Judge These 2016 Books by Their Beautiful Covers

Please judge these good books by their covers.

It feels good to read a book with a good-looking cover. It especially feels good carrying it around on public transportation, or casually spilling it out of your bag in front of the cool kids at the bar. And these books, with beautiful covers, are actually good reads. And they hit bookstores this year; so get your life in order and buy them.


Fiction, Claire-Louise Bennett

“What Bennett aims at is nothing short of a re-enchantment of the world. … This is a truly stunning debut, beautifully written and profoundly witty.” –The Guardian

Man and Wife

Fiction, Katie Chase

“Toggling between the comic and the horrific, these brilliant stories rearrange the familiar into something more nuanced, fraught, and mysterious.”—Edan Lepucki, author of 'California'


Fiction, A. Igoni Barett

“[Blackass] vividly captures the frenetic energy of one of the world’s ­fastest-growing cities and provides a perceptive and engaging meditation on the mutability—and the stubborn persistence—of identity.”—The New York Times Book Review

Modern Lovers

Fiction, Emma Straub

“Wise and often hilarious, 'Modern Lovers' is a testament to how the passions and secrets of our youth can last well into adulthood.” —Buzzfeed, Included in “Most Exciting Books Coming in 2016″

Margaret the First

Fiction, Danielle Dutton

“Although 'Margaret the First' is set in 17th century London, it's not a traditional work of historical fiction. It is an experimental novel that, like the works of Jeanette Winterson, draws on language and style to tell the story... There is a restless ambition to [Danielle Dutton's] intellect.” —Michele Filgate, The Los Angeles Times

Bream Gives Me Hiccups & Other Stories

Fiction, Jesse Eisenberg

“Eisenberg’s 28 stories in 'Bream Gives Me Hiccups' range from the diary of a nine-year-old food critic to letters about stolen ramen . . . Eisenberg’s characters are lively, and his awareness of universal neuroses (yours and his alike) shows he’s more than a hobbyist.”—Time (Best of Fall Books)

The Gallery

Fiction, Laura Marx Fitzgerald

“It’s really a very compelling read and I don’t know how she did it.” —Kate DiCamillo on NPR

Losing It

Fiction, Emma Rathbone

“One of our best new writers.” —Benjamin Percy

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty

Fiction, Ramona Ausubel

“Fortunes and hearts are lost and found in a modern fairy tale set in the 1960s and ’70s . . . Ausubel’s magical, engrossing prose style perfectly fits this magical, engrossing story.” —Kirkus (starred review)

The Reactive

Fiction, Masande Ntshanga

"With 'The Reactive,' [Ntshanga] has created an immersive and powerful portrait of drug use, community, and health issues by exploring what it was like to be young, black, South African, and HIV positive in the early aughts."—VICE

Relief Map

Fiction, Rosalie Knecht

“When the hunt for a fugitive causes police to institute a lockdown, everyday tensions in a quiet Pennsylvania town threaten to boil over in Knecht's atmospheric debut [...] Knecht expertly captures the subtle social dynamics of a town suspended in crisis, chronicling mounting anxiety in crisp, unfussy prose.” (Kirkus)

Songs From a Mountain

Poetry, Amanda Nadelberg

“Amanda Nadelberg’s poems . . . are jumping, funny, romantic, and frequently lyrical. She repeats words within a stanza, looping back to what you can later recognize as a theme, but which in the immediate reading is almost pure music.” —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This

Memoir, Nadja Spiegelman

"A memoir of mothers and daughters—and mothers as daughters—traced through four generations, from Paris to New York and back again.” —Riverhead