Booksellers' Beautiful Books of the Year

Posted on 5th November 2014 by Waterstones
Our Booksellers know a beautiful book when they see one - so here's their selection of some of the most drop dead gorgeous books of 2014.



My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Animal Kingdom, by Millie Marotta

Nicole Salter, Waterstones Dorking

I have enjoyed our art therapy books this year. this one stands out as the pictures have small delicate bits to colour in and look beautiful when finished.




My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Through the Woods by Emily Caroll

Pete Renton, Waterstones Nottingham

Loaded with atmospheric artwork dramatic staging, this is an unsettling and creepy selection of macabre short stories with a gothic twist. The artwork is striking, with bold colours and dramatic lines filling the page as dialogue swirls around the characters, hemming them in. There is something of both Edward Gorey’s work and Kate Beaton’s Hark A Vagrant in the thin linework, while splatters of ink add texture. It can be quite gruesome at times, and the vivid sprays of red are often juxtaposed against plain black backgrounds or white clothes. There is a wonderfully creepy atmosphere that pervades every frame, as even seemingly happy illustrations exude unease behind the scenes, and when things really kick off there is a strange beauty to some of her monstrous creations. The lettering is superb and is almost a character in itself, as ethereal songs drift between frames and haunting voices fill the page with jagged words. This is a stunning graphic novel that stands out thanks to its poetic spoken-word vibe and moody artwork, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for something soaked in gloom and filled with teeth and darkness.



My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll

Christina Le Galloudec, Waterstones Oxford

Carroll's storytelling is phenomenal but her beautiful artwork is just as lushly presented in this rich, heavy volume with an embossed cover and glossy, saturated colours throughout. Perfect for curling up with on long dark nights. Just keep the lights on, okay?




My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
The Establishment by Owen Jones

Janey Thornton, Waterstones Bristol Galleries

I actually thought the cover for this book was amazing. A beautiful book cover, wicked.



My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Planetfall, by Michael Benson

Richard Smith, Waterstones Perth

An utterly stunning collection of NASA's photography of the inner solar system is presented in truly beautiful fashion!




My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
ANYTHING from Pushkin Press

Ian Meek, Waterstones Edinburgh West End

Pushkin Press have really upped their game since Adam Freudenheim took over. Their Stefan Zweig reissues are particularly beautiful.




My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Letters of Note & Lists of Note, by Shaun Usher

Sara Crowley, Waterstones Brighton

These books are aesthetically beautiful, the letter and list selections are wonderfully interesting and the books satisfy our natural curiosity. The perfect gift.




My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse than Death, by Chris Riddell

Emy, Waterstones Bath

Riddell's art style, combined with the soft-touch coating, silvery inside covers and the surprise lurking at the back of all of his books make for a very enticing package. Not to mention the words on the page.



But, one beautiful book above all others has proved a hit with our Booksellers...


My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Animalium, by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom

Steve Gane, Waterstones Cardiff

A huge, beautiful book for children and adults. One of those books that you see and just have to open.



My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Animalium, by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom

Darran Stobbart, Waterstones Durham

JUST LOOK AT IT. How could this NOT be the most beautiful book published this year? The illustrations are SUBLIME, and it's exactly the sort of Animal Encyclopedia that I would've obsessed over as a child - Latin names and all.



My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Animalium, by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom

Dave Kedward, Waterstones Taunton

I'm probably not the only bookseller saying this, but Animalium is one of those rare truly beautiful books. If I'd had this as a child I'd have been far more interested in the natural world.



My Beautiful Book of the Year is...
Animalium, by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom

Gem Routledge, Waterstones Birmingham High Street

Every page is beautifully presented with spellbinding illustrations and a wealth of knowledge, this book is a perfect resource for children and adults alike.



You can find more beautiful books here


Let us know what you think the most beautiful book of this year was in the comments below.




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