The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 5, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note May 2015

This month’s post is very heavy on illustrated and hand-lettered covers for some reason, but it’s all the prettier for it… All This Has Nothing To Do With Me by Monica Sabolo; design by Justine Anweiler; illustration by Daphne van … Continue reading

October 2, 2014
by Dan
8 Comments

Book Covers of Note October 2014

It’s October and the fall book season is in full swing. It’s kind of bonkers in the trade from now until Christmas, so this is the second to last (if not the actual last) cover round-up for 2014. I think I can … Continue reading

September 25, 2014
by Dan
4 Comments

Beasts! Reptiles and Amphibians

As a Friday follow-up to Tuesday’s post on wild beasts, here’s a look at reptiles and amphibians on book covers: Alligator by Lisa Moore; design by Bill Douglas (House of Anansi Press / September 2005) The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Söderberg; … Continue reading

September 23, 2014
by Dan
7 Comments

Beasts!

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my! I’m kicking off a new series today on animal book covers. The first post is on ‘beasts’ — mostly ‘wild’ beasts, but one or two more domesticated (and dead) animals may have nosed … Continue reading

August 14, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Book Cover Design is a Fine Art

It used to be enough for a book to idly stand out in a bookstore. Nowadays, however, new books must jostle for attention with everything. Thousands of distractions are just a click away. Is it any wonder that book-cover design … Continue reading

July 17, 2014
by Dan
Comments Off on Books on Book Covers

Books on Book Covers

It started, innocently enough, with a tweet from my friend Steven Beattie, book review editor of Canada’s Quill & Quire magazine, about the cover of The Most Dangerous Book, Kevin Birmingham’s new ‘biography’ of Ulysses by James Joyce, designed by Ben … Continue reading

July 9, 2014
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note July 2014

As well posting great cover designs for books released in July, I’ve taken this month’s round-up as an opportunity to catch up on a few I missed earlier this year. Enjoy! Adam by Ariel Schrag; design by Christopher Moisan (Mariner June 2014) American Blonde … Continue reading

February 27, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

Recent Covers of Note February 2014 Edition

It’s almost March and I’ve just realised that I haven’t posted very many book covers this year. To make up for this lapse, here are ten of my favourite covers from the last few months: All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu; … Continue reading

May 9, 2013
by Dan
0 comments

Some Recent Book Covers of Note

I haven’t posted a lot of book covers recently, so to amend the situation here’s a completely unscientific selection of a few designs that have caught my eye recently: Middle C by William Gass; Design by Gabriele Wilson Sorry Please … Continue reading

January 9, 2013
by Dan
4 Comments

Midweek Miscellany

Ghost Shapes — Writer Warren Ellis talks comics and, very briefly, his new novel Gun Machine at Robot Six: Gun Machine is as much about the ghost shape of Manhattan’s previous settlements and roadways as it is about its modern architecture, … Continue reading

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