All the Covers of the Rainbow: Yellow

All the Covers of the Rainbow: Yellow

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.

Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh
Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh

Today, we’re talking about my favorite color: yellow—the color of sunflowers and daffodils, autumn leaves and egg yolks, lemons, and bumblebees. Yellow is the most visible color on the spectrum and is most quickly processed by the human eye, making it the ideal color for emergency vehicles and school buses. Because of its wide availability, yellow was one of the first colors used in works of art, such as Jan Lievens’ Young Man in a Yellow Robe and Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh. The caves of Lascaux contain an image of a yellow horse, estimated to be 17,300 years old. Yellow is often associated with happiness, optimism, enlightenment, amusement, and spring. But lurking in the background is a darker side of yellow: cowardice, betrayal, and madness. Some physical illnesses manifest as yellow, including jaundice, malaria, and yellow fever. “Yellow peril” was a xenophobic ideology used against Asian Americans to slow immigration from Asia to the United States. Whether negative or positive, yellow evokes strong emotions in its viewer.

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


“It is the strangest yellow, that wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw – not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things.”

—Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

The Christians by Lucas Hnath book cover
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson book cover
End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World by Bryan Walsh book cover
The Forking Trolley: An Ethical Journey to the Good Place by James M. Russell book cover

“My cup is yellow
Or not, though not’s

Impossible
It’s yellow

― Aram Saroyan, Complete Minimal Poems

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea book cover
American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson book cover
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens book cover
Rutting Season: Stories by Mandeliene Smith

“It’s no fun to be yellow. Maybe I’m not all yellow. I don’t know. I think maybe I’m just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn’t give much of a damn if they lose their gloves.”

― J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen book cover
Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy by Eric G. Wilson book cover
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald book cover

“Uh huh, you know what it is
Black and yellow
Black and yellow
Black and yellow
Black and yellow

― Wiz Khalifa, “Black and Yellow

Gross Anatomy: A Field Guide to Loving Your Body, Warts and All by Mara Altman
A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology, and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today by Kate Bornstein book cover
gods with a little g by Tupelo Hassman book cover
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang book cover

“The books leapt and danced like roasted birds, their wings ablaze with red and yellow feathers.”

― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I've Made about Race, Resistance, and Romance by Matt Ortile book cover
Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison book cover
Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? by Liz Prince book cover
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang 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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