The 12 Best Book Covers of June
Not a Beach in Sight
Another month of books, another month of book covers. In the summer, all the books start looking a little too similar for my taste: the shelves become awash in sunsets, large hats, and soft colors, all the covers bidding for inclusion in beach bags or the emotional equivalent. None of the below book covers fit into that category—each one is weird and bold and perfectly suited to the book at hand. That, not to mention their technicolor forests, outsize illustrations, and surreal senses of humor—is what makes these the the best book covers of the month.
It would be so easy to make a dark book cover for this nonfiction work about all that we think of as “underground”—but Garceau has done the opposite, to brilliant effect: somehow it manages to evoke the core of the planet and a sunset on its surface at the same time, not to mention the deep past and the far future. Which is a lot, for a book cover.
I love the elegant synecdoche of this cover, which takes a while to reveal itself, for the limbs to untangle. The pared-back text treatment is also perfect for this novel, which provides its own ornament.
At first I thought it was a plastic statue of George Washington, but the hands are really in uncanny valley territory, and so I’m not sure, and also I’m afraid. Either way, it’s funny and weird and millennial pink and seems perfect for this off-kilter book of stories.
This is a weird one. It’s not beautiful. It doesn’t quite hang together—it looks like a collage that’s trying to masquerade as a real photograph (though to be clear, I think that effect is intentional). But I can’t stop looking at it; as I’m putting this piece together, I keep scrolling back to see it again. So it’s compulsory, if nothing else, which is a very good quality in a book cover.
This one wins the day for sheer pop. I love the evil eye, the liar’s cross, the bold primary colors. I also love the way the title wraps around the top, a definite risk in terms of readability but visually—there’s no other word for it—awesome.
This cover is beautiful—or almost. The hole-punch effect around the borders of the central image—and especially in the woman’s eye—creates a sense of unease, like something beloved has been defaced. Again, an appropriate cover for the novel itself.
Ludicrous, in the best way.
This lovely image is made even lovelier when you notice the little house tucked into the middle of the man’s head.
The inverted city creates interest and an unusual weight balance on this cover, but the thing that really gets me is the comedy of the text treatment: that the uninteresting, relatively unimportant words—is in—are so heavily emphasized. It is simply fun, without looking dumb.
Again, the fat text treatment is doing a lot of work here, although some of that’s down to the intriguing title, but the paper bag Americana print look is also fresh and compelling.
The colors are perfect—and so is the implied animation created by the two shadows of the figure’s head, which give us the sense that he’s just turned to look directly at us. Genius.
Again, this is all about the color treatment (and the red here is almost identical to the red of the glove above), but I’ve never seen this fade effect combined with a vintage cutout, and I have to say I’m into it.