Books we are talking about

Chris Schluep on October 22, 2019
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Whether you know it or not, it's deluxe edition book season in the books world. Come October of every year, you'll see publishers releasing a handful of really really nice versions of books you love. Which makes sense, since the holidays are approaching and these fancy books are the epitome of "giftable." We recently took note of two new deluxe editions; they are highlighted below. Plus, the Booker Prize was awarded (twice). And all of this ties into the Amazon Charts list. Here are a few of the books we are talking about.


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Margaret Atwood is likely living her best life. She has just published a best-selling novel. There's a popular television show based on her work. She has a massive number of fans who treat her like a rock star. And now a deluxe edition of The Handmaid's Tale has been released. The publisher describes it this way: "This beautiful edition of Margaret Atwood’s seminal work of speculative fiction features a leatherette cover, gilt edging, and ribbon marker—a perfect gift for book lovers and fans of the Hulu series." It's all true. The book basically feels like a hymnal. It's really a very cool edition.


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Not to be outdone, Delia Owens' publisher just today (10/22) released a deluxe version of Where the Crawdads Sing. Owens is another author who has legions of fans and is probably living her best life—so it makes sense. Here's the publishers information on the book: "With over three million copies sold, 'a painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature' (The New York Times Book Review), now available as a beautiful, deluxe edition that will make the perfect holiday gift--or treat for yourself."

We really did love this book. In the event you haven't read the novel yet, here's what we wrote about it when we picked it for best of the month:

An Amazon Best Book of August 2018: Although this is Delia Owens’ first novel, she long ago distinguished herself as a gifted writer. In the mid-80s, Owens co-wrote with her husband Cry of the Kalahari, which was a best-selling, nonfictional account of traveling and researching Africa’s Kalahari Desert. One of the joys of that book was the Owens’ description of the natural world, and Where the Crawdads Sing is immersed in the natural world as well. The story is set in the 1950s and revolves around a young woman named Kya Clark, who is from extremely rural North Carolina. Known by others as the Marsh Girl, she lives alone in nature—but the draw of other people, and specifically love, brings her into contact with the greater world. This novel has a mystery at its core, but it can be read on a variety of levels. There is great nature writing; there is coming of age; and there is literature. Crawdads is a story lovingly told—one that takes its time in developing its characters and setting, and in developing the story. You’ll want to relax and take your time as well, and when you’re done you will want to talk about it with another reader. – Chris Schluep , Amazon Book Review



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We found it interesting to note that the top two books on the Charts Most Sold Fiction list are the same books getting the deluxe treatment: Where the Crawdads Sing and The Handmaid's Tale. Both novels have been around for a while now (long enough to get the deluxe treatment). Crawdads was published in August of 2018, while The Handmaid's Tale was published in 1985! Sitting at third on Charts is Stephen King with with his relatively new novel The Institute (September 10, 2019). With big names like these on the best-seller list, you might wonder whether there's any space for someone new. We were recently discussing this very notion—who will be the next new author to break into the stratosphere?—when we realized that many of the people who are loving Delia Owens today probably had no idea who she was a year and a half ago. (A few of us also think Adrienne Brodeur has a shot at being the next big thing.)


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The Booker Awards were recently announced in the UK, and the judges broke tradition by choosing two winners. To be fair, two Booker winners have been chosen in the past as well, but in 1993 the rules were changed, ostensibly to keep it from happening again. Girl, Woman, Other isn't slated to go on sale in the US until November 5th, but it is one of your two Booker Award winners. In choosing it, the Booker committee called Girl, Woman, Other: "An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away.”



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And bringing it all back home, Margaret Atwood shared the Booker. Yet another illustration that she is living her best life.

For those who are interested, here is a list of all Booker Prize winners, courtesy of Goodreads. 




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