Saturday, 5 April 2008

Illustrated books

I think I must be a big kid at heart because I like nothing better than discovering that a book I've just bought is illustrated in some manner, be it glorious paintings, pencil sketches or even just pretty chapter headers. Three recent purchases are a case in point.

The first is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Now, I have a couple of copies of this wonderful book already. So, when I saw another in a local National Trust shop I looked briefly at it, saw it was fabulous but that it was £15 and walked away. But these things nag at you don't they? I went back for a closer look, actually left the shop then, and then couldn't get this gorgeous book out of my head. So yes, you're ahead of me... I went back *again*... and decided to buy myself a rather early birthday present. This is what I treated myself to:



The book is lavishly illustrated on every page by Robert Ingpen and I've done my best to photograph a few of the paintings.













I think that it is easily the most beautiful copy of The Wind in the Willows I've ever seen and after I *had* seen it, there was no way I could leave it behind. And everyone who's looked at it since reckons it's worth every penny of what I paid for it

Then there was an Oxfam shop find - Encounters with Animals by Gerald Durrell.



I didn't really bother to look to look inside, I saw what it was, saw that it was only £1.49 and bought it. When I got it home I found that it was illustrated with some lovely pencil drawings, the artist being Ralph Thompson. These photos aren't too great but they give you an idea.







And last but not least Dragons of Autumn Twilight which is the first in the Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, recently blogged about by deslily at Here, there and everywhere.



I pounced on this one in yet another Oxfam shop. It's the paperback not the hardback so I hardly expected an illustrated version, but that was what I got! I took photos of these too but they really are not good, this one being the best and will give you an idea of the drawings that are all through the book. The artist here is Denis Beauvais.



I really think it must have been my lucky week. Wandering into town yesterday and up to the market I came across a stall with a sign that said, ' The books on these two tables are free to a good home, please help yourself '. So I did.



I have to admit, I felt like a thief walking away without paying and kept expecting a tap on the shoulder! But wow... seven free books and I could have taken loads more, but thought I'd exercise a bit of self restraint for once. Where books are concerned I'm not exactly famous for it...

20 comments:

BooksPlease said...

How fantastic, such beautiful illustrations and wow - those free books, you lucky thing!

DesLily said...

Well now Cath!... you have made a haul !! First off I don't know the american exchange on what you paid for The Wind in The Willow.. but no matter.. we deserve little treats now and then!

Yes, I never mentioned the illustrations in the Dragonlance books, I should have since it's a different artist than the dustjacket... well, at least the american version I don't know who did the cover art on your version. Most of the time I've noticed the English versions have better art work.. in this case I think we are pretty even though.

And all those free books!! I think I hear your family groaning ! hahaha.. more books mean mom is cooking less! hahaha.. Glad to hear you had such a good day for books!!! and happy early birthday!

monix said...

Well done, Cath, what a haul! Come over to my place and try for another free book - I'm doing a book draw.

Jeane said...

What lovely books! Those Wind in Willows illustrations look stunning. And I've always wanted to read more Gerald Durrell, the pictures there look so exquisite. How lucky you are.

Eloise said...

What lovely books, The Wind in the Willows looks wonderful. And don't feel guilty about the free books, as they have certainly gone to a good home where they'll be properly appreciated!

Cath said...

Booksplease: I do love being in the right place at the right time for once and getting something free that's worth having. Doesn't happen to me often.

Pat, in dollars that book would probably be about $25, though I notice it's slightly cheaper on Amazon - £10 instead of £15 last time I looked.

Oddly, the cover artist on my paperback of the Dragonlance book is not credited. Could be the same person who did the inside drawings.

My birthday is not until May, Pat so it really *was* an early present to myself. lol.

Thanks for the heads up, Maureen, it's been a busy week so I haven't been able to do my daily tour of the blogs as much as I would like. Busy next week too with my grandaughter here staying, so am always grateful for people popping to tell me I'm missing something.

Cath said...

Jeanne: I'm totally smitten with my new Wind in the Willows. I even went to the publisher's website and discovered that they have *more* of these wonderful illustrated books. This is so *bad*...

I feel so pleased to be rediscovering Gerald Durrell this year and am thrilled with that little find in the charity shop.

Eloise: You're right about the free books going to a good home. And I do give books away myself from time to time and sometimes I think that good turns come full circle eventually.

DesLily said...

When in May? My mother (when alive) was May 23rd, same as my grandsons!

Exuberant Lady said...

Hi Cath. I'm new to your site by way of Stuck in a Book. How wonderful to find someone else so enamored with illustrated books. And how beautiful your Wind in the Willows is! I just found a treasure at a local used book sale, some tales in Scandinavian mythology with beautiful color illustrations. I'm also quite crazy about books whose covers have some texture to them. Somehow this all adds to the already joyful experience of reading.

orchidus said...

These are beautiful, Cath! You are undoubtedly very lucky. :] Very nice. So, you are starting the Dragonlance books? I have to admit any book by Maragret Weis or Tracy Hickman are some of the best fantasy novels around. Hope you enjoy reading them!

Nan - said...

I love the look of William and Just William. Lucky you! I, too, love illustrations, and remember my thrill when I first began reading the Miss Read books and there were drawings! At first I wondered if they were children's books. :<)

Cath said...

The 8th. May, Pat. So as you can see it was a *very* early birthday present. ;-P

Exuberant lady: hello, welcome to my book blog. I went over this morning to read bits from your blogs but was short of time so couldn't stay long. What I saw looked really interesting so I'll be returning for a closer look later. I'm particularly taken with your gardening blog. And that Scandinavian mythology book looks so beautiful.

Orchidus: Yes, at some stage I plan to start reading the Dragonlance books. Too busy at the moment but maybe next month. Very much looking forward to them.

Nan, if you've never read any of the 'William' books by Richmal Crompton I think you would enjoy their gentle humour. She also wrote one of the Persephone books called Family Roundabout (for adults) and that is a super book. I haven't read Miss Read in years but loved them when I did. Such gentle stories and I forgot they were illustrated too...

Tara said...

Wow. This edition of The Wind in the Willows is gorgeous. Would you mind giving me the ISBN for this book - it's usually on the back. I want to try to order it from The Book Depository. Thanks so much Cath.

Carl V. said...

I too love illustrated books. When done by a talented artists they add so much to the enjoyment of a book. I can see why you gave in to temptation, that Wind in the Willows book is gorgeous! Who is the illustrator, did you say?

I was excited to see the Fritz Leiber book. He is an author I've come to like and that is one of his I want to read.

Cath said...

Hi Tara, nice to see you back, I hope you're feeling better now?

Okay... the isbn no. for the book is: 9781840113525

The website for the publishers is here:

http://www.templarpublishing.co.uk/index.html

The Wind in the Willows is on the home page along with several other terrible temptations. ;-)

Hi Carl. The illustrator is Robert Ingpen. He doesn't seem to have a website but the wiki entry says he's Australian, born in 1936. I would certainly love to see more of his work.

Back in the 60s I read all kinds of sci fi authors so I must have read some Fritz Leiber. I can't remember anything specific though so am really looking forward to this book. I feel like I want to revisit some classic sci fi authors.

adam brown said...
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Juliet said...

Oooh, what a terrific haul of lovely books. Not sure how I'm going to resist adding this Wind in the Willows to the family collection!

Cath said...

The trouble is, Juliet, if you go the website at

http://www.templarpublishing.co.uk/index.html

there are even *more*. I'm so tempted by Peter Pan and Wendy and The Snow Queen. These books are like heirlooms really.

Tara said...

Cath, my copy arrived today! It is so lovely. I love that there are so many pictures since I am hoping to share this with my daughter. Thanks again for featuring this!

Cath said...

I'm glad your copy has arrived, Tara. I'm sure you can now understand why I raved about it! I'm planning to read it with my grandaughter in the summer. She tried to read a library copy some months ago but was just a little too young to understand some of the language. I thought reading it with me would make it easier. And I know she'll love the artwork and hope your daughter does too.