Just when I thought I could give myself a pat on the back for not having bought any more books to burden the shelves since the start of this new year, look what happens when the slightest temptation comes along! This time, it came in the form of an irresistibly good books clearance sale. Then again, how often does a books clearance sale not seem irresistible to a book lover? 🙂

Found these almost pristine copies of Penguin Classics going for the amount equivalent to less than a pound each, in my local currency (RM). I love these editions of the Penguin Classics. The whole package – from the lovely covers to the colour and texture of the paper used, and right down to the choice of fonts, all of it just appeals to me. I am especially thrilled with the Charlotte Bronte’s Tales of Angria find, not just because I think the cover is absolutely beautiful but also because it is completely new to me. I have never heard of this one before, and by the looks of it, it seems quite a promising read. “Written from the viewpoint of the cynical, gossipy Charles Townshend, they offer an ironic portrait of the intrigues, scandals and passions of an aristocratic beau monde. With their varied cast of characters, they provide a fascinating glimpse into the mind and creative processes of the young writer who was to become one of the world’s great novelists.”  Sounds good, no?

The rest of the penguins are :
Charles Dickens – The Mystery Of Edwin Drood
Jane Austen – Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sandition
Michel De Montaigne – Essays
Virginia Woolf – Orlando
Anita Brookner – Leaving Home

Claire Tomalin – Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
Have been collecting Tomalin’s biographies of Hardy, Austen and Wollstonecraft, so here’s one more to add to the collection.

Charles Glass – Americans in Paris (Life & Death under Nazi Occupation 1940 – 1944)
This is also new to me. At first I got confused and thought this was the same as the one by David McCullough (The Greater Journey : Americans in Paris) which I have the audiobook waiting to be heard. Then I realised it wasn’t the same and when I read the following blurb on the back cover, I knew I wanted the book.

” When the German Army occupied Paris in June 1940, a large American community awaited them. They had chosen to stay in the city, against the American Embassy’s advice, and those who remained were an eccentric, original and disparate group. Among them were millionaire Charles Bedaux, who had hosted the Duke of Windsor’s wedding in 1937; Countess Longworth de Chambrun, desperate to keep the American Library open; Dr Summer Jackson, the American Hospital’s chief surgeon; and Sylvia Beach, owner of the famous bookshop Shakespeare & Co. As citizens of a neutral nation, the Americans believed they had little to fear. They were wrong.”

Anything that has Paris and bookshops (especially THE famous Shakespeare and Co.) in it, has got my attention. Much looking forward to reading this. 

Are there any among you who is familiar with the Könemann classics editions? I only came to discover these lovely hardcover blue cloth binding complete with beautiful dust jacket editions sometime last year. And I just fell in love with them. The whole presentation of these little editions just adds much to the authenticity of the ‘classics feel’ to the books, I feel. And it feels so good to hold a copy of these in your hands. The size is just right. For me, anyway.

I have never read any Henry James before, but ever since acquiring a biography of his towards the end of last year, A Ring of Conspirators : Henry James and his Literary Circle by Miranda Seymour, my interest has been piqued. And so, a little Henry James colllection is slowly taking shape, starting with these :

The Wings of The Dove
The Ambassadors
The Aspern Papers & Other Stories
and one fun looking Thackeray – The Book of Snobs.

These were the ones which I first came across last year, under their Travel Classics series. Lovely, don’t you agree? Much as I love the new and contemporary editions of classic reprints, I have to say that these are just quite something else entirely.

And I guess this year being the 200th Anniversary, is as good a time as it gets to dip into abit more Dickens. This edition of David Copperfield in two volumes complete with a slip case, was also bought together with the Travel Classics series last year. Such a beauty. 🙂 

But first, I need to finish plodding through A Tale of Two Cities (as per the ‘sort of’ Plan).

Well now, that’s quite a haul for a start in just barely two months into the year, as compared to my rate of reading, which is shamefully slow to say the least. My only excuse for this batch of new acquisitions in February would be that I consider them to be a little (or not so little, maybe) birthday treat for myself while I turn a year older (and probably no wiser, though). :p

5 thoughts on “New acquisitions in February

  1. What a wonderful selection! And if you can’t treat yourself to an extravagant number of books during your birthday month, when can you? I’m sure the Pepys biography will be excellent and Americans in Paris sounds quite intriguing (though I can’t help but marvel at their naĂŻvetĂ©!).


    1. Hahaha…. maybe they do seem a lil’ naive, now that you mention it. Or maybe they were really just an overly optimistic bunch at heart. :p
      Maybe after reading their stories in detail I’ll be able to have a clearer idea as to what they were thinking (or not thinking!) to do what they did.
      Anyway, thanks for ‘condoning’ to my bookish indulgences, Claire. 🙂


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