The third edition of the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize announced its longlist of 16 titles on November 30 in Delhi. As anybody in publishing will readily admit, book covers go a long way in attracting the right readers, those who are most likely to then go on to buy the book because they genuinely want to read it. The Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize is one of the few initiatives in India to award brilliance in book design and recognise the work of designers, illustrators and publishers who make that perfect cover or book jacket.

Following a discussion on “Judging Books By Their Covers”, the longlist for this year’s best book covers was announced on Thursday by Namita Gokhale and Sanjoy Roy with a giant mockup catalogue of the covers. (video below).

The complete list of 16 titles on the longlist and their covers are below:

  • Enter the Dangal: Travels through India’s Wrestling Landscape by Rudraneil Sengupta (Trinankur Banerjee, HarperSport)
  • Himalaya: Adventures, Meditations, Life, edited by Namita Gokhale and Ruskin Bond (Maithili Doshi Aphale, Speaking Tiger)
  • The House That Spoke by Zuni Chopra (Devangana Dash, Penguin Random House India)
  • Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent by Pranay Lal (Gunjan Ahlawat, Penguin Random House India)
  • Mr Iyer Goes To War by Ryan Lobo (Emma Ewbank, Bloomsbury India)
  • Music, Masti, Modernity: The Cinema of Nasir Husain by Akshay Manwani (HarperCollins)   
  • Nobody Killed Her by Sabyn Javeri (Saurabh Garge, Fourth Estate)
  • Ramayan in Rhyme by Ananya Mittal and Kairavi Bharat Ram (Vandana Bist and Suvidha Mistry, Scholastic)
  • The Saga of Muziris by A Sethumadhavan (Sethu) and translated by Prema Jayakumar (Misha Oberoi, Niyogi Books)
  • Walking with Nanak by Haroon Khalid (Haitenlo Semy, Tranquebar)
  • Zindaginama by Krishna Sobti (Bonita Vaz-Shimray, Harper Collins)
  • Akbar by Shazi Zaman (Puja Ahuja, Rajkamal Prakashan)
  • White Crane, Lend Me Your Wings: A Tibetan Tale of Love and War by Tsewang Yishey Pemba (Niyogi Books)
  • Vashinda@Teesri Duniya by Pankaj Mitra (Shoeb Shahid)
  • The Mewar Ramayana by JP Losty and Sumedha V Ojha (Sneha Pamneja, Roli Books)
  • Achanak Ek Kavita by Vishvjit (Mugdha Sadhwani, Yatra Books)