Critical Linking: December 13, 2014

We’re guilty, we admit it: We spent a good chunk of 2014 judging books by their covers. But how could we resist? Some books we choose to read for the authors, others for the jacket copy, and others still for a beautiful design. Here’s a round-up of top three favorite covers across every genre from children’s to fiction.

I love a good cover round-up and these are some excellent picks.

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There’s been a lot of talk about genre in the air recently (well, really, when isn’t there?) — what it means, whether it’s changed, whether it’s even useful or important anymore. But no matter what is said, there’s still that lingering stigma that keeps worthy works of genre (for clarity, we’re mostly talking fantasy and science fiction, with a little historical fiction, mystery and crime thrown in for good measure) from ascending to full classic status: being taught in high schools, appearing on all-time best-book lists, etc. Some genre novels have already crossed the border into pure classic territory — Brave New World,Slaughterhouse-Five and 1984 are all genre and established classics by any measuring stick, The Lord of the Rings is so ubiquitous and grand that it’s forced itself into the canon, and let’s not forget that Wuthering Heights is a ghost story, and so, of course, is Beloved. To add to that list, here are 25 genre novels that should be considered classics.

What genre novels would you add to the literary classic canon?

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You think your friends are really cool and stylish, but you are wrong, because you are in 8th grade.

You take great pleasure in listing every article of clothing you’re wearing, as well as every article of clothing each of your six closest friends are wearing.

Your shyest friend has a dreamy boyfriend with a southern accent. Nobody understands why, including said boyfriend.

How to tell if you are in a Baby-Sitter’s Club book.

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Iceland is said to produce the most books per capita anywhere in the world. The average print run here is 2,000 copies for a commercial title, with as much as 60-70% of all books being sold during the Christmas season. Publishers produce a holiday book catalog that goes to every home in the country and giving books for the holidays is a tradition that dates back to the period of austerity following World War II when imports were severely limited. Books were one gift that you could give that wouldn’t break the bank.

Iceland is the land of the bookish and home to an annual event called “The Book Flood.”

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