Following last year’s list, it looks like cataloguing the best book cover eye-candy the year has to offer might end up being an annual thing around here.
Covers are all about making memorable first impressions. These ones succeeded in passing onto the next stage of the reader ‘interview’.
(A) All creatures great and in this case microscopic makes for one eye-catching, though in no way original cover. Incredibly, author Melissa Barbeau’s 2018 novel THE LUMINOUS SEA used an identical cover.
(B) Yep, recognize those battle-scarred fingers of a writer anywhere.
(A) Is that an embrace? A dance? A hallucination? What it is is a ghost with a sheet, shoes and socks but no legs.
(B) Cover of a cover anyone?
(A) The herd can definitely do that to a person.
(B) A skull made out of illustrated roses. You knew that was going to make it onto this list.
(A) A murder mystery set in a lawless Mexican village rife with superstition was never going to make it as an Oprah Book Club pick (is that still a thing?) but this cover is a symbolic masterstroke.
(B) Deliciously weird – including the two tiny eyelashes painted on each eye.
(A) You read ‘knife’ and you expect ‘knife’ and on first glance you even see ‘knife’, but . . . that’s a nail file.
(A) The feminist novel that galvanized South Korea. The red of the collar picks up nicely on the color of the book’s title.
(A) I can’t stop looking at those hands.
(B) This cover is a conspicuous callback to those “puzzles” where you had to use your finger to trace your way from one side of the page to the other.
(A) The words tell you everything you need to know.
(B) Something about this image makes me want to press down on that nozzle and rub it – or drink it – all in.
(A) I’ve been to Uneo train station in Tokyo. I don’t recall it looking much like this book cover. But a novel told from the point of view of a homeless man’s ghost you’d expect to be a little different, wouldn’t you?
(B) Match the title with the image and you’ve got not just any ‘ol irony but buoyant irony. I can almost hear the plink of the fallen pink toothbrush.
(A) That light at the end of the tunnel could actually turn out to be an oncoming train. Did anyone remember to warn the lamb?
(B) This cover works on multiple levels. Someone had to say it.
(A) How MANY sisters is but one question. I know two of them are called July and September.
(B) Not exactly sure what’s going on here but something looks… well, slightly melted?
(A) Dangerous. Mysterious. Medical. And all-round very sharp.
(B) Is our pony-tailed cover person water dancing or water dead? Maybe water posed?
(A) If you already know what a ‘shtetl’ is you’re doing better than me. This debut novel is about a shtetl (Jewish village) hidden deep in a Polish forest. With that understood, this elusive cover isn’t so lost on it’s reader.
(B) The axeman cometh… and cometh…and cometh again!
(A) ‘XX‘ is the debut novel of someone who previously had worked as a graphic designer. With a pedigree like that this was always going to be an eye-catching cover. And it is.
(B) In swank-lined designer fashion circles headwear of this caliber is known as a ‘fascinator’. And true to name, this is one fascinating cover. Someone just needs to tell our cover girl she’s wearing it a little … low?
(A) Who hasn’t done that – or at least thought about doing that – to a photo? Family first? Yeah right.
(B) Paper books get the boot in the digital age – get it? Looks like a size 8 digitally enhanced Converse boot to me btw.