Belle Place presents the best book covers of September
How to Be Both by Ali Smith
I’m immediately engaged by the cover of Ali Smith’s How to Be Both, probably because of its clean use of type paired with a nice image, a design decision I’m particularly partial to. On the front cover is a photograph of Sylvie Vartan and Françoise Hardy – two French pop singers involved in the yé-yé movement that emerged in France, Italy and Spain in the early 1960s. As How to Be Both is told in two parts, the back cover presents another image with the same dimensions. This one is a fresco by Francesco del Cossa, an Italian early-Renaissance painter. The relationship between the two images is only somewhat realised from reading the blurb copy, but you can trust that Ali Smith will twist things together.
Dress, Memory by Lorelei Vashti
Lorelei Vashti strikes a pretty gorgeous pose and wins with this cover. Vashti’s memoir traces the decade of her twenties through the dresses she wore. Our reviewer says that ‘Vashti is a self-aware narrator and one who knows how to aptly shape a structured, compelling narrative out of a chaotic life’ and I get a really good sense of this from the cover – it’s fun and fresh but also sophisticated.
Blood & Guts by Sam Vincent
Sam Vincent’s Blood & Guts is an impressive work of immersion journalism, in which he presents both sides of the whaling wars. I like how powerful this cover is, without depicting something gruesome or overtly violent – the use of red in the typeface is really effective at signalling to the reader that within this work there might be depictions of brutality. The image of the whale’s tale is dramatic and quite beautiful – I am reminded of the sheer size and awe of these creatures, which draws me to learn more from Vincent’s reportage.
Belle Place is the editor of Readings Monthly.