Elizabeth Entenman
April 20, 2017 5:11 pm
Houghton Mifflin / McSweeney's / Knopf

As the saying goes, you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But sometimes we can’t resist. A beautiful cover draws you in and whets your appetite for the story ahead. Eye-catching artwork, graphics, and typography set the stage for what’s to come.

Reading a good book is great, but reading a good book with a stunning cover is even better. If you’re looking to brighten up your collection, check out these 16 gorgeous book covers. They’ll brighten up your bookshelf or coffee table in a snap.

1. Making Nice by Matt Sumell

Henry Holt and Co.

Matt Sumell’s main character Alby isn’t the nicest, but the book he lives inside sure is.

2. The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Riverhead Books

A beautiful cover for a beautiful story.

3. In Case of Emergency by Courtney Moreno


The artwork for In Case of Emergency really gets our heart pumping.

4. The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus


All of Ben Marcus’s book covers are stunning, but The Flame Alphabet is a true standout.

5. You Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds by Jenny Lawson

Flatiron Books

Fans of Jenny Lawson will recognize her intricate doodles right away.

6. The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion by Meagan Daum

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Such simple typography, yet so effective.

7. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Doubleday Books

If it feels like The Underground Railroad is everywhere right now, that’s because it is. It won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. Needless to say, it belongs on your bookshelf.

8. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Dial Books

Thanks to Jandy Nelson’s melt-in-your-mouth metaphors, I’ll Give You the Sun is beautiful inside and out.

9. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Riverhead Books

BRB, googling “Fates and Furies wallpaper” to see if we can get this print for our bedrooms.

10. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Little, Brown and Company

Chad Harbach’s novel about college baseball players has a fitting collegiate, almost nostalgia-inducing cover.

11. The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Jade Chang’s cover for The Wangs vs. The World is only outshined by her story of a Chinese immigrant trying to provide for his family in America.

12. Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enríquez

Hogarth Press

This collection of short stories is dark and eerie, and its cover is just as twisted. We love it.

13. The Craftsman by Richard Sennett


We’re suckers for all things personalized, like the pencils on The Craftsman. We’ll take a dozen of the gold pencils, please!

14. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Delacorte Press

The cover of The Sun is Also a Star is everything the book is: beautiful, romantic, and carefully crafted.

15. Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm


At first glance, Unbecoming looks like a shiny gold gem. But on second look, you’ll start to see a woman’s facial features come into focus. It’s a work of art.

16. The Start of Something: The Selected Stories of Stuart Dybek by Stuart Dybek

Jonathan Cape

We wish we could frame Stuart Dybek’s book cover, but we’ll settle for giving it prime real estate on our bookshelves.