I thought it would be fun to talk about some of my favorite book covers. I’ve chosen from not only books I’ve read but also the specific editions I’ve read. We’ll start with my sixth favorite and end with my absolute favorite.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
I love the simplicity of this cover: the sepia tone, the red lines, the font. But what really makes it for me is the spine (featured below–picture not mine). Look at it! It’s just perfection, and it suits the book perfectly. I can’t imagine The Secret History with any other cover.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
You’re going to learn quickly in this post that I adore illustrated covers, particularly ones with a darker art style. The faces on all the characters are so grotesque. The shading around Merricat’s eyes makes it seem like she’s staring straight into your soul, which is perfect for her character. The composition of it is just excellent too; Merricat in the center with Constance peeking out on the right? Excellent. And don’t even get me started on the line work. I know basically nothing about art, but I could still talk about it all day.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
I’m also a huge sucker for corsets that take up most of the cover. All of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy covers feature this, but A Great and Terrible Beauty is by far the best cover of the series. I love the reddish brown background, the shadows, and the curve of the model’s torso. It’s just beautiful. The font used for Bray’s name is lovely, but it works perfectly to have the title in the plainer, white text (this is also one of my top book titles, but that’s another post).
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Another gorgeous illustration. The details on the buildings are stunning! The colors give is a Renaissance feel that suits the book perfectly. This was a complete cover buy for me. I saw it in a store window and had to have it despite knowing nothing about it or the author. And I’m glad I bought it when I did! Because they changed the cover to purple and this hideous, shiny green that I detest. Thankfully, this absolute piece of art will forever grace my shelves.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Oh look, another illustration. The illustrator, Scott McKowen, is incredibly talented, and he’s actually done the covers for a few other books I’ve read (and they’re also covers I really like–go figure). Spinning Silver features equally lovely illustrations, but something about the yellow and brown color scheme just makes Uprooted stand out more for me. And the tree at the bottom turning into vines that twist around the initial U is just gorgeous.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
This has been my favorite book cover since I received the book at eight years old (obviously not a good age to read this book). Douglas Smith is probably my favorite cover artist ever. He’s done all of Gregory Maguire’s books (as far as I know). The art is just beautiful. Again, the line work! But my favorite feature is that the cover is two layers (I don’t really know how else to describe it). The first layer is the carriage with the window cut out to show Clara and the prince’s faces on the next layer. The full illustration of them is below (picture not mine). All of Maguire’s books have this feature, which is so fun, but the cover for Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is by far my favorite of them all.
What are your favorite book covers? Do we share any?