Book Banners

Click on any of the custom-designed banners to get to a book review.

Each of these banners have been custom-designed to fit the review, and each one incorporates an element of the book cover design combined with one of M. Bijman or M.F. O’Brien’s photos, free photos from, or just the cover element, or just a photo. The photos are chosen to fit both the style and palette of the cover design and the atmosphere of the book. As such, each banner is like a little “precursor” to the review. Sometimes the photo is enough to give a foretaste of the feel of the book.

A local industrial area to match a man with industrial-level physical adaptations.
Lightning, chemistry and a mad scientist. Body parts, anyone?
A flashy banner for an artist with a flashy career. Note the stage spot lights.
Cowboys in the Old West – you have to include horses and a lasso.
A fox and a strange bird that’s not actually a bird, on a strange planet.
A public sculpture in a French city of a man in despair, like the characters in this funny novel.
One of the most political pieces I’ve ever written. As a chess move, it would be terminal.
Wars, legacies of pain and tranquil Japanese gardens.
This was an easy design – because tribbles are just fluffy critters that coo. And breed…
The setting is the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles – it fits the character.
There’s Daniel Craig, in the water, looking implacable. So this must be about Bond.
One in a series of four SF novels – we’ve had three, waiting for no. 4.
Very fuzzy family memories and very confused thoughts.
If this looks both creepy and erotic – that’s what the book is like.
Strange forest and a strange search for a missing woman.
The whole thing is up in the clouds.
This old dude has the attitude of a teen, but it looks like he’s about to ride into the traffic…
In the mood for some poetical social critique and humour? Here you go then.
This book has one key element – snow – and one key clue – a guitar.
A harsh landscape with a couple of horses,  the world of famous cowboy Wyatt Earp.
Scene of a chilly morning in a Nordic country – and a cold-hearted killer for hire.
What’s the future of book publishing? Can you grow a forest for it now?
There is something large and weird stalking Paris, France.
There is something large and weird stalking Paris, France.
The descriptions of food are way better than the rest of the novel.
Shostakovich is looking depressed. Russian morbidity - to be expected?
Shostakovich is looking depressed. Russian melancholy – to be expected?
Shacks, shanty-towns, misery and magic.
Shacks, shanty-towns, misery and magic.
Cancer = crab = Krebs (German). Cold volcanic-sand beach, a red-hot crab.
Blue teddy-bears can be terrible.
Blue teddy-bears can be terrible.
Tulip fever, orchid fever, futures market trading, madness, art, etc.
The ghost of a small child in shadows of the forest. Lots of ghosts in this one.
Dissolute youth goes to Paris to find himself. How boring can it get?
Dissolute youth goes to Paris to find himself. How boring can it get?
Sjón. Seriously distracting. ‘Nuff said.
Sjón. Seriously distracting. ‘Nuff said.
A year in books
One of the books involved an “ice child”, therefore the iconic Russian illustration.
Murder, corruption and very fine Chinese poetry.
20 B Breytenbach2
A South African landscape for a South African author.
19.1 Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins being blown about in a photo of a wintry suburban street.
18 The Goldfinch
A bridge that looks like bars of a cage because the book is about a caged goldfinch.
16 WS Star Wars
A storm trooper on a local bridge because the book is William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.
21 Day of the Oprichnik
Oprichniks = Russia = photo of Moscow.
16 World of Trouble
Book about the end of the world needs a photo of Mount St. Helens before it blew.
16 The city and the city
Which city? Vancouver, Canada, of course.
15 Summer books for road trips
Summer books review requires photo of cool water and hot feet.
14 The island of Wings
The ship from an 18th century island story sailing into a formation on the British coast.
13 Wonderland
All nasty things lurk in this book and perhaps along that dark forest path in the photo…
13 The High Mountains
It’s about Portugal, slavery, cars, not so much mountains – and apes.
14 An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
It’s about an exceptional astronaut, so why not put him on a ski slope in his space suit?
12 T Pratchett J Barnes
Two writers who write about death, and do so very well.
Hercule Poirot has always been my favourite detective.
The futuristic looking font and multiple planets should give you an idea what this is about.
12 Two years_Rushdie
The cover was minimalist with a lightning flash and a yellow figure. So that’s how I kept it.
14_The Gods of Tango
Tango! Passion! Drama! Therefore storm clouds and a palette of primary colours.
20 Chinese novels
The woman sleeping is from the novel “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”.
19 Worst person ever
The character gets sick from nuts. The writer may be nuts. And as for the novel – oh….nuts.
That’s it. “S”. That’s the whole thing.
17 Rhino Ranch
Closest I could get to a photo of farm animals.
17 Doris Lessing
God-forsaken farm scene from South Africa for a discussion of her novels as an exile.
15 Erotic romances
Sweltering clouds = erotica, not to press too fine a point.
15 Alice Munro
The lady is famous, so her famous face is all over the banner.
The book is about homeland roots so the image is of tangled roots and “Oscar Wao”.
10 the piano maker
The main character in the book, with her bags, placed looking towards a church. She did go to live in a church in the book.
10 Not a lot going on
As the theme song goes in “Corner Gas”, “there’s not a lot going on”, nor in the flat prairie in the photo.
10 Hausfrau
Foreign, feminine, a bit freaky – like these waxy-looking and impossibly perfect lilies.
9 The Last Policeman
Just guess how this novel ended.
8 Unforgettable image
An iconic black and white photo fitted onto black and white scenery.
8 This Census-Taker
It’s all about words, like in the photo of this monument in Paris. The image of the man is one of the illustrations in the book.
7 Modernised Fables
It’s about fables – and what is more typical than Red Riding Hood, but set against a dramatic winter wood.
7 Furiously happy4
The raccoon in the story looks a bit crazy. So too thinks the other furry creature in this photo.
This is our street in winter. But the man in the coat is Reve’s depressed protagonist. Depressed, yes – boring, never.
7 Culinary mysteries
Creepy font for a book about food and murder.
6 Wolf Winter2
This was a real wolf photographed at a wolf sanctuary. Sad.
6 The Family Fang
Chinese fretwork screens at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, and the family Fang of the book.
An illustration of one of Terry Pratchett’s most famous characters, Death.
3 Marwencol
One of Mark Hogancamp’s figurines, re-positioned in a snowy landscape.
2 Pioneer Girl2
Laura Ingalls Wilder from the book, superimposed on a background of sunlit trees.
8 Happy birthday to The Bard
The Bard is William Shakespeare. ‘Nuff said.
6 Hennie Aucamp
Aucamp wrote about extremes – so it is a picture of contrasts.
5 the white road
A white header for a book about porcelain.
9 The Buried Giant
The tree from Ishiguro’s book cover with some actual trees from London’s Hyde Park.
1 Embassytown
A Sci-Fi city and a real city, Vancouver.
2 amnesia
It’s about forgetting – so the photo fades out.
3 MaddAddam
A complicated post-apocalyptic trilogy so the picture is of tangled branches that look.
5 Umbrella
An umbrella would’ve been too obvious.
9 Vienna Nocturne
An attempt to show the theme of music in the novel.
11 Go Set A Watchman
It may be a depressing novel about racism, but there is a hopeful message, like a chink of rainbow.
Little kid in the snow with a parent waiting to see if he will break his neck on the slopes, or turn into a champion. Pretty much what happens in the novel.
The main character is told “Never go to London”. Here’s the London Eye in all its night-time glory. Why shouldn’t he go? It’s so glam!