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
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]