The 10 Best Book Covers
None of them are orange.
Another month of books, another month of book covers. This being October, the hashtag-spookiest-month, you might expect some pretty spooky book covers, but while you will spot a black snake and some ominous weather looming in the list below, none of them are likely to keep you up at night. Unless you are kept up at night by good design! Or my corny jokes, I suppose. Regardless, here are the best book covers of the month, according to your friendly Literary Hub aesthetes.
I love that This Is a Big Literary Book font. I don’t know what to tell you. It works for me. It makes me excited to pick up a book. And so does the real Topeka flavor of this cover, and that half-hearted “A Novel” in the middle of the tornado, and the text all squashed into the center of the cover, for no apparent reason.
I love the misty, vintage-postcard feeling of this cover—and I love noticing, after gazing at the pretty colors for a while, the small figure standing at a lookout point on top of the waterfall. Not for nothing, this one clearly also happens to have that This Is a Big Literary Book font going on (in this case, it’s even more luxurious). What can I say, I’m a sucker.
You have the slightly mind-bending depth of field, the snake interacting with the text in ways that wouldn’t be strictly possible if we were actually dealing with the forms in real life. You have the huge text and the eerie, almost tangible snake. Plus, this cover manages to be super impactful even in grayscale—a triumph.
Good works of art nearly always make good book covers—this one sent me down a rabbit hole into the work of Titus Kaphar, which is wonderful. So, for our purposes here, is this stark, symmetrical, and perfectly restrained presentation of it, in service of a powerful book of poetry.
Here’s a brilliant manipulation of forms: a lit match that also evokes the chain link fences and horizon palms of the Los Angeles streets, on a field of pure black. It’s menacing and engaging at once.
Really the glory here is in the photograph, and in Ali Wong herself, who is just exactly the person you expect to choose an awkward, eyes-closed, in-between shots pose for her book cover. Okay, and there is also some glory in those colors, and those sequins, and that pink leather chair, all of which simply make me smile.
What can I say, this is just exactly what I want from the book cover of a collection of poems “at the extremes of feeling”: a bunch of illustrated faces to muse over. It’s both lovely at a glance and also inspires closer inspection—the best of both worlds.
A perfect color combination, a visceral image, and one of those book covers that makes the viewer (or this viewer, in any case) intensely curious as to what this book could possibly be about. (It’s as surreal as it looks like it’ll be, thank goodness.)
You just have to laugh.