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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: Ukraine Diaries, by Andrey Kurkov, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Ukraine Diaries, by Andrey Kurkov

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 [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 1 August 2014 at 1:54 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: Series special – Amos Tutuola and Jane Austen, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Series special – Amos Tutuola and Jane Austen

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 – [...]

By | Arts | Monday, 21 July 2014 at 11:01 am

Friday Book Design Blog: Meatspace, by Nikesh Shukla, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Meatspace, by Nikesh Shukla

It takes a moment for the cover art of Nikesh Shukla’s new novel, Meatspace, to make itself fully understood. It shows a simple one-two of aviator shades and red bow tie, on a white background, with title, author name and quote discretely set in a narrow Helvetica.

You’ll see straight away that the shades and tie [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 27 June 2014 at 11:39 am

Friday Book Design Blog: Penguin Random House Design Award 2014 (What a Carve Up, by Jonathan Coe, and The Outsiders, By S.E. Hinton), Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Penguin Random House Design Award 2014 (What a Carve Up, by Jonathan Coe, and The Outsiders, By S.E. Hinton)

This is the second year I’ve covered the Penguin Design Awards (now, of course, the Penguin Random House Design Awards), in which design students are asked to come up with covers for one adult and/or one children’s book in the Penguin and Puffin ranges – in this case Jonathan Coe’s 1980s social satire, and SE [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 20 June 2014 at 11:57 am

Friday Book Design Blog: A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, by Eimear McBride, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, by Eimear McBride

I love the new cover for Eimear McBride’s Bailey’s-winning – and Goldsmith’s-winning and Kerry Group Irish Novel-winning – A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. This is the mass market paperback, from Faber, following its first publication by tiny Norwich indie Galley Beggar Press (who are, full disclosure, my publisher also). But I think it does [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 6 June 2014 at 12:44 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: Mother Island by Bethan Roberts vs Broadchurch by Erin Kelly, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: Mother Island by Bethan Roberts vs Broadchurch by Erin Kelly

Bethan Roberts’ fourth novel is what you’d call high-concept – it’s got a tagline, there under the title, that seems to tell you everything you need to know about it in one tight, emotive phrase: How does it feel to find your two-year-old gone?
Of course there’s probably more to it than that, and I haven’t [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 23 May 2014 at 5:38 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: The Future for Curious People, by Greg Sherl – plus the rise of the Must-Have Proof, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: The Future for Curious People, by Greg Sherl – plus the rise of the Must-Have Proof

There are two ways for publishers to use proof copies to catch people’s attention ahead of publication – one is to tease readers with a quirky, intriguing design, the other to go all-out with luxury, limited edition proofs – the Must Have item of the book world

By | Arts | Friday, 16 May 2014 at 2:09 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: I Put a Spell on You, by John Burnside, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: I Put a Spell on You, by John Burnside

The cover of John Burnside’s latest memoir is attractively put together, with neat upper and lower panes against a wide white frame; non-symmetrical; sepia above, and grey below; with the author name and title in a lovely Garamond (I think) font. There’s something about the grey that makes the sepia really stand out, making it [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 9 May 2014 at 12:21 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell

So this week we were introduced to the cover of the next novel by David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks. His publisher, Sceptre, have put up a dedicated website, with an ‘interactive cover’ – i.e. you click on bits of it to get all the bits you usually get by not having to click on bits [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 25 April 2014 at 2:30 pm

Friday Book Design Blog: 3:AM Press, Arts

Friday Book Design Blog: 3:AM Press

The first time I saw these covers, probably independently of each other, I wasn’t sure about them, but the more I look at them – and the more I look at them together – the more I like them.
They are covers of chapbooks mostly, and feature the illustrations of Christiana Spens who is director and [...]

By | Arts | Friday, 11 April 2014 at 3:40 pm

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