The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 14, 2018
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note May 2018

America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo; design by Gray318 (Atlantic Books / May 2018) A great new entry in the books on book covers genre!  Awayland by Ramona Ausubel; design by Alex Merto (Riverhead / March 2018) Be … Continue reading

April 13, 2018
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note April 2018

Here are April’s cover selections. Lots of very big type this month!  Black Swans by Eve Babitz; design by Kelly Winton (Counterpoint / April 2017) This goes rather nicely with last year’s cover for Babitz’s novel Sex and Rage also … Continue reading

March 16, 2018
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note March 2018

Lots to see this month, including several YA covers (which I know will please some regular readers), some ‘big’ literary fiction, and a couple of confrontational nonfiction covers to round it out. Enjoy!     Aetherial Worlds by Tatyana Tolstaya; design … Continue reading

February 16, 2018
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note February 2018

I such good intentions to post more often this year. Ah well… Here are this month’s cover selections at least… An American Marriage by Tayari Jones; design by Jaya Miceli (Algonquin Books / February 2018) Building and Dwelling by Richard … Continue reading

January 16, 2018
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note January 2018

I was sure that 2018 would be different from 2017, and yet here we are… Happy New Year!  The Age of Caesar by Plutarch; translation by Pamela Mensch; design by Catherine Casalino (W.W. Norton / January 2018) The Book of … Continue reading

December 20, 2017
by Dan
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Notable YA Covers of 2017

So here it is, Merry Xmas, everybody’s having fun, my YA (and middle-grade) covers round-up for 2017. This is far from my area of expertise (I mostly work on the adult trade side of things), but until someone else steps … Continue reading

December 8, 2017
by Dan
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Notable Book Covers of 2017

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 … Continue reading

November 14, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note, November 2017

It’s my last monthly cover round-up of the year! Watch out for my review of 2017 next month…  After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry; design by Pete Dyer (Serpents Tail / November 2017) Basket of Deplorables by Tom … Continue reading

October 20, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note, October 2017

I have steadily fallen further and further behind with my cover posts this year. There is some cracking work in this month’s round-up. But I can’t help feeling that there are some covers missing. Somehow it almost November, and I … Continue reading

September 19, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note, September 2017

Here are September’s cover selections with a few extra covers from earlier in the year, just for good measure… The Aeneid by Virgil, translated by David Ferry; design by Matt Avery (University of Chicago Press / September 2017) The Age … Continue reading

August 4, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note August 2017

Oh hey, August. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson; design by Milan Bozic (Amistad / May 2017) Robin Billardello‘s cover design for the hardcover of Another Brooklyn, released last year, is also great.  Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison; design by Jo … Continue reading

July 18, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note July 2017

Something… something… vacation… something… jetlag…. something… inbox… something… Oh look! It’s July’s book covers! Album for the Young (and Old) by Vera Pavlova; design by Janet Hansen (Knopf / April 2017) Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota; design by Kimberly … Continue reading

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