The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Notable Book Covers of 2017

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Since 2010, I’ve posted an annual survey of the year in book covers. The post has expanded and developed over the past 7 years, but essentially it is a collection of the covers published in the previous 12 months that I found interesting or noteworthy in some way. As with the previous couple of years, the 2017 list is organized by covers (alphabetical by title), and by designer so that I can show a greater variety of work, and no one designer or studio dominates. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported the blog this year, and special thanks to all the designers, art directors, authors, publishers, and fellow design enthusiasts who have helped me with covers and design credits. My sincere apologies to the designers and publishers not on this year’s list and whose covers I have overlooked in the past 12 months. 

A post looking back on the YA covers of 2017 is to follow.    


Adult Fantasy by Briohny Doyle design by Laura Thomas (Scribe / July 2017)



Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra; design by Matthew Young (Allen Lane / February 2017)



The Age of Perpetual Light by Josh Weil; design by Nick Misani (Grove Press / September 2017)



All We Saw by Anne Michaels; design by Janet Hansen; photograph by Jouke Bos (Knopf / October 2017)

Also designed by Janet Hansen:



Always Happy Hour by Mary Miller; design by Elena Giavaldi; art by Lee Price (Liveright / January 2017)

Also designed by Elena Giavaldi:



The Angry Chef by Anthony Warner; design by Steven Leard (Oneworld / June 2017)



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

Also designed by Gray318:



The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa; design by Peter Mendelsund (New Directions / August 2017)

Also designed by Peter Mendelsund:



The Cutaway by Christina Kovac; design by Laywan Kwan (Atria / March 2017)

Also designed by Laywan Kwan:



Don’t Save Anything by Jame Salter; design by Zoe Norvell (Counterpoint / November 2017)



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

Also designed by David Pearson:



English Uprising by Paul Stocker; design by Jamie Keenan (Melville House / September 2017)

Also designed by Jamie Keenan:



The Experiment by Eric Lee; design by David A. Gee (Zed Books / September 2017)

Also designed by David Gee:



The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo; design by Alison Forner (Simon & Schuster / March 2017)



The Futures by Anna Pitoniak; design by Lauren Harms (Lee Boudreaux Books / January 2017)

Also designed by Lauren Harms:



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

Also designed by Luke Bird:



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 HMH cover was my favourite of the new editions of The Handmaid’s Tales, but Noma Bar’s cover for Vintage UK was also nice.



The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler; design by Allison Saltzman (Ecco / March 2017)

Also designed by Allison Saltzman: 



Heating & Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly; design by Alex Merto; photograph by Gregory Reid (W.W. Norton / December 2017)

Also designed by Alex Merto:



Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado; design by Kimberly Glyder (Graywolf / October 2017)

Also designed by Kimberly Glyder:



Hollow by Owen Egerton; design by Matt Dorfman (Counterpoint / July 2017)

Also designed by Matt Dorfman:



How Will I Know You? by Jessic Treadway; design by Catherine Casalino; illustration by Henrietta Harris (Grand Central Publishing / August 2017)



I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell; design by Yeti Lambregts (Tinder Press / August 2017)

Also designed by Yeti Lambregts:



The Idiot by Elif Batuman; design by Suzanne Dean; illustration by Aino-Maija Metsola(Jonathan Cape / June 2017)

Also designed by Suzanne Dean:



The Idiot by Elif Batuman; design by Oliver Munday (Penguin / March 2017)

Also designed by Oliver Munday:



Insomniac Dreams: Experiments with Time by Vladimir Nabokov compiled and edited by Gennady Barabtarlo; design by Chris Ferrante (Princeton University Press / December 2017)

Also designed by Chris Ferrante:



Jerusalem Ablaze by Orlando Ortega-Medina; design by La Boca (Cloud Lodge Books / January 2017)

Also designed by La Boca: 



Jerzy by Jerome Charyn; design by Alban Fischer (Bellevue Literary Press / March 2017)



Little Deaths by Emma Flint; design by Justine Anweiler (Picador / January 2017)

Also designed by Justine Anweiler:



Lotus by Lijia Zhang; design by Adly Elewa (Henry Holt / January 2017)



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



Midlife: A Philosophical Guide by Kieran Setiya; design by Amanda Weiss (Princeton University Press / October 2017)



Narcissism for Beginners by Martine McDonagh; design by Tree Abraham (Unbound / March 2017)



Nicotine by Gregor Hens; design by John Gall (Other Press / January 2017)



One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul; design by C.S. Richardson (Doubleday Canada / March 2017)

Scott was also responsible for my favourite of the (many) Ninety Eighty-Four redesigns this season. 



The Parcel by Anosh Irani; design by Allison Colpoys (Scribe / September 2017)

Also designed by Allison Colpoys:



Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood; design by Rachel Willey (Riverhead / May 2017)

Also designed by Rachel Willey:



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

Also designed by Jaya Miceli:



Sex & Rage by Eve Babitz; design by Kelly Winton (Counterpoint / July 2017)


Strange Heart Beating by Eli Goldstone; design by Jo Walker (Granta / May 2017)

Also designed by Jo Walker:



Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor; design by Tyler Comrie (Farrar, Straus and Giroux / March 2017)

Also designed by Tyler Comrie:



The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See; design by Lauren Peters-Collaer (Scribner / March 2017)

Also designed by Lauren Peters-Collaer:



Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Eka Kurniawan; design by Erik Carter (New Directions / August 2017)

Also designed by Erik Carter:



Virgin and Other Stories by April Ayers Lawson; design by James Paul Jones (Granta / January 2017)

Also designed by James Paul Jones: 



We All Love the Beautiful Girls by Joanne Proulx; design by Jennifer Griffiths (Viking / August 2017)

Also designed by Jennifer Griffiths:



Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge; design by Greg Heinimann (Bloomsbury / June 2017)

Also designed by Greg Heinimann:



Why Poetry by Matthew Zapruder; design by Sara Wood (Ecco / August 2017)

Also designed by Sara Wood:



Would Everybody Please Stop? by Jenny Allen; design by Na Kim (Sarah Crichton Books / June 2017)

Also designed by Na Kim:



The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai; design by Paul Sahre(New Directions / November 2017)

The cover of Sahre’s “graphic memoir” Two Dimensional Man is also great. 



Writing Not Writing by Tom Fisher; design by  Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein (University of Iowa Press / July 2017)(University of Iowa Press / July 2017)

Also designed by Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein:



The Zoo of the New edited by Nick Laird & Don Paterson; design by Richard Green (Particular Books / March 2017)

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