Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.
This week’s topic:
Top 5 covers of 2019
I am so gleeful about this week’s topic because it’s all about book covers and if there’s one thing about books that I love more than reading them, it’s admiring beautifully designed book covers. So, of all the books I’ve read so far in 2019, here are my top 5 favorite covers.
Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb
cover design by Dominic Forbes | cover illustration by Jackie Morris | calligraphy by Stephen Raw
First up is this edition of Robin Hobb’s Fitz & the Fool trilogy, which ends her larger Realm of the Elderlings epic fantasy series. My photo above does not do these books justice. You must see them in real life or on video so you can see how the light catches and reflects the gold and silver foil on the covers. They are so beautiful. I couldn’t stop staring at them when I bought them.
I love the combination of the color, illustration, and calligraphy with the gold and silver foil, which cause the covers to sparkle in the sunlight (quite like a dragon). Unfortunately, this doesn’t show well on screen since it flattens the color and doesn’t even hint at the sparkle, so viewers will probably think it’s an odd design. But trust me, it looks great. Check out my pic on IG of the last book in the trilogy which I’m currently reading.
Monstress, Vols. 1, 2, 3 by Marjorie Liu, illus. by Sana Takeda
Monstress is an epic fantasy comic book series about a girl who has a monster trapped inside her. It’s a great and interesting story whose world expands with each volume. I reread the first and second volumes this year before trying the third, and I enjoyed them all. I love the story and the mythology in it that’s important to its world-building, but what helps to make this comic book amazing, is Takeda’s illustrations. They are amazing.
Extremely detailed with a heavy dose of art deco, Takeda’s illustrations stand out as their own thing while melding well with Liu’s story to create memorable characters and settings. The illustrations are captivating but do not detract too much from the story. I love the illustrations for how detailed they are but also for the softness and tenderness it sometimes add to the story’s hard, harsh darkness.
The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair
This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and, unfortunately, I can’t find out who designed the cover. The Secret Lives of Color is a nonfiction book all about color — how some colors came to be, the lengths people went to produce them, and the stigma and quirky histories of certain colors. It’s a fantastic read!
I love the cover. Because of the book’s title and topic, I wonder how many cover drafts were considered before the publisher settled on this one. I think this cover does a great job at hinting at the book’s topic. I also like the bit of shadow added to each colored dot to give them dimension and make them seem at a glance as if they are holes. I’ve had a few people touch my book’s cover thinking they will feel an indentation where the colored dots are.
Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Vol. 1 edited by Hope Nicholson
cover illustration by Stephen Gladue
Moonshot is a comic book anthology of stories by and about Native Americans. Some stories place a modern twist on traditional stories, while others present Native American culture and values in a futuristic setting. It was an interesting read, but what made me willing to purchase this anthology is the amazing cover art.
Although it’s a little intimidating, I like the image and how the feathers of the headdress seem to be composed of fractured light (well, so it seems to me). It’s actually a painting titled “Northern Crow” that contains several “crow motif embellishments [and] culturally significant artifacts” in the expanded image, which appears in the book. In many indigenous communities, the crow is seen as a spiritual storyteller as well as a pathfinder and bearer of wise teachings. “The image was inspired by the Plains Cree traditional dancers observed in northern Alberta many years ago.”
Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
cover art by David Curtis
Silver in the Wood is a fantasy novella about a wild man who lives alone deep in Greenhollow woods with his cat and is one day visited by a bright, curious young man intent on learning more about the wild man’s past. This was good read that was a little unexpected. I decided to read it because it has received high praise for the writing (which I liked) and I loved the cover. Now that I’ve read the book, I like the cover even more because it fits the story well, or rather, it fits Tobias well.