Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Beautiful People of the Paperback (or Hardcover) Set

Today, towards the end of the week, my brain is just tired enough that forming a coherent sentence feels effortful. On my favorite blogs, the posts that are heavy on images and light on prose are often my favorites, and the ones that balance photos with text -- like Smitten Kitchen -- are equally pleasurable.

In hour of my mental incapacity to write and my love for all things pleasing to the eye, here are some favorite book covers. In my house, a book is not only a companion but an ornament, a piece of furniture that reflects your taste and, ideally, your aesthetic. I've read plenty of novels with garish covers, ones whose packaging was clearly an afterthought, but these weren't those. These -- these! -- are the Platonic ideal of what a book should be: well-designed, striking, and meaty enough on the inside to restore your brain (because sometimes, like now, it could use some awakening).

Newest favorite: Paris I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin

ISBN-10: 1250033357
ISBN-13: 9781250033352
Published: Picador, 06/25/2013
Pages: 304
Language: English
Best use of what could or could not be a stock photo: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

ISBN-10: 0062255657
ISBN-13: 9780062255655
Published: William Morrow & Company, 06/18/2013
Pages: 192
Language: English 
Best contemporary fiction cover: Everything Is Illuminated/Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

ISBN-10: 0547447264
ISBN-13: 9780547447261
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 11/01/2010
Pages: 656
Language: English
Best nonfiction, partly for its ingenuity (designer Chipp Kidd literally splashed some ink on some printer paper, according to his TED Talk): Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs

ISBN-10: 0312423799
ISBN-13: 9780312423797
Published: Picador, 04/01/2004
Pages: 320
Language: English
Best children's title: Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket

ISBN-10: 0316123080
ISBN-13: 9780316123082
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 10/23/2012
Pages: 272
Language: English

Best classic reissue: The Metamorphosis and Other Stories and  The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka
ISBN-10: 0805210571
ISBN-13: 9780805210576
Published: Schocken, 11/14/1995
Pages: 320
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805210555
ISBN-13: 9780805210552
Published: Schocken, 11/14/1995
Pages: 512
Language: English
Best graphic novel: Dante's Divine Comedy, a Graphic Adaptation by Seymour Chwast

ISBN-10: 1608190846
ISBN-13: 9781608190843
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 08/31/2010
Pages: 128
Language: English

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