Wishlist Wednesday #9

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto your shelves.

I have spoken many times about how much I adore The Folio Society’s Austen collection. Well, they’ve just released their edition of Persuasion so… get ready to hear a little more about it.

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‘Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch-hall in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage.’ With the opening of Persuasion, we appear to be in known Austen territory: the empty-headed Sir Walter, whose only reading is the Baronetage (mainly the page about himself), promises familiar delights. Yet the atmosphere of this book is as different from Austen’s earlier works as autumn is to spring. Anne Elliot is haunted by her past mistake in turning down her first love, Frederick Wentworth, due to pressure from her family – misplaced persuasion. But a financial calamity will put her, unexpectedly, in the way of a second chance. Jane Austen’s last finished novel, Persuasion shows her at her most moving, powerful and mature. As C. S. Lewis wrote, ‘It is, in a sense in which the other novels are not, a love story.’


 

If you’re not an Austen fan, Persuasion is the book I recommend reading after Pride and Prejudice. It is not ‘light, bright and sparkling’ like Pride and Prejudice – it is a lot more mature, and you can often find it on autumn reading lists. Austen died in the midst of editing it, so it isn’t as polished as her other works – but out of all of her novels, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion have a fairly similar structure. It’s also the most beautiful love story – sure, Wentworth can be a bit of a jerk, but that man can write a letter.

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Bound in metallic cloth with a matching slip case, and featuring gorgeous colour illustrations, I think I would be terrified to crack open this edition – it is far too beautiful (… and expensive) to be ruined by my clumsy self. It won’t stop me coveting The Folio Society’s Austen collection though.

Wishlist Wednesday #8

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto your shelves.

As I’ve mentioned multiple times on this blog, I regularly lust after a well-designed book. I recently came across Penguin Classics’ Faux Leather Editions designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. They are absolutely stunning, and won’t hurt your wallet as much as something like the Folio Society’s works (still coveting their Austen collection, though!).

I have a lot of these already (Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and The Brothers Grimm), but I would quite happily fork out $30 for these gorgeous editions!

Wishlist Wednesday #7

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto your shelves.

This week’s Wishlist Wednesday combines two of my loves: books and musical theatre. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ve probably heard me talk (and talk, and talk, and talk…) about the musical Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda penned Hamilton: The Revolution to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the musical. He deconstructs the lyrics, talks about the process behind putting together Hamilton and discusses the impact that the show has already had. My inner fangirl is already screaming.

Wishlist Wednesday #6

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves.

I have a serious problem: I’m addicted to buying pretty editions of classics, namely ones written by Jane Austen & the Brontë sisters. Unfortunately for my wallet (but fortunately for book lovers everywhere!), Vintage Classics released these gorgeous editions of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. These editions were released to coincide with the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.

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As any lover of classic literature can tell you, there are a multitude of editions of the Brontës’ work, and it’s a real challenge to get noticed. Vintage Classics therefore employed Sarah Gillespie to create covers that were in keeping with the landscape of the Brontës’ novels.

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I definitely think they succeeded! The covers are gorgeous monochrome and quite different to a typical Brontë cover. I already own Vintage Classics’ Austen series, and I think despite the difference in cover design, they’ll look quite smart next to one another.

Wishlist Wednesday #5

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Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper
. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves.

This week, I’m wishing for Canterbury Classics edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s Complete Fairy Tales!

All the best-loved fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, including “The Ugly Duckling,” “Thumbelina,” “The Red Shoes,” “The Princess on the Pea,” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” fill the pages of this beautiful leather-bound collector’s edition. Also included is “The Tallow Candle” — one of the earliest stories written by Andersen, just discovered recently! With both short and long anecdotes, this is a great book of bedtime stories or for rainy-day reading. The attached bookmark ribbon ensures readers will never lose their place as they wander through the imagination of one of the most popular children’s writers of all time.

I love fairy tales. I suppose it all started because of the Disney Princesses, but at some point during high school I became interested in their gritty beginnings. I already own Canterbury Classics edition of Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales, and I can honestly say they produce beautiful books. Andersen, though – I already know a lot of his tales quite well. Tales like The Princess and the Pea, Red Shoes, and Thumbelina were ones I grew up on. This book would be a beautiful edition to my shelves!

Wishlist Wednesday #4

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves.

This week, I’m wishing for The Witching Elm by C.N. Crawford!

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Seventeen-year-old sorcerer Tobias Corvin tumbles through a blizzard and arrives—half frozen and half dead—in another world. Trapped in Boston, he tries to blend in at an old boarding school while secretly plotting to save his home.

But if anything can distract him from his mission, it’s the wild-haired and intriguing Fiona. She is determined to learn the truth about his dangerous magic.

When a spectral army from Toby’s world begins slaughtering Bostonians, he and Fiona must stop the carnage. They face unspeakable dangers unearthing the dark secrets of New England’s past—a past that holds the key to saving both worlds from destruction.

This book has been described as Harry Potter crossed with a Joss Whedon television series – need I any other reason to add it to my wishlist?

Wishlist Wednesday #3

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves.

This week on my wishlist: the Penguin Christmas Classics edition of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.

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L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus was first published in 1902, two years after his Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Drawing on the attributes of Santa Claus from Clement Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (“The Night Before Christmas”), Baum chronicles Santa’s life from his childhood in an enchanted forest—the same forest that is the source of all magic in the land of Oz—to his destiny of sharing gifts and spreading love to his fellow man. Along the way we witness him making his first toys, learn the origins of the Christmas tree and Christmas stockings, and discover the stories behind many Christmas secrets, like why Santa slides down chimneys, how he picks his reindeer, and how he delivers all his toys in one night. Later adapted into multiple animated films, and published here with the original illustrations from the first edition, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus evinces the charm, warmth, and fantasy that made L. Frank Baum’s Oz stories American classics.

Recently, there’s been a number of posts about Iceland’s Annual ‘Christmas Book Flood‘ – presents are given on Christmas Eve, and people spend their night reading. Ever since reading about the tradition two years ago, I’ve tried to make my own spin on it, by reading a Christmas-themed book on Christmas Eve.

I adore Penguin’s Christmas Classics series – I already own the other five in the series. I’m a sucker for beautiful book design, and these books are gorgeous – foil-stamped jackets, decorative end papers and (something that takes me back to the books I owned as a child) a little name plate on the inside. My favourite thing about this series is that they’re a collection of Christmas stories from around the world, taking stories from British, American, and Russian authors; Christmas classics about the time-honoured traditions of Christmas. L. Frank Baum wrote a modern-day classic like nobody else, and I would love to add his take on Santa Claus to my collection.

 

Wishlist Wednesday #2

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves.

This week, I’m wishing for The Folio Society’s editions of Jane Austen novels!

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Pride and Prejudice

One of the world’s favourite books, Pride and Prejudice has long been regarded as a classic romance. In Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jane Austen created the greatest pair of sparring lovers since Shakespeare’s Beatrice and Benedick. This sparkling comedy of manners features an inimitable cast of characters including the obsequious Mr Collins, the autocratic Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Mrs Bennet, the most embarrassing mother in literature.

 

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Emma by Jane Austen

‘I am going to take a heroine whom nobody but myself will much like,’ wrote Jane Austen when beginning Emma in January 1814. In this she was proved wrong. Pride and Prejudice may be her most famous novel, Persuasion her most deeply affecting, but for many, Emma is Austen’s best novel; the most perfectly balanced between comedy and insight, sparkle and depth. Witty, headstrong Emma Woodhouse, more interested in making matches for others than falling in love herself, is a wholly delightful heroine. The secondary characters – the impressionable Harriet, egotistical Mr Elton and Emma’s gentle, hypochondriac father – are just as unforgettable.

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Sense and Sensibility

When Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s father dies, the sisters are left – thanks to the manipulation of their spiteful sister-in-law – without a home or prospects, unless they find themselves a suitable match. Calm, prudent Elinor’s relationship with the eligible but depressive Edward Ferrars proves complicated, while impetuous, romantic Marianne finds herself torn between glamorous but unreliable Willoughby and the patient war hero Colonel Brandon. At its heart, Austen’s extraordinary first novel is a portrait of the relationship between two loving but very different sisters: the battle between heart and head, Elinor and Marianne, sense and sensibility, is one of the best-loved in English literature. It brims with Austen’s characteristic wry humour, her sharp eye for the nuances of class and conversation, and her sympathy for the plight of unmarried women at a time when marriage and money were the only guarantees of a respectable future.


 

I’m a Jane Austen fanatic. I’m currently in rehearsals for Sense and Sensibility (I’m playing Lucy Steele), and last year I played Mary Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. I own multiple editions of her books already and in all honesty do not need another three. Look at these though! These editions are illustrated and bound in metallic cloth. Check out the matching slip cases:

I love the Folio Society’s work – I already own second-hand copies of Jane Austen’s Letters and The Brontës: A Life In Letters – and I would love to get my hands on these! Ranging between $AU69.95-$76.95, they are a little on the expensive side and are something I’d have to save up for, though.

The Folio Society has also redesigned/reissued A Memoir of Jane Austen by J.E. Austen-Leigh to match these editions. How pretty do they look all together? I can already hear my bank account breaking.

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Wishlist Wednesday #1

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves.

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

In the silence between them, she heard a frog croak and the leaves fluttering in a jasmine-scented breeze above their heads. A nightingale sang a sad and lonely song.

How gorgeous is that prose? I’ve had The Nightingale on my wishlist for about nine months now, but since I started blogging at the end of the year, I’ve focused mostly on reading and reviewing fantasy YA novels and didn’t really make an effort to read outside of those genres. Growing up I was never banned from reading anything, and so I developed a taste for a variety of genres. Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve been more or less reading for an audience, rather than pleasure, and I miss  the diversity. I’ve decided that I need to start reading for myself again and read books that I want to read, regardless of genre. What a better way than to start off with one of my favourite genres, historical fiction? I am fascinated with war-time stories set during WWI and WWII – probably a result of my studying German history at school – so I’m eager to get my hands on this book.