All the Covers of the Rainbow: Brown

Inspired by the “Book Cloud” that hangs over our front desk, pictured above, welcome to All the Covers of the Rainbow.

We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate them. A beautiful cover can grab a reader and draw them into the book before they even look at the first page. In this blog series All the Covers of the Rainbow, we’ll highlight a collection of books that share the same cover color.

Sir Winston Churchill once said “I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.” Today, let’s rebuke the former Prime Minister of the U.K. and celebrate brown for the incredible color that it is. Most commonly associated with resilience, dependability, and safety, brown can be seen widely in the natural world: wood, soil, human hair, eye color, and skin pigmentation. In fact, dark brown is the most common eye color in the world. Brown has been used in art since prehistoric times, as seen in Lascaux caves in France and tomb painting from ancient Egypt. The first recorded use of brown as a descriptor of the color was in 1000. Monks of the Franciscan order wore brown robes as a symbol of humility and poverty in the Middle Ages. Today, brown can been seen in the uniforms of professional sports teams and in the logos of brands such as UPS, M&M’s, and Hershey’s. And now, let’s take a look at our collection of brown books. Happy reading!

Each book cover below is also a link to purchase the book on Bookshop.org, which supports local, independent bookstores. We also strongly encourage you to support your local bookstores by ordering online. They need our help more than ever, and we need them to stick around.

Written by Matthew Masino


“I wanted to remember him exactly as he was right then, how his arms looked brown against his white shirt, the way his hair was cut a little too short in the front. Even the bruise, there because of me.

Then he was gone.”

—Jenny Han, We’ll Always Have Summer

Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority (Revised, Updated) by Steve Phillips book cover
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston book cover
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle, illustrated by Bill Martin, Jr. book cover

“‘I am a man,’ he told her, ‘and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone woman, and bring me something brown.'”

―Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today by Rachel Vorona Cote book cover
Dune by Frank Herbert book cover
The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.”

―Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown book cover
The Overstory by Richard Powers book cover
Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly book cover
Body of Lies by David Ignatius book cover

“You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.”

―Lucy, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Lyrics by Clark Gesner

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck book cover
Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo book cover
Beautiful Shades of Brown by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by Felicia Marshall

“God has a brown voice,
as soft and full as beer.”

―Anne Sexton, “For Eleanor Boylan Talking with God”

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald book cover
Soil Mates: Companion Planting for Your Vegetable Garden by Sara Alway book cover
Magical Negro by Morgan Parker
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine book cover

Matthew Masino is a content creator, writer, and theatre director based in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Theatre Directing from Columbia College Chicago in 2019. Matthew began writing for the AWM blog in April 2020, just after the museum’s closure and has since written more than two dozen articles for the blog. He is also responsible for creating the AWM Destinations blog series. As a theatre artist, Matthew has worked with the International Voices Project, the Chicago Fringe Festival, and BYOT Productions. You can learn more by visiting his website www.matthewmasino.com.

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