Myths, Treasures and Painted Editions: April Updates
Whoof – has anyone else noticed with great trepidation the huge increases in upcoming book prices? Not to mention lack of availability, with lots of first printings going out of stock during preorder period. With that in mind, I’ve been making sure to update my special edition preorders and preorder swag pages much more frequently to ensure you won’t miss out, and I’ve also been adding some more vintage series reviews to the site – these are fun books to scout for second-hand and there’s no time or cost pressure (some of mine have literally taken years to complete because I set myself a max budget for each title and just keep an eye out for them).
New collector’s guides
New collecting guides added to the site over the past few weeks include:
- Harper Muse Painted Editions – a new limited series of classics* out this month with wraparound jackets and pull quotes throughout the text – rather like the recently completed Seasons Series** in that respect. They are obviously expecting these to be popular because they’ve already added another four books to the line-up for release later in the year. (*Looks like this might be a nice, broad interpretation of classics for a change, even including some Agatha Christie in the mix!) (**See updated lists below)
- The World Mythology Series – I love myths and legends (yes, I’m still working on the video of my faves I promised last month!) and this vintage series from the 1980s is known for the beautiful lush full colour paintings that accompany the tales.
- And an even older vintage collector’s guide I just added to the site is for the dainty Queen’s Treasures Series published early last century by Bell & Sons – this is a sweet collection of illustrated children’s books with delightfully decorative cloth covers and spines.
Recently updated bibliographies
My series guides are also regularly updated with upcoming 2022 releases. Recent updates include:
- I mentioned the Seasons Series above – these are the ones with the pretty die-cut covers – and if you collected these, Harper are about to release more Jane Austen books in the same cover style, and will also be reprinting the ever popular (and often expensive) out-of-print Pride and Prejudice volume – so do check out the updated Seasons page for details and links if you collect these.
- Another volume is also expected in the delightful Majorlein Bastin Illustrated Classics Series with Little Women coming out towards the end of the year! These books are really delightful, as they feature pull-out ephemera like maps, and family trees, and period postcards. (I’ve also started updating this page with an index to the ephemera and which page it should be inserted into, because a few people have pulled it all out to look out before they realised they didn’t know where to put it back!)
- And there is also some new excitement on the MinaLima interactive classics front as well! You may have heard that Snow White and other fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm is the new interactive classics title that will be released this November, but did you also know there is a new interactive title called The Magic of MinaLima that will delve into their design history and also include eight interactive paper-engineered elements?
What I’m reading…
I enjoyed the latest installment in Ben Aaronvitch’s Rivers of London series Amongst Our Weapons (I got the Waterstones special edition which has a bonus Nightingale short story – there should always be more Nightingale stories!). If you’re not familiar with this series it’s an urban fantasy about a London detective turned apprentice wizard – and magic, mystery and London is a pretty compelling combination if you ask me!
I just received my beautiful Waterstones edition of Lessons in Chemistry – I adore the period table sprayed edges and it has great reviews, so I’m looking forward to it! This one is historical fiction (set in the 1960s) about an unconventional female scientist whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show. Sounds fun!
(Note that the Waterstones edition is currently sold out, but you can ask to be notified when they get some more stock in – they won’t have many more, so definitely register if you’re interested.) Barnes & Noble also have an exclusive edition of this title with bonus content and fancy endpapers if you’re in the US and not keen on international shipping.
No special editions for this one (yet!) but I loved Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson which is already out in paperback in Australia and will be released later on in hardback in the UK (US release date not yet available). Super fun for mystery fans, as it is about a family of (mostly accidental) ‘killers’ having a family reunion at a ski resort, written by one of the members who writes ‘how-to’ guides for mystery writers, who does a bang-up job of humorously pointing out each of the clues and tricks you’re supposed to notice as you read them, yet still manages to maintain an air of suspense.
And I’m also looking forward to getting Skandar and the Unicorn Thief which is out later this month – this is the first in a series of YA fantasy novels about bloodthirsty unicorns, and Steadman apparently received the world record largest-ever advance for a debut children’s book author for it, so it’s had a tremendous amount of buzz! There are a bunch of different special editions you can look out for (always a sign the publishers expect it to be popular!) – the UK Indie edition has a fold out map, the Waterstones edition is signed with red sprayed page edges, a foiled case design and bonus content, and the Barnes & Noble edition has gold sprayed page edges, a special case design and bonus content as well.
And some other things I’m working on…
- I’ve broken the catalogue of books with removable paper ephemera that I’ve been preparing into a couple of different pages, so I can release them independently and get them to you faster. (I know I’ve been slow on this, but I do try to photograph a little of the internals of every book so you know what you’re looking at before you buy – it takes a while!)
- My favourite “myths & legends” books video is still in progress – hopefully will be ready for release over Easter break!