As for his own work, it is also constantly changing, as reflected in this vibrant decadelong retrospective, but it has most...




More than a decade after the first, the second volume of art and anecdotes from one of the foremost book-jacket designers in contemporary publishing.

Those with an extensive library will already have plenty of these works of art on their shelves: the dust covers on novels by Haruki Murakami, Cormac McCarthy, Jay McInerney, Michael Chabon, and so many others. Yet, collected in their own book, these designs show just how prolific and eclectic Kidd has been. He has also used his publishing experience as a springboard for his own career as a novelist (The Learners, 2008, etc.), with his writing often showing the same inventive flair as his design. The authors with whom he works sense a kindred spirit as well. Murakami praises his “boundlessly inventive ideas, the out-of-the-box perspective, the sly sense of humor, the carefully calculated anachronisms, the occasional glimpse of the lyrical.” Neil Gaiman writes, “he broke every rule in publishing…including some that the publishers didn’t realize were rules until Chip did it differently.” Kidd’s art often doesn’t submit to the rectangular format of the book jacket or serve as a representational depiction of the subject or author. Instead, his playful creativity seems to reflect something deeper. This collection also shows how his design assignments extend beyond his employment at Knopf, with Rolling Stone and Newsweek commissioning magazine covers and Paul Simon enlisting his services for a CD booklet. Where album covers once drew attention to visual artistry, CDs shrank that art to the point where it became less noticeable, and streaming has all but eliminated any attention to album art at all. Will book design suffer the same fate in the move to e-books? In the self-interview that opens the collection, Kidd addresses changes in publishing and how those might affect his approach to his work. Not at all, he insists, for while publishing is always changing, the hard copy of a book has shown its staying power.

As for his own work, it is also constantly changing, as reflected in this vibrant decadelong retrospective, but it has most certainly endured.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8478-6008-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Rizzoli

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet



Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?