I love cover art, and am always fascinated when cover artists discuss the process of jacketing a book (for example, this piece on Dear Mrs Bird). Inspired by Rachel’s post along the same lines, here are some of my favourite book covers from the past couple of years. (I’m going to restrict myself to UK editions, even though I tend to prefer US covers.)
I love seeing how books are remarketed when they move from hardback to paperback, and here are some examples that didn’t have bad hardback jackets but have beautiful paperback covers [hardbacks on left, paperbacks on right]:
I love the bright colours of the paperback edition of Aminatta Forna’s Happiness, and the photo of the fox; the whole feel of the cover is much edgier than the hardback version, which is pretty but a bit abstract for this London-set slice of social realism.
The hardback cover of Sarah Moss’s Ghost Wall was pretty good, but the paperback cover is just perfect for this Northumbrian-set chiller, evoking the ‘light nights’ of northern summers and the isolation of the central character. I want to buy it all over again.
I really liked the pattern of leaves on the hardback of Samantha Harvey’s The Western Wind, but the woodcut image on the paperback is stunning, and fits this medieval mystery so well.
Of course, sometimes it goes the other way:
The paperback cover of Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage is clever and bright, but is definitely aimed more at a women’s fiction market; the hardback cover is just gorgeous, and I like the more subtle symbolism of the tree and the font that looks hand-sewn, referencing Celestial’s doll-making business.
I frequently like covers much more than the books they contain. Here are some examples:
(I still can’t get over how beautiful the cover of The Lido is when the book was so awful…)
However, some books get the amazing covers they deserve:
Does anybody violently disagree with my taste in covers? (I know I always Have Opinions when I read these kind of posts…)