Browsing in Waterstone’s the other day I was both delighted and a little upset when I found these beautiful Jeeves and Wooster covers lurking on the classics shelves:
Gorgeous aren’t they? But why had they been brought out after I had already committed myself to the cartoony covers? My bookshelf is one of the few things I keep in any state or organisation and mismatched series are one of the most irritating things in the world (I’m still smarting that Harper Voyager changed the size of A song of Ice and Fire paperbacks after book four). But these were so stylish I almost considered ditching the Jeeves I had already and starting from scratch.
Thankfully, I didn’t, because it turns out that these are from a set of special edition Wodehouse’s – four Jeeves, four non-Jeeves – aimed at attracting new readers. Here are the others:
TV and film companies love Austen. Maybe it’s the enduring appeal of the novels, maybe it’s the huge in-built audience of Austen fans that’ll guarantee success, maybe they just like the clothing, or maybe they’re just too damn lazy to find and utilise less known novels. Who knows? Either way, it means that the market place is flooded with films, tv series, plays, webisodes – period versions, modern-day versions, Bollywood versions, time travelling versions, versions with zombies… (and that’s just for one book!) basically pretty much any ‘twist’ you can think of.
Well before I read any Austen for myself I had seen TV and film adaptations of most of her books, some good some…not so good. Here are just 5 of my favourites – and yes, they are mostly (but not all) period versions, maybe later I’ll put together a list of my favourite modern-day versions but for today it’ my all time favourites and these are simply the ones I love the most. Continue reading
So I as up in London today, checking out a museum exhibition on Death at the Welcome Collection (I wasn’t allowed to take photos but a few pics here for anyone interested) and I thought I might pop into the Piccadilly branch of Waterstone’s while I was there. It’s the largest bookshop in Europe. Instead of a coffee shop it has a cocktail bar and restaurant. To be honest, I’m not sure I like it – too much open space and order and display tables it doesn’t feel…booky enough and the bar was way too dimly lit for my rubbish eyes to even attempt to sit down with a drink and read my book. But it did have an independent publishers section and a few display tables focusing almost solely on foreign and translated fiction – so it was a good way to browse for books I probably wouldn’t see at all in other shops.
Anyways, as I was browsing the rather large classics section a few rather striking book covers caught my eye – and obviously the eye of the employee responsible for the classics section because they had put several of them on prominent front-facing display. I’ve got such a big to-read pile and so little money that I didn’t buy any, but when I get round to it I am definitely getting myself this edition of Heart of Darkness:
New feature! Sorta.
For highlighting all those wonderful book related products I spot that aren’t books: posters, bags, jewelery, games, shelves… anything with a literary theme to it that I desperately desperately want to own but normally can’t afford/don’t have space for. Hopefully in time I’ll even feature things I can afford, have bought, and just desperately need to show off.
First up though – price be damned, I would buy them if I had any wall space at all left! Novel Posters
Ok, so it looks pretty cool, a poster with images made up of text. Look a little closer though and you can tell it’s the whole book up there. A single book, from start to finish, all on one page, and turned into a beautiful work of art (personally I have to admit to not particularly liking the title font, but the book-to-image design is gorgeous). Better still the text, if you peer closely enough or have good enough eyesight, is completely legible! And it’s not just short books like this you can get – though the shorter the book, the more white space to play with. They have A Tale of Two Cities, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Pride and Prejudice, even gargantuan books like War and Peace.
And they’re not the only ones doing this sort of thing. Check out these, three different versions of Peter Pan from three different companies:
Peter Pan by Spineless Classics Peter Pan, by Litographs
Peter Pan by The Literary Gift Company
As promised in my New Years post, Cover Issues is back! And to start off just a slightly silly look at how many different covers of The Hobbit I managed to discover while working in my local branch of Waterstone’s over Christmas.
While I liked most of what I read last year there were a few duds, as there always are, that sipped through the cracks. So as a companion piece to my top 5 reads of 2012 here are 5 of the worst books I had the misfortune to encounter. This was actually a much harder list to put together than my favourites list. Three books immediately jumped out at me as some of the worst books I could recall reading ever, but it took a very long time and lots of scrolling through the blog to even remember reading the last two on my list.
So I haven’t quite finished catching up with the last of my 2012 books that need reviewing, but since none of them are going to make an appearance on either my 5 Best or 5 Worst lists this year I thought I’d just plow on and get these up.
2012 was a pretty good year for books for me, I managed to fit more books in than I have for a very long time, and I enjoyed almost all of them – which is always good! That should probably make any ‘top 5’ of 2012 a quite difficult task, but when I actually got down to looking over the books I’d read this year the standouts were obvious. These were the books that I really loved, not just enjoyed, but ones that found a special place in my heart and that I will happily try to force on any and all acquaintances. So, in no particular order: Continue reading