Jacket designer Chip Kidd picks his five current faves

Mason & Dixon
By Thomas Pynchon Raquel Jaramillo’s design, Kidd says, is ”close to perfection.” The title literally runs off the cover — ”you are looking at the tail of a whale,” Kidd says, ”and have to visually walk around the tome to view the rest of the beast.”

In Awe
By Scott Heim

Michael Ian Kaye’s jacket ”sports a vial of…what? A wonder drug? Yesterday’s pee?” asks Kidd. ”I called the designer, who confirmed that it is indeed the latter. He started to explain, but I stopped him. It was lunchtime.”

The Killing Fields
By Chris Riley and Douglas Niven

The authors pored over 6,000 negatives of the lost souls in a Khmer Rouge prison camp in the late ’70s for this haunting book. Jack Woody’s stark, simple cover is perfect, Kidd says: ”No type, no information, no hope.”

Kingdom Come: Revelations
By Mark Waid and Alex Ross

”A personal favorite,” says Kidd of this Graphitti Designs cover, painting by Alex Ross. The book deifies aging DC Comics heroes, so it looks like a Bible: faux leather, gilded lettering…”Perfect,” Kidd says, ”for hero worship.”

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
By John Berendt

The statue on Carol Carson’s jacket was removed from its Savannah cemetery after drawing crowds, and it eventually showed up in a Macy’s display in NYC. ”Can the 60-foot inflatable version be far behind?” Kidd asks.