A BOOK BY ITS COVER : #3 — Me Talk Pretty One Day

Cover design by Cathryn S. Aison.

In light of some really cool book cover discoveries this week—notably this edition of Fahrenheit 451, as well as these Cormac McCarthy books which a friend alerted me to—I’m almost reluctant to post today’s edition of A Book By Its Cover because … well, what can follow such coolness?? But good design is good design, and this edition of Me Talk Pretty One Day is good in my books. (Excuse the pun.) I never thought I’d say this, but chalkboard green is pretty fetching! And I like the handwritten font. It imitates a child’s, and I like the playfulness. Matches the trademark humor that Sedaris infuses into his writing.

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Readers — What has caught your eye this week?

A BOOK BY ITS COVER : #2 — After Dark

Cover design by Iris Weinstein.

I know, I know. After Dark again?? What is this, the FIFTH time I’ve talked about this book on my blog? But I honestly do like the cover. It’s pretty, not to mention clever as it captures several motifs that feature in the story: sleep (in the face of the sleeping woman); nighttime (sleeping woman against a dark background, the iridescent dots that glimmer like stars); the urban city (the dots forming an almost grid-like pattern across the cover).

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Readers — Any book covers catch your eye this week?

A BOOK BY ITS COVER — #1 : Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

When people talk about books, they often talk about the contents of those books — the plot, the characters, the themes and motifs. And rightly so! But oftentimes, I don’t hear people talk about the aesthetic aspect of books — the cover design, the page layout, the excellent (or not so excellent) choice in fonts — and I find that rather disappointing. How a book is packaged and designed is just as much a part of the book as its content! Plus, I like it when people take notice of good design.

Which brings me to introduce with much pleasure a new column, A Book By Its Cover! Every Friday, I’ll feature a book edition which cover design I find interesting or just plain pretty.

Today, I’m kicking off this column with John le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Cover illustration by Matthew Taylor. Cover design by Buckley and Kulick.

Isn’t the cover so deliciously eerie? Love that the man’s glasses pops out against his darkened body and the subdued crowd, creating in the reader an immediate sense of panic and suspicion not too much different from that felt by Smiley and his men as they hunt for a Soviet mole. Also, love the blocky text arrangement. I noticed that the author and title are indented into the cover, giving it a sort of letterpress feel. I like the added texture!

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Readers — What do you think? Does a book’s cover matter? What are some of your favorite book covers?