The 25 Most Iconic Book Covers in History

First things first. What makes a book cover iconic? There are no hard and fast rules, of course—like anything else, you know it when you see it. But in order to compile this list, I looked for recognizability, ubiquity, and reproduction—that is, if there are a million Etsy stores selling t-shirts/buttons/posters/tote bags with the book cover, or if someone you know has ever dressed up as it for Halloween, or has a tattoo of it, it probably counts as iconic. That is: the most iconic book covers exist as cultural artifacts that are attached to, but slightly separate from, the books they were designed for. (That’s an admittedly hazy threshold, but what isn’t these days?)

The 25 Most Iconic Book Covers in History

Top Ten historical fiction settings I’d like to see more of (that I’m unfamiliar with)

Interesting list! Last year, I read two historical fiction books set in Jeju, Korea, both dealing with the diving women. They were fascinating.

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Though I previously did aTop Ten list of hist-fic settings I’d like to see more of, and just did a Top Ten of years I’d like to see more of, those were topics, eras, and settings I’m already familiar with or have a pre-existing interest in. This list will focus on settings I’m not very familiar with but would like to know more about, starting with:

1. The 17th century. The only historicals I remember reading with this setting, apart from some MG books about the Pilgrims and Puritans, were Kathleen Winsor’s Forever Amber and Alessandro Manzoni’s The Betrothed. This always seemed like a really boring century to me, coming between the excitement of the Renaissance and Enlightenment, but I’m old and wise enough now to recognise it was far from monolithic. The 17th century in, e.g., China, Italy, or Egypt was completely different from the…

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Top Ten years I’d like to see more of in historical fiction

An interesting list. What eras would you like to see more of in historical fiction?

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It’s been a really long time since I’ve done a Top 10 book-related list, particularly since I’ve not participated inTop Ten Tuesdayfor ages. Let’s change that with my own Top Ten list about years I’d love to see represented more often in historical fiction. Since historical fiction frequently spans many years, these could be the year a story starts instead of the only year the story takes place.

Historically important years like 1348, 1066, 1939, 1789, 1860, 1929, 1933, 1941, and 1776 are popular starting points since the events of those years are so well-known, but plenty of other landmark events happened over the course of history. Why not show them some attention to help your story with standing out from the crowd?

In no particular order:

1. 1220, the year the Mongols invaded and conquered Uzbekistan and Persia. Georgia and Armenia were invaded in 1221. The conquest…

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After-Action Report: Las Positas College Literary Arts Festival

IMG_6230Hi, everyone. Yesterday, I had a table at the Las Positas College Literary Arts Festival. The venue was the campus’s stunningly gorgeous Mertes Performing Arts Center. The theme of the event was Diversity in Publishing.

It was the festival’s first time having local authors, and we were inside a gallery filled with beautiful art made by the students. We had open mic time to read from our books, which was very popular during the first section and downright empty during the second. The reason will become clear as this report goes on.

The environment and staff could not have been any nicer. I’ve already let the dean of Arts and Humanities know that I would love to come back next year if they invite local authors again.


IMG_6233The experience was marred by a huge group of anti-LGBTQ+ protestors who showed up. They picketed outside every entrance of the building, so there was no way to avoid them. Some of them were quiet, but others were very confrontational, shoving their signs at people and shouting.

Once the day got hot, these protestors were no longer content to spread their hatred outdoors. They moved into the building where the festival was taking place and were so belligerent that several vendors and the entire audience left well before 3 PM … for an event scheduled to go until 6. Needless to say, this had a chilling effect on sales for those of us in the gallery as well.

IMG_0389While I was inside a room with the other authors (three of whom were retired cops, so I felt pretty safe), my husband was outside standing shoulder to shoulder with the college students who were counter-protesting. The school had received numerous threats about the programming, and they did not back down. They went on as planned, and the young people turned out (some of them shaking in fear) to stand up against the hate-mongering. The event information booth had pins available so that attendees could show their support.

The organizers of the protest had notified the media of their intent, and the San Francisco Chronicle sent a reporter. Her article is at this link.

I am truly sorry that an otherwise completely delightful experience was marred by these people, but I would still do the event again.