Heron’s sister and her friend came over this weekend and rearranged our house as a wedding gift. They put my books all around the house, and it provided a great opportunity to look at some of them I haven’t paid attention to in a while. So I decided to put together a list of my favorite book covers I currently have in my house. Now, I didn’t include art books, because I thought that would be unfair, and some of my books I gave away. But these are the books I find myself just admiring for the cover sometimes long after I had finished it.

10. Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time — Trains and War and Masculinity 

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9. Friedrich Nietzsche’s Basic Writings — The “superman” on the cover looks like he’s actually the cause of earthquakes.

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8. Tom Wolfe’s The New Journalism — I found this rare book in a used bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI. Love the hand drawing the hand imagery.

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7. Jack O’Connell’s Word Made Flesh — A futuristic and twisted version of my home, Worcester, MA. 

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6. Henri Matisse’s Jazz — No, I’m not cheating. Matisse does write in this book, and it’s one of my favorite book covers — and books — of all time.

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5. Osip Mandelstam’s Stolen Air — This is a simple cover with a simple swirl, but it speaks so loudly, somehow, to Mandelstam’s poetry. 

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4. Raymond Carver’s Cathedral — If you’ve read the story, Cathedral, then you understand why this cover is so beautiful.  

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3. Charles Bukowski’s Ham on RyeImagining a young Bukowski always makes me laugh.  

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2. Philip Levine’s What Work Is — This photograph of the girl at work in a textile plant is haunting and glorious, just like this book.

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1. Mike Davis’ The Ecology of Fear — Los Angeles poking through the clouds.

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