The 22 Most Iconic Book Covers Of All Time

Legendary words, legendary art.

Posted on

1. Sylvia Plath, "The Bell Jar," 1978

The 1978 paperback edition of Sylvia Plath's tragic book, with its title crafted in gothic font, perhaps captures the tome's mood the best.

2. Joseph Heller, "Catch-22," 1961

Paul Bacon, an American book jacket designer and jazz musician, created this stunning cover for Joseph Heller's novel. He also designed covers for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Rosemary's Baby and Slaughterhouse-five.

3. James Frey, "A Million Little Pieces," 2003

Though Frey's "memoir" was later outed as fictional, the book's cover, featuring a hand adorned with sprinkles, remains one of the most recognizable of the 21st century.

7. J.D. Salinger, "Catcher in the Rye," 1951

E. Michael Mitchell, a 20th century illustrator turned computer animation turned CalArts professor, made this cover for Salinger who would only his name and the title on the book jacket -- no other type.

8. Michael Crichton, "Jurassic Park," 1990

The high-contrast art by Chip Kidd, who has also designed cover jackets for Bret Easton Ellis, Dean Koontz, David Sedaris, Haruki Marukami and others, was also carried over into marketing for the 1993 film adaptation.

9. Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged," 1981

Nick Gaetano created cover art for the 25th anniversary edition of several of Rand's works, although his crouching golden man on the cover of 1981's Atlas Shrugged may be the most legendary.

12. Ray Bradbury, "Fahrenheit 451," 1953

Joe Pernaciaro and Joseph Mugnaini did this first edition cover for Bradbury's dystopian novel, which is still the book's most well-known cover art.