The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

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

December 13, 2016
by Dan
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The Rest of the Best

When it comes to choosing the year’s best book covers, it seems that everyone is at it these days… “These covers are challenging without being impenetrable and playful without being precious — none of which is an easy task for … Continue reading

November 9, 2015
by Dan
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Picador Twentieth Anniversary Modern Classics

  Originally founded in 1995 as a publishing house for sophisticated hardcovers and reprint paperbacks, Picador USA is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month with a set of four small limited edition modern classics with covers designed by Kelly Blair. … Continue reading

June 3, 2015
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note June 2015

I don’t know where last month went, but somehow it’s June already and it’s time for another selection of recent book covers: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa; design by Julia Connolly (Harvill Secker / June 2015) The … Continue reading

June 2, 2014
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note June 2014

Well, this seems to have become a regular thing doesn’t it? I have to confess that I still haven’t quite figured out exactly what covers to include in these monthly posts, only that they’re recent and I like them. It’s … Continue reading

March 11, 2011
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

The Book Bench interviews designer Kelly Blair about her work and her Heinrich Böll redesigns for Melville House: There are so many amazing and striking book covers out there, yet I am most often drawn to the simplest thing on … Continue reading

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