Welcome to my fourth annual holiday gift guide! In this post I review some of the most stunningly designed and physically beautiful books published during 2020, to help you find lovely gifts for your nearest and dearest – or even better, as a treat for yourself!

The books are all listed below, loosely sorted by genre, and any book with a star () next to it has been visually reviewed in the video above. If I recommend a book in this list, you can rest assured it’s not just the physical beauty that counts, I have also read it and I do vouch for the contents too  .

ISBNs and bookshop links are included if you are interested in buying any of the books for yourself. 

Children's Books

A Natural History of Fairies by Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Jessica Roux
Frances Lincoln, 1786037637

An enchanting illustrated history of fairies, with a gold foil-embossed cloth cover, ribbon marker, sprayed gold page edges.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

A Tale of Witchcraft by Chris Colfer | Tales of Magic #2
Little, Brown (US) 0316523569
Hatchette (UK) 1510202196

A delightful fantasy adventure with a fun hidden cover peeking through the die-cut dust jacket.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Chris Riddell
Macmillan, 152900246X

A large full-colour gift edition, visually re-interpreted by Chris Riddell. Foiled jacket, head and tail bands, ribbon marker.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol, illustrated by Floor Rieder
Pushkin, 1782692843

A stunning back-to-back cloth edition with colorful graphic illustrations throughout.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

❦ See also: Reviews of the most beautiful Alice in Wonderland editions

Evil Thing by Serena Valentino | Disney Villains
Disney-Hyperion, 1368009034 

A reimagining of the story of Cruella De Vil, villain of the 101 Dalmatians tale. Clever hidden cover under the dust jacket.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

Ghostology by “Lucinda Curtle”, Dugal Steer et al, illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert | Ologies series
Candlewick (US), 1536209155
Templar (UK), 1787414973

An encyclopedia of ghosts and spirits with a jewelled cover, pull-out letters, moving wheels and other interactive treats. I prefer the US editions for this series (covers are different but contents are the same).

→ Buy from Amazon (US ed)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK ed)

→ Buy from Abes

❦ See also: my review of the entire Ologies series

Hollowpox – Jessica Townsend | Morrigan Crow #3

A young girl at an imaginatively inventive magical academy must find the cure to a strange illness. I recommend the UK editions for this series, as they have delightful hidden covers – I think the US editions are not as pretty.

→ Buy from Amazon (US ed)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK ed) 

→ Buy from Abes (UK ed)

I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast by Michael Holland and Phillip Giordano
Flying Eye, 1911171186

A vibrantly illustrated, oversized compendium that celebrates the lives of plants around the world.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The ABC Storybook by Luke Flowers
Imprint, 1250268206

A cute abecedarian that cleverly retells the story of the film with letters and fabulous artwork for each of the characters.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Keeper of the Lost Cities ‘Annotated Edition’ by Shannon Messenger | Lost Cities Series #1
Aladdin, 1534479848

A special edition of this first-in-series book which contains black and white illustrations and commentary from the author.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

The Little Prince (Macmillan Collector’s Library) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, translated by Ros & Chloe Schwarz
Pan Macmillan, 152904796X

A beautiful edition of the classic, bound in textured cloth, slipcased, featuring a new translation and enlarged original illustrations by the author.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

The Magic Misfits: The Fourth Suit by Neil Patrick Harris | Magic Misfits series
Little Brown & Co, 0316391956

The magical finale of the Magic Misfits series, filled with lots of mystery and adventures, along with fun hidden tricks and treats.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

The Midnight Fair by Sterer Gideon and Mariachiara Di Giorgio
Walker, 1406388319

A gorgeously cinematic wordless picture book about the secret life of woodland animals who visit a midnight fair.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

Mulan: Before the Sword by Grace Lin
Disney Press, 136802033X

A delightfully illustrated tale of Mulan’s adventures, set before the time of the Disney film.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

Obsessive About Octopuses by Owen Davey | About Animals series
Flying Eye, 1912497786

An oversized beautifully illustrated guide to these denizens of the deep, featuring Davey’s signature minimalist art style. I love the whole series.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

★ Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, illustrated by MinaLima
OUP, 0192775073

A beautifully illustrated interactive edition of the unabridged classic children’s tale, with clever paper engineering to entertain.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

❦ See also the rest of the books in the truly amazing MinaLima interactive children’s classics series

Pippi Longstocking Goes Aboard, Gift Edition by Astrid Lindgren, illustrated by Lauren Child | Pippi Longstocking
OUP, 0192775073

An oversized, lavishly illustrated gift edition to celebrate Pippi’s 75th anniversary.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

❦ See also the matching 2007 edition of Pippi Longstocking also illustrated by Lauren Child, available from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes

Rupert Bear: A Celebration of Favourite Stories by Alfred E. Bestall
Egmont, 1405298006

A nostalgic collection of stories celebrating 100 years of Rupert Bear.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

★ The Song of the Tree by Coralie Bickford Smith
HarperCollins, 0008295328

A delightful cloth-covered picture book fable about a bird growing up and discovering the world.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Storm by Nicola Skinner, illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino
HarperCollins, 0008295328

A fun novel about a girl with a temper, with a delightful hidden cover.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Britta Teckntrup
Philomel (US), 198483732X
HarperCollins (UK), 0008229945

A lavishly illustrated treasury of animal poems, one for every day of the year. 

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Tilly and the Map of Stories by Anna James, illustrated by Paola Escobar | Pages & Co #3
Philomel (US), 198483732X
HarperCollins (UK), 0008229945

Description 

→ Buy from Amazon (US ed)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK ed)

→ Buy from Abes

The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke
Viking (US), 0593116933
Penguin (UK), 0241417465

A compelling ‘found family’ tale of adventure with a gorgeous hidden cover under the dust jacket.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

Where Snow Angels Go by Maggie O’Farrell, illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
Viking (US), 0593116933
Penguin (UK), 0241417465

A sweet and beautifully illustrated modern day fairy tale about a brave little girl and a snowy miracle.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

A World of Art by Helena Hunt, illustrated by James Brown
Walker Studio, 1406393894

An engagingly illustrated guide to the world of art throughout history.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Myths & Legends

My First Pop-Up Mythological Monsters by Owen Davey
Walker Books, 1406392375

A cute pop-up primer to the joys of mythical animals and cryptozoology. Probably a little delicate for tiny hands.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

★ A Journey Through Greek Myths by Marchella Ward, illustrated by Sander Berg
Flying Eye, 1911171577

A gorgeously illustrated journey through Greek mythology, exploring the places where each story took place, and why myths matter, as well a retelling the stories. Not a lot of context for the stories, but they are modernised and easy to read.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

★ Classical Mythology A to Z – Annette Giesecke, illustrated by Jim Tierney
Black Dog & Leventhal, 0762470011

A beautifully illustrated guide to 700 gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, nymphs, spirits, monsters and places.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Companion to the delightful 75th anniversary edition of Mythology by Edith Hamilton, @ Book Depository | Amazon

Goddesses and Heroines by Xanthe Gresham-Knight, illustrated by Alice Pattullo
Thames & Hudson, 0500651914

A brightly illustrated celebration of inspirational female characters from myths and legends around the world.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Greek Myths: Meet the heroes, gods and monsters of Ancient Greece by Jean Menzies, illustrated by Katie Ponder
Doring Kindersley, 0241397456

Delightful retellings and gorgeous illustrations introducing favorite Greek myths.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Heroines of Olympus: The Women of Greek Mythology by Ellie Mackin Roberts
Welbeck, 1787394921

Retells the tales of 50 classic legendary women, with each story accompanied by a captivating orange and black illustration and an analysis of their role in the tradition of Greek storytelling. Interesting and accessible.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola
William Morrow, 006307849X

Vivid retellings of beautiful love stories from history and mythology around the world.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Mythopedia illustrated by Julia Iredale
Lawrence King, 1786276917

An oversized and stunningly illustrated encyclopedia of mythical beasts and magical tales from around the world. Be warned that if you are buying this one as a gift, when you see it in person, you will definitely want another copy for yourself.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Norse Tales: Stories from Across the Rainbow Bridge by Kevin Crossley Holland, illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love
Walker Books, 140639176X

A lovely companion to their earlier volume of Norse Myths, with beautiful eerie illustrations (US readers, you may wish to wait for a Candlewick edition to match if you want a set – hopefully they will follow up with one!).

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Troy by Stephen Fry
Michael Joseph, 0241424585

Delightful retellings and gorgeous illustrations introducing favorite Greek myths, in a sturdy naked hardback with foil accents.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Classics Series

★ Chiltern Classics series by Various Authors
Chiltern Publishing

Read more about collecting the whole Chiltern Classics series here…

Beautifully designed editions of classic novels with textured covers and gilt edges. 2020 releases include:

→ Buy The Picture of Dorian Gray from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy The House of the Baskervilles from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Tess of the D’Urbervilles from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Moby Dick from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Madame Bovary from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy Dracula from Book Depository | Amazon
→ Buy A Christmas Carol from Book Depository | Amazon

★ Seasons Editions – Summer series by Various Authors

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Wonderland Collection – Lewis Carroll
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Thomas Nelson, Jul 23 2020

❦ See also my review of all the Seasons Editions series

A collection of fine editions featuring classics set in different seasons, with laser-cut jackets on a textured book with foil stamping, limited to 10,000 copies, each is individually numbered. The Summer series also comes with a bonus bookmark.

→ Buy Jane Eyre from Amazon  | Book Depository
→ Buy Persuasion from Amazon | Book Depository
→ Buy Wonderland from Amazon | Book Depository
→ Buy Huck Finn from Amazon | Book Depository

Crane Classics – Various Authors

Nice gift-quality affordable classic poetry collections with lovely cover designs and printed in handy size for travelling. New volumes are released each year, with this year’s crop including:

Byron: Selected Poems

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Amazon AU

Keats: Selected Poems

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Amazon AU

Shelley: Selected Poems

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Amazon AU

Shakespeare: Selected Sonnets

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Amazon AU

Penguin Classics – Various Authors

New volumes in Penguin’s famous clothbound classics collection, with pretty patterned covers by Coralie Bickford-Smith, are released each year. This year’s crop includes:

Grimm Tales for Young and Old by Philip Pullman

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes | Amazon AU

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes | Amazon AU

The Aeneid by Virgil

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes

★ Canterbury Classics – Various Authors

These beautiful boxed sets feature a debossed panoramic montage scene along the brightly colored spines. They are flexibound books, and have pretty endpapers.

The ‘Adventure’ set includes: Call of the Wild and Other Stories, The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, and Treasure Island.

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes | Amazon AU

The ‘Discovery’ set includes: The Wizard of Oz, The Wind in the Willows and Other Stories, Hans Christian Andersen Tales, and Aesop’s Fables

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes | Amazon AU

The ‘Friendship’ set includes: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and The Secret Garden

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes | Amazon AU

The ‘Foundations of Freedom’ set includes: The U.S. Constitution and Other Key American Writings, Selected Works of Alexander Hamilton, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Common Sense and The Rights of Man, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Other Works, and Presidential Inaugural Addresses.

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes | Amazon AU

The ‘Jane Austen’ set includes: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey

→ Buy from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes | Amazon AU

Fiction

Anna and the French Kiss (collector’s edition) – Stephanie Perkins

About: A sweet coming of age romance set in Paris.

Features: Patterned sprayed page edges, annotated map, endpapers and bonus content

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
Hamish Hamilton / Penguin, 240p

A pocket sized collection of gorgeous nature poems, illustrated with luminous watercolor paintings.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Midwinter Murder Special Edition by Agatha Christie
HarperCollins, 9780008328962

A collection of Christmas murders culled from different anthologies, these tales feature Poirot, Marple and a host of festive red herrings.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

★ Pride and Prejudice ‘Letters Edition’ by Jane Austen, edited by Barbara Heller

An amazing epistolary edition of the classic novel, featuring glassine envelopes with 19 hand-folded removable letters.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

The jackets of these lovely hardback editions feature period artwork derived from patterns created by Elizabeth Friedlander, one of Europe’s pre-eminent 20th-century graphic designers.

★ George Orwell Trilogy by Harvill Secker

Animal Farm 1787302520

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

1984 1787302547

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

Down and Out in Paris and London 1787302539

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

Fantasy & Science Fiction

★ The Betrayals – Bridget Collins 
HarperCollins, Nov 12, 2020

An ancient, exclusive institution is hidden away high up on the mountains and dedicated to the study of a strange, clandestine game. Standard editions have a decorative gold cover design under the dust jacket. The Waterstones exclusive is signed by the author, and has burgundy sprayed page edges and an extra scene.

Sprayed edges

→ Buy special edition from Waterstones

Standard edition

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Amazon

A US edition by William Morrow is due out in 2021

→ Preorder US Ed from Amazon

★ Caraval (Collector’s Edition) – Stephanie Garber
FlatIron books, October 27 2020

A magical tale about the unbreakable bond between two sisters as they explore the elaborate performance that is Caraval. The collector’s edition features new art, a slipcase, and bonus content including a scene from Julian’s point of view, the original ending, and a peek into Stephanie Garber’s writing journals.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

★ The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
Bloomsbury, 576p

An impossible murder mystery set on the high seas, with a touch of historical supernatural thriller. Check out those hidden skulls in the cover design…

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

★ The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

Addie LaRue trades her soul for immortality, but in return he curses her to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Pretty foiled design on the boards under the dust jacket, first printings have blue sprayed edges if you can get one.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

★ The Lives of Saints – Leigh Bardugo, illustrated by Daniel J Zollinger
Orion (UK)/Imprint (US), October 7 2020

About: A beautifully illustrated replica of The Lives of Saints, the Istorii Sankt’ya, featuring tales of saints drawn from the beloved novels and beyond.

Features: A replica of the book used in the Netflix series, with full-color illustrations for each story.

► Buy The Lives of Saints UK ed from Amazon AU | Book Depository | Amazon UK

► Buy The Lives of Saints US ed from Amazon AU | Book Depository | Amazon US

★ Northern Lights ‘Illustrated Edition’ – Philip Pullman, illustrated by Chris Wormell
Scholastic, 0702305081

About: A full-colour oversized and illustrated gift edition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Northern Lights.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Note: An American edition of this illustrated edition (titled The Golden Compass) is due for release in 2021

→ Preorder US Ed (Golden Compass) from Amazon

Orfeia by Joanne M Harris, illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins
Gollancz, 1473229952

A sweet and beautifully illustrated novella about a mother who sets out to save her daughter.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson | Stormlight Archive #4
Tor (US), 0765326388
Gollancz (UK), 0575093382

Epic fantasy with magical world-building, clever magic systems and unforgettable characters. I love the amazing endpapers on the US editions.

→ Buy from Amazon (US ed)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK ed)

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU (UK ed)

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline | Ready Player One series

Another near future scifi adventure in this sequel to the fabulous Ready Player One. Note that I haven’t read this yet, but I am hoping it will be as much of a fun ride as the first one was!

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

❦ See also my review of the hidden secrets in Ready Player One.

★ Serpentine by Philip Pullman, illustrated by Tom Duxbury
Knopf (US) / Penguin (UK), 80p

A short novella set just after the end of the His Dark Materials trilogy, beautifully illustrated with woodcuts.

→ Buy from Amazon (US Ed)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK Ed)

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

In series with Lyra’s Oxford and Once Upon A Time In The North.

Guards, Guards by Terry Pratchett, illustrated by Paul Kidby
Orion 9781473230705, 9781473230712

Hilarious Pratchett with 10 color illustrations and additional pencil drawings in the red standard edition. The purple slipcased edition is signed with sprayed edges and bookmark ribbon, while the black Dunmanifestin edition (due out next year, available from Paul Kidby direct) comes in a solander box along with additional illustrations, ephemera and is limited to 1000 copies.

– Red standard edition (11 Nov 2020)
– Purple slipcased edition (10 Dec 2020)
– Dunmanifestin limited edition (25 Mar 2021)

Royal Assassin, Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb, illustrated by Magali Villeneuve | Farseer Trilogy #2
HarperCollins, 0008412774

A richly illustrated anniversary edition of the wonderful fantasy full of adventure, magic and sinister plots, accompanied by 10 full-color illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

The Scholomance: A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Del Rey, 0593128486

A wonderful fantasy in which an unwilling sorceress at a dark school of magic is destined to rewrite the rules. Fabulous illustrated endpapers and shiny cover. 

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU 

★ Shadow & Bone (Collector’s Edition) – Leigh Bardugo
Orion (UK)/Imprint (US)

A special edition of the first book in the fantasy Grisha Trilogy. Features new artwork, foiled cover, illustrated endpapers, sprayed edges. US edition is black and gold with a slipcase and ribbon pull. UK edition has no slipcase but has blue sprayed page edges.

Buy Shadow & Bone UK ed from Amazon UK | Book Depository | Amazon AU

Buy Shadow & Bone US ed from Book Depository | Amazon US

The Umbrella Academy ‘Deluxe Editions’ and ‘Library Editions’ by Gerard Way et al

A deluxe treatment of the graphic novels featuring the dysfunctional family of superheroes (now Netflix stars).  The library editions get an oversized hardcover treatment with expanded sketchbook section, while the deluxe editions come in a slipcase with a separate portfolio and bonus print.

Vol 1: Apocalypse Suite

→ Buy Library Ed from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes

→ Buy Deluxe Ed from AmazonBook DepositoryAbes

Vol 2: Dallas

→ Buy Library Ed from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes

→ Buy Deluxe Ed from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes

Vol 3: Hotel Oblivion

→ Buy Library Ed from Amazon | Book DepositoryAbes

→ Buy Deluxe Ed from Amazon | Book Depository | Abes

Wizard of the Pigeons ’35th Anniversary Edition’ by Megan Lindholm (aka Robin Hobb), illustrated by Tommy Arnold
Grim Oak Press, 1944145591

A gorgeously illustrated 35th anniversary edition of this urban fantasy classic set in Seattle about Wizard, a powerful enchanter whose gift is knowing the truth of things.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

Non-Fiction & Reference

The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology of the World’s Greatest Diarists by Irene and Alan Taylor
Canongate, 1786899116

A beautifully redesigned and updated 20th anniversary edition of the fabulous anthology of entertaining and inspiring diary entries for every day of the year.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink

Picador, 9781509891528

A memoir about a love affair with reading that includes snippets from many treasured tales to accompany the tale of her life.

Ex Libris: 100 Books to Read and Reread by Michiko Kakutani

HarperCollins, 9780008421953

A small friendly volume containing a beautifully illustrated collection of essays on inspiring books.

Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers by Jessica Roux
Andrews McMeel, 1524858145

A gorgeously illustrated botanical encyclopedia and guide to the historical uses and secret meanings behind the language of flowers and herbs.

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Book Depository

Buy from Abes

Buy from Amazon AU

The Illustrated Letters of Oscar Wilde by Juliet Gardiner

Batsford, 9781849945837

A beautiful biography of Oscar Wilde told through a lavishly illustrated collection of his personal writings, including private letters, poems, and quotes as well as excerpts from his stories and plays.

The Madman’s Library by Edward Brooke-Hitching
Simon & Schuster, 256p

A beautifully illustrated journey through the history of literature, delving into its darkest territories to hunt down the strangest books ever written, and uncover the fascinating stories behind their creation.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

A US edition from Chronicle Books is due out in 2021

Preorder US ed from Amazon

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Book by James Raven
OUP, 480p

Fourteen original illustrated essays that cover the book through history, from the ancient world to the digital present.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

★ The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
Hamish Hamilton / Penguin, 240p

A pocket sized collection of gorgeous nature poems, illustrated with luminous watercolor paintings.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

★ Poems to Save the World With by Chris Riddell
Pan Macmillan, 208p

A beautiful gift anthology of uplifting poetry generously illustrated on every page. Includes poems old and new, all ready to ignite your dreams.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

The Secret Life of Stars: Astrophysics for Everyone by Lisa Harvey-Smith, illustrated by Eirian Chapman
Thames & Hudson, 1760761222

A fun introduction to our galaxy’s most remarkable stars, nicely made with chapter illustrations.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

US Edition to be released in 2021

→ Preorder US Ed from Amazon

Fungarium (Welcome to the Museum) by Katie Scott and Ester Gaya / Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Templar (UK) 0241424585 | Big Picture (US, 2021) 1536217093

Beautiful vintage looking artwork with exquisite detail, and packed full of fascinating information on fungi. Part of the excellent Welcome to the Museum series.

Smithsonian Handbook of Interesting Insects by Gavin Broad et al
Smithsonian Books 1588346862

Striking and large photographic profiles of 100 insects, selected from specimens found in one of the oldest and most important entomology collections in the world held by London’s Natural History Museum. Each detailed photograph is accompanied by a caption describing the bug’s lifestyle, distribution, size, and key characteristics. 

Harry Potter

★ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s / Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) – J.K. Rowling, illustrated by MinaLima
Scholastic, October 20, 2020

About: A new edition of Harry Potter designed and illustrated by the design studio best known for establishing the visual graphic style of the films.

Features: Full-color illustrations on every page, and eight interactive special papercraft features, including an elaborately folded Hogwarts letter, Diagon Alley shopping list, magical entrance to Diagon Alley, a die-cut fold-out Hogwarts Castle, a magical feast in the Great Hall, and more.

→ Buy from Amazon (US ed)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK ed)

See more of MinaLima’s interactive children’s classics series here…

★ Harry Potter: A Pop-up Guide to Diagon Alley and Beyond – Matthew Reinhart, Kevin Wilson and Jody Revenson
Insight Editions, Oct 20, 2020

Intricate pop-up spreads render Diagon Alley establishments such as Ollivanders, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and the Leaky Cauldron, plus other locales like the Ministry of Magic and platform nine and three-quarters, and the book opens into a displayable 3D diorama of all the pop-ups at once. There is also a “deluxe” edition which comes in a slipcase and features an alternate cover.

Standard edition:

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Slipcased edition:

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) – House Editions – J. K. Rowling
Bloomsbury, June 11 2020

About: Special editions that celebrate the character of the different Hogwarts Houses

Features: Sprayed edges in house colours and gold foiling on the covers. (UK editions)

► Buy Gryffindor Edition from Book Depository | Amazon
► Buy Slytherin Edition from Book Depository | Amazon
► Buy Ravenclaw Edition from Book Depository | Amazon
► Buy Hufflepuff Edition from Book Depository | Amazon

★ Quidditch Through The Ages (Illustrated Edition) – J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Emily Gravett
Scholastic, October 6 2020

Everything you need to know about Quidditch, in a beautifully illustrated edition. Features glorious illustrations, handmade memorabilia and two gatefold spreads. There is also a linen-bound deluxe slipcased edition with extras available too.

Standard edition

→ Buy from Amazon (US ed)

→ Buy from Book Depository (UK ed)

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Deluxe slipcased edition

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Harry Potter: Travel Magic – Platform 9¾ (Artifacts from the Wizarding World) – J. K. Rowling
Titan Books, 1789096391

The first in a new series of Potter guides. This one contains over a dozen removable reproductions of props from the Harry Potter films, including Harry’s Hogwarts Acceptance letter and supply list, Platform 9 ¾ ticket, Chocolate Frog box, as well as stickers, stationery, and background information from the movies.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Christmas

12 Days of Christmas by Lara Hawthorne

Description 0571355862
See also Happy Prince 0571355846

A delightfully illustrated edition of the classic poem.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

A Christmas Carol ‘Liberty Classics Edition’ by Charles Dickens
Faber & Faber, 0571355862
See also Happy Prince 0571355846

A pretty paperback covered with a liberty fabric design.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

There is also a matching edition of The Happy Prince

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Pop-Up Edition by Charles M Schulz, Maggie Test and Vicki Scott
Simon Spotlight, 1534470875

A reprint of the pop-up edition of the classic Charlie Brown Christmas. Short but sweet.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

The Little Library Christmas by Kate Young
Head of Zeus, 1838937463

A gorgeous little cookbook for the booklover, featuring 50 festive recipes accompanied by reading recommendations.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Santa Post by Emma Yarlett
Walker Books, 1406392197

Santa opens letters from children all over the world, but is stumped by Amy’s request. Includes 5 envelopes with removable letters for kids to open.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Something Special

The following volumes don’t come cheap, but they do offer a fancy alternative if you are looking for a really special gift or treat for yourself.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Boxed Set by J. R. R. Tolkien, illustrated by Alan Lee
HarperCollins, 0008376107

New editions of Tolkien’s classic fantasy with even more illustrations by Alan Lee – over 70 full-page watercolor paintings and numerous additional images. These standard sized hardbacks match Alan Lee’s ‘Great Tales’ series (The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien and The Fall of Gondolin), and they have feature ribbon bookmarks, mapped endpapers and two color text.

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

❦ For true Tolkien fans, the slipcased edition of the new Unfinished Tales is also releasing in November.

Masterpieces of Fantasy Art by Dian Hanson
Taschen, 3836572109

A stunning oversized monster tome of original fantasy paintings, contexualised by preparatory sketches and book covers and other insight into the artists’ lives. Includes Frank Frazetta, Rodney Matthews, Greg Hildebrandt, Boris Vallejo, Michael Whelan and other greats. 

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

Peter Pan ‘Illuminated Edition’ by J. M. Barrie, illustrated by Brecht Evans
Beehive Books, 1948886103

A gorgeously oversized edition of the classic, housed in a debossed slipcase with gloriously imaginative illustrations. 

→ Buy from Amazon

→ Buy from Book Depository

→ Buy from Abes

→ Buy from Amazon AU

❦ See also my review of the other books in the amazing Illuminated Editions series

Swords Against Wizardry (Centipede Press) by Fritz Leiber | Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser #4
Centipede Press, 1613471785

Centipede Press continue to bring out these fun editions of this hilarious vintage sword and sorcery series. I’ve been enjoying collecting them, but they sell out pretty fast and are currently only available on the used market.

→ Buy from Abes

The Testaments (Limited Special Signed Edition) by Margaret Atwood
Penguin

A limited print run of 100 clothbound copies housed in a solander box lined with hand-marbled paper (4 different designs). The title is debossed on the front cover, and there is die cut tipped in front page.

→ Buy from Penguin UK

Letters from Fairyland by Charles van Sandwyk

An adorable collection of pull-out illustrated letters by one of my favorite fairyland artists. There’s also a limited edition made from fancier materials available.

→ Buy from The Folio Society

❦ See also my Charles van Sandwyk collector’s guide and other videos and articles showcasing his delightful work


Daisy

I'm the founder and operator of the Beautiful Books website ツ

1 Comment

Michael · 3 April 2021 at 5:09 pm

Loved the post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

BeautifulBooks.Info