Saturday, July 8, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 218: A Pocketful of Crows, by Joanne M. Harris

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!!

A Pocketful of Crows
Joanne M. Harris
Hardcover, 256 pages
October 19, 2017

My Thoughts About This Cover

I had the incorrect cover artist, so I've 
changed the post accordingly.

I first encountered this GORGEOUS cover thanks to Stephanie @ Bookfever, where she was featuring the book on her "Can't Wait Wednesday" post. It was love at first sight, so I decided to highlight the cover this week!

This is a Gollancz cover, so I'm not at all surprised that the art is so beautiful. Gollancz, for those of you who might not be familiar with the name, is a British publisher known for its GORGEOUS covers. Whenever I come across a book with an edition published by this company, I will do everything I can to buy THAT edition. Always!! 

The company started out as Victor Gollancz, Ltd., in 1927. After several changes, the parent company is now Orion Publishing Group, which was a merger of Orion with Cassell & Co. In 1998, Gollancz became the science fiction/fantasy imprint for the merged Orion company. (Source: Wikipedia)

I must admit that this cover has a rather dark feeling to it (after all, crows are featured). However, I am still drawn to it! It's just so perfectly designed! There are several elements that just come together so smoothly.... For instance, the crow in the center of the cover, in spreading his wings, frames the moon, with its foreboding aspect, and creates a circular motion that echoes the lunar circle. 

The ornamental leaves and berries flowing around the crow contribute to this smooth flow, and the viewer's eye moves effortlessly from top to bottom, back, and all over the cover. The whole thing is very harmoniously put together. 

I love all the detail in the depiction of the central crow -- the feathers are so meticulously drawn! Also, they are somehow complemented by the ornamentation around the bird.

I'm also amazed at how the BRILLIANT cover artist achieved such a highly aesthetically pleasing image with only two colors -- black and light yellow. The yellow is a bit darker on the moon, while the leaf design is tinted in a lighter variation.

In addition to the central crow's intimidating pose, there are all of those crows flying in, with the moon as background. These elements are the main ones carrying the cover's sinister vibe.

The font continues this harmonious, flowing movement, as well, with its altered look in the book's title. 

Summing up, this is an AMAZING cover! That doesn't mean I will necessarily read this novel, though, because if there are elements of horror in it, then it's definitely not for me! However, I still LOVE this cover!

I was not surprised to find out that Amazon US only sells the Audible edition of this book, in which I'm not at all interested. So I checked out The Book Depository, and was delighted to discover that they sell the hardback! (I checked all of this out in case I ever decide to read this book, lol.)

I have been able to find some information about this outstanding cover artist. Her name is Sue Gent. I had previously mentioned Bonnie Helen Hawkins, who is  an illustrator, as well as a painter. The author of the book loves Hawkins's art, so she asked Hawkins to do the inside illustrations. It was Harris herself who let me know that I had the wrong cover artist, so I'm very grateful to her for giving me the name of the right artist!

Sue Gent is an illustrator and designer based near Bristol, in the UK. She uses a combination of traditional art techniques along with digital ones. She is a graduate of UWE Bristol, with a First Class Honors Degree in Art and Visual Culture.  

Gent's illustrations have been published in several British magazines, such as BBC Countrylife Magazine, BBC Wildlife Magazine, and Lost In London. 

She has also produced short films and videos for Bolexbrothers and Collision Films, working with such artists as Radiohead and The Scissors Sisters.   

So here's yet another artist I'm adding to my growing list of favorite book cover artists! 

Online Links


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


  1. Great post Maria.

    This is a very impressive cover for all the reasons that you mention.

    The use of off yellow is interesting. I Can imagine an artist choosing to use white instead. I think that this is a better choice. It gives the cover a more serious and perhaps somber look.

    I have just one quibble with the cover however. I think that the phrase "The Number One Bestselling Author" detracts from the overall picture. It sounds like marketing speak I think it does not belong on a cover such as this. I would guess that it was not the choice of the artist to include it.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Hi, Brian!

    Thanks so much for the compliment!! :)

    Yes, this is DEFINITELY a very impressive cover! And I agree that the use of this pale yellow gives the cover a much more somber look that would not have been there at all, if the artist had chosen to use white instead. Great point!!

    I also agree with you about the phrase just below the author's name, although, to be honest, I had not noticed it before. But you're right -- it really shouldn't be there. And I also agree in speculating that this was not the artist's choice. Sadly, publishers do have the final say on covers, sometimes with disastrous effects! I don't think the situation is quite as dire in this case, but still, that phrase shouldn't be there. It actually belongs on the back cover, if you ask me.

    Hope you have a great weekend, as well!! Thanks for another interesting comment!! <3 :)

  3. I saw this cover somewhere else last week and automatically added it to my wishlist - it's gorgeous. I was on vacation last week (or stay-cation) but hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. The pups send puppy smooches!

    1. Hi, Barb!

      I've added this book to my TBR, too, in case I do decide to read it, lol. The cover is definitely GORGEOUS.

      Oh, you were on vacation? COOOOL!! :) :)

      Hubby and I had a very nice, quiet 4th. We were at home all day, and then, at night, went out to dinner and watched fireworks afterward. We went to a place called "Homestead Speedway", where they hold NASCAR races. The fireworks were GREAT!!

      Awwww....your pups are SO sweet!! Send them human smooches back, with HUGS for all of you!! <3 ,3 <3 :) :) :)

  4. Thanks for the shoutout! :D Definitely plan on buying a hardcover copy of it. I'm sure it's going to be an amazing read!

    1. Hi, Stephanie!

      You're very welcome!! I always like to credit people when I find a great book on their blogs! :) :)

      I put this book on my TBR, just in case I decide to read it. I agree -- I think it will be an amazing read!! Crossing my fingers, though, hoping there's no horror in it....Lol.

      Thanks for the wonderful comment!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  5. What a stunning cover, I love all of the details to it! Thanks for sharing the artist information. I'm always curious about the actual designers.

    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Hi, Brittany!

      Yes, this is DEFINITELY a stunning cover! When I first saw it, on Stephanie's blog, Bookfever, I just fell in love with it!! I love all the details, too!!

      You're very welcome for the artist information! That's always one of the most enjoyable things about doing this meme!! Besides, I'm also very curious about the cover artist(s), too!

      You're very welcome for the share! Thanks for such a lovely comment!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  6. You made great points =p ! It's quite hard to add something xD I like the cover but.. I feel like it's "formal" (It's the only word that came into my mind to describe what I felt xD). Like.... Something that is sculpted on a rock. It gives me the vibe of a "serious" book ahahah

    I'm seeing to many books with "birds" on its cover at the moment Oo' Is it a trend or a coincidence ? xD : The Empress (sequel to The Diabolic) which is gorgeous (I mean the cover, i haven't read the book), Tower of Dawn by SJM, Godblind by Anna Stephens (I highly recommend you to take a look at this cover, it's... WOOOOOOOOOW)

    1. Hi, Sandrine!

      Thanks for the compliment!! <3 <3

      What an interesting observation!! You say the book looks like it's sculpted on a rock? WOW. I see EXACTLY what you mean!!

      You know, I had not noticed that, but, now that you mention it, yeah, I remember seeing all of these bird books on another blog. I wonder why....

      Thanks for the recommendation! I'll DEFINITELY take a look at that cover!! If I like it, I will then feature it here on "Shelf Candy Saturday", for sure!!

      Thank you SO much for the GREAT comment!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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