Some people may tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but raise your hand if you’ve picked up a book simply to stare at its gorgeous cover art. Narrowing down which beautiful book to pick up for your next read is hard, like picking just one new lip color at Sephora. From memoirs to adventure novels and even a little romance, these are the covers and stories that stood out to us the most this year. Grab them and get reading now before the 2018 beauties start hitting the shelves.
1. Our Grand Finale by Laraine Denny Burrell ($17): The point of view on the cover is one you don’t see often, and combined with all those shades of purple, we love getting lost in those spotlights. In this novel, Laraine always thought she’d have more time with her father, but when she gets called back to England to say her final goodbyes to him, she can’t help but have a few regrets. To honor his memory and assure his remembrance, Laraine knew she had to find a way to document his life as a Royal Yachtsman and a father. This memoir reminds readers of the importance of family and the precious nature of time.
2. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie ($14): The contrast of vibrant colors, pastels, and the 3D layering makes this cover one we’d automatically reach for. In Home Fire, Isma has never known a normal teenage life after being left to care for her twin siblings when their mother and grandmother pass away. Now that the twins have turned 18 and Isma has the opportunity to live the life she has dreamed of, she’ll have to try to save her brother from going down the same monstrous path her father did. With a host of compelling characters, Home Fire is a story of family and the sacrifices we make for the ones we love.
3. A Dangerous Woman from Nowhere by Kris Radish ($17): We can’t get enough of the tie-dye sky and the mysteriously anonymous figure on this fierce cover. Briar Logan is a force to be reckoned with in this Western women’s fiction novel. Having survived a difficult childhood, Briar has found a safe home with her husband and she will do anything to keep things the way they are. When the man she loves is taken by a dangerous group of gold miners, she knows that she is the only one who can save him. Putting to rest the tradition of the damsel in distress, A Dangerous Woman from Nowhere is an empowering story of love and sacrifice.
4. Beartown by Fredrik Backman ($27): The intricate details of the small town in the background set against the looming forest along with the seafoam green lake make this cover pop. In Beartown, a town ravaged by a rising unemployment rate, one hockey team and their spot in the junior championship will bring hope to all the families fearing an end to the place they call home. When one of the star players commits a major offense, it will not only affect the victim but divide the town as a whole as they try to find the right way to handle the situation. A story of morality, hope, and devastation, Beartown is more than just a pretty cover.
5. Lost in the Reflecting Pool by Diane Pomerantz ($17): Sometimes simplicity speaks volumes, and we can’t help but be mesmerized by the pristine and reflective bubble on this cover. In a true story of one nightmarish relationship and the will to survive, Diane Pomerantz exhibits what it really means to be courageous and find your inner strength. Through difficulties conceiving, a strenuous adoption process, and being diagnosed with cancer, what Diane needed was the man she loved to be there for her. But when his narcissistic tendencies and abusive behavior begin to emerge, she’ll discover the real meaning of bravery.
6. What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons ($22): The sunny colors and hand-drawn elements make this intricate cover unlike any other. In What We Lose, Thandi can’t seem to find the place where she truly belongs, and after losing her mother, she will have to do some soul searching to get to the bottom of who she really is without the woman who shaped her. Moving through life, loss, and an eventual pregnancy of her own, What We Lose is the book to inspire those who feel like life is continuously throwing them curveball after curveball.
7. An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard ($26): There’s something about white on white that screams beauty, and the intricate tree branch feels almost other-worldly. In Kat Howard’s New York City, magic is the source of all life, but it’s slowly fading and only Sydney knows why. While everyone is looking to her to solve the problem and bring the city back to life, Sydney has other plans. Will she shut down the city’s system entirely or give in to the pressures around her to keep magic alive and thriving?
8. How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell ($27): This darkly titled novel has a deceptively bright cover, with a font that looks like a colorful finger painting masking serious secrets underneath. The events in Cat Marnell’s memoir are so scandalous and lavish, you would think they came right out of an episode of Gossip Girl. As a beauty editor for a high-profile magazine, Marnell had a life that seemed like a dream to those around her. However, behind the scenes, she struggled with addiction and trying to balance a life around her dependencies. Told with excruciating honesty, this New York Times bestseller will make you laugh and cry as she tells the story of her life from high school to adulthood.
9. Homegoingby Yaa Gyasi ($10): The central figure blends almost seamlessly into the warm geometric patterns on this cover, but the shackles around her neck hint at something threatening. Two half-sisters and their journeys through the perilous time of slavery, cruel marriages, and British colonization come alive in this New York Times bestselling novel. As Esi and her family are sold into slavery and shipped to a plantation owner in America, Effia is married off to a nobleman and lives in the comfortable quarters of her Cape Coast Castle. Following Esi and Effia’s differing and devastating paths, this story grounds itself in the cruel history of our world.
10. Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor ($25): The swoon-worthy abstract design of this cover makes it feel like we too are swimming among the stars. A collection of stories that has had readers in tears out of hilarity and sadness, Swimmer Among the Stars brings its audience into the intricate mind of Kanishk Tharoor. Creating worlds that feel both familiar and distant, these stories cover everything from current societal issues to magical realism. This short read will leave an impact long after you finish the final page.
Which books did you think had the most beautiful covers this year? Tweet us @BritandCo to share your picks.
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