Best Book Covers of 2021

LAST YEAR they were magnificent.

The YEAR BEFORE THAT set the standard.

And now it’s time to go edgy, free-spirited and giga-awesome all over again.

In what can sometimes resemble a sea of tin-plate dinghies, these book covers are all daringly different cruise ships.

Cue the eye candy…

(A) Approaching headlights through a rainbow-tinged fog? Throw in the title and the reader’s got a genuine mystery on their hands.

(B) The torn paper / speech bubbles effect looks raw – kind of like how ‘To be honest’ feels.

(A) Bad-paint-job dripping clouds over a standard suburbia scene? Something’s up in this neighborhood.

(B) It’s a package wrapped in brown paper for a novel titled THE DELIVERY. Get it?

(A) Given the title, I guess the publishers would have been well in their rights to feature some breed of grass-chewing goat on the cover. A crucifix-stealing black crow on the other hand is way more intriguing.

(B) A book whose pages reach out to grab the reader – or at least point at them – while not holding but balancing a gun. Clever weird that.

(A) Icons. Icons. Icons. Bonus points for sneaking in a pair of breasts.

(B) Scores big in the insanity department this one.

(A) Love everything about this ‘big reveal’ concept – including the small title.

(B) The story of the Three Little Pigs? No, naturally enough it’s the story of family, feminism and treason – and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard those three words mentioned in the same sentence before (though they probably have somewhere).

(A) A few simple, hand-drawn lines can indeed be so evocative.

(B) Green tears get me every time.

(A) Look up ‘visually popping book cover’ in the dictionary and there’s a good chance you’ll come across this image. I bags the top floor penthouse.

(B) Look at those teeth! So white. So straight. So… letterish. As covers go it’s a weirdy but a goody.

(A) Redder than red. With 1950’s housewife hands thrown in for extra whack.

(B) Reminds me of the old joke about a zebra crossing. The U.S flag stands atop of a yellow cone hat. I wish I knew what the other flag was.

(A) And a cheeky touch it is.

(B) Positively dripping with creativity. Sorry.

(A) Take a happy pill they said. While you’re at it take a few. In fact, down a whole face full. Then put it on a book cover. Top it off by humorously titleling it ALL’S WELL. That’s what they did.

(B) A rip-snorter of a cover with cutting-edge originality to burn? Tick.

(A) A book cover in the form of a scratch-off card? Novel indeed.

(B) It looks like a screen protector for an iPhone. But the real question? Is that an exhausted stick figure or a dead stick figure lying on the table?

(A) Facebook with hyper-realistic water droplets! What a mood.

(B) Take one simple image — a pattern of poppies on black— and make it disquieting by slicing it into sections and misaligning the edges.

(A) When do letters become old-skool string marionettes? When they look like this. The real genius though, is the inclusion of the shadow created by the words “a novel” (and no other shadows).

(B) When something that looks like its from granddaddy’s old back shed makes it onto the cover of a newly-published novel, well… I think in some parts they call that ‘rustic charm’.

 (A) The tri-color text against black? Tacky. The cocktail girl? Tacky. The ’70s food ad font? Tacky. The whole thing? Iconoclastically brilliant.

(B) That falling eye gets me every time I look at it.

(A) Nice profile. But which is her better side?

(B) The genie is out of the bottle. And so are the fireflies. Whoever left the cap off has got some splainin’ to do. Or did the super ‘bright’ insects somehow jimmy it themselves?

10 thoughts on “Best Book Covers of 2021

    • And here’s another, true-crime book THE ARSONIST by Chloe Hooper, published in December 2019.
      The mouth-watering – mouthwatering for buff and not so buff alike true-crime buffs that is – synopsis goes like this…

      On the day that became known as Black Saturday, one man deliberately lit two fires near the small town of Churchill, Gippsland, then sat on the roof of his house and watched the flames. The Arsonist, by the acclaimed author of The Tall Man, is the story of that man, the fire he lit, and the people who were killed.

      On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn’t know.

      The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. It is also the story of fire in this country, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species – understanding its abuse will define our future.

      A powerful real-life thriller written with Hooper’s trademark lyric detail and nuance, The Arsonist is a reminder that in an age of fire, all of us are gatekeepers.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, your comments are the cherry on top.
    “A cheeky touch”
    “Bonus points for sneaking in a pair of breasts”
    And something about green tears. LOL
    As for the figure slumped over the table–that’s me. And I’m dead. I looked that one up ’cause it resonated, but someone’s consciousness in a computer? Uh-uh. Hit too close to home, ha ha.
    I do have one question about your computer wizardry, though: How did you do those changing book covers at the top of the page??!!

    Liked by 1 person

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