Neil Gaiman is a legend among authors and readers alike. His haunting stories and dark undertones have us reaching for his books every October without fail. If you’re not familiar with his name try this: CORALINE! Yes, Neil Gaiman wrote the book titled Coraline that was later made into the iconic spooky movie that we all know and love.
Neil Gaiman has written so many widely acclaimed books, it was hard to choose just five for our newest book set. When designing the covers for our Neil Gaiman Essentials Book Set, our goal was to design them in a way that reflected what’s inside the books, on the outside.
Our talented designer Nicole is an expert in all things Gaiman, and she designed each cover very intentionally. Each cover is unique to the storyline of the book, and there are some fun hidden gems on each one!
The first book in our special edition set is American Gods. The jacket design features a road split between day and night with two ravens. “The sun and moon represent silver and gold coins that appear throughout the story,” Nicole explains. “I also featured Odin's two ravens, Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory), and the road through the middle symbolizes the cross country trip.”
The second book we curated is Neverwhere. The book cover features a door over an image of old London towers, also split between light and dark. The split door represents "London Below" and “London Above” which are the settings in which this book takes place.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is third in the set with an illustration that shows a flock of birds over a hill that ends at a pond. “This story speaks to how memories from a child's perspective can be larger than life,” Nicole explains. “For instance, the ‘Ocean’ is actually a little pond.” If you’re new to Gaiman’s work, this book is a great place to start. It was voted Book of the Year in 2013, and won by a huge margin!
Trigger Warning comes next and it is a collection of short fiction and verse all written by Gaiman. The cover makes reference to two of his short stories in particular: Black Dog and The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. The illustration features a black dog sitting under a tree with mountains in the background.
The fifth and final book in our Neil Gaiman Essentials Book Set is Stardust. This cover shows a falling star over a stone wall behind the silhouette of a town. Nicole recounts her experience while reading Stardust: “One thing that stuck with me after reading Stardust, was the way Neil wrote about love in a story where women are the objects of desire. There's a huge learning curve for the main character to figure out how to respect women and their desires when he can't make someone love him by delivering them a star.”
We curated this book set with the goal of making it perfect for both Neil Gaiman superfans as well as readers discovering his work for the first time. But, if you really are just learning about Gaiman and his work, beware! His books are perfectly addicting and will have you sitting with your nose in a book all season long! And if you want more than just these five books, you can find Gaiman’s acclaimed novel The Graveyard Book in our BESO: Young Readers Book Set as well as a collection of his complete works on Juniper Custom.