Today’s offering in BookAddiction’s beautiful books stakes a contemporary one.  Every year, for each of those novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a special, unique binding is commissioned from a leading bookbinder.  The resulting small collection of beautifully bound volumes is usually exhibited at some point in the Victoria and Albert Museum.


It is Darkmans by Nicola Barker (published by Fourth Estate, 2007) which was on the Man Booker shortlist in 2007. This one caught my eye for its boldness, striking use of strong colours and the absence of any titles on the cover.  It is brazen and in that is in keeping with Barker’s novel, itself an epic and outspoken (and very good) novel set in Ashford, with the action taking place over just a few short days.  The beautiful binding is by Rachel Ward-Sale, founder of Bookbinders of Lewes and a fellow of Designer Bookbinders.