The 13 Best Book Covers of August


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Another month of books, another month of book covers. In August, I was inundated with eyes (and a few other unexpected body parts). Here are my favorite designs from the end of summer:

Steven Millhauser, Disruptions; cover illustration by Dylan C. Lathrop, cover design by Janet Hansen (Knopf, August 1)

This is such an arresting pattern cover, and also funny, and also perfect for Millhauser’s stories of surreal suburban oddity.

underjungle James Sturz, Underjungle; cover design by Jaya Nicely (Unnamed Press, August 1)

Many tiny eyes are arresting, but so is one very big eye. This one stopped me in my tracks from sheer surprise.

Harald Voetmann, tr. Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sublunar</em></a>; cover design by Jamie Keenan (New Directions, August 1) Harald Voetmann, tr. Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen, Sublunar; cover design by Jamie Keenan (New Directions, August 1)

Not just the nose, which is silly enough, but the nose’s discharge. Lol, as the kids apparently no longer say.

Yu Miri, tr. Morgan Giles, <em><a class="external" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The End of August</a></em>; cover art by Seahyun Lee, cover design by Lauren Peters-Collaer (Riverhead, August 1) Yu Miri, tr. Morgan Giles, The End of August; cover art by Seahyun Lee, cover design by Lauren Peters-Collaer (Riverhead, August 1)

This is the first of two covers on my list this month with this (approximate) color story; I find it modern and charming in both, and here the intensity of the colors plays against the style of the illustration in a very compelling way.

Jamel Brinkley, Witness Jamel Brinkley, Witness: Stories; cover design by Na Kim (FSG, August 1)

Na Kim is always thinking outside of the box. This isn’t the cover that most leaps out at you this month, but it might be the cleverest: the fingerprints as footsteps, the slight smudge of the subtitle. Brilliant.

Jason Guriel, <em><a class="external" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Full-Moon Whaling Chronicles</a></em>; cover design by Ingrid Paulson (Biblioasis, August 1) Jason Guriel, The Full-Moon Whaling Chronicles; cover design by Ingrid Paulson (Biblioasis, August 1)

I love a book-within-a-book, and this is a particularly pleasurable one. The texture! The distress! It’s the next best thing to finding a hidden treasure in a long-forgotten bookstore.

Alexandra Chang, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Tomb Sweeping</em></a>; cover design by Vivian Lopez Rowe (Ecco, August 8) Alexandra Chang, Tomb Sweeping; cover design by Vivian Lopez Rowe (Ecco, August 8)

Gorgeous, saturated, and alluring, with a fresh mix of imagery that elevates the whole concept.

Diane Williams, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>I Hear You're Rich</em></a>; cover design by tk tk (Soho Press, August 8) Diane Williams, I Hear You’re Rich; cover design by Kelly Blair (Soho Press, August 8)

This is the perfect marriage of title and image (the expression! the nipple!), and the blanket hand-painted text makes it feel ultra-modern.

hangman Maya Binyam, Hangman; art by Belkis Ayón, cover design by Alex Merto (FSG, August 8)

More of those eyes, yes, but it’s the color that sends me. Another case where a great work of art goes a long way.

whats mine Bette Adriaanse, What’s Mine; cover design by Jaya Nicely (Unnamed Press, August 8)

I love this soothing, dipped effect.

quiet street Nick McDonell, Quiet Street: On American Privilege; cover design by Janet Hansen (Pantheon, August 22)

The second hot melon red x magenta cover that caught my eye this month—perfectly restrained and deeply appealing.

Emma Donoghue, Learned by Heart Emma Donoghue, Learned by Heart (Little, Brown, August 29)

Another pattern cover, another eye cover, and it’s covered in gold.

Hilary Leichter, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Terrace Story</em></a>; cover design by Vivian Lopez Rowe (Ecco, August 29) Hilary Leichter, Terrace Story; cover design by Vivian Lopez Rowe (Ecco, August 29)

Leichter’s novel seems like it would be a major design challenge—how to represent such a wondrous surreal gem of a book without being too on the nose or too oblique? I like this solution, which feels like the book without trying too hard to replicate anything inside of it (except for, possibly, a sense of magic and the strangeness of the spaces we inhabit).

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Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lamber is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes about arts, entertainment, lifestyle, and home news. Nicole has been a journalist for years and loves to write about what's going on in the world.

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