Now this is a nifty site: Talking Covers has agglomerated the stories of several book covers, most interestingly (to me) Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. From the photographer of the cerulean warbler on the cover:
The bird on the cover was photographed in a southeastern Ohio state forest, not far from the West Virginia coal fields featured in the book. The cerulean is a gorgeous little bird that seems invisible in forest foliage high overhead and remains largely undetected unless you look for it (or at least listen for its somewhat nondescript song). The image on the cover is about two times life-size. The shot was taken in 2007, and considering the average life span of a warbler is two or three years, the bird’s grandchildren now haunt the ancestral home, which presumably is not yet a coal field.
I was not terribly enthusiastic about the Freedom cover (I liked JF’s original pick)—even less so the original cover of Strong Motion. (Although both are excellent novels, and the Freedom cover has since grown on me.) The Corrections cover, though, is fantastic; there is probably a reason that it hasn’t changed since the first edition.
(Kudos go to: The Millions.)