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When Pantone announced that the 2020 Color of the Year would be classic blue, a dusky almost-navy filled with anticipation and clear days that slowly turn to night, our first thought was “Hey, that looks familiar.” Because it was the same color as so many of our favorite books. Today, we’re diving into that deep blue – and how the hue impacts our reading experience every single time.

 

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

The playful blue of this cover illuminates images that might possibly mean nothing to you before diving into this novel – a fish, a key, a plane, an apple. But by the time you finish reading this searing and gorgeous debut novel, those images will mean absolutely everything. It’s the kind of cover you sit with long after reading, ruminating on this strange puzzle of art and play. And that blue, against a deep black, will play with your brain until you can’t get these characters out of your head.

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All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

The deep blue of this memoir’s cover sits firmly on the darkest corner of this hue. And yet we can’t get it out of our head, delicate branches of a family tree snapping over this rich hue. It’s a memoir that’ll have you sitting in your own definition of family longer than you could have anticipated – all good thinking, all beautifully introspective. And with that dark blue reflecting back at you, you’ll find yourself in the perfect company.

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Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman

If talking about the movie tie-in cover is wrong, we don’t ever want to be right. This bright end of the classic blue spectrum makes us think of summer days and long stints away from home. It’s great almosts and long, longing looks. It’s promising you’ll stay in touch, only to be forgotten. Well, not forgotten. But not right. Not right now. It’s a blue that deepens until it’s a feeling – and until that feeling can’t be shaken.

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Ship It by Britta Lundin

The deep blue of this book cover feels like a crowded room with your crush on the other side of it. It feels like deep navy tones fading into the walls, not quite invisible but not quite there either. It feels like a brief appreciation of everyone’s cosplay efforts at a con – but there’s so much sensory overload that every character and color fades together until you’re left with blue. And a cute girl who also loves cons. And a deep desire for your ship to become canon.

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Bluets by Maggie Nelson

The best blue of all comes from Maggie Nelson’s Bluets. Because each shade of the dusk deep blue on the cover is reflected right back in this poetic list, this celebration of the color blue and the feeling that comes with it. Our favorite one is, of course, literary.

185. Perhaps this is why writing all day, even when the work feels arduous, never feels to me like “a hard day’s work.” Often it feels more like balancing two sides of an equation – occasionally quite satisfying, but essentially a hard and passing rain. It, too, kills the time.

She knows that blue like the constellation of her face, the lines on her palm, the echoes of her soul.

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Danielle Mohlman's picture

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.