Book covers are incredibly important. They’re the first things you see before picking it out from the shelves. Today, we’ve picked ten of our favourite book covers of 2018. Did your favourites make the list?
1. The Afterlives by Thomas Pierce
Here’s a clever design that makes sense and doesn’t at the same time. An optical illusion that seems to have no start and no end. This gives you a hint to the theme of the book: the warping of reality. Join dead protagonist Jim Byrd on his search to find out what might lie beyond this life as he tangles with holograms, psychics and messages from the beyond.
2. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
An easy pick for this list: a compelling and edgy portrait with provocative, neon-hot typography. You can get a sense of seediness and notoriousness with this cover and that’s exactly the kind of life our protagonist has led—one that has gone off the rails. Follow Romy Hall as she begins her life sentence at a women’s correctional facility.
3. The Naysayer’s Book Club: 26 Singaporeans You Need to Know by Simon Vincent
This sneaky design begs you to open the book to unlock its secrets. A book within a book, a segment slyly torn to reveal what you might miss if you don’t read it: 26 Singaporeans you need to know. Check it out to see what these ‘naysayers’ have to say as they battle against the odds.
4. Normal People by Sally Rooney
“Normal people”, with a not so normal illustration of a couple trapped in a can. It’s quite a compelling image that just gets you curious about their relationship — how long have they been in there, how well have they been “preserved”, why has it been opened and unveiled? Read this award-winning coming-of-age love story about the connection of first loves over the years.
5. Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
A disturbing yet hilarious illustration is at the centre of this book cover. A struggling live duck is held by the mere pinch of a pair of chopsticks, symbolising the kind of horrors that happen within the confines of a restaurant. Read this book for a good old-fashioned family drama set in everyone’s favourite Beijing Duck House.
6. Convenience Store Woman : A Novel by Sayaka Murata
Here’s an adorable book cover—a simple and innocent display rounded off with a charming smiley face. It is the perfect representation of our protagonist, Keiko, who finds her happiness as a simple convenience store worker. However, she is pressured by her social circle to get a better job, or worse, a husband, and she is forced to take desperate action.
7. Aetherial Worlds by Tatyana Tolstaya
Here’s a wonderfully poetic book cover, where you can see tracks being left behind by the slightest touch. This image is a great representation of the author’s sensitive observations of human existence, which is both starkly bleak and beautifully sympathetic. Read this collection of stories by one of Russia’s finest writers, about politics, identity, love and loss.
8. Graffiti Palace by A.G. Lombardo
Here’s a scorching book cover depicting a violent cloud of multi-coloured smoke. The ironic use of pretty colours in this terrible scene makes it an especially powerful image. Accompanied by a raw, handwritten typography, there is a sense of rebellion, which is what this novel centers. Read this chaotic portrait of Los Angeles in 1965, told through the secret story of the city’s graffiti.
9. Gun Love by Jennifer Clemen
What a fierce book cover with a searing use of colour, texture and font, emphasising the central image of battling alligators—a daring design you won’t easily forget. With an appropriate use of hot pink, this story is about a tough young girl’s resilience growing up in a parking lot in Florida, a state populated by many gun owners— some of whom, dangerous.
10. See What Can be Done by Lorrie Moore
We’re loving this simple use of typography which completely highlights the title of the book. The rotating ‘e’ seems to give a rhythm to it as well, almost making the words roll off your tongue. A perfect design for a book about, well, a writer. Read Lorrie Moore’s collection of witty and engaging essays studded with hilarious insights.