Make Me Read It: Beautiful illustrated books edition

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts. There is no lack of books on my shelves waiting for me to read them, however, so I thought I’d better ask your help again.

This month, I’m featuring some of the beautiful illustrated books that I lugged along with me across the Atlantic and have not read since. I find that I’m less and less inclined to keep books that I don’t actually read or use for reference, so I want to make sure I’m cycling through the ones I own. If I’m not going to read them or pass them down to my descendants, then I’d rather pass them on to someone else who will.

Here’s a selection – which would you choose? Vote in the poll below, and if you want to add some explanation or have a hard time deciding, let me know in the comments.

  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (Heritage Press) – I ought to read more poetry. This edition of Whitman’s 1855 version of his masterpiece would give me a good chunk to work through.
  • The Country Child by Alison Uttley (Folio Society) – I’ve been wanting to read this for ages, and nabbed this secondhand copy, but I still haven’t cracked it open.
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Folio Society) – With the new Hawthorne-inspired novel Hester coming out this fall, I’ve been wanting to read this classic again. And could there be a more perfect cover design?
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (Folio Society) – It’s been ages since I read Dickens, and there could be no better way to remind myself of his genius than with this autobiographical chunkster.
  • Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian (Folio Society) – This is one that I want to read before deciding whether to keep it or not. I thought my son might take to O’Brian’s maritime saga, but so far he hasn’t. And although I enjoyed it when I read it, I’m not sure it’s one of my all-time favorites.
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner (Folio Society) – Another one I’m unsure about keeping. I do want to read it again before deciding, though, so I can try to figure out more of what the heck is going on in this enigmatic story.

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16 thoughts on “Make Me Read It: Beautiful illustrated books edition

  1. In recent years I’ve read or reread the Dickens, the Garner and the Uttley titles (though I never got round to reviewing David Copperfield) – but if you’ve not yet read The Country Child then do; as befits its theme it’s as slow as the turning seasons but I found it moving and lyrical, and reading it brings welling up an angst for a way of life and an environment and either disappearing fast or long gone.

    1. I know that your review is largely what inspired me to buy the book. Now hopefully your encouragement will get me to read it!

  2. David Copperfield and The Scarlet Letter seem to be musts to me.
    The only other one I know is the first one, which is on my Classic TBR. I’m actually reading poetry right now, Rainer Maria Rilke.
    Good luck with your project

  3. I love poetry, but I’m not that keen on Leaves of Grass. I liked but didn’t love Owl Service either. And I’m afraid I’m living amid The Scarlet Letter here in Texas and it’s not pleasant. So I vote for Dickens.

    1. I didn’t understand it either the second time I read it but more than I did the first time. I wonder if third time is the charm or if I should just give up.

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