The remaining books whose designs jumped out at me fall into two categories: books of literature (one book of poetry, one of short stories, one of essays, and one novel) and books about writing.
Nick Flynn’s collection of poetry, Blind Huber, is about a blind 18th century beekeeper and his honeybees. The cover design (by Scott Sorenson) is quite appropriate, but also intriguing enough to provoke a reader to find out more.
After the Quake by Haruki Murakami is a haunting collection of stories. I read today that Murakami wakes without an alarm clock at 4 a.m. and writes until 11 a.m. every day. This cover was designed by John Gall.
The Lydia Davis translation of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way is THE translation to buy, and the cover (foil design and font) and price (just over $11 on Amazon) make it a great deal. I realize this is a common design used by Penguin, but I still really like it. My father bought this book for me just a few months back while I was reading Proust’s OOP essay On Reading.
The cover was designed by Kelly Blair:
My first introduction to E. B. White was Charlotte’s Web, but I didn’t fall in love with his writing until I was in my mid-teens and discovered his wonderful essays. Knowing how much I admired Mr. White, my brother-in-law gave me One Man’s Meat six or seven years ago and it still holds a prestigious place on my book shelf. The photograph on the cover is inspiring (for some reason I’m very drawn to b&w photographs of old men and their typewriters). The design is by Edith Allard, but (more importantly) the photograph is by Jill Krementz – an excellent portrait photographer and wife of Kurt Vonnegut.
The second grouping includes Essentials of the Theory of Fiction, edited by Michael J. Hoffman and Patrick D. Murphy. I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet, but the cover design (along with, I suppose, the topic) made it irresistable. Amy Ruth Buchanan, the designer, is Duke University Press’s art director.
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms is by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. I like the cover image, but I also like the “creased and crinkled” background; it looks as if the book is well-loved (and it is). Abby Weintraub tends to create wonderful book designs, and this one’s no exception.
I’ve never been particularly fond of using form in my own poetry, but this book has been inspiring me for at least a few years now to wander outside of my comfort zone.