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The Best Book Covers of 2009

January 5, 2010

Little Lilly feels....HAPPY! It's the first post of the new year!

Amazon hosted a competition where you can vote on the best book covers of 2009, and while they did include Tao Lin’s Shoplifting From American ApparelThe Book Design Review, which seems to be part of The NY Times’s blog (Little Lilly wonders why The New York Times is always pronounced in a snobbish tone and I tell her snobbishly that only smart people know the answer to that). (which I plan to review this month) I wasn’t as thrilled as the selection on the

Below are I listed the ones I likes best, aka the ones that are, oh my god, the best. I like the list from 2008 and 2007 better, even though I DON’T UNDERSTAND why everyone voted for The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction as the best book cover of 2008 when obviously Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Life should’ve won, but goddammit I’m not going to get high strung over a frickin book cover.

So, the nominees for best book covers of 2009 are:

How To Be Inappropriate cause I love how graphic this is

The Interrogative Mood cause it’s pretty cool that I have no idea what the hell the title is.

Pale Fire cause by redesigning all of Nabokov’s book covers it made me hot for Nabokov all over again.

Laughter In The Dark cause Evil Lilly thinks this is pretty badass. Besides, it reminds me of Roald Dahl’s witches from The Witches.

Open cause I love how his eyes are just as open and piercing as the title.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies cause maybe the title sold thousands, but the cover sold millions. Well, maybe that one’s exaggerated.


I Am Not Sidney Poitier cause I read Six Degrees of Separation and cause every single time I see this book I wanna give it another try even though I didn’t like the first few pages.

Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict cause the tally marks are so witty. Almost didn’t make it here cause my god, does every  single nonfiction book have a colon in the title nowadays?


The Girl Who Played With Fire cause this looks hot and I’m mad that the first book is still sitting on top my bookcase….

So….wanna take a vote? There’s one of those snazzy polls below, so I suggest you take a looksies, darling.

Also, I won’t talk about it in this post, but just thought I would mention that if the cover alone compels you to buy it, that means some serious stuff, ladies and gentlemen. It means that someone might actually buy your fancy shmancy well-written book.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. da_euphinator permalink
    January 14, 2010 11:43 pm

    Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is hilarious, brilliant, and understated. Which is true of the title Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Life, but, as Nabokov would happily inform you, that is not even how Samsa looked — he was a beetle with a small head, large abdomen and wings tucked inside his shell. (It’s true, after dedicating years of his life to figuring out what precise type of beetle Gregor Samsa was, Nabokov theorized that the hidden message of Metamorphosis was that Samsa had wings, but never thought to try and fly.)

    In other (Nabokovian) news, that Pale Fire cover is beautiful, and I’m not just saying that because it’s the only one of those books I’ve actually read.

    • January 15, 2010 8:49 am

      Well, cockroaches have always been more sensational than beetles, yes? I knew that Nabokov anatomically proved that Samsa was a beetle, but not his theory that Samsa refuses to fly. I know I wrote a paper last year on all the reasons why The Metamorphosis was not a metamorphosis (in a few short phrases: nothing changes, and the family goes from using Samsa to using Grete) and it would have been useful to know that little tidbit.

      I’ve only read Lolita, and I regret that I haven’t read his others. Pale Fire is definitely on the top of my list, and my math teacher of all people suggested I read Laughter in the Dark, so perhaps I myself am a little biased by my cover choices. I think I said that Laughter In The Dark was my favorite, but I admit the cover of Pale Fire is so beautifully understated.

      Speaking of understated….so I should probably put Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction on my bookshelf?

      • da_euphinator permalink
        January 21, 2010 11:53 pm

        I’ve also read Lolita, which was fantastic, and not on your list. Just saying.

        I don’t honestly give much credence to that theory of Nabokov’s. It’s beautiful, and it would be brilliant, but it’s more like, “If Nabokov wrote Metamorphosis, this is what it would be about.” Kafka considered himself a humor writer. He really didn’t expect you to figure out what species of beetle Samsa was, he just wanted to make you laugh. At least, that’s what I’ve come to believe.

        Also, you could just print out a copy of AitAoMR and paste it on the cover of something else. Like Laughter in the Dark. Holy shit I do not know why you like that. Looks like an amateur collage enthusiast accidentally pasted their project onto their mom’s copy of the book.

      • January 22, 2010 10:16 am

        But it was on my list? Just not on the list of best book covers. Find me a good one and we’ll talk from there.

        Kafka a humor writer? It reminds me of Chekov. All of his plays are tragicomedies, and sometimes you have to read it with a lackadaisical mindset in order to appreciate the humor.

        It looked interesting. You know that Laughter In The Dark was originally called Camera Obscura? I mean, there are still some english editions that call it that, though Laughter In The Dark is more popular, even though Camera Obscura is a literal translation. My personal feeling: Laughter In The Dark is a pretty cool title, but don’t mess with Nabokov. Do what he says.

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