OK, maybe it's not an actual trend since I've only noticed it in two places so far, but it is still disturbing.
Two books that I read recently featured a very large picture of the authoress on the back cover. I was reading The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner and every time I closed the book I was startled by a huge portrait that looked like this:
I'm not necessarily trying to make any comment on her appearance. I'm just saying that it was hard to lose myself in the story when every time I took a break from the book I was reminded that it was all made up by a human being, and she looked like THIS. It was just so distracting.
Then today, I finished reading The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory. Now, this book I was already feeling self-conscious about reading because the cover looks like this:
Ugh. Maybe there is an audience out there that is attracted by this cover style, but I am not a member of it. When I read Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl in Middlebury, I was glad that the library's copy was so worn and tattered that it no longer had a front cover (and had split in half). That way, I didn't feel so awkward about being seen reading it in public (and it was easier to carry around). I wasn't so lucky with this one.
The strange thing is the picture of the author they chose to grace the back cover with. I've seen tastefully sized photos of Ms. Gregory on the inside dust jacket flap of her other books before and she looks like this:
In other words, a legitimate, intelligent-looking authoress.
On the back of The Other Queen, however, she has transformed into this (I wish I could size the graphic larger just to alarm you the way it alarms me every time I close the book, but this is the best I could find online):
In other words, an aged cat-lady who is a part-time fortune teller. I did not feel confident reading a book written by the above-pictured lady. If any humongous photo had to be pasted on the back cover of the book, I wish it could have been the first one, but oh well.
Has anyone else noticed this disturbing trend? And are you ever embarrassed by the cover art of a book you're reading?