Judging 2012 Book Covers: US vs. UK

While paging through the Guardian‘s gallery of the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist earlier this week, we were struck by how different many of the nominees’ covers are from the American ones we know and (sometimes) love. Of course we knew this already, but we were newly inspired to take a look at some of 2012’s best books, and judge them by their covers, both at home and abroad. A disclaimer: your literary editor has little in the way of formal design education, but is instead approaching these as a voracious reader and picker-upper of pretty things in bookstores.


We don’t mind the UK cover, but it does frankly scream, “American!” — plus, we’ve seen this interpretation of the West before. We much prefer the open skies of the actually American version, and the cover treatment (which doesn’t come across as well in digital form) that makes the text shine in the light and almost disappear if looked at askance. Winner: US