The 16 Best Book Covers of May
Wet, Wild, & Weird
Another month of books, another month of book covers. This month, I found a lot to celebrate in the world of cover art: the brilliantly simple and the brilliantly baroque, the ducks (er, parrots) and the swans, the funny and the clever, the totally dry and the . . . not totally dry. (This form has really run its course, huh?) All perfect for toting along with you into the newly opening world, or for feathering your nest a little longer, if that’s your thing. Here are my favorite book covers of May—and as always, feel free to nominate any great ones I’ve missed in the comments.
Listen, anything this weird is going to make the list, every time. This looks like the beginning of an artist’s conspiracy board, and I want to find out who the murderer is.
The evocative flexibility of this line does so much work here, managing to be both figurative and abstract, depending on how and when you’re looking—and the hand-painted lettering doesn’t hurt either.
An undeniably charming—and deceptively complicated—cover. The green tears! (I should say that this other cover—an alternate? digital? UK? I can’t tell—is also incredible, and even weirder, and possibly even better.)
Does anyone else remember those blue SunPrint papers? If you were a child of the 80s, you may have used them to create some Cool Nature Designs. This is a much spookier (and perfectly gold-flecked) version of that—it takes a while to see the hand, but once you do, you can’t unsee it.
Brilliant (and terrifying) in its simplicity.
I’m always here for a book on a book.
The third in the series, all playfully and colorfully designed by Merto.
There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about this cover—it’s simply beautiful. Nothing wrong with that.
A great typographic cover is always the hardest to pull off—but I’m loving the colors and 70s vibe (not to mention the rotated text treatment) of this Gloria Naylor reissue, redesigned by Paul Buckley as part of the Penguin Vitae series.
The white dots are not only a clever solution for putting a bunch of text on a not-entirely-black cover, they also wind up feeling like close-ups of stars. Very smart, and not hard to look at either.
This cover would have been brilliant if it were just an Instagram dupe—but the trompe-l’oeil water droplets elevate it past even that. It’s so fun; and like the best book covers, it would have made me want to pick up the book even if I had no idea what it was about. Just to see, you know?
Apologies, I am simply a sucker for old images repurposed for insane modern book covers, especially when they’re this funny. The pink! The faces! The clashing red weapons. All of it should be too stark on this plain field, but somehow it works.
Simple and evocative: an argument for editing if I’ve ever seen one.
Maybe these big serif fonts are coming back—I am for it, if so. I always think they add a touch of class and distinction to a book cover. But of course, the real brilliance here is that cracked blue sky—it’s surprising and visually appealing at the same time. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done quite this way, which is saying something.
A book cover so cool I want to be friends with it. (Also: feeling Flamethrowers vibes here, which is never a bad thing in my book.)
I love the combination of old-world image and sharp, contemporary blocking here; the frame within a frame is elegant and perfect.