If you are a fan of Penguin’s collaboration with Coralie Bickford-Smith, then you are going to love their newest collaboration with type superstar Jessica Hische. Ms. Hische’s work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin’s own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility.
Penguin Drop Caps is a new series of twenty-six collectible and gift-worthy hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley have created a series design that encompasses foil-stamped paper-over-board cases in a rainbow-hued spectrum across all twenty-six book spines and a decorative stain on all three paper edges. The series debuts with an “A” for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a “B” for Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and a “C” for Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, and continues with more classics from Penguin. Of course, there are 26 books in the series.
You can buy the entire set from Amazon for $379.24.
The Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
As few days ago, I was perusing books on the Internet and The Penguin Book of Witches caught my eye. The cover is interesting, but what really caught my attention is that the book was edited by Katherine Howe. Yes, the Katherine Howe of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. Immediately, I ordered my copy of the book.
When ordering, I didn’t pay much attention to the specifics of the book, so when the book arrived, I was surprised at it’s slimness. I was looking for a tome. Nonetheless, the book is full of writings from the 16th and 17th century writings on witchcraft and make for interesting reading on how accusations of witchcraft grew and spread. The Penguin Book of Witches is a wonderful choice of reading material for the season!
Book Details: Published by Penguin Classics (September 30, 2014), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-0143106180.
The Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
A Discovery of Witches is about 100 pages too long, but the book is a good read. In fairness to author Harkness, I must tell you that I don’t like romances and if Harkness had edited a good deal of the vacuous romance out I would have given the book five stars.
Giving Harkness her due, the history and science in this novel is what kept me reading! The University of Oxford was also a wonderful setting for opening of the story and lent the novel the proper air of mystery. These aspects of the novel are what earned Harkness four stars instead of three.
The novel begins when Dr. Diana Bishop, a rather reluctant witch and expert on the history of alchemy, retrieves a bewitched manuscript from the archives of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The bewitched manuscript, which can only be accessed by Diana Bishop, is a book that witches, vampires, and daemons believe to hold the story of their origins and the secret of immortality. Almost immediately the supernatural creatures begin to gather at the library. One of those creatures is a 1,500-hundred-year-old vampire named Matthew de Clermont, and that is where the forbidden romance comes in to play.
I enjoyed this book and will probably read the second book in the trilogy, Shadow of Night. I do hope the story is still heavy on history and mystery and considerably lighter on romance!
Book Details: Published by Penguin (December 27, 2011), 592 pages, ISBN: 0143119680 .