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
Last night was the second Academy of British Cover Design awards, where Britain’s designers applaud what they see as the best work coming out of the country. Split into categories that sometimes overlap, and sometimes sit slightly awkwardly (Women’s fiction – really? Including the Folio Prize-shortlisted Miriam Toews), here are the shortlisted covers for each, [...]
This came through the door this week: the proof for the second novel by Benjamin Wood, author of The Bellwether Revivals, which I haven’t read. I’m not entirely sure this new one, which is published in July, is my kind of thing either, but I love the cover, with its two versions of the (exact?) [...]
If book design is partly (though surely first of all) about making a book stand out in a bookshop then this Hamish Hamilton edition of Richard McGuire’s Here did the job. The matt illustrated cover of a sash window, with its intrinsic sense of mystery, its invitation to look inside, and its bold diagonal is [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]