Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for the prompts!
It’s so hard to pick just ten covers! Initially I wanted to narrow the scope by doing just minimalist book covers, but then there were too many others begging to be picked as well. So here we go, ten books whose covers immediately caught my eye.
A 2018 satirical science fiction novel by the Chinese-American author Ling Ma that follows Candace Chen, an unfulfilled Bible designer, before and after Shen Fever slowly obliterates global civilization. Severance explores themes of nostalgia, modern office culture, monotony, and intimate relationships.
Set in rural Japan shortly after World War II, this is the story of a strange and utterly absorbing love triangle between a former university student, Koji; his would-be mentor, the eminent literary critic Ippei Kusakudo; and Ippei’s beautiful, enigmatic wife, Yuko. When brought face-to-face with one of Ippei’s many marital indiscretions, Koji finds his growing desire for Yuko compels him to action in a way that changes all three of their lives profoundly. Originally published in 1961 and now available in English for the first time, The Frolic of the Beasts is a haunting examination of the various guises we assume throughout our lives, and a tale of psychological self-entrapment, seduction, and crime.
Written with a tip of the hat to the works of Thomas Bernhard and Franz Kafka, The Organs of Sense stands as a towering comic fable: a story about the nature of perception, and the ways the heart of a loved one can prove as unfathomable as the stars.
Obviously this book doesn’t need any introduction, but I especially love this edition’s cover.
Gass’s new novel moves from World War II Europe to a small town in postwar Ohio. In a series of variations, Gass gives us a mosaic of a life—futile, comic, anarchic—arranged in an array of vocabularies, altered rhythms, forms and tones, and broken pieces with music as both theme and structure, set in the key of middle C.
Fifteen years ago, Kathryn Scanlan found a stranger’s five-year diary at an estate auction in a small town in Illinois. The owner of the diary was eighty-six years old when she began recording the details of her life in the small book, a gift from her daughter and son-in-law. The diary was falling apart―water-stained and illegible in places―but magnetic to Scanlan nonetheless. A stark, elegiac account of unexpected pleasures and the progress of seasons .
I’m still obsessed with this cover even years after reading the book!
A haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance, from the acclaimed author of The Housekeeper and the Professor.
Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either. Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.
One of my favorite books, with a beautiful cover to match the prose.
Have you read any of these books? What are your favorite covers?