This week, in lieu of a BEST OF 2011 series, we’re running five stories focused on Stuff We Liked in 2011.
Book design: You’re not going to get much of an Inside Baseball discussion from us. We don’t know much about it. We can’t offer much in the way of judgment other than that looks cool, yuh-huh, yuh-huh. Still, we know what we like — and what we don’t like.
The Publisher’s Weekly blog PWxyz offered their favorite covers of the year. It was something of a puzzling list, as the explanations were lacking (for Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods, they said: “The bright blue background conveys the off-the-wall aspects of the book, and the repetition of the eyes hints at a maddening condition.” Hm.) and their number one choice — Colson Whitehead’s Zone One — baffling. Another weird explanation:
The best book cover of the year offers a glimpse of an empire, mostly obstructed, put through a filter so desaturated it’s almost black and white, making the book’s dread insidious rather than explicit. It looks like an old, important photograph, but with something unsettling, though you can’t quite put your finger on it. The zombie apocalypse has never looked so subtle or refined.
What is an “important photograph”? Jackie O. with blood on her dress?
Anyways, we’re being too critical, due in large part to how much we adored certain designs this year. Here’s a few, in no particular or-der.