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Book Traveling Thursdays: Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Because it’s that time of year where we’re thankful, this week’s Book Traveling Thursday asks us to pick a book that we are happy to have read this year. I’m picking Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, a classic that I read in an American literature class.

I loved the story and the characters. I like that socioeconomic issues weren’t hidden, and I loved the issues that arose from pursuits in career and relationships. Sister Carrie was one of the only novels I liked reading for that class. The most redeeming factor for me was that I bought it months before the class, and then I found out it was a book that I enjoyed. It was great! It’s also a bonus that I share a name with the title character.

If you don’t know what Book Traveling Thursdays is, it’s a weekly meme, created by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at The Girl Who Read Too Much, where we compare covers from around the world. It’s now hosted by Lauren at Comma Hangover. Based on the theme of the week, you pick a book and post the original cover, the cover from your country, your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. If you would like to participate or find out more, check out the Goodreads page!

Original Cover

Sister Carrie Original Cover

I didn’t expect anything spectacular for this cover, considering Sister Carrie was published in 1900. I’m a little surprised that I could find a photo of the original cover. This is a U.S. cover too.

More U.S. Covers

Sister Carrie USA Covers
Left to Right: 2009 Signet Classic cover, Penguin cover, Barnes & Noble Classics cover, and the Norton Critical Edition

To save time in listing all of the existing covers for American editions, I will only show a select four. The Signet Classic and Barnes & Noble Classics covers go with the typical theme of using famous paintings for classic books, but I think they represent Carrie Meeber, the actress. They’re also beautiful.

I think it’s kind of cool that the Penguin and Norton covers show snow-covered streets with the discoloration from salt or road apples because it has that gritty theme that we read a lot of in American Realism. They don’t represent anything specific to me in the book, but I like how different it is for a book cover. (I’m also missing seeing several inches to a foot of snow.)

Least Favorite Covers

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser Covers: A Createspace cover, the Read Monkey cover, the Library of Alexandria edition
Publishers of these covers (left to right): A Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, Read Monkey, Library of Alexandria

To change it up, I want to show the worst covers before my favorite.

How on Earth are these covers representative of the book? Bamboo?! A cartoon car as if this were Benny the Cab? That is just too modern and unreal. The Library of Alexandria cover doesn’t fit either. I get that using famous paintings indicates that this is a classic, but nothing like that painting happens in the book. This is not a tragedy of Greek mythology.

Favorite Cover

Sister Carrie Bantam Classics Cover

This Bantam Classic cover is beautiful. It conveys her initial innocence, the life she wants, and the life she gets. This cover makes me want to read it again.

Honorable Mentions

Sister Carrie Honorable Mentions
Top: Arabic cover, Azerbaijani cover, and the Simon & Schuster UK cover. Bottom: Romanian Cover, Dutch cover, and the Dancing Unicorn Books cover.

I have different reasons for loving each cover.

  • Arabic cover: I love this cover. The stained-glass effect is stunning, even.
  • Azerbaijani cover: While I’m not sure how accurate the costuming is for the era, I love the elegance of the model. It’s something that I think Carrie Meeber would wear.
  • Simon & Schuster UK cover: The graphic design of this is stunning. More importantly, I like that it uses the train. The train isn’t present for the whole novel, but it facilitates Carrie’s following her dreams and embarking on new relationships.
  • Romanian cover: I like that it shows Carrie’s relationship with Hurstwood. The book is focused on Carrie, but a significant portion is about Hurstwood as well. It even shows the age difference!
  • Dutch cover: I love that it shows a city scene since the book takes place in Chicago and New York City.
  • Dancing Unicorn Books cover: What’s nice about this one is that it shows the couple of female relationships in the novel. It could be Carrie and her sister, but it’s a little too lavish for that. I think it more represents her friendship with either the wealthy woman in her apartment building or her coworker in the theater.


What do you think of these covers? Have you read Sister Carrie? What is your favorite classic of American literature?

Have a happy Turkey Day. If you’re braving the Black Friday sales tomorrow, good luck!


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