Perhaps what's most interesting that if this post hadn't pointed out the issues with the design, I doubt I'd have noticed anything. To me, The Air We Breathe is designed to look like an authentic 19th-century novel, with chapter numbers superimposed against a woodcut print of a leafy tree, and dropped caps beginning the text of each chapter. I'll admit that the font used for the author's name in the headers on the left-hand pages, with its old-fashioned script flourishes, doesn't go well with the all-cap outline font the title uses on the right. But it wouldn't be so noticeable as to distract me from the text.
On the assumption this difference in opinion was gender-dependent, I asked Mark to take a look at the galley. Apart from commenting on the mismatched fonts on the headers, he didn't notice anything majorly wrong. So I don't know.
Do you like it when interior book designers subtly (or maybe not-so-subtly) try to evoke a past era through their choice of fonts, graphics, etc., or do you find it distracting? Put another way, is this a girly thing? I'm trying to think of other examples where this is done, and failing, but maybe someone else can come up with one.