By Abby Yemm

Published on February 8, 2017

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Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

We’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, but c’mon! Book cover art has become nearly as important as the content it keeps. There are so many striking, interesting, gorgeous book covers today (almost too many)—we had a difficult time narrowing down this list. Even if you don’t finish one of the following novels, toss it on a end table and create a vignette that reads (pun very much intended) both brainy and chic.

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Pond by Claire Louise Bennett

Are those tropical florals? Is it a palette of mashed up oil paints? Does it matter? This exquisite creation gives off some serious 70’s glam typography vibes. It makes us want to dive into the pond and stay forever—drenched in lush turquoise, red, maroon, chartreuse, and calming shades of white.

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The Mothers by Britt Bennett

Fresh, clean lines and soft springtime colors protect pages that are quite the polar opposite.  This story digs deep into betrayal. Yet the secrets are encased in such a lovely way—as if to hide the ferocious, heartbreaking tones just below the surface.

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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

It seems fitting such a whimsical illustration would accompany an artist with an equally whimsical, magical name. The snowy birches and the sparse landscape are so calming and simple. This cover would make a great addition to a children’s room or framed above a desk. 

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Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

We want this as a framed print just as much as we want to read it. Love the gorgeous, unusual color choices. The tiny birds are so sweet and complement the flow of the font and the bursting lines so well. Something about it just makes us feel a little more alive

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Puff by William Wondriska

This cult classic is a reprint of a 1960’s children’s book beloved by the intended audience and design world alike. The book has a cool Mid-Century Modern aesthetic, and each illustrated page is as minimal and poetic as the rad cover.

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We Are Friends With You by Rizzoli Books

Who doesn’t want an art book that resembles an iridescent gummy bear? This is some trippy kind of abstract goodness from the colorful world of  musician Pharrell Williams, spiritual gangsta Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Dallas contemporary museum director Peter Doroshenko. Take a polychromatic trip someplace happy and strange with each glance at this one-of-a-kind piece of art and culture.

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Sophie Calle And So Forth by Prestel Publishing

This french artist uses her installations as representations of her journey through life combined with universal truth. In short, her brilliant mind leads us down a creative path to infinite wonder and insight. The cover photo is the selling point, though. How adorable, chic and interesting is that little kid in those killer sunnies?

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Samia Halaby by Abrams Books

We imagine this on a rustic wooden side table. Or on a gorgeous metal and glass desk. Perhaps next to a white fluffy couch or on a marble or mirrored tray. So, basically, anywhere cool. This splash of fun takes a look at one of the world’s leading abstract painters. There is a creative pulse beating on every page of this collection of 450 Halaby pieces. Divine.

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Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

“What does the brain matter compared with the heart?” (Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway). We like to think this cover reflects the inside of Woolf’s mysterious, beautiful brain and heart. What a fabulous re-invention for a classic. Woolf’s prose and the cover art pairs like the best charcuterie and wine in the land.

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But What If We’re Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

When in doubt, Helvetica. This is perfection in simplicity. It is quirky and clever much like the author himself. Black and white will never go out of style, and Klosterman keeps the focus on the matter at hand: his incredible words.