One of my favourite topics, book covers! Book Depository have just posted up a list of what they consider are the best book covers of 2014.
So far, I have only read one of these books - Burial Rites – and the cover has gone through several incarnations in different territories but, in my opinion, the Australian edition on lower left is the most atmospheric and best reflects the book's content.
Another book that is still in my reading pile - The Miniaturist - has two versions, with a different cover for America but both are really eye-catching and effective.
Amnesia by Peter Carey is clever and draws attention as it takes a few moments to work out the letters. The two pixellated/fuzzy-photo versions are just irritating, especially for people with vision problems.
I love the rip-off of an IKEA catalogue with Horrorstor, although it could easily be mistaken for a design book if you didn't know it was fiction!
Will Self's Shark obviously has shock value for some, but rather than invoking the fear of sharks in me, this brings back memories of my African childhood when black children from the more remote areas still had this done to them without the benefits of anaesthesia. (See here) Already having a fear of the dentist, the idea of this being inflicted on me was the stuff of nightmares. Needless to say, for that reason, I prefer the second cover version!
The Sick Rose doesn't look like light reading or the sort of book you'd give as a gift, although it won the best cover at the British Book Design award, and the latest cover for a new edition of Dracula certainly has an impact although it makes me feel more squeamish than scared. Besides, I thought Dracula just left a couple of discreet puncture wounds? This looks more like an attack on the throat by the Hounds of Hell. (Out of interest, just Google the mind-boggling number of variations of Dracula covers over the years.)
Some of the titles and covers are obvious, such as Mug Cakes and Animalium. Others are so abstract or disjointed that they suggest equally chaotic content, so are unlikely to make my reading list.
One book that does appeal to me as both a writer and knitter, is Knitting Yarns, but I bet it will get mis-shelved in many bookshops in the craft section.
Aside from the prize candidates, there are a few covers that caught my attention this year. This one reflects my fondness for exotic books that feature the tropics, plus I love the font.
Wonder Woman with glasses!
I don't normally like covers that feature photo images, but this one really works. The model suits the era, Russian setting and the mood of the book exceptionally well.
Here are a few other links to best covers (many duplicated). Frankly, I'm not keen on many of the fonts and the graffiti or cubist style that seems to prevail, but other artwork is stunning.
British books at Academy of British Cover Design
Loads of book covers in general from 2014