and the Hawk

Waiting on Wednesday: Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell

Waiting on Wednesday: Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence

Friday Firsts: The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

Friday Firsts: The Builders by Daniel Polansky

Friday Firsts: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

The Friday Face-Off: Greek Mythology

The Friday Face-Off: …But Icarus Flew Too Close

The Friday Face-Off: I Got No Strings to Hold Me Down

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter IV – Over Hill and Under Hill


| March Goal Progress |

To read five books

Status: 5 of 5 Complete


What have you been reading this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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The Friday Face-Off: I Got No Strings to Hold Me Down


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Dolly by Susan Hill


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature either dolls or puppets.

Anticipating some horrendously creepy covers this week (dolls AND puppets?!), I’ve gone for two covers that I find incredibly disturbing with Susan Hill’s novella, Dolly. Scroll down to see which cover is your favourite… if you dare!


Profile Books (Hardcover) | Cover #1

Cover Art by Peter Dyer

Profile Books (Paperback) | Cover #2

Cover Artist Unknown


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Cover #1 gives the book a sense of the Gothic with its Victoriana inspired binding. Blending a rich green damask, which features intertwining floral motifs and a title that looks as though its been embroidered into its fabric, this cover would appear sumptuous and enticing… if it weren’t for the ghostly doll in its centre. With the vines of the damask twisting around its limbs, and a strange translucency that gives the doll its ghostly appearance, this is quite a beautiful, if incredibly creepy, cover.

While I can appreciate the beauty in Cover #1 (minus creepy doll #1), Cover #2 is just a big fat no.  The burnished colour which fades to black gives the doll’s face a terrifying focus; and the cropped imagery, the cracked porcelain and the staring eye are the stuff of nightmares. From the painted red lips, to the finely drawn eyebrow, to the snub nose and the glassy blue eye, Cover #2 is effective in conveying a ghostly, haunting piece of literature which may be found cover-less on my shelves!

With two highly disturbing covers which are more than likely to give me nightmares, the winner of this week’s face off is Cover #1.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

When she was a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors nor stairs

A cover featuring a Tower

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @  The Bibliosanctum

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek

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The Friday Face-Off: …But Icarus Flew Too Close


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature the sun.

This week features two absolutely stunning covers for Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Oathbringer’, by two undeniably talented artists. Published by Gollancz in the UK and by Tor in the US, Oathbringer continues the tradition of incredibly beautiful artwork gracing the covers of Sanderson’s novels. Scroll down and see which cover wins your vote.


Gollancz | UK | Cover #1

Cover Art by Sam Green

Tor | US | Cover #2

Cover Art by Michael Whelan


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Once again I’m faced with an incredibly difficult decision when it comes to selecting a favourite from two amazing covers.

The UK edition is bold, beautiful and uses a simple palette of blacks, greys, reds and whites to draw the eye. The typography is as much a part of the composition as the artwork, and is in a style which only enhances the illustration. I love the deep red of the sun, and the wispy haze of grey which covers it; I love the sun drenched tinge of the rocks in the foreground; and I love the drama of the sword wielding figure in shades of grey. Sam Green’s covers for Sanderson’s work have always been among my favourites, and Oathbringer is no exception.

The US edition is a powerful and detailed composition which harks back to traditional fantasy artwork. The sword is given a presence akin to that of the figure beside it, and the shades of gold, the earthy tones of the stone, and the beautifully rendered figure all work together to create a stunning piece of artwork. The typography is a little overbearing however and almost detracts a little from the artwork, and my personal preference is for a more modern and bold approach to fantasy renderings; which makes Sam Green’s UK edition my favourite this week.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

I Got No Strings to Hold Me Down

A cover featuring a doll or puppet

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Friday Face-Off: Greek Mythology


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature something from Greek mythology.

This week I’ve found two stunning covers for C. S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces; a masterful and beautiful retelling of the story of Psyche and Cupid. While the artwork isn’t overtly ‘Greek’, I think you’ll agree that both covers are an inspired take on the Greek myth and create a very difficult choice! Take a look and see which one wins your vote!


Time-Life Books (1966) | Cover #1

Cover Art by Leo + Diane Dillon

Le Livre de Poche (2006) | Cover #2

Cover Art by Renaud Bec


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

This week was an incredibly hard choice. So hard in fact that I had to call it a draw. These two covers are an absolute joy to behold and I wasn’t happy until my heart rested safely in the middle.

The Time-Life cover is in the style of a stained glass window, with blues, purples, greens and browns swirling across the page to create a beautiful and mesmerising composition. The fragmented panes create a flow of movement around each character and you can almost image the light filtering through the page. Bold in colour yet gentle in its forms, with the figures of Psyche and Orual providing contrast, this cover is an eye-catching delight.

The Le Livre de Poche cover is bold, sombre and displays a seriously good piece of artwork. I love the swirl of light around the central figure of Orual contrasted with the shadowed hoard below. The richness of colour which illuminates the throne becomes a wash of colour which radiates out from her form. The typeface may be a little lacking but the imagery more than makes up for it – this is a beautiful and memorable cover.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

…but Icarus flew too close

A cover featuring the Sun

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Monthly Round-Up: February 2018


Welcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!


| The Monthly Round-Up: February 2018 |

February has been a fantastically busy month but I couldn’t be happier to have returned to Books by Proxy. It’s been wonderful catching up with books, posts and this wonderful blogging community, and I have a whole heap of ideas for the future of this blog – as well as a ‘to-be-read’ pile as big as a mountain!

And with the weather turning into a veritable winter wonderland, I can’t think of a better place to be than being wrapped up in the warmth with a good book!.. Or settled down to write some long overdue reviews!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful month! 😀


| Books Read |



Spellslinger

by Sebastien de Castell


| February Goals |

To read four books

Status: 4 of 4 Complete

heart

To write a review once a week

Status: 2 of 4 Complete


| Reviews Posted |

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley


The Hit by Nadia Dalbuono


| Other Posts From February 2018 |

The Month Ahead: February 2018

Tough Travelling: Shapeshifters

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter I – An Unexpected Party

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter II – Roast Mutton

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter III – A Short Rest

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Doomed Romances of Fantasyland

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read ForeverTeaser Tuesdays: The Grace of Kings + The Hobbit: Chapter I

Teaser Tuesdays: Half the World + The Hobbit: Chapter II

Teaser Tuesdays: Spellslinger + The Hobbit: Chapter III

Teaser Tuesdays: Lois the Witch + The Hobbit: Chapter IV

Waiting on Wednesday: February 07 – Black Mirror: Volume 1 by Charlie Brooker

Waiting on Wednesday: February 14 – King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist

Waiting on Wednesday: February 21 – The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams

Waiting on Wednesday: February 28 – The Hyena and the Hawk by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Friday Face-Off: February 02 – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

The Friday Face-Off: February 09 – My, What Big Teeth You Have

The Friday Face-Off: February 16 – Groovy Baby

The Friday Face-Off: February 23 – The Staircase

Friday Firsts: February 02 – The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Friday Firsts: February 09 – Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

Friday Firsts: February 16 – Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Friday Firsts: February 23 – Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell


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This Week by Proxy: 19 – 25 February


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I look back on the past week to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted and the goals I’ve completed.


| This Week by Proxy: 19 – 25 February 2018 |

Once again, I’ve seemingly been mired under a never-ending to-do list – which didn’t even manage to include a review! At least this week I managed to finish two books, which is a far cry better than the last. I’ve also moved on to my first re-read of The Fellowship of the Ring in preparation for future There and Back Again posts – and because I couldn’t resist starting it already! (Mostly because I couldn’t resist starting already). And I can’t even describe my joy at picking up a book I used to re-read on a yearly basis.

I hope you’ve all had wonderful weeks, happy reading everybody!


| Books Read |

| 1. |

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

With an interesting magic system, a witty narrator and twists and turns a-plenty, the first book in the trilogy of the same title is an exciting young adult fantasy that had me tearing through its pages. (Though not really as I’m very gentle with my books… also it was on kindle).

| 2. |

Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell

Lois the Witch is a short story by Elizabeth Gaskell published in 1861. This piece of historical fiction, depicting a young girl’s experience of the Salem witch trials, is a dark, depressing and incredibly well written tale.

 


| Posts |

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

Teaser Tuesdays: February 20 – Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Waiting on Wednesday: The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams

Friday Firsts: Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Friday Face-Off: The Staircase

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter III – A Short Rest


| February Goal Progress |

To read four books

Status: 4 of 4 Complete

heart

To write a review once a week

Status: 2 of 4 Complete


What have you been reading this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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The Friday Face-Off: The Staircase


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature a staircase.

The cover which immediately sprang to my mind was the first book in the Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase; which, as luck would have it, almost always features a staircase!

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud


Doubleday – UK Cover

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - UK.jpg

Cover Art by Alessandro ‘Talexi’ Taini

Disney / Hyperion Books | US Cover

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - US

Cover Art by Alan Ayers


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - Win.jpg

I really love both these covers. They’re atmospheric, feature dramatic lighting and manage to express the tension of the illustrated scene.

The UK cover is dramatic and eye-catching, bathing the scene in an intense blue light, which casts shadows into the corners of the page. I love that the two figures in the foreground appear frozen in action as the eerie spectral figure appears at the top of the staircase, and that the typeface is clearly an integral part off the overall composition.

The US cover is simlarly dramatic but rather than using light, uses a thick green mist which clings to a staircase deep in shadow. The two figures appear primed to face battle, as an unsettling red light falls upon them and they hold aloft their weapons. Although I prefer the typeface on the UK cover, there is nothing to distract from the beautiful and bold illustration on the winning US cover.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

 The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing

A cover featuring something from Greek mythology

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Wendall @ Bookwraiths

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Wendle @ MarvelatWords

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin