Cover to Cover with Brian Kimberling’s Snapper

Snapper was one of the first books I ever reviewed, and it will always have a fond place in my heart: a set of short stories all revolving around the same hapless, birdwatching narrator in rural Indiana. There’s such a firm sense of homeliness and comfort in these stories that it makes you a little homesick, even if you’ve never been to Indiana. I should really dig it out and reread it.

It only has three covers that I’ve found, all of which (unsurprisngly) revolve around birds. My favourite will always be the hardcover version, which made me nostalgic for the encyclopaedia illustrations and ancient National Geographic issues of my childhood.


The softcover follows the same idea but something about it lacks the purity and simplicity of the hardcover…

UK cover

I think it’s interesting that while the two look similar, the two sets of bird illustrations are actually completely different – unlike, say, The Girl on the Train, which repurposed the same stock photo for just about every foreign edition produced.

Finally, the softcover edition in the UK keeps the vintage-photograph feel and simple colour scheme in a way that still evokes the comforting nature of the stories.


How about you – what do you think? I find the vintage feel of the stock images comforting and kitschy in an appealing way, but maybe you disagree. Feel free to share your thoughts (or similar / alternate covers) in the comments!

Cover to Cover is a weekly feature appearing every Wednesday. You can browse through past posts here


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