Saturday, May 28, 2016

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 179: Under Wildwood, by Colin Meloy

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

Under Wildwood 
 (Wildwood Chronicles, Book 2)
Colin Meloy
Hardcover, 559 pages
Balzer + Bray
September 25 , 2012
Fantasy, Science Fiction,
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This cover has a very whimsical, delightful feel to it. It looks like the type of cover that could have been created in the 1920s. I see a very prominent Art Deco influence in it, not only in the lettering and the portrayal of the various characters, but in the overall layout, as well. 

I love the enchanting design! The cover artist, Carson Ellis (her name is right on the cover, too), has created a cover that obviously refers to fairy tales, and also evokes a certain sense of nostalgia. It reminds me of those golden days when I read fairy tales avidly, believing that every single word was true. And nothing made my interest kick into high gear like reading about mysterious, enchanted forests, which this cover seems to allude to.

Another quality about this cover is that it reminds me of folk art, particularly the kind to be found on quilts, and on 19th-century signs. I think it's obvious that Ellis has been influenced by this type of art, as well.

There's also a sense of traditional fairy tales here. I am reminded of "Little Red Riding Hood", "Hansel and Gretel", and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". Paradoxically, the story itself is supposed to be much darker than the one in the first book of the series Under Wildwood is part of. Nevertheless, I don't think that this cover seems menacing in any way, in spite of the black borders. It simply looks like the cover of a wonderful book of fairy tales (although there's only one tale in the book). 

Another thing I love about this cover is the placement of the title within a banner that unfurls on either side.  I also love the little geometric flourishes on each side of the word "Under".

All in all, this is a great cover, and I definitely want to add it to my collection (along with the entire book, of  course!). I consider Ellis to be a brilliant artist!

It turns out that Carson Ellis is married to the author of this novel, Colin Meloy, and they have two sons. This is very gratifying to my romantic heart

Ellis has done work for The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, and The New Yorker, among others. She also illustrated The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Composer Is Dead, by Lemony Snicket, and Home, which she authored, as well. 

Ellis is a fine artist, too, being represented by Nationale Gallery, in Portland, Oregon, where she and her family live. She has also been awarded the Silver Medal twice by the Society of Illustrators. Furthermore, she's the illustrator-in-residence for the American indie folk rock band, The Decemberists, of which her husband, Colin Meloy, is a member. He provides lead vocals and guitar, and is also the principal songwriter.

So my list of favorite book illustrators is growing and growing!  


What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Book Blogger Hop No. 51: Original Memes That Have Lasted

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, click HERE.

What to Do

1.) Post on your blog answering this week's

Have you ever started a meme
that became popular and
is still in existence?

(submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)

2.)  Enter the link to your post in the
Linky list on Billy's blog.

3.)  Visit other blogs on the list and
comment on their posts. 

4.)  Be sure to find out next week's
question when you visit
Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer!

My Answer

This is a very interesting question! Also, it's one that I don't think has ever been asked before, either on the Book Blogger Hop, or on any other blog, to my knowledge. Kudos to Elizabeth!

I used to have a meme, and in fact, still do, but it's not what I would call popular. Nor was it originally mine, either.

Here's the story.....

There used to be a wonderful blog, named Five Alarm Book Reviews, which was created and run by a great blogger named Stephanie.  I loved visiting and commenting on this blog, and especially, participating in a blog hop/book meme titled "Shelf Candy Saturday", which was dedicated to showcasing beautiful book covers.  

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this meme was reading information about the very talented artists who had created the gorgeous covers Steph presented every week.  I also enjoyed visiting the participating blogs to admire the covers those bloggers had posted, and reading the information they had discovered about the cover artists.  Including such information in an SCS post was optional, however.  Some participants didn't include it, but simply wrote about why they loved the cover they had selected.

Unfortunately, this wonderful state of affairs was not to last... Steph decided to stop blogging.  Sadly, she not only did that, but also deleted her entire blog, and it's no longer to be found on the Internet, as far as I know.  She emailed me to let me know about her decision. She also asked me if I would be interested in taking over her meme.  Of course, I  immediately agreed, since I loved it so much!

This was the original meme logo.

When I took over the meme, I decided to continue with the idea of providing information about the artists who created the amazing covers I selected.  I invited hop participants to do the same, although I emphasized that it was purely optional.

At first, participation was not too bad.  Steph usually got seven, and sometimes nine or ten, blogs participating.  However, as time went on, the bloggers who had originally joined her blog hop and continued to participate when I took over, just disappeared.  I did get a couple of new ones, but in time, they, too, disappeared.  I bravely continued, however, because I love this meme.

This is my own logo, which I created myself.

Unfortunately, I didn't always publish my own "Shelf Candy Saturday" post by midnight every single Saturday.  If you happen to be a blog hop/meme host, this might not bode well for your blog hop/meme. After all,  participants need to link up to the hosting post through a Linky widget that's included in the post.  If the host's post is not up at the same scheduled time each week, the participants obviously won't be motivated to put up their own posts. 

Perhaps it was due to my irregular posting that I saw participants to this meme gradually dwindle, and then disappear altogether.   However, even when I did have my own post up by midnight, I didn't see anyone linking up.  I then visited a few of the blogs that were participating when Steph was the host, and commented on their posts, inviting them to come over and comment on my meme, as well as participate. Sadly, they neither linked up to my post, nor did they comment back.

So I came to a decision about this meme.  I continued to post it, because I simply couldn't give it up!  However, it was no longer a blog hop, since no one seemed to be interested in participating.  This, of course, was very disappointing to me. 

So I'm still posting this meme as my own book cover feature, with no Linky widget attached. I would certainly love it if I could get it going again, but I suppose Saturday is just not a very good day for these types of posts. Besides, there are many blogs with book cover memes.

Another reason people are probably not interested in participating is that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". A cover that I find stunning might not be liked by other people, and vice versa. This means that people might feel uncomfortable if they feel 'pressured' to like other people's covers, when they really don't. Of course, I can understand this.

I will continue to publish these posts on my own, though. To me, it's very important to do so, as I consider book covers to be THE most important initial factor drawing readers to books they've never heard of before. After the book cover, the synopsis is the factor that clinches the sale. But that first impact? It's the book cover. These artists should really get more recognition in the book world.

I sure would appreciate visits and comments to "Shelf Candy Saturday"! I greatly enjoy sharing my love of beautiful book covers with any and all who feel as I do! Just swing by every Saturday to check out my choice for the day, and let me know what you think!

Sample "Shelf Candy Saturday" Posts

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 170:

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 159:

     Here's a sample from when Steph was
    hosting this meme.

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 27:

What are your thoughts?
Please leave a comment,
and I'll go check out your post!