Welcome to my biannual review of interesting books and fancy editions that are on my radar for 2021. The video covers about 70% of the books on this page, but as usual there are always a few more I squeeze into the webpage for those of you kind enough to visit here and scroll through the list… Hope there is something here that excites you too! Feel free to add a comment about what you’re waiting on, I love to know what books other people are looking forward to as well ツ
Mr Tickle (50th Anniversary Ed) by Roger Hargreaves
A special upsized edition of the classic story with a bonus new story about how it all began. ISBN 9780008411282. January 7, 2021. (UK release)
► Find at Book Depository
The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant, illustrated by Paola Escobar
Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. But when her father’s ship goes missing, she has to go and find him. Fun magic, humor, and lovely illustrations. ISBN 9781324016038. February 18, 2021.
My Father’s Dragon (Deluxe Illustrated Edition) by Ruth Stiles Gannet, illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannet and Helena Perez Garcia
The original text by Ruth Stiles Gannett and black & white illustrations by Ruth Chrisman Gannett are paired with new color paintings by Helen Perez Garcia in this deluxe edition. ISBN 9781952239267. Apr 1, 2021.
The Pendleton Field Guide to Campfire Stories by Pendleton Woollen Mills
A collection of family-friendly tales of adventure and discovery in the wilderness, decorated with classic Pendleton blanket designs. ISBN 9781797207582. Jun 1, 2021.
April is staying with her father at a remote Arctic outpost when she finds and befriends the world’s last polar bear.
Interactive Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by MinaLima
A deluxe gift edition of the classic story, with beautiful four-color artwork and nine interactive features, including a cyclone map, pop-up yellow brick road, and Oz glasses. ISBN 9780063055735. Sep 7, 2021
❦ See the rest of the MinaLima interactive classics series
Marjolein Bastin Classics Series
This series of illustrated classics is new to English readers, although it has been popular in the original German for some years. These editions are gorgeously designed with original artwork as well including elaborate ephemera such as four-color maps, letters, family trees, and sheet music.
Seasons Die-Cut Classics – Spring and Fall
The remaining seasons editions are being released this year, covering books that focus on Spring (Mar 9, 2021) and Fall/Autumn (Aug 31, 2021). These all have laser-cut dust jackets and foil stamping and are limited to 10K copies.
❦ Learn more in the collector’s guide to the seasons editions series
Penguin Clothbound Classics
Four new titles are anticipated this year, with 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell out in January, Monkey King by Wu Cheng’en due in February, and The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon out in June.
See more: https://beautifulbooks.info/penguin-clothbound-classics
Flame Tree Collector’s Editions
Flame Tree are releasing a new series that highlights the foundations of modern speculative fiction. Gorgeously psychedelic covers, which are foiled and embossed, with gilded page edges. Each volume also includes a new introduction exploring the classic text for the modern reader, an author biography and a glossary of Gothic, Victorian and Literary terms.
Released March 16, 2021.
Puffin V&A Collector’s Classics
An extension of the collaboration between Puffin and the Victoria & Albert Museum, these covers are based on the iconic fashion featured in the book.
❦ See the rest of the books in the series here.
The Great Gatsby
This is the first year F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz age classic has been released from copyright, so you can expect to see a lot of new editions of this book suddenly flood the field, along with spin-off stories starring the characters from the novel. I’ve picked a few of my favourites here to share with you.
Nick by Michael Farris Smith
Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I. First printings have blue sprayed page edges. ISBN 9780857304544. Feb 25, 2021.
If you’re collecting the Harry Potter House editions, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – illustrated by Levi Pinfold and featuring sprayed page edges in house colours – are out on 21 January 2021.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by JK Rowling, illustrated by MinaLima
Over 150 color illustrations, and eight interactive elements that include traveling via the Floo Network, encountering the Whomping Willow, revealing the spiral staircase to Dumbledore’s office and pulling Mandrakes from their pots. ISBN 9781338716535 (US) / 9781526637888 (UK). Oct 19, 2021.
Winterkeep (Graceling Realm #4) by Kristin Cashore
A new volume in the Graceling Realm series, in which Bitterblue visits Winterkeep – a land of miracles, a democratic republic run by people who like each other, where people speak to telepathic sea creatures, adopt telepathic foxes as pets, and fly across the sky in ships attached to balloons. Jan 19, 2021. ISBN 9780803741508 (US) / 9781473232778 (UK)
This cover design also matches the new anniversary edition covers by Inkyard Press for the rest of the series.
- Iron King 9781335016034 Amazon | Book Depository
- Iron Daughter 9781335090409 Amazon | Book Depository
- Iron Queen 9781335090508 Amazon | Book Depository
- Iron Knight 9781867208303 Amazon | Book Depository
The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
A fully illustrated new edition of the forerunner to The Lord of the Rings, including some brand-new paintings. ISBN 978-0593296738 (US); 9780008433949 (UK). Feb 9, 2021.
► Find at Amazon (US ed) | Book Depository (UK ed)
Star Wars: Secrets of the Galaxy (x4 volumes) by Daniel Wallace
23 Feb 2021
Includes The Jedi Path, The Book of Sith, The Bounty Hunter Code and the Imperial Handbook. ISBN 9781789097047. Feb 23, 2021.
► Find at Book Depository
The Desolations of Devil’s Acre (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #6) by Ransom Riggs
The series conclusion, as Jacob Portman, Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children reunite in Devil’s Acre for the final clash with the villainous Caul. ISBN 9780241320938. Feb 23, 2021.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
2 Mar 2021
A new novel that explores the uncharted implications of AI and human relationships, and the bigger question of what it means to love. ISBN 9780593318171, Mar 2, 2021.
► Special sprayed edge edition at Waterstones
Chain of Iron (The Last Hours Trilogy #2) by Cassandra Clare
The Shadowhunters must catch a killer in Edwardian London. The Collector’s First Edition features a bonus short story and 10 b&w character silhouettes by cut-paper artist Kathleen Jennings. ISBN 9781406358100. Mar 2, 2021.
The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien, illustrated by Ted Nasmith
A fully illustrated new edition of the forerunner to The Lord of the Rings, including some brand-new paintings. ISBN 9780008433949. Mar 18, 2021.
► Find at Book Depository
Sistersong by Jennifer Saint
A period fantasy based on the traditional folk ballad The Two Sisters, which finds magical strangers and warring tribes entrap a regal family in Dark Ages Britain. ISBN 9781529039030 (UK). Apr 1, 2021.
► Find at Book Depository
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, illustrated by Chris Riddell
A gorgeous ’42nd’ anniversary gift edition of the hilarious pop-culture classic, stunningly illustrated throughout by Chris Riddell. ISBN 9781529046137 (paperback). April 29, 2021.
► Find at Book Depository
Folk and Fairy Tales of Azeroth (World of Warcraft) by Christie Golden
A collection of 12 original fairy tales set in the world of Azeroth by fantasy’s brightest authors including Garth Nix, Catherynne M. Valente and Kami Gracia, complemented with some gorgeous artwork. ISBN 978-1950366477 (US); 9781789097306 (UK). May 21, 2021.
Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life. ISBN 9781250245281 (US); 9780008350437 (UK). Sep 7, 2021.
Blackest Night Brightest Day (x12 volumes) by various authors and artists
Two of DC’s most famous crossover events, Blackest Night and Brightest Day, are collected in 12 new hardcovers in a highly designed box set with nine collectible rings representing the many corps featured in this epic tale. ISBN 9781779507075, Jan 15, 2021
The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell
Historical mystery. A struggling silhouette artist in Victorian Bath seeks out a renowned child spirit medium in order to speak to the dead – and to try and identify their killers. Wicked deeds require the cover of darkness. ISBN 9781526602589. Jan 21, 2021.
The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
Mystery. Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy living on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, keeping herself busy setting crosswords for the newspaper. Until she witnesses a murder and sets out with a group of friends to investigate a serial killer. ISBN 9780008238247. January 21, 2021.
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Historical fiction. Inspired by the true story of the librarians who risked their lives during the Nazis’ war on words: a story of courage and betrayal inspired by real-life defiance in Occupied Paris. ISBN 9781529335446. Feb 2, 2021.
A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel
Alternate History. In 1945, a nineteen-year old girl is sent to stop the Russians abducting the top German rocket scientist, but the girl is not what she seems – she is not of this earth. ISBN 9781250262066 (US); 9780241445129 (UK). Feb 4, 2021.
Maxwell’s Demon by Steven Hall
Fiction. Nine years ago, Thomas Quinn’s mentor Andrew Black wrote a million-copy-selling mystery novel – and then disappeared. Now Thomas thinks he is being stalked by the hero of Black’s book, and has a new answerphone message from his father who has been dead for years. ISBN 9781847672469. Feb 4, 2021.
The Way of the Warrior (3 volume set) – Arcturus Collector’s Classics
Non-fiction. Includes The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Way of the Samurai by Inazo Nitobe, and The Books of the Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. Together, these texts set out strategies and techniques for warfare and conflict, leadership and strategy, that span more than 2500 years. Elegant silkbound covers in a boxed set. ISBN 9781398801882. Mar 1, 2021.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Fiction. As a child Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, until her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South. Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother’s life, her search for her family’s story will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America. ISBN 9780525658184 (US); 9780241433379 (UK). Mar 4, 2021.
The Nightingale by Sam Lee
Non-fiction. A lyrical ode to the nightingale, which moves from Greek mythology to ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’, delving into the various ways we have celebrated the nightingale through traditions, folklore, music, and literature. ISBN 9781529124835. Mar 25, 2021.
The Bookseller of Florence by Ross King
Non-fiction. An account of the Florentine bookseller Vespasiano da Bisticci, working at the frontiers of human knowledge, that explores the world-changing shift from script to print that defined the Renaissance. ISBN 0802158528 (US); 9781784742652 (UK). Apr 1, 2021.
Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee
Historical fiction. The powerful reckoning of a young woman with her wildness in 1620s Lancashire, a heartbreaking tale of young love and a shattering story of the intolerance that reigned during the long shadow of the Pendle Witch Trials, when those who did not conform found persecution at every door. ISBN 9781786091161. Apr 16, 2021.
Books Do Furnish a Life by Richard Dawkins
Non-fiction. A compendium of essays, reviews and interviews on works by leading science communicators. ISBN 9781787633681 (UK). May 21, 2021.
► Find at Book Depository
Billy Summers by Stephen King
Thriller. Billy Summers is an assassin on an odyssey across America, in pursuit of the dark forces that seek to double cross him. ISBN 9781982173616 (US); 9781529365726 (UK). Aug 3, 2021.
► Limited edition at Waterstones (UK ed)