The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Book Covers of Note April 2017

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This edition of ‘book covers of note’ is brought to you entirely by Gray318 who designed the covers of all the books published this month. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but Jon did design FOUR of the covers on my list — all different, all brilliant. How no one has published a monograph of his work yet is beyond me. Anyway… This month’s post also includes covers by David Pearson, Erik Carter, Scott Richardson, Kimberly Glyder, Katie Tooke, Rachel Vale and more… 


Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou; design by Gray318 (Serpent’s Tail / April 2017)


England Your England by George Orwell; design by David Pearson (Penguin Modern Classics / March 2017)


The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey; design by Pete Adlington (Canongate / April 2017)


Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag; design by Luke Bird (Faber & Faber / April 2017)

And, just FYI, after 6 years at Faber & Faber, Luke has decided to set up his own studio should you wish to hire him (and on the basis of this cover alone, why wouldn’t you?).


The Good People by Hannah Kent; design by Rachel Vale (Picador / February 2017)


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood; art direction by Christopher Moisan; illustration by Patrik Svensson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / April 2017)

This is just the latest in a number of striking covers for The Handmaid’s Tale  rare bookseller and author Rebecca Romney recently compiled a list


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; design by Jenna Stempel; illustration Debra Cartwright (Balzer + Bray / February 2017)

The cover of the UK edition of The Hate U Give, published by Walker this month, was designed by Maria Soler.

It’s interesting that both designs have acrostic titles. I wonder if this was in the brief?  


Home and Away by Karl Ove Knausgaard and Fredrik Ekelund; design by Alex Merto (Farrar, Straus & Giroux / January 2017)

The cover of the British edition, published by Harvill Secker in November 2016, was designed by Matt Broughton. 


Let Go My Hand by Edward Docx; design by Katie Tooke (Picador / April 2017)


Literature Class by Julio Cortázar; design by Rodrigo Corral and Zak Tebbal (New Directions / March 2017)


Locus Solus by Raymond Roussel; design by Erik Carter (New Directions /March 2017)


The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge; design by Will Staehle (Penguin / March 2017)


Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell; design by C. S. Richardson (Penguin Canada / March 2017)

In the US, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have also published a new edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The cover — which owes a wee debt to Peter Mendelsund’s eye motif covers for the Schocken editions of Kafka (in my very humble opinion) — was designed by Mark Robinson.

You can see a few other recent covers for Nineteen Eighty Four here


Out of Line by Barbara Lynch; design by Delcan & Company; photography by George Baier IV (Atria / April 2017)


The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies; design by Zoe Norvell (Biblioasis / April 2017)


Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski; design by Mark Swan (Orenda / March 2017)


Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell; design by Sunra Thompson (McSweeney’s / March 2017)

The jacket has a really nice metallic finish in real life. The bright green cover under the jacket is also really nice. 


Sound System by Dave Randall; design by Jamie Keenan (Pluto Press / April 2017)


Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar; design by Allison Warner (Little Brown & Co. / March 2017)


Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic; design by Gray318 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / April 2017)


To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell; design by Gray318; robot/photograph by Marco Fernandes (Granta / April 2017)


The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories by Osama Alomar; design by Erik Carter (New Directions / April 2017)


Us&Them by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani; design by Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein (Stanford University Press / April 2017)


Voices from the Jungle: Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp; design by Gray318 (Pluto Press / April 2017)


Wait Til You See Me Dance by Deb Olin Unferth; design by Kimberly Glyder (Graywolf / March 2017)


White Tears by Hari Kunzru; design by Peter Mendelsund (Knopf / March 2017)

The cover of the UK edition, published this month by Hamish Hamilton, was designed by Richard Bravery.

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