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Jonathan Gibbs

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Jonathan Gibbs

Jonathan Gibbs reviews books for The Independent and elsewhere. His novel Randall, about the contemporary art world and the fate of the YBAs, is published by Galley Beggar Press in June 2014. He blogs on this aspect of his writing at tinycamels.wordpress.com and tweets at @Tiny_Camels

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Friday Book Design Blog: The Ariel Poems, and other seasonal pamphlets, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: The Ariel Poems, and other seasonal pamphlets

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! This time last year I recommended Little Toller as a publisher whose books make great presents – classic nature writing done up in large, handsome new paperback editions, all with quite lovely jacket illustrations. (They’ve produced at least two great original books this year, too: Adam Thorpe’s monograph On Silbury Hill, and [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 5 December 2014 at 11:56 am

Friday Book Design Blog: Things to Make and Break, by May-Lan Tan, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Things to Make and Break, by May-Lan Tan

CB Editions has been having quite a time of it in the media spotlight recently, with a Goldmsiths Prize shortlisting for Will Eaves’s ‘exploded novel’ The Absent Therapist, and now a shortlisting for the Guardian First Book Award for May-Lan Tan’s excellent debut collection of stories, Things to Make and Break.
As you can see, there [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 21 November 2014 at 1:59 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: 70×70, by Iain Sinclair, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: 70×70, by Iain Sinclair

When I think of books by Iain Sinclair, I think not just of the plump, respectable lead title hardbacks from Granta and Hamish Hamilton that have been coming with happy regularity the last decade and a half, and neither of the well-thumbed Vintage paperbacks that I first read him in, but also of the strange [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 14 November 2014 at 1:45 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: Nairn’s London, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Nairn’s London

All book design – like all craft, all art – is a shuttling negotiation between tradition and experiment, the way it was and the way it might be. As a result, it might sometimes seem as if this blog is fixated with the retro mode in design, with books that look more than a little [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 7 November 2014 at 11:18 am

Friday Book Design Blog: Collier Books – great paperback design… and some of the worst Narnia covers I’ve seen

This in lieu of a full post, a favourite cover pulled at random from the shelves: This edition of Stendhal’s A Roman Journal, from Collier Books, published in 1961, the year, so the internet tells me, that the imprint was swallowed up into Macmillan.
Which is a shame, as it’s a charming paperback imprint – still [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 24 October 2014 at 12:18 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: Fitzcarraldo Editions, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Fitzcarraldo Editions

Last week I spoke about some plain-looking – but lovely – jacketless hardbacks. This week I’m still on the minimalist tip, thanks to these first offerings from new publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions. They are paperback, not hardback, though the word is misleading: this is a lovely, slightly textured card, with the jacket flaps folding back almost [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 17 October 2014 at 12:42 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: Slightly Foxed and Notting Hill Editions, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Slightly Foxed and Notting Hill Editions

This blog is written on the fly, latching onto whatever catches my eye in the world of books, and as such is happily prey to its fashions and fads. Book designers are in the business, among other things, of making books stand out and be noticed, and I’m in the business of noticing books.
That said, [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 10 October 2014 at 11:00 am

Friday Book Design Blog: Faber Modern Classics (and other classics), Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Faber Modern Classics (and other classics)

The book covers that have been flying around the internet this week have been those of Faber’s new list of ‘Modern Classics’, which will hit the shelves next April. Before then, of course, we have Picador’s own ‘Classics’ list, arriving in January, while we also have recently had a smaller Classics list from Serpent’s Tail [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 3 October 2014 at 4:59 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: Old Friends, by Clive Bell, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Old Friends, by Clive Bell

The first thing to note about this book – picked up in a charity shop for 95p – is what good condition it is in, ripped dust jacket aside (worse on the back than on the front – and ignore the dark vertical stripe: dodgy scan), for one printed in 1956. The paper hardly faded, [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 26 September 2014 at 12:08 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: The Neapolitan Novels, by Elena Ferrante, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: The Neapolitan Novels, by Elena Ferrante

I’ve been sunk a bit deep in Elena Ferrante over the summer, reading the third volume in her ‘Neapolitan novels’ for review in this newspaper, and then taking part in a discussion with other critics at Foxed Books last week to mark the book’s publication – in preparation for which I read the two of [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 19 September 2014 at 11:47 am

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