Nothing cheers me up when I’m having a hard week like wandering down to my local bookstore and gazing at all the gorgeous books being published week after week. For your delectation, here are just a few that we’re loving this week…
The Village by Nikita Lalwani (Viking)
This is a fascinating and disturbing modern morality tale about British documentary makers searching for a story and meeting the inhabitants – both good and evil – in an open prison village in India. I love Swedish illustrator Petra Borner’s colourful cover design – more like a piece of artwork than a book cover. Petra’s confident, bold, almost cartoonish style of illustration has graced a fair few publications over recent years. I love her great covers for Lloyd Jones’s books, including Mister Pip, Hand Me Down World and The Book of Fame.
Another Country by Anjali Joseph (Fourth Estate)
This design reminds me of the cover of On Beauty by Zadie Smith – a book I still consider to be one of the most gorgeous on my bookshelves. The silhouette is formed from a road map, reflecting a novel that moves from Paris, to London, to Bombay, and charting the journey of its heroine, Leela. Though the type is far from feminine, the wallpaper-esque floral pattern gives it a subtle girliness.
The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen (Faber & Faber)
I love the cool blues and purples used on the cover of this debut novel about an American woman who discovers her Saudi billionaire husband has taken a second wife and consequently leaves him, her family and her home in Saudi Arabia. The illustration is a wonderful mixture of classic middle eastern art and bold, modern design. The typography is striking and gorgeously gold.
The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus (Granta)
This is a great, vibrant three dimensional cover for a fascinating, challenging and topical novel about a futuristic world where a contagious disease makes the speech of children toxic to their parents. You almost have to touch this book to check it’s not actually made of lots of bits of paper individually stuck on. Again, the idea is so laughably simple and striking, it’s a miracle we spend so much money on cover design in the publishing world!
Inside by Alix Ohlin (Quercus)
Adding yet more fuel to my argument that the simplest designs can be the most beautiful is the gorgeous cover for Alix Ohlin’s latest book. From the nineties to the noughties, Inside tells the story of the intersecting lives of four people all looking to escape their connected pasts and forge a new life. I love how effective the simple, swirling lines of bleeding ink are on the page and how they reflect the swerving, overlapping lives of the four central characters.