Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Annotated Pride & Prejudice or an atmospheric English novel, anybody?

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. As with many of her fans, P&P is my favorite Austen novel, one which I revisit almost every year for the sheer reading pleasure she provides. Picking up this sumptuous version, however, made me feel like I was getting an entirely new reading experience! The color plates, the annotated text, the heavy acid-free paper, and beautiful design all contrive to make this book a must-have for every Austen fan. And at $35 for a coffee-table sized format, this book really is an affordable luxury. Take a look at this gorgeous new offering from Harvard University Press/Belknap, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. This lush novel interweaves three separate stories which span most of the 20th century. All of the factors for a great English mood novel are present: a castle, a family whose creative streak is matched only by its madness, three spinster sisters, a quaint village, mysterious disappearances, ancient secrets, tragic misunderstandings, and a young publisher trying to sort fact from fiction in the local lore. The stories meander at a deliberate (other readers might say slow) pace, converging all in the last chapter in a very satisfying way. This book is perfect for those readers who want to sink their teeth into an atmospheric novel that will make them want to curl up for hours with a pot o' tea. Published by Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster.



Sarah Rettger said...

Can't decide if this is a sign of the book's awesomeness or just a confirmation of my nerd status, but I'm very eager to get my hands on it, despite the fact that I *already own* the annotated edition Vintage brought out a couple years ago.

It's rather difficult to ignore the pull of "but look, they're *different* annotations," along with "ooh, pictures!"

The Odyssey Bookshop said...

oh, it's *definitely* a sign of the book's awesomeness. I also have the Vintage annotated one, and it's great (and easier to read because of its smaller size), but this version is AMAZING. I keep it as a coffee table book to read a few pages every time I sit down on the sofa, dipping into here & there. It's a treat and a treasure!