Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Judging Covers with The Husband, third edition

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Judging Covers

You know what you do when you’re fumbling around for content and you have a pile of books on your nightstand and a husband who loves to tell you what the books are about soley based on the covers? You write the third edition of Judging Covers two weeks early (make sure you read the first edition and second edition if you haven’t. My husband is…something else). 

Book #1: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

hate list

The Husband says: This bitch (seriously, we need to have a discussion about his calling every girl on the cover of a book “this bitch”. Didn’t realize until now how much that actually bothers me) is gonna kill somebody. They’re scary. Those are hate eyes.

Goodreads says: Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

Jana’s note: Pretty decent accuracy on this one. Then again, it’s not like the title or the cover took pains to hide the topic of the book.

Book #2: Bream Gives Me Hiccups & Other Stories by Jesse Eisenberg


The Husband says: Is this Jesse Eisenberg the actor? (after running through references to Sunbeam bread and former baseball player Sid Bream and me yelling at him to stop being ridiculous and actually tell me what he thinks the book is about), I’ve got nothing. I don’t even know what “Bream” is. It’s a nonsense cover.

Goodreads says: Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, Bream Gives Me Hiccups moves from contemporary L.A. to the dormrooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, reimagined scenes from history, and ridiculous overreactions. In one piece, a tense email exchange between a young man and his girlfriend is taken over by the man’s sister, who is obsessed with the Bosnian genocide (The situation reminds me of a little historical blip called the Karadordevo agreement); in another, a college freshman forced to live with a roommate is stunned when one of her ramen packets goes missing (she didn’t have “one” of my ramens. She had a chicken ramen); in another piece, Alexander Graham Bell has teething problems with his invention (I’ve been calling Mabel all day, she doesn’t pick up! Yes, of course I dialed the right number – 2!).

Book #3: Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott

infinite home

The Husband says: It’s about Qbert’s house because the game never ends and he just keeps jumping from square to square. Otherwise I have no clue what that cover means. It’s the only possible thing.

Goodreads says: Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways—in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart—the renters struggle to navigate daily existence, and soon come to realize that Edith’s deteriorating mind, and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, is the greatest challenge they must confront together.

Faced with eviction by Owen and his designs on the building, the tenants—Paulie, an unusually disabled man and his burdened sister, Claudia; Edward, a misanthropic stand-up comic; Adeleine, a beautiful agoraphobe; Thomas, a young artist recovering from a stroke—must find in one another what the world has not yet offered or has taken from them: family, respite, security, worth, love. The threat to their home scatters them far from where they’ve begun, to an ascetic commune in Northern California, the motel rooms of depressed middle America, and a stunning natural phenomenon in Tennessee, endangering their lives and their visions of themselves along the way.

Book #4: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

player one

The Husband says: It’s a video game with some little guy who’s the character in the video game. 

Goodreads says: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Jana’s note: again, he was sort of close on this one. But he likes video games and it’s a pretty obvious title. 

For the next edition, let me know if you are reading a book with a cover you’d like my husband to judge, especially if you read different types of books than I do. That should make for some interesting stuff.

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Series Navigation<< Judging Covers with The Husband, first editionJudging Covers with The Husband, second edition >>


  1. Linda Sheridan

    I agree on the “Bream”!!! So sad that the Hate List situation has been real.
    I will be looking at covers for some suggestions!!

    Enjoy this warm weather day- probably the last for a while.
    Love, Steph’s Momma

    1. Jana (Post author)

      It is sad that it’s been real. The book should make for interesting reading. Plus, it’s been banned in some places so of course I have to read it!

  2. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    LOLOL would’ve loved to hear the Bream conversation and can imagine a similar one happening in my home.

    I do think that bitch has hate eyes. LOL
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Currently…OctoberMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      It went something like him babbling about the bread and the baseball player and me saying (read: yelling) “will you please stop fucking around and tell me what you really think the book is about”.

  3. Femme Frugality

    This is too fun! My husband pitches me ideas on personal finance, but I may have to start having him judge my books. I feel like he and yours are birds of a feather when it comes to things like this. That last one sounds pretty interesting, too. May have to pick it up.
    Femme Frugality recently posted…Teaching My Toddler About MoneyMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I HATE when people try to give me ideas for posts. Especially my husband. Drives me insane. But this is something we’ve been doing for years and I decided to turn it into a series because clearly my husband is crazy.

  4. Amanda

    Hahahahaha… “Hate Eyes”!!!
    Amanda recently posted…No time for a title/into/outro because I have a book to get back to… #sorrynotsorryMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Hate eyes are REAL.

  5. Kimmi

    Qbert’s house!!! That is EXACTLY what I thought when I saw the cover! LOL.
    Kimmi recently posted…Thursday ThoughtsMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      He will be thrilled to know he’s not the only one and he’ll use this a support for why he totally makes sense.

  6. Ali A

    Wait, IS IT Jesse Eisenberg, the actor? And yeah, (healthy, normal) obsession with your hubs still stands. This blog segment is SO great.
    Ali A recently posted…#MomTextsMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      It is Jesse Eisenberg the actor!!!

      And thank you! I’m having fun with it. Showcasing his crazy leads to endless possibilities.

  7. Kelli

    I hadn’t thought of Qbert in years, hahahaha I like that one!
    Kelli recently posted…Dream ChasingMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      That one made me laugh, too, and not in annoyance.

  8. lisacng @ expandng.com

    “Hate List” – is that based on a true story?

    Looking forward to what you think of Ready Player One. For me, it was up there with “The Martian”. I know, that’s pretty high praise for me.

    I’m currently reading “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom”.
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…Fall slumpMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I don’t think it’s based on a true story but it could be, given all the school shootings.

      I’m excited for Ready Player One. I might let him read it because it does seem like something he would enjoy. Then again, he’ll probably tell me he hates it just for fun and spite.

  9. Nadine

    Hahahahaha these always crack me up. The player one thing sounds legit. And Bream? I would have had nothing. lol I am currently reading The Truth About Him https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25387182-the-truth-about-him
    Nadine recently posted…October 2015 Allure Beauty BoxMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I told him that I have no idea what it means either. Which I don’t.

  10. Kristen

    LOL at the Bream book! I kind of agree with him on that one … I have no clue what “bream” is.

    The Hate List book sounds really interesting. Ready Player One is also on my “To Read” list.

    If I come across a good book cover, I’ll send it your way. I don’t think I have any at home right now that would be good for this type of thing.
    Kristen recently posted…Tasty Tuesday: Crockpot Cheesy Buffalo Chicken PastaMy Profile

  11. Kerry

    I have no idea what Bream is either. The Infinite home sounds interesting.
    Kerry recently posted…Why Not Me? | Book ReviewMy Profile

  12. Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand

    I’ve seen Ready Player One on so many lists and never noticed that little guy.


    Sid Bream! Is he the one that had an awesome porn-stache? (googling now…) Yes! That’s the dude I was thinking of.
    Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand recently posted…Gwen is my TaylorMy Profile

  13. Christina

    Qbert. Hahaha! I haven’t thought of that in years, but he’s right. It totally looks like it. I can’t wait to read Hate List.
    Christina recently posted…So Much MusicMy Profile

  14. Kristin

    My husband does the “bitch” thing too when talking about random people/pictures. Interesting…
    Kristin recently posted…Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Wear a CollarMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Must be the name 😉

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