The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Book Covers of Note November 2015


Next month I’ll say goodbye to 2015 with my annual list of my favourite covers of the year. Until then, here’s November’s book covers of note, my last monthly covers post for the 2015:

baddeley brothers design David Pearson
Baddeley Brothers by The Gentle Author; design David Pearson (October 2015)

The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya; design by Devin Washburn (FSG / November 2015)

(I previously included Devin’s cover in my November 2014 post before discovering that publication had been postponed until 2015. It’s so good that I figure it deserved a second shot now the book is finally coming out this month.)

A Brief History of Seven Killings Special Edition design James Paul Jones
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Special Edition); design James Paul Jones (Oneworld / November 2015)

Book of Magic design Matthew Young
The Book of Magic by Brian Copenhaver; design Matthew Young (Penguin / November 2015)

Dont Suck Dont Die design by Lindsay Starr
Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt by Kristin Hersh; design by  Lindsay Starr (University of Texas; October 2015)

Drinking in America Rex Bonomelli
Drinking in America by Susan Cheever; design by Rex Bonomelli (Twelve Books / October 2015)

Early Stories of Truman Capote design David Pearson
Early Stories of Truman Capote; design by David Pearson (Penguin / November 2015)

Eternal Zero design by Peter Mendelsund
The Eternal Zero Naoki Hyakuta; design by Peter Mendelsund (Vertical / November 2015)

Hausfrau design by Gabrielle Bordwin Photographer Mihaela Ninic
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum; design by Gabrielle Bordwin; Photographer Mihaela Ninic (Random House / August 2015)

Home is Burning design by Rodrigo Corral
Home is Burning by Dan Marshall; design by Rodrigo Corral (Flatiron / October 2015)

Just an Ordinary Day design Edel Rodriguez

Just an Ordinary Day by Shirley Jackson; design Edel Rodriguez (Random House / August 2015?)1

Let Me Tell You design by Edel Rodriguez
Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson; design by Edel Rodriguez (Random House / August 2015)

The Mare design by Oliver Munday
The Mare by Mary Gaitskill; design by Oliver Munday (Pantheon / November 2015)

Mass Disruption design CS RIchardson
Mass Disruption by John Stackhouse; design by Scott Richardson (Random House Canada / October 2015)

Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood by Lars Mytting; design by John Gall (Abrams / October 2015)

Only Street in Paris design by Strick&Williams
The Only Street in Paris by Elaine Schiolino; design by Strick & Williams (W.W. Norton / November 2015)

The Reflection design by Adly Elewa
The Reflection by Hugo Wilcken; design by Adly Elewa (Melville House / September 2015)

Some Recollections of a Busy Life by T.S. Hawkins; design by Jessica Hische; illustration by Wesley Allsbrook (McSweeney’s / November 2015)

Souffles-Anfas design Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein
Souffles-Anfas edited by Olivia C. Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio; design Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein (Stanford University Press / November 2015)

Southern Insurgency design by Jamie Keenan
Southern Insurgency by Immanuel Ness; design by Jamie Keenan (Pluto Press / November 2015)

trace design by Debbie Berne
Trace by Lauret Savory; design by Debbie Berne (Counterpoint / November 2015)

Unfaithful Music design by Spencer Kimble
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello; design by Spencer Kimble (Blue Rider Press / October 2015)

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1. This edition was originally published in 1997. Random House refreshed the cover this year, but did not reissue the book, so I can’t be sure of precisely when the new cover was rolled out. I am assuming it was August because that is when the new book,  Let Me Tell You, was released. If you have more details, please let me know!


  1. I like this paperback cover for Hausfrau *so* much better than the hardback cover, which looks like a fabric sample from Grandma’s kitchen curtains. And I remember reading an article somewhere (here?) about how that hardback cover went through eleventy-kajillion iterations so they could get it juuuuuust right.

  2. The hardcover reminded me of Peter Saville’s cover for Power, Corruption, Lies by New Order, but, yes, there is a video showing all the iterations the jacket went through before getting to that final design — funnily enough, the paperback cover was one of them (it appears at around the 35 second mark in the video).

  3. Hello these are great covers for books. I really loved them.

    Thank you from India!

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