The 13 Best Book Covers of September
The Eyes Have It
Another month of books, another month of book covers. This month, I’m seeing bold blocks of color, fun with shapes, and a few different takes on pattern and cutouts. (Is it the Amazon effect? Who can say.) Here are a few of my favorite designs for carrying around in a (light) jacket pocket as the nights get cooler—but as always, feel free to add on any I’ve missed in the comments.
The facial elements emerging out of an otherwise flat field—as though coming up from water—would be intriguing enough. But the milky, hyper-realistic water droplets, the minimalist text treatment, and that particular shade of blue send it over the top. This cover is, as the kids say, a mood.
This one makes my list for its beguiling weirdness. The photo of the plants feels almost like a badly-lit snapshot, but the crisp cutout bulls-eye—with its uneven rings and black-and-white portrait—is almost opposite in its precision. The overall effect is a little destabilizing, but fascinating. Like any good bulls-eye, it draws you in.
You can always get me with a bonkers cover. Take me to the moon, stranger!
The art deco font alone makes me want to keep looking at this cover—but the clean line down the middle that deviates into a wave is simply glorious. Which isn’t even mentioning the subtle texture. Love it.
What a green. And what an image. Whatever it is, it, like this book, is a glorious, elegant, weirdo.
Our third bold color-blocked cover in a row, but it’s another great color choice—and you kind of can’t beat this custom ranger patch.
Not only is this cover visually intriguing, it’s perfect for the book—it gives the sense of something orderly, if obscure, that ultimately becomes degraded, and perhaps destroyed. There is a sense of burning. It’s simple, but very effective.
I love how this signals “Big Book” without any of the usual “Big Book” signifiers. Appealing details abound—multiple text treatments (always a risk), the crowbar, the circle around “a novel”! It captures the tone of the novel perfectly, and even besides that, it’s clear Munday is having fun here—it’s hard not to have fun along with him.
If you look closely, that’s the American flag underneath that jagged rip, which, right in the middle as it is, serves to subtly underscore the divide at hand. It’s a very elegant, and weirdly foreboding, cover.
Oh, please. It’s such fun. How could anyone not love it?
Carrow took a very simple image—a pattern of poppies on black—and made it disquieting by slicing it into sections and misaligning the edges. Another simply elegant solution that manages to evoke a strong emotion.
Well, this is just the visual equivalent of a list. I am duty bound to love it, and even if I wasn’t, it has charm for days.
It would be tempting to go very serious for a new novel by Soyinka, who is by any measure an elder statesman of world literature, so I appreciate the playfulness of this cover, which shines through on every level: the color choices, the expression on the disembodied head, the bendy limbs, the curvy, hand-drawn text. It’s another one that feels just about perfect for the book at hand.