Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Editions

Barnes and Noble Leatherbound books

I don’t think I actually need to say a word. These books are glorious. Barnes and Noble leatherbound books are the epitome of beauty for me. These special editions look gorgeous on my bookshelf, are a pleasure to read and would make amazing gifts. In fact, I regularly give friends and family these editions as presents. They always go down well!

Here are the ones I own. Enjoy:

F. Scott Fitzgerald Classic Works

Dracula

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Arabian Nights

War and Peace

Aesop’s Illustrated Fables

Tales of Mystery and Imagination – not the exact edition but similar.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Little Women

Anna Karenina

I hope you enjoy getting your collection started!

https://storage.ko-fi.com/cdn/widget/Widget_2.jskofiwidget2.init(‘Support Me on Ko-fi’, ‘#29abe0’, ‘P5P49PBMG’);kofiwidget2.draw();

Purple Penguin Clothbound Classics

Purple penguin clothbound classics

Everything about clothbound classics is pleasing to the eye, and these purple ones are no exception. I love all of these books, but Madame Bovary is a particular favourite. I’m due a reread soon! Otherwise, the magic of the language in Jabberwocky is something else, and Wide Sargasso Sea is one of the cleverest retellings I’ve come across.

Here’s where you can get these books:

Madame Bovary

Jabberwocky

Wide Sargasso Sea

The espresso cup was from a charity shop.

https://storage.ko-fi.com/cdn/widget/Widget_2.jskofiwidget2.init(‘Support Me on Ko-fi’, ‘#29abe0’, ‘P5P49PBMG’);kofiwidget2.draw();

The Binding – Bridget Collins

The binding Bridget Collins

“Somehow it went from too soon to too late, without the right moment in between.”

If you had the power to erase your worst memories, would you? The Binding explores this question and the moral and ethical dilemmas involved, and it does so beautifully.

There is a wonderful depth to Collins’ writing as she unwinds her themes. If it were possible to remove memories, would it be done for good, or for ill? All the while, a tragic love story unfolds between Emmett Farmer and Lucian Darnay, one a poor apprentice, the other rich and privileged. The love story was gorgeously written, and added another level to this already intriguing idea.

The books in Collins’ story are dangerous – they contain human memories, just as our own books do, but these are memories that the owner wanted to be hidden, secreted away from the originator themselves.

The Binding is set in a time which has many similarities with 19th century England, and this dark, gloomy setting works perfectly for the story.

I truly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it.

8/10

You can get it here: The Binding

Top 10 Books Of 2020 (So Far…)

It has been a year for reading, with many of us spending a lot more time at home than we had perhaps envisioned in January. Fortunately, there have been some incredible new releases this year. Here are the books I’ve read and the books I’m most looking forward to this year…

1. My Dark Vanessa

My dark Vanessa

You may be familiar with My Dark Vanessa, a tale about a college student and her relationship with her professor. It is an interesting investigation into the manipulation and balance of power involved.

My Dark Vanessa

2. Hamnet

Hamnet

You may already have read my review of Hamnet, but suffice to say any fan of Shakespeare should read this story.

Hamnet

3. The Mirror And The Light

The mirror and the light

Another epic from Hilary Mantel, this is the final book in the trilogy about Thomas Cromwell and depicts his downfall.

The Mirror and the Light

4. Sisters

Sisters

Out in August, this is a disturbing tale from the author of Everything Under.

Sisters

5. A Long Petal of the Sea

A long petal of the sea

A riveting new historic saga by Isabel Allende, looking at love in exile.

A Long Petal of the Sea

6. Such A Fun Age

Such a fun age

A funny, fast-paced social satire about privilege in America.

Such A Fun Age

7. Long Bright River

Long bright river

A page turning thriller with murder and missing persons, based in Philadelphia.

Long Bright River

8. A Thousand Ships

A thousand ships

Although technically released in 2019, this features on my list because it is the next book I’m going to read (just waiting for it to arrive!) and it has been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize this year. Feminist retelling of myths are usually a winner, so I can’t wait to start this one.

A Thousand Ships

9. The Mercies

The mercies

This book has been EVERYWHERE this year, and with good reason. It is based on the 1621 witch trials in Finland so of course I like it (my own book is based on the 1612 witch trials in Pendle), and this is beautifully crafted.

The Mercies

10. Topics of Conversation

Topics of conversation

Another that I’m eagerly anticipating- Topics of Conversation is an exploration of women’s lives through the medium of conversation.

Topics of Conversation

Which books are you most looking forward to this year? Let me know in the comments!

Flame Tree Short Stories

Flame Tree Publishing

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about these editions that just sings to me. Flame Tree Publishing have created a range of short stories collections, and they are not only fascinating but also highly aesthetically pleasing.

I have these three so far, but I hope to expand my collection soon!

Japanese Myths & Tales

Mary Shelley Horror Stories

Haunted House Short Stories

My teacup!

https://storage.ko-fi.com/cdn/widget/Widget_2.jskofiwidget2.init(‘Support Me on Ko-fi’, ‘#29abe0’, ‘P5P49PBMG’);kofiwidget2.draw();

Canterbury Classics Word Cloud

Canterbury Classics word cloud flexibounds

These Canterbury Classics Word Cloud editions have swiftly become a #bookstagram favourite. Not are they beautifully designed, but they’re also very affordable. Win win! There are many books available in the range, but here are the ones I own:

Frankenstein

The Beautiful And Damned

My Antonia

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – only £5.25!

Wuthering Heights

The Wind in the Willows

Dubliners

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Classic Science Fiction

The Awakening

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Age of Innocence

Jane Eyre

https://storage.ko-fi.com/cdn/widget/Widget_2.jskofiwidget2.init(‘Support Me on Ko-fi’, ‘#29abe0’, ‘P5P49PBMG’);kofiwidget2.draw();

Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh

Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh

“…any one who has been to an English public school will always feel comparatively at home in prison. It is the people brought up in the gay intimacy of the slums, Paul learned, who find prison so soul destroying.”

I have read Brideshead Revisited once, many years ago, but apart from that had never read anything by Evelyn Waugh until I picked up this book. I had no idea what to expect, but I had not expected a laugh-out-loud story which caused me to choke on my chuckles in the quiet carriage of a train to London.

This story tracks Paul Pennyfeather’s escapades following a rather ignominious expulsion from college. Every time things are going right, something goes wrong. The characters Paul meets along the way are invariably a mix of grossly unbelievable and intimately plausible- if you think that sounds like a contradiction, you’d better read this book.

We realise, somewhere close to the end of the story, that Paul’s decline and fall is down to the outside actions of other characters, boisterously thrusting themselves through life. Paul is a bystander and, as a result, is treated if not badly then with a great amount of indifference to his comfort. If there is a moral to this story, then perhaps it is this – do not be a bystander in your own life. I’m not sure Waugh would agree with that conclusion, though.

An entertaining account of the absurdity of life.

8/10

Decline and Fall (2) (Penguin Classics Waugh 02)

https://storage.ko-fi.com/cdn/widget/Widget_2.jskofiwidget2.init(‘Support Me on Ko-fi’, ‘#29abe0’, ‘P5P49PBMG’);kofiwidget2.draw();