Book by its cover

It is a bit unfair for these books to be seen on-screen as they do pale into insignificance next to their physical counterparts. But actually, this pleases me, as it means publishers are making the effort to make the hardback a truly desirable object to own. Kindle schmindle, you can’t beat the physical edition’s beautiful typography, bold colours, foil, spot UV, sprayed edges and fluorescent end papers – oh yes, between them, these books have got the lot. Go out and treat yourself…

The Happy Numbers of Julius Miles by Jim Keeble
A sunny yellow cover with pleasingly punchy typography graces the cover of Keeble’s latest novel about a mathematical genius who struggles with his lack of social skills. There’s an element of Mark Haddon to this in terms of both cover and content, where a light-hearted simplicity disguises something far more impressive beneath.

This Is How It Ends by Kathleen MacMahon (Sphere)
This is a quirky transatlantic love story about the romance that develops between an ex-Lehman Brothers American searching for his roots and an out of work Irish architect. I absolutely love the colours used for the hardback. They’re strong, dark and eye-catching. I’m also so pleased the publishers have gone for a fully illustrated cover rather than a dull photographic one; I hope it makes people take a punt on this heart-breaking debut.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (W&N)
A husband becomes the prime suspect when his wife mysteriously disappears on the morning of their anniversary. The picture here just doesn’t do this book justice. With its strokably soft matt finish, fluorescent orange lettering and matching end papers, this book is really something special. The black sprayed edges add that must-have touch that means you should definitely buy this taut psychological thriller in hardback. Plus, it’s fantastic!

A Small Fortune by Rosie Dastgir (Riverhead Books)
Dastgir’s debut is a touching, humorous novel about a Pakistani family in England.  I love the simple teapot silhouette and the overlapping, multicoloured paisley shapes that achieve an almost marbled effect in lieu of spilled tea.

The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber (Sceptre)
Ros Barber’s novel portraying Christopher Marlowe as the unrecognised true genius behind Shakespeare’s plays and poetry is another one that you really need to go out and buy to truly appreciate its beauty. I love the typography – somehow Elizabethan and modern at the same time – and the brown and gold foil of the apple on the front cover is really gorgeous. More books like this please!


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