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Book Jackets

Harvard Discovers Old Library Books Bound in Human Skin

harvardlibraryHarvard University has discovered three books in its collection are bound in human hide.

The details make it sound more like the elements of a novel than of real life. One book was found in the Langdell Law Library, another in the Countway Library of Medicine, and yet another in the Houghton Collection. One book deals with medieval law, another Roman poetry and the other French philosophy. The book Practicarum quaestionum circa leges regias… doesn’t jump out as bound in human flesh, as The Harvard Crimson reports. Check it out:

The book’s 794th and final page includes an inscription in purple cursive: ‘the bynding of this booke is all that remains of my dear friende Jonas Wright, who was flayed alive by the Wavuma on the Fourth Day of August, 1632. King Mbesa did give me the book, it being one of poore Jonas chiefe possessions, together with ample of his skin to bynd it. Requiescat in pace.’

(Via Reddit)

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The New York Times’ Favorite Book Covers of the Year

thecircleThe New York Times has chosen their favorite book covers and given a shout out to the designers.

Among the books that earned the honor are The Lover by Marguerite Duras, which was designed by Peter MendelsundThe Circle by Dave Eggers, which was designed by Jessica Hische; and East of Denver by Gregory Hill, which was designed by Devin Washburn.

Here is more from The Times:

According to many book designers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to put together a good jacket. Each one needs to be approved by sales representatives, editors, art buyers and authors before it wins approval. “It is getting tougher and tougher to do good work these days,” Oliver Munday, a designer for Knopf, told me. And Matt Dorfman, a freelance book designer, admitted, “It was a pretty abysmal year for me approval-wise.”

Collecting Great Author Photos

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What’s your favorite author photo? Love them or hate them, these photographs influence opinions about books.

If you look for “great author photos” online, all you will find is examples of bad author photos. So we want to see your favorite photographs.

No irony! Just show us the author photos that you loved. Share a link in the comments section and we will add your name and link to this post.

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Amy Tan Sparks Book Cover Meme

Novelist Amy Tan inspired fans with review copies of her new novel to pose with the cover. As you can see by the photograph embedded above, her new cover looks very spook beside a reader’s face.

We’ve embedded a Storify post below collecting more fan-shots of the book. Check it out:

Yesterday, Amy Tan posted a playful picture of her forthcoming book, The Valley of Amazement. The result? A Sleeveface-like meme, as people lucky enough to have galleys of the book, which comes out in November, sent the beloved author their own half-face shots.

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Eric Hudspeth Draws ‘The Resurrectionist’ Cover Outside Strand Bookstore

Last week, author E.B. Hudspeth spent three hours creating a 3D chalk drawing of the cover for The Resurrectionist.

The stop motion video embedded above features Hudspeth and his artistic process–what do you think?

This street art project was done outside the Strand Bookstore in New York City.

How One Author Used Public Domain Images To Create a Book Cover

Exploring the public domain Kunstformen der Natur, writer Casey Dexter turned a gorgeous 1904 illustration into part of an eye-catching book cover.

If you are looking for public domain images for your next book cover, we’ve created a list of free resources below. In a Reddit post, Dexter explained how he used the free Microsoft Paint and Pixlr to create the complete cover. Check it out:

I should also give credit to Ernst Haeckel, whose beautiful Kunstformen der Natur is in the public domain … the large text is in century gothic and my name is in century. I don’t know if they’re actually related in any way, but the title was a challenge because of the two big Os – it’s hard to get a default font that kerns properly with vowels like that, and century gothic seemed like one of the best. Century just happened to fit in well with the illustration, I thought. Maybe I’ll eventually get to go at it in Photoshop or something, all the text was done in MS Paint because for some reason there’s a really small text size limit on pixlr.

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson Gets New Paperback Cover

The paperback edition of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson comes out on September 10, 2013 with a brand new cover.

We’ve embedded the cover image above, with a Norman Seeff photograph from 1984. What do you think?

Create Your Own Pulp Fiction Cover

Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual author and illustrator Bradley W. Schenck has released the Pulp-O-Mizer, a free online tool for making your own vintage-looking pulp fiction cover.

As you can see by the image embedded above, we created a GalleyCat logo straight out of classic science fiction magazines. Here’s more about the tool:

The rectangular cover images are a great choice for your blog posts, discussion boards, Twitter, and pretty much anything else… except for Facebook. For Facebook you should select one of the Square options (a square on a white background, or a square on black). Facebook does cruel and unusual things to the rectangular images, but the square cover images have been raised in hardened circumstances and trained to withstand torture. So they’ll be all right…

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Next Lemony Snicket Cover Revealed

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has released the new cover for the next Lemony Snicket book. When Did You See Her Last? is coming on October 15th.

This is the second book in the “All the Wrong Questions” series, illustrated by Seth. The dispatch also included a YouTube conversation between Snicket and his pseudonymous creator, Daniel Handler.

Snicket also sent a curt letter along with the cover image: “Please immediately listen to THIS which contains a top secret recorded conversation between Daniel Handler and myself, and see the attachment below, which depicts an undisclosed book cover. The more people who are made aware of this classified information the better chance we have of keeping our secret.”

Cover Revealed for Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’

Random House has revealed the cover for megabestselling author Dan Brown‘s new novel, Inferno. The book will be released on May 14th.

The cover features a portrait of Dante, the Italian city of Florence, and a diagram of the nine rings of hell. Inferno will revolve around Dante Alighieri‘s 14th century epic poem by the same name. You can download a free illustrated eBook copy of Inferno. Brown had this comment in the release:

Although I studied Dante’s ‘Inferno’ as a student, it wasn’t until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante’s work on the modern world … With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm…a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways.

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