Help Us Choose the Best Book Cover of 2021

Meet the competitors here, then vote on Electric Lit's social media this week

Collage of all 32 book covers competing

Back by popular demand, Electric Literature is hosting our second annual “Best Book Cover of the Year” tournament, where readers determine which cover designs impressed in 2021. Just as the Italian Renaissance was born of the bubonic plague, will covid’s enduring grasp on society inspire similarly enlightened art? Help us decide which of these books are the most innovative, accurate, and visually appealing and who the Da Vincis are among this talented cohort of cover designers, illustrators, artists, and photographers.

Click on the image to enlarge

The following list details all 32 book covers paired in 16 match-ups for the first round, and you can vote for each of your favorites on our Twitter and Instagram stories today. Voting continues throughout the week, with round two on Tuesday, quarterfinals Wednesday, semifinals Thursday, and the final face-off Friday. If you want to really lean into the competitive spirit, download the full bracket here and make your predictions for the entire tournament to see who among your literary friends has the best taste. 

Left: Cover design by Rodrigo Corral Studio, illustration by Polly Nor
Right: Cover design by Holly Ovenden.

Dreaming of You by Melissa Lozada-Oliva vs. Somebody Loves You by Mona Arshi

Left: Cover design by Dominique Jones, cover image by Micaiah Carter
Right: Cover design by Jimmy Iacobelli, art adapted from Temi Coker 

Black Girl Call Home by Jasmine Mans vs. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Left: Cover design by Lauren Harms
Right: Cover art by Cynthia Warren

A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan vs. Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Left: Cover design by Jakob Vala, photograph by Louisa Wells, modeled by Janine Tondu 
Right: Cover design by Rodrigo Corral Studio, photograph by Roozbeh Roozbehani

My Darling from the Lions by Rachel Long vs. I’ll Be Strong for You by Nasim Marashi

Left: Cover design by Kelly Winton
Right: Cover design by Leia Bryans

Three Rooms by Jo Hamya vs. Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados

Left: Cover design by Stephanie Ross, illustration by Misha Gurnanee Gudibanda 
Right: Cover design by June Park, photographs by Jose A. Bernat Bacete and Robert Alexander

Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian vs. The Scapegoat by Sara Davis

Left: Cover design by Mumtaz Mustafa, illustration by Beth Hoeckel
Right: Cover design by Allison Saltzman

The Divines by Ellie Eaton vs. Nobody, Somebody, Anybody by Kelly McClorey

Left: Cover design by Na Kim
Right: Cover design by Emily Mahon

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner vs. Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

Left: Cover design by Alex Merto
Right: Cover design by Kelly Blair

The Rib King by Ladee Hubbard vs. Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin

Left: Cover design by Sara Wood, art by Howie Wonder
Right: Cover design by Michael Morris, photograph by Leon James and Willa Mae Ricker

This Thing Between Us by Gus Moreno vs. A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib

Left: Cover design by Carol Chu, based on interior art by Samira Ingold
Right: Cover design by Donna Cheng

Women and Other Monsters by Jess Zimmerman vs. Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung

Left: Cover design by Vince Haig, artwork by Olga Beliaeva based on the photograph “Morning Tea” by Serge N. Kozintsev
Right: Cover design by Olga Grlic, cover illustration by Colin Verdi

The Ghost Sequences by A.C. Wise vs. The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

Left: Cover design by Jaya Miceli 
Right: Cover design by Elizabeth Yaffe

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder vs. Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So

Left: Cover design by Luke Bird
Right: Cover design by Sharanya Durvasula

Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin vs. In Case of Emergency by Mahsa Mohebali, translated by Mariam Rahmani

Left: Cover design by Michael J. Windsor, book design by Anna B. Knighton
Right: Cover design by Laywan Kwan

Several People Are Typing by Calvin Kasulke vs. The Atmospherians by Alex McElroy

Left: Cover design by Kimberly Glyder
Right: Cover design by Mark Robinson, illustration by Tobatron

Annie and the Wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax vs. The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett

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Thank You!