Over at The Book Design Review, designer/blogger Joseph Sullivan has posted his 27 choices for the best book cover designs of 2008. You can even vote on them up until December 31.
For what it’s worth, my favorite is the cover for Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Life, which is holding its own in a tie for second place. The design is by Steve Snider and Douglas Smith, image below. The design is appropriate for obvious reasons (assuming you’ve read The Metamorphosis), and I like the clever “book within a book” idea created by the beetle reading the book itself on the cover, sort of like those paintings of a painting within a painting within a painting. Or when you gaze into a mirror that is facing another mirror, and that ‘hall of mirrors’ effect is created, where you can see an infinite number of reflections stretching into the background.
I also like the covers of Sharp Teeth, Soon I Will Be Invincible, and Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me.
As for All the Sad Young Literary Men‘s clever cover, I’d give that some props, but I’ve read the novel and hated it so much that it’s hard for me to compliment anything about it, even the cover design.
Unsurprisingly, as is often the case for me with contests like this (there’s no accounting for popular opinion), I really do not like the design for The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, which has won the poll. I think it’s actually rather tough on the eyes, sort of dizzying, but maybe there’s something else going on, some clever statement it broadcasts, that I just haven’t quite gotten yet.