It’s the first of September*. That can mean only one thing. Well, actually it means lots of things**, but the one I am mostly concerned about is that The Folio Society release their new collection. My literary love for The Folio Society is eclipsed only by my adoration of Mr B’s Emporium, so I was somewhat taken aback when a week or so back I got a letter saying that they were doing away with membership. Up until today you had to buy four books a year to maintain membership and have access to the books. There was something very nice about being a “member”, with the associated magazine and catalogues coming through the post. It harked back to a slower pace of life where buying one really good item and enjoying it wasn’t considered odd compared to buying heaps of cheap tat***. A chat with a literary chum, also a member, saw it differently in that now there was no barrier to the books, which is also true. I still can’t help thinking that this is just the result of the ongoing onslaught on the bricks and mortar bookshops****.
Anyway, back to the lovely books. This year’s releases are, as usual, really quite eclectic and here are the ones which caught my eye. First off we have A Brief History of Time by Professor Stephen Hawking, the book that all A-Level Physics students attempt (me included) in the hope that it will make some sort of sense so they can impress at university interview. I did finish it. I didn’t understand it. I am quite tempted to have another bash to see if 20 years has made any difference to my ability to understand mind bending theoretical physics. Probably not, but it will look nice on the bookshelf.
Now this does look interesting doesn’t it? A book of African folktales. I have read very little set in Africa, and this would be a good start in filing in that literary gap.
You can’t go wrong with a bit of Classic Crime, and Edmund Crispin is one of the best, and funniest. The Folio Society released The Moving Toyshop a couple of years back, so perhaps they are going to release more. I do hope so. For those who haven’t read an Edmund Crispin before, then why not? It is Christie meets Wodehouse with more Wodehouse than Christie. It’s marvellous stuff after a long week at work.
Finally, we have another Pratchett. I have already dropped not so subtle hints to The Delightful Mr F that this might be quite a nice birthday present. It transpires he already knew… Pratchett books were made for Folio editions. The text provides so many illustration opportunities, it can only ever be a delight.
Which ones take your fancy?
*How can that be? How can it basically be autumn already? It was surely only last week we were putting away the tinsel and fairy lights.
** For instance did you know that on 1st September 1159 Pope Adrian IV, the only English Pope, died? Or that in 1981 garages started selling petrol in litres? No, I didn’t either.
*** I think I am starting to rant, so will call it quits here.
**** Back on my soap box again…