Riot Headline The Most Read Books on Goodreads This Week

Our Favorite Book Covers of 2014

Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

One of the great things about books is the amazing cover art! A few Rioters have picked the 2014 covers that really made an impression on them this year.

Christy Childers


The Martian by Andrew Weir

I picked this book up almost entirely because of that great, orange cover, and it ended up being one of my favorite novels of the year.


brown girl dreaming by jacqueline woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The cover is so pretty and the words inside are even better.


Liberty Hardy

the weirdness

The Weirdness by Jeremy Bushnell

Melville House crushed it in the cover department this year. I love this little evil Maneki-neko. It feels like his eyes follow you.


end of the sentence

The End of the Sentence by Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard

Something about the gorgeous red script and the simple old-timey look of this cover makes my brain purr with happiness.


Derek Attig

beyond the surface

Beyond the Surface by Nicolas André

Maybe it’s not fair to include a wordless, artist-created leporello in this category (it’s obviously going to win), but who cares about fairness when the results are so perfect.


lock in

Lock In by John Scalzi

I love a sci-fi thriller with an elegant cover, and this one definitely fits the bill. Gorgeously and creatively visualizing one of the books’ themes—What happens when a segment of the population suddenly changes?—the cover is visually arresting and just plain pretty.


Amanda Nelson

boy snow bird

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

The colors, the creepy snake/flower combo, the nice font. This one wins. Can I get this as a tattoo? Anyone? Bueller?


ms marvel vol one

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

I love everything about this cover: the fist, her stern expression, and how it’s only half of her face so any brown girl who hasn’t seen herself on a comics cover before can easily imagine that it’s her face here. That she’s a superhero.


Nikki Steele

never judge

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

I love this one because it takes the expected romance cover and makes it badass (and there’s still the great inner flap!).


thug kitchen

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck by Thug Kitchen

The front features lentil and broccoli/chickpea tacos (meh) and yet you’re all about ‘em with the presentation. Also, there’s no annoying dust jacket or stiff pages. It’s a joy to hold.


Jessica Tripler

private politics

Private Politics by Emma Barry

A romance cover that conveys the romance and the professionalism of the protagonists. Great balance in colors and type symbolizing the blurring of political and personal boundaries.


rogue spy

Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne

A great alternative to the common ball gown /bare chest historical romance clinch cover. This cover conveys the interior struggle of the loyalty-torn spy hero and the dangerous yet romantic London setting.


Rachel Cordasco

What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

All you see is a keyhole, the title, and the author, and it is this spareness that invites us into Mendelsund’s contemplation of how we “see” what we are reading.


f daniel kehlmann

F by Daniel Kehlmann

A red cover, a pair of glasses, and these weird, psychedelic spirals in them. ‘Nuff said.


Kelly Jensen

thousand pieces

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

The way the colors are placed on the image and how they melt together, then away from the cityscape, is so simple and yet super eye-catching and appealing.


demon derby

Demon Derby by Carrie Harris

Fire! Demons! A pair of fish netted legs in rollerskates! This cover is so bad ass, and the little dragons over the title? The best.


Emily Gatlin

BraveManSeven HC c

A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor

Any time a cover designer can use a ceiling fresco titled Olympus: Battle with the Giants (1764), I’m all over it because NERDY BADASSERY OVERLOAD!



The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

It is clever. It is smart. It is appealing. If I were another book, I’d need some peanut butter for all my jelly.


Jeanette Solomon

on such a full sea

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee

I didn’t even finish the book, but I still think the cover is hella attractive. It’s on my list to re-try because I think I just wasn’t in the mood.


Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I just love the brightness of this one, and the whole thing seems to match Poelher’s personality, too.


Brandi Bailey

strange bodies

Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux

It’s got a lovely barren quality that’s reflected in the book’s morality story. Plus, Russian tattoos.



Hiding in Plain Sight by Nuruddin Farah 

I haven’t read this one yet, but I’ve decided I need to wallpaper my apartment in this metallic raindrop pattern.


Now you tell us: what were your favorite covers of 2014?


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