judging books by the cover

Judging Books By Their Covers: January 2021 Releases

The old saying goes “Don’t judge a book by the cover” but that’s what we are here to do.

Every month, I pick some books with pretty covers and then I show the ones with best blurbs to you.

Basically, I spend a lot of time on Netgalley, and scouring the Internet for new releases, so I am gonna do that, but pick the books based on their cover. Then I’ll read the blurbs and pick my favorites and then I share them with all of you!

So the basic formula of this post is pretty books meets new releases I am excited about.

It’s October, this year is still awful, and books are still pretty. Let’s talk pretty covers!


The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez
translated by Megan McDowell

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed eBook by Mariana Enriquez - 9780593134085 |  Rakuten Kobo United States

Release Date: January 12th; Hogarth Press
Pre-order on Bookshop

Why I love the cover: I love the overall simplicity of the cover in contrast to the illustration in the middle, which is colorful but also kind of sad. I think if you look at the cover and read the blurb, you can see how well they match and I find that particularly satisfying.  
Why I love the blurb: I’ve spoken about this one in my most anticipated releases for 2021 post, but I am so excited for it! I love a good short story collection and this is by an Argentinian author, whose stories apparently are somewhere between horror and urban realism. AND additionally, these stories are also sociopolitical in nature, and we all know how I feel about that (I love it). Finally, the blurb promises “unruly teenagers, crooked witches, homeless ghosts, and hungry women”, so sounds like an all-around winner.

The Divines by Ellie Eaton

The Divines: A Novel: Eaton, Ellie: 9780063012196: Amazon.com: Books

Release Date: January 19th, William Morrow
Pre-order on Bookshop

Why I love the cover: Well, I love a good pink cover and this one matches all of my cover needs – it’s pink, there’s a flower and there’s a sort of preppy pretentiousness to it, and I am a sucker for it. 
Why I love the blurb: This has some dark academia vibes, but it’s mostly about an elite English boarding school that was closed for some disgraceful reason, and about a woman now in her thirties who reminisces about her teenage years at the school. This apparently has the emotional power of Normal People and it explores female identity and the class divide, which are two things I am most excited to read about in fiction at any given time, so PROMISING. 

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

Amazon.com: Detransition, Baby: A Novel (9780593133378): Peters, Torrey:  Books

Release Date: January 12th, One World
Pre-order on Bookshop

Why I love the cover: There are two versions of the cover and I love both of them, but I prefer this one slightly more. I think it’s such a cool cover and I love the green.
Why I love the blurb: This one has been making the rounds and all I know about it is that it follows three women (both cis and trans) and it focuses on gender, motherhood and sexuality. That sounds great to me, so I am keeping my eyes out for this one.

The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick 

The Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick - Books - Hachette Australia

Release Date: January 21st, Orbit
Pre-order on Bookshop

Why I love the cover: The color blue just does it for me. Plus i love the way the mask looks, it’s quite a striking cover. 
Why I love the blurb: This is an upcoming kickoff to a new queer high Fantasy series that follows a con artist, a vigilante and a crime lord as they team up to save their city. I love this trope of shady characters uniting for the greater good, so I am looking forward to checking this one out. 

Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah

Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah

Release Date: January 26th, Tin House Books
Pre-order on Bookshop

Why I love the cover: The colors of this one are so calming to me and I love the painting vibes in general, so a GREAT cover in my opinion. 
Why I love the blurb: This is a story about a young married couple who are expecting their first child, but are also on the brink of a divorce. The father, Muneer is set to return back home to Saudi Arabia after the divorce, and so the mother, Saeedah disappears with their daughter, in fear of losing her. The story explores the consequences of this event and more broadly the issues of culture clashing, immigration, religion and family, and I think it sounds really promising. 


I would love to hear from you! Tell me what you think of these covers and are there any January releases that caught your eye?

In the meantime, happy reading




* If you want to buy any of the books I talked about, you can use my Bookshop affiliate link if you’re in the USA! You buy a book and support local bookstores, and I get a small commission! Even if you do not want to use my own affiliate link, I would still recommend using Bookshop.org since a lot of independent bookstores are struggling and this is a nice way to help them out.  You can even find your favorite local bookstore and support them directly! 

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Come hang out with me:

 Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram|Pinterest

*Vectors graphics designed by Freepik and Canva

17 thoughts on “Judging Books By Their Covers: January 2021 Releases

  1. All of these covers look stunning! I hadn’t heard of any of these before and now I can’t wait to check some of them out, especially The Dangers of Smoking in Bed. It sounds great and I just can’t get over that cover, it’s so cool


  2. I love the cover of The Dangers of Smoking in Bed! Every time I see it I want to add it to my TBR, but I’m trying to use that temptation to make myself finish reading Things We Lost in the Fire from Enriquez first, which has already been on my list for far too long…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.