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Books of the Year 2016: Covers of the Year

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Five booksellers share their picks for 2016 cover designs with front-facing appeal

BooksoftheYear_December_Closer_CoverCloser: Notes from the Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality
Sarah Barmak  (Coach House Books)
The stitchwork by Shannon Gerard is suggestive but not exploitative; a very celebratory vagina. –Serah-Marie McMahon, Type Books, Toronto

Kelly Drukker Small Fires Books of the YearSmall Fires
Kelly Norah Drukker (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
Like Drukker’s poems, the cover is simple, but powerful and very evocative. People can’t resist picking it up. –Brendan King-Edwards, the Word Bookstore, Montreal

BooksoftheYear_December_ByGaslight_CoverBy Gaslight
Steven Price (McClelland & Stewart)
All of us unanimously agree that By Gaslight is far and away the best cover of a Canadian book this year. We hosted Steven’s launch last month and have had the book featured prominently around the store since it was released in August. The response to it has been phenomenal. Every day we have customers asking for “that book in the window.” They know nothing about it except that they saw the cover and were intrigued. It is by far our best-selling book in the store right now. One staff member pointed out that it is the best Canadian cover, but that might be because it doesn’t look particularly Canadian. It evokes a very specific time and place – Victorian London – and perfectly encapsulates the setting and atmosphere of the book. –Jessica Paul, Munro’s Books, Victoria

Double Teenage Joni Murphy books of the yearDouble Teenage
Joni Murphy (BookThug)
This cover is on point with its simple, girly dreaminess, plus strong typesetting. It doesn’t tell you what the novel is about, but hints at what it feels like. –Karlene Nicolajsen, Shelf Life Books, Calgary

BooksoftheYear_December_Contributors_TheBreak_CoverThe Break
Katherena Vermette (House of Anansi Press)
What a striking cover! That beautiful woman, the expression on her face, her stance, her gown. So strong, arresting. Gorgeous. –Janice LaDuke, Black Cat Books, Lennoxville, Québec