Best book covers of all time

In the first post of this three part series, I share my 15 favourite book covers from across the ages. Here I list books 15-11, counting down towards number one. Continued in part two tomorrow, and culminating in the final part on Monday, I reveal my favourite book covers. Come back tomorrow at 17:00 GMT for part 2…

The following list does not reflect or establish my views on the contents on the book, nor indeed guarantee that I have read it. The image captions state the publisher and where I got the image from. In reverse order, my favourite covers are:



Red Fox From
Red Fox

That childhood classic Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome is covered beautifully in the simple image of a boat by a beach. Above, the simple quote from the broadsheet The Times, probably the most respected reviewer in the country, is something to disregard at your peril. Finally, the crossed flags at the top are a lovely thought, and the both the Swallow and Amazon flag fit excellently, especially with the opposite colours.


Bodleian Library From Goodreads
Bodleian Library
From Goodreads

If England were Invaded by William Le Queux is one of the finest examples of invasion fiction, and the revamped 2014 cover is excellent. Big Ben (OK, Elizabeth Tower strictly speaking) was recently voted the most iconic British place, beating Stonehenge into second. Add to that its prominent location in London and its symbolism, showcasing British democracy, the German eagle flying on it, backed up by the German imperial flag is a terrifying thought, well in line with the material of the book.


Vintage Books From Goodreads
Vintage Books
From Goodreads

Susan Hill’s 1983 horror story has been adapted into many forms, most recently the two films, I originally found it by watching it at the theatre, and it is safe to say that it was the scariest thing I had seen at the theatre before or since. The image is foggy, and, sticking to the old horror adage that the more human something is the scarier it is, the cover shows a human silhouette-the silhouette of a woman covered head to toe in a black robe, used to great effect and also portraying well the book’s antagonist. Striking and sinister.


David Fickling Books From Goodreads
David Fickling Books
From Goodreads

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne has also had a film made out of it. The cover is very simple, the titular striped pajamas at once apparent and the words nicely put into the stripes. It instantly reminds the reader of a prison uniform, and is incredibly effective-simple works.


Orion From Amazon
From Amazon

Where would we be without Steve Backshall? The TV wildlife presenter come participant in Strictly Come Dancing come author’s biography details his time in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. The cover nicely represents this, it’s very simple, a nice map in the background,and the jungle/bush faded colours all fit in really well but at the same time the theme of adventure in the jungle is very clear. Another example of simple working very well.

Agree? Disagree?

Do you like these covers? Have I missed out your favourite? Please leave a comment or contact me, I would be interested to discuss it. Otherwise, please share with the buttons below and rate.


2 thoughts on “Best book covers of all time

  1. I loved the cover on “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” The book was great, but in this case I think the movie was actually better because it allowed for the expression of more emotions. That last scene had me on the floor in tears! Haven’t read or seen any of the others. Very interesting post! Lookin’ forward to tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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