Thirty Years of Cover Designs for The Handmaid’s Tale and More: Critical Linking, March 19, 2017

Today’s Critical Linking is sponsored by What It Takes by Shannon Stacey.

The color red, both an evocative design choice and a key aspect of the narrative, has dominated most cover designs since. Whether the designer goes for something abstract and almost digital in appearance (as in the 1998 Anchor Books edition) or strews the space with flowers (as in the 2009 Bloomsbury edition), the flash of red is eye catching and ominous. But the woman hidden behind a white veil in the McClelland and Stewart edition of 2006, however, demonstrates that red is not a requirement to hit the right tone.

Cover talk is my kryptonite! This look at the cover evolution of The Handmaid’s Tale is excellent. 


Beyond its unique architectural design, the Stadsbiblioteket contains over 2 million volumes and more than 2.4 million audio tapes, and was one of the first libraries to allow direct access to the stacks without the help of a retrieving librarian.  It also hosts to the International Library, housed across two stories of an annex behind the main building. The collection catalogs books in more than 100 languages, with more than 50,000 titles available to loan. 



4. Salmagundi – English has many words that mean “mixture,” but none is as fun to say as “salmagundi.” (The stress is on the penultimate syllable, and the word rhymes with “fundie.”) The original salmagundi was a salad that usually included chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and vegetables, and you’ll still see this salmagundi on menus around the English-speaking world. But by the mid-1700s, “salmagundi” was also being used with an extended meaning to refer to any jumble or mixture.

This is a thing word nerds will love. This is a thing THIS word nerd loves. Let’s bring some of these words back into fashion.


You may question whether 15 minutes really long enough to help. Think of it this way: If you read for 15 minutes every day to your child from birth to age five, that works out to 27,375 minutes. Not only does that mean your child has been exposed to reading for all that time, it means that your child has gotten to spend all that time with you, their parent. That may be the most important benefit of all — for both of you.

Read to your kids! Every 15 minutes counts.

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Kelly Jensen: Kelly is a former teen and adult librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Twitter @veronikellymars.