The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

December 8, 2017
by Dan
1 Comment

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

August 10, 2015
by Dan

Book Covers of Note August 2015

The entire book industry isn’t on vacation. It only seems that way. Here’s August’s book covers of note… The Aesthetics of Middlebrow Fiction by Tom Perrin; design Palgrave Macmillan (Palgrave Macmillan / August 2016) Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes by … Continue reading

November 3, 2014
by Dan

Book Covers of Note November 2014

This is the last of the monthly cover round-ups for 2014, and I have a lot to cram in before I start on my big end of year list, so it’s a bit of corker (if I do say so … Continue reading

October 2, 2014
by Dan

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 23, 2014
by Dan


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

May 1, 2014
by Dan

Triangles Are My Favourite Shape Part Two

To paraphrase The Smiths circa 1987, I may have started something I can’t finish with this triangles on book covers thing. Typical me. This is my second post on the topic, and there is one more in the works, but then I … Continue reading

July 22, 2013
by Dan

50 Canadian Book Cover Designs

Lists are always problematic, but CBC Books longlist of Canada’s Most Iconic Book Covers seems strangely underwhelming somehow. Setting aside what counts as ‘Canadian’ (some of the books on the list were not designed by Canadians for example), ‘iconic’ covers are inevitably … Continue reading

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