The 10 Best Book Covers
The Only Way Out is Through
Another month of books, another month of book covers. Appropriately enough for November, this month’s best covers are all moody, their colors subdued (unless you’re Rachel Bloom), the human figures distorted, the elements hard to read. Honestly, it’s how we’re all feeling these days: a little refracted, a little diffuse, a little bleak. And yet, these covers are oddly satisfying: chalk it up to the cathartic powers of art. Read on to see my favorite book covers of the month, and as always, feel free to add any of your own that I’ve missed in the comments below.
It looks the way a good night out feels, but this cover’s brilliance is about more than just its evocative beauty. As Balit explained:
The title, Exquisite Cadavers, refers to the surrealist game of consequences, in which each person draws something and then passes it along to the next. This is what the author drew her inspiration from, and so I wanted to use this as a starting point to explore. For this my first approach was to follow the principle quite literally and create images using fragments from a number of other ones mixed and matched together, from here a number of new ideas sparked such as taking one image and de-constructing it to then piece back together, also creating a traditional cover only to then chop it all up and re build. The core of all these ideas was the same: take something that starts off looking like X and chop, re-arrange, glue, etc. to convert into Y, for me this was the best representation of the book both in terms of content but also structure.
Read more about the process behind the cover here.
Just like Sedaris himself, this cover is erudite, irreverent, playful, and ever-so-slightly . . . threatening. (I can’t be the only one who sees shades of ransom letter here.) In other words, it’s perfect.
As you may or may not have noticed, I love a good obscured-face cover. This one is particularly compelling: beautiful and terrifying at once. Like all the best book covers, it makes me want to read the book at hand.
All I have to say is: look closer.
Okay, it’s not really fair to the other kids, because Hughes is a graphic designer, and this novel tells its story through a marriage of design, typesetting, and text, but still. This would catch my eye from a mile away.
I love the boldness and immediacy of this cover, and its delicately calibrated color story—it could easily have gone too stark, but instead Wood achieved a perfect balance here.
It’s simple, sure. It’s almost plain. But this doesn’t look like any other cover I’ve seen in recent memory, and honestly, I just find myself repeatedly coming back to it. For whatever that’s worth!
The fragmented image is striking on its own, but the text treatment—that subtle debossing!—really takes it to the next level.
This is the kind of cover that manages to be a number of things at once, or in a row, depending on how you look at it. I particularly like the blurriness of the image against the sharpness of the text; and I just spent some amount of time trying to read the “message” in the flame.
A glorious exercise in sheer ’80s nostalgia. In other words, I now know exactly how old Rachel Bloom is.