While it is wrong to judge a book by its cover, sometimes the art can be so bad that it dissuades readers from giving the book a chance. However, the opposite is also true and there are a few books with covers that immediately catches the eye and piques your curiosity. This is why there are also numerous classic books that have had their cover images updated to be more appealing to modern audiences. While there are too many great covers for any type of definitive list, here are a just few of our favorite book covers for classic and new novels.
The Goldfinch is a novel about a boy who tragically loses his mother, is abandoned by his father and ultimately ends up living with the wealthy family of a friend. Throughout it all he clings to the one reminder of his mother, a small painting. It is this painting that plays the biggest role in the novel, so it is only fitting that it is featured on the cover of the book, designed by art director Keith Hayes. However, the way in which the cover was designed, with only a small section of the painting peeking out behind a torn sheet of blank paper, makes it even more eye-catching.
There are different covers for the novel Blackbirds by author Chuck Wendig, but it is the original artwork by Dale Halvorsen, aka Joey Hi-Fi, for Angry Robot Books that is the most striking. The first book in the Miriam Black series introduces readers to the heroine, a young woman with the ability to see how people are going to die. The novel is a gripping thriller with some great paranormal elements and the cover art, which features a striking image that is made up of numerous smaller images, perfectly encapsulates the feel of the story.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is another book that has had numerous covers over the years, but the most beautiful is definitely the one used for the Centennial Edition by Penguin Random House. The book itself is the first novel by James Joyce, one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century, and many consider it to be his most approachable. It tells the tale of Stephen Dedalus, who is not only an allusion to the character from Greek mythology, but also the fictional alter ego of the author himself. The striking cover was designed by Roman Muradov and was awarded a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators.
Night Watch by author Terry Pratchett is the twenty-ninth novel in his wildly popular Discworld series. The book follows the adventures of one of his recurring characters, Sam Vimes, who ends up traveling back in time after getting caught in a magical storm. The cover art for the British edition of the book is a parody of the Rembrandt painting, The Night Watch. Kidby also placed himself in the picture as a tribute to Rembrandt, who is said to have painted himself peeking out from behind one of the figures in the original painting.
The Stargazer’s Sister is a period novel by author Carry Brown, which tells the tale of Caroline “Lina” Herschel. It is based on the true story of Caroline and her brother William, who was an eighteenth-century astronomer. William asked his sister to help run his household as well as assist him with his astronomical pursuits, but her newfound purpose is shattered when William decides to marry. It is always tricky to design covers for period novels that can both capture the spirit of the book and make it look appealing to contemporary audiences, but this striking image by Oliver Munday manages to do both.