Friday Faceoff – When snow falls, Nature listens… #Brainfluffbookblog #FridayFaceoffsnowcovers


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This meme is being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and this week we are featuring covers depicting SNOW. I’ve selected Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson.

Bloomsbury, 2009

This offering, produced by Bloomsbury in 2009, is a strong image and was the reason why I chose this book. However the sense of chilly isolation is spoilt by all the chatter cluttering up the cover – and for once, I’m not a fan of the large author and title fonts as I think they overwhelm the image.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 1994

Published in September 1994 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, this is the default cover for the book, which is a real shame. The cedar forest on the side of the cliff is certainly atmospheric and it would be ideal with the title was MIST OVER CEDARS – but it’s not. The title mentions snow – and there isn’t any. Oops. But that didn’t stop a raft of other publishers adopting this cover, anyway. Worse, the title and author fonts are so small and underwhelming, so they disappear in thumbnail and aren’t all that visible when full size.

Portuguese edition, February 1998

This Portuguese edition, published in February 1998 by Relógio D’ Água, has taken a different path with a painting. It looks lovely, but I’m not a fan of the border that grows into a textbox across the top of the cover, though at least the title and author name are clearly visible.

German edition, February 2013

This German edition, published in February 2013 by Hoffmann und Campe and is clearly influenced by the default cover above, in that it is a close-up of cedar branches in the mist. At least the title and author fonts are more effective in this cover design and work well within the image, in addition to being clearly visible in thumbnail, as well as when full sized.

French edition, 1996

This French edition, published in 1996 by France loisirs, at least features snow falling – a sleeting blizzard that makes me shiver just looking at it. I’ll forgive the lack of cedars to have some snow – and a suggestion of a river in full spate with snow-shrouded branches growing over it. Though whatever they are, they’re not evergreen cedars. I think this cover is the most successful in capturing the mood of the book, as well as evoking the title. Which is your favourite?

27 responses »

  1. I actually love the default cover – I’m pretty sure I own this edition. I love the simplicity and minimalist design, and it doesn’t bother me about the lack of snow, for some reason😁

  2. Although I don’t like the frame I do like the Portuguese edition – that being said I think your choice is very good to and on balance I would probably go for that one, particularly if it reflects the book so well.
    Lynn 😀

    • I haven’t read this one. I did consider it, but several reviewers mention how intense and sad it is – and I’m simply not up for that kind of reading just now…

  3. I like the default cover. I never really thought about the title placement and clutter until I started following these posts of your and you are so right. I also like the published in September 1994 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt even though it is mist and not snow. I just like the atmospheric feel.

  4. Hi Sarah!
    I actually like the first one. This book also seems good! Will check it out.
    I didn’t do my Friday post, it’s been a bit hectic the past couple of weeks, will try to get back into the swing of things this coming week.
    Hope you are doing well!

    • Hi Mareli,
      It does look like a wonderful read, though I haven’t had the pleasure of this one. And rather intense, so I won’t be tucking into it until LIFE gets a tad easier. I’m fine, thank you – though a bit wiped out after the launch of Mantivore Warrior. I found it a surprisingly emotional business…

  5. I like the first one and the German one the most. I do agree with you that the font overwhelm the image a bit on the first one, but I do think the fonts work, the placement just seems awkward to me and I wonder why they didn’t put the image in the middle and have fonts on the bottom and top as usual for book cover. And having actual snow on the cover is a nice touch when the title mentions snow. And I think the German one looks nice too, too bad about there not being any snow, but at least the colors evoke that feel a bit.

    • You’re right about the placement – that’s why the title and author fonts look too much. And I agree that the German cover does give an impression of cold, even though there isn’t any snow:).

  6. Hang on. They never actually had an image of snow falling on cedar trees?! I mean…hmm. Well obviously writers can write what they want–I could have raining scrambled eggs and Spam cannisters falling upon weeping willows made of yarn. But considering the atmosphere and setting of the story, I’m shocked they wouldn’t try to utilize…you know, the things in the title. How curious!

    • I was frankly a bit pole-axed when I came to investigate the covers further. I was all set to scrap them and come up with a new title- and the then thought – you know what? I think this deserves an airing. Because it is a best-selling book that has garnered a LOT of attention over the years…

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