Best Book Covers of the Month: November 2023

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Back in this column in August, I alluded to the fall publishing deluge to come … and, well, the deluge has deluged. The last few months have brought a wild bounty of brilliant cover work, again affirming my working nerd theory that we are in a golden age of book cover design. (I used to do annual collections of book cover finds a decade ago, which then became biannual, which then became quarterly … and which are now monthly.) What was once hailed as a dusty subset of design in a rapidly evolving (if not dying) industry—to be replaced by anonymous ebooks on low-res black-and-white e-readers—has proven delightfully resilient, simultaneously proving select commentators and seers delightfully incorrect in the process.

Today, designers and art directors are turning out rich cover work at an alacritous clip, and while it collectively shapes publishing’s future, so much of it vividly draws from or reinterprets the past—especially that halcyon “golden age” of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Which we’re absolutely loving.

Some highlights this month:

Wendy Copy’s work has always been a seemingly effortless blend of simplicity and profundity—and the cover for The Orange (a collection of her most popular poems) serves as a genius mirror to that fact.

Matt Broughton created a sublime blend of past and present in Vintage Classics’ reissue of Martin Amis’ The Rachel Papers, paying homage to the original lettering of the 1974 first U.S. edition.

When it comes to creating a jacket for a lost novel by one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, you’d better bring it. And Jon Gray did for Gabriel García Márquez’s Until August. (So much that even though we missed it last month, we’re including it here.)

And the full list of our favorite covers published or revealed in November …

Left: Design by Peter Adlington. Right: Design by Jon Gray.

Left: Design by Lauren Peters-Collaer. Right: Design by Faber. Illustrations © Joanna Lisowie.

Left: Design by Adriana Tonello / Rodrigo Corral Studio (photograph at bottom by Suzanne Saroff). Right: Design by Lauren Peters-Collaer.

Left: Design by Luísa Dias. Right: Design by Tom Etherington.

Left: Design by Matt Broughton. Right: Design by Luke Bird.

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