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
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
So we have the shortlist, which leads me naturally to rack up the six books in the running for the 2014 Man Booker Prize and judge them on the purely cosmetic basis of their good looks. In alphabetical order of the authors, then:
First up, Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again At A Decent Hour (links to [...]
Here’s a book that earns its place in the Book Design Blog not so much for its own formal design (though that is clear and pleasing enough) but for its contents: it’s a book by Stuart Tolley celebrating the ‘innovative packing and graphics’ of the best of recent collector’s editions – not just of books, [...]
This appeared on my doormat this week, along with various other books, and I reached for it with a lurch of surprise and – not delight exactly – but expectation. If literature is, as Pound said, news that stay news, then it can be equally thrilling when literature turns its usually eternal, or at least [...]
Series redesigns are the bread and butter of the publishing world – the decent, honourable job of keeping a backlist visible and afloat. Link an author’s books together in their visual style and, you hope, you will fix their ‘brand’ in the reading public’s mind. Make them beautiful – ‘collectable’, that marvellously meaningless word – [...]