All the Covers of the Rainbow: Pink

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.

Phot of Marilyn Monroe in a pink dress.

Pink Floyd, Pretty in Pink, the Pink Panther, Degas’ Dancers in Pink, Victoria’s Secret PINK line, Blackpink… The list of cultural and commercial instances of pink is as long as the history of the color. The earliest mention of pink can be found in the Odyssey in approximately 800 BCE. The height of pink’s reign was in the 18th century when the color took the court of King Louis XV of France by storm. While pink is viewed as a feminine color today, it originated in the outfits of young boys. In England, adult men wore red uniforms and, by the logic of the time, boys were just small men, so they wore pink. With the invention of chemical dyes, pink grew brighter and bolder. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s wife, Mamie Eisenhower, wore a pink dress to her husband’s inaugural ball. Historians mark this moment as the start of the gender switch. In nature, pink is the most common color found in flowers. Pink is believed to have a calming effect on the viewer. Many sports teams, including the University of Iowa, have painted their visitors’ locker room a color called “drunk-tank pink,” which has been shown to calm the mind. Now throw on your poodle skirt, hop into your classic pink Cadillac, turn on P!nk’s “Just Give Me a Reason,” and get ready to explore some fantastic works of literature!

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


“The redness was going out of the light now; the remains of the day were a fading pink, the color of wild roses.”

—Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory: Stories by Raphael Bob-Waksberg book cover
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor book cover
The Idiot by Elif Batuman book cover
The Pink Book: An Illustrated Celebration of the Color, from Bubblegum to Battleships by Kaye Blegvad book cover

“On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”

―Karen Smith (portrayed by Amanda Seyfried), Mean Girls screenplay by Tina Fey

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen
This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Philipps book cover
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston book cover
Finlay Donovan Is Killing It: A Mystery by Elle Cosimano

“‘This is a team of gay dudes, isn’t it?’

‘What gave it away? The pink shirts, or half our team drooling over you?'”

―Simone Elkeles, Rules of Attraction

Severance by Ling Ma book cover
Sissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia book cover
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut book cover
How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS by David France book cover

“Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.”

―Sylvia Plath, “Mirror”

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare book cover
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang book cover
Blended by Sharon M. Draper book cover
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann book cover

“You, Ms. Lane, are a menace to others! A walking, talking catastrophe in pink!”

―Karen Marie Moning, Darkfever.

Self Care by Leigh Stein book cover
Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement by Nadya Okamoto book cover
The Princess Diaries, Volume V: Princess in Pink by Meg Cabot book cover
100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell 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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