The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Book Covers of Note February 2017


A little later than usual — between one thing and the apocalypse — but there are some great covers out this month, including at least one contender for cover of the year:

The Bear and the Serpent by Adrian Tschaikovsky; design by Neil Lang (Pan Macmillan / February 2017)

The cover for the previous book in the series, The Tiger and the Wolf, was also designed by Neil: 

Birds Art Life Death by Kyo Maclear; design by Jonny Pelham; illustration by Kyo Maclear (Fourth Estate / February 2017)

The cover of the US edition published by Scribner, which also features illustrations by Kyo Maclear, was designed by Lauren Peters-Collaer:

The Blot by Jonathan Lethem; design by Gray318 (Jonathan Cape / February 2017)

The Brand New Catastrophe by Mike Scalise; design by Oliver Munday (Sarabande Books / January 2017)

Civil Wars by David Armitage; design by Peter Mendelsund (Yale University Press / February 2017)

Darke by Rick Gekoski; design by Pete Adlington (Canongate Press / February 2017)

Emergency Admissions by Kit Wharton; design by Jonny Pelham (Fourth Estate / February 2017)

Is That Kafka? by Reiner Stach; design by Erik Carter (New Directions / February 2017)

Erik’s design for the hardcover was included in my June post last year:


It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis; design Jim Stoddart (Penguin / January 2017)

The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico; design by Luke Bird (Faber & Faber / February 2017)

Manly Health and Training by Walt Whitman; design by Richard Ljoenes (Regan Arts / February 2017)

The Memory Book by Lara Avery; design by Sinem Erkas (Quercus / January 2017)

Never Enough by Barney Hoskyns; design by Jamie Keenan (Constable / January 2017)

Nicotine by Nell Zink; design by Julian Humphries (Fourth Estate / October 2016)

Had I seen this cover last year when the book was published, it would undoubtedly made my end of the year list.

And on the topic of covers of the year, here’s that early contender for 2017:

A Separation by Katie Kitamura; design by Jaya Miceli (Riverhead / February 2017)

And from the sublime to the hilarious…

Spurt by Chris Miles; design by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster / February 2017)

A Simple Story by Leila Guerriero; design by Oliver Munday (New Directions / February 2017)

This is the Ritual by Rob Doyle; design by Greg Heinimann (Bloomsbury / January 2017)

Greg’s design for the hardcover of This Is The Ritual, also published by Bloomsbury, was included in my January post last year:

Who Lost Russia by Peter Conradi; design by Mark Ecob (Oneworld / February 2017)


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