Recent Posts

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Autobiographies and Biographies

I love reading about people. Autobiographies and biographies are always so interesting to me. Given the choice, I tend to gravitate towards autobios though. No matter how accurately a biography can report a story, a person's life is their own. Their perspective completes the story and usually makes for a much more entertaining read.

One problem that always arises with these types of books though, is cover design. They tend to be pretty bland and uniform across the board. The default design seems to be a large, awkward photo of the subject, the title and author.

And, sometimes pretty creepy. For example, Laura Bush's new book, "Spoken from the Heart".

I kind of get a Vanity Fair vibe from this, but Laura is creeping me out.

Luckily, not every book has to be a Laura.

One of my favorite authors, Augusten Burroughs, has written a series of memoirs, all bound in fantastic covers.  Each book tackles a different phase of his life; childhood, career, alcoholism, relationships, etc. And each cover manages to tell you what you're getting yourself into as a reader. His memoirs are perfect examples of how successful a creative cover can be, even on a non-fiction work.

His most famous book is probably Running With Scissors, which was recently made into a movie.

 My favorite Burroughs works, though, are probably Dry and Magical Thinking.

To see more Burroughs covers, I recommend visiting his website,

Do you have a favorite bio or autobio that has a clever cover and not just a subject headshot? Let me know, I'd love to see it.


Jim said...

Those Burroughs covers were designed by Chipp Kidd, one of my favorites.

Not to hi-jack your blog or anything, but here's a link to his site:

And another new Burroughs novel he designed:

Great blog, btw :)

Alaina Buzas said...

Thanks Jim! Wolf at the Table is pretty great. Not my favorite Burroughs book but a great cover.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...