All the Covers of the Rainbow: Orange

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.

Photo of Gritty, Philadelphia Flyers mascot
Gritty, mascot for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.

Bringing together the fierce energy of red and the effervescent happiness of yellow, orange is one of the most attention-grabbing colors on the rainbow. Orange is often used in advertising and by sports teams across the nation for their logos, uniforms, and mascots, just take a look at the Philadelphia Flyers’ official mascot Gritty (pictured to the right). There are 21 cities, towns, and unincorporated communities with the word orange in their name. Orange is prominent in many Asian religions, as seen in the robes worn by monks and holy men. Krishna, the god of protection, tenderness, and love in Hinduism, is often pictured wearing orange. Artists like Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh often used orange in their art to elicit feelings of warmth, excitement, and adventure.

Looking back at the history of the color provides a fascinating look into the connectedness of our world. In Europe, there was no term for the color orange, instead, the color was referred to as “yellow-red” or compared to the color of saffron. That all changed when Portuguese merchants brought orange trees back from Asia and the color’s new name was born. Interestingly, this makes orange the only color to be named after a fruit, rather than the other way around. Next time you’re taking a walk, be on the lookout for the color orange. Perhaps you’ll see it in the orange of a Jack-O-Lantern, the dust from a bag of Cheetos on a middle schooler’s fingertips, or the excitement of newly placed orange traffic cones on the street. No matter where you are, you’ll discover the beautiful intensity of orange in the sunset each night.

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


“Meanwhile the sunsets are mad orange fools raging in the gloom…”

—Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels

Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris book cover
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Intimacy and Other Plays by Thomas Bradshaw
The Queen by Josh Levin

“In my head, the sky is blue, the grass is green, and cats are orange.”

―Jim Davis, In Dog Years I’d Be Dead: Garfield at 25

Oh! by Mary Robison book cover
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
The Martian by Andy Weir
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender book cover

Orange is not the color of seduction, Christopher. Orange is the color of despair, and pumpkins.”

―Cassandra Clare, Chain of Gold

Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley book cover
Green Eggs and Ham book cover by Dr. Seuss
Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney book cover
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin book cover

“You can shoplift all day at Blockbuster
But you can’t steal the Orange Bowl Queen
No you can’t steal the Orange Bowl Queen”

―Jimmy Buffett, “Ballad of Skip Wiley”

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot with illustrations by Edward Gorey
About A Boy by Nick Hornby book cover
Good Trouble by Joseph O'Neill
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger book cover

“Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blindingly enter into the other? So with sanity and insanity.”

―Herman Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde
Beg, Steal & Borrow: Artists Against Originality by Robert Shore
There There by Tommy Orange

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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