A good book, designed well, is an object of lasting value. Delivering words like a skilled orator, it creates a gallery for the words and pictures. It is ordered and clear, yet retains a capacity for surprise. As a gift, it speaks volumes about the giver and the recipient and the relationship between the two. It is both product and packaging, use and ornament. It feels right.
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HUNT THE BANKER by ALEXANDER LEBEDEV
Publisher
Quiller
Pages 256 text + 16 colour plates

Alexander Lebedev is best known as the Russian businessman and public figure who bought the Evening Standard and The Independent newspapers in the UK and was a former KGB intelligence officer in the USSR’s London Embassy.

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IN PRAISE OF BEES by ELIZABETH BIRCHALL
Publisher
Quiller
Pages 256

Elizabeth Birchall's rich text has so many ‘extra’ elements to it – captions, source credits, reference numbers, quotes, poems, footnotes and so on – that it presented a serious typographic challenge, as well as an editorial one. A fascinating book, it has been beautifully produced, on good stock, with a tactile, debossed cover.

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MARILYN MONROE: AN APPRECIATION BY EVE ARNOLD
Publisher
Washington Green
Pages 160

The late Eve Arnold was 93 when I first met her at her Mayfair flat to choose pictures for this book. Over a lightbox, I studied negatives and slides through a loop: Monroe with Laurence Olivier, Arthur Miller, Clark Gable, sleeping, eating, thinking, laughing... Then Eve passed me a handful of contact sheets scrawled with notes, circles, crossings out and various scribbles. “Are these your chinagraph markings?” I asked her. “No,” said Eve. “They’re Marilyn’s.”

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THE COCKER SPANIEL by JANET MENZIES
Publisher
Quiller
Pages 228

This fully-illustrated book covers every aspect of cockers, from the history of the breed, to healthcare and problem-solving guides. It has a soft cover with flaps. Rather like the dog, then.

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AFRICA by KIM DONALDSON
Publisher
Pavilion
Pages 220

The logistics of getting this book produced were formidable. Hundreds of paintings, drawings, photographs, notebooks, sketchbooks, coins, banknotes, stamps, maps, skulls, quills, feathers, teeth... all had to be shipped to the UK from the artist’s home in Florida. After clearing customs they were listed and photographed in Birmingham over a period of weeks and batches of transparencies were ferried to me in London to be scanned and incorporated into layouts. Two different Limited Editions were produced for The Halcyon Gallery in Mayfair – one leather-bound in a box, the other cloth-bound in a slipcase.

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HAVE A CIGAR! by BRYAN MORRISON
Publisher
Quiller
Pages 224 text + 16 colour plates

As a music publisher, manager and agent, Bryan Morrison represented the Pretty Things, Pink Floyd, T. Rex, The Jam, Wham! and many others. He was also the founder and owner of the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. This memoir, published posthumously, has some great stories.

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A HALF-BAKED HISTORY OF GINGERBREAD by SARAH-JANE SZIKORA
Publisher
Szikora Fine Arts
Pages 60

The true story of gingerbread is a fascinating one, probably. But this half-baked one is MUCH better. Written by Sarah-Jane around her many gingerbread paintings, it charts the rise of this popular, crunchy snack from the single-celled crumbs of millions of years ago to space biscuits aboard the Gingernational Space Station.

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THE DICTIONARY OF POSH by HUGH KELLETT
Publisher
Quiller
Pages 112

This dictionary of 'posh', illustrated by Oliver Preston, follows the story of the fictional Pails-Hurtingscaux family and uses them in the definitions. For instance:

ALLIANCE
: (Noun)
Meaning: A regular amount of money paid into one’s bank
Example: Not for the first time, Lord P-H was wondering if he could
afford to continue paying Rupert’s rather hefty monthly ALLIANCE

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THE NETWORK EFFECT by TONY NEWTON and JUDITH PERLE
Publisher
Management Advantage
Pages 240

Although hugely experienced in their respective fields, this was Tony and Judith’s first book and every aspect of it had to be scrutinised in minute detail. When you self-publish, you have no production or editorial departments to spot mistakes, so part of my role was to be alert to the various typos and inconsistencies that would inevitably creep in.