The Annotated Jane Austen

David M. Shepard’s annotated editions of classic Jane Austen are available in paperback for $16.95 or $17.95 (depending on the title).

The following is the publisher’s description of The Annotated Emma.

“From the editor of the popular Annotated Pride and Prejudice comes an annotated edition of Jane Austen’s Emma that makes her beloved tale of an endearingly inept matchmaker an even more satisfying read. Here is the complete text of the novel with more than 2,200 annotations on facing pages, including: explanations of historical context; citations from Austen’s life, letters, and other writings; definitions and clarifications; literary comments and analysis; maps of places in the novel; an introduction, bibliography, and detailed chronology of events; and nearly 200 informative illustrations. Filled with fascinating information about everything from the social status of spinsters and illegitimate children to the shopping habits of fashionable ladies to English attitudes toward gypsies, David M. Shapard’s Annotated Emma brings Austen’s world into richer focus.”

These books are an excellent gift for the literary reader who enjoys the classics. Byrd’s Books four of the titles available: Emma, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Persuasion.

     

These books would make a wonderful gift for a literary reader who enjoys the classics, but would appreciate a little help with some of the historical background and archaic language of the books.

Battleborn

By Claire Vaye Watkins

Like the work of Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Richard Ford, and Annie Proulx, Battleborn represents a near-perfect confluence of sensibility and setting, and the introduction of an exceptionally powerful and original literary voice. In each of these ten unforgettable stories, Claire Vaye Watkins writes her way fearlessly into the mythology of the American West, utterly reimagining it. Her characters orbit around the region’s vast spaces, winning redemption despite – and often because of – the hardship and violence they endure. The arrival of a foreigner transforms the exchange of eroticism and emotion at a prostitution ranch. A prospecting hermit discovers the limits of his rugged individualism when he tries to rescue an abused teenager. Decades after she led her best friend into a degrading encounter in a Vegas hotel room, a woman feels the aftershock. Most bravely of all, Watkins takes on – and reinvents – her own troubled legacy in a story that emerges from the mayhem and destruction of Helter Skelter. Arcing from the sweeping and sublime to the minute and personal, from Gold Rush to ghost town to desert to brothel, the collection echoes not only in its title but also in its fierce, undefeated spirit the motto of her home state.

Lives of the Novelists

By John Sutherland

No previous author has attempted a book such as this: a complete history of novels written in the English language, from the genre’s seventeenth-century origins to the present day. In the spirit of Dr. Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, acclaimed critic and scholar John Sutherland selects 294 writers whose works illustrate the best of every kind of fiction – from gothic, penny dreadful, and pornography to fantasy, romance, and high literature. Each author was chosen, Professor Sutherland explains, because his or her books are well worth reading and are likely to remain so for at least another century. Sutherland presents these authors in chronological order, in each case deftly combining a lively and informative biographical sketch with an opinionated assessment of the writer’s work. Taken together, these novelists provide both a history of the novel and a guide to its rich variety. Always entertaining, and sometimes shocking, Sutherland considers writers as diverse as Daniel Defoe, Henry James, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Michael Crichton, Jeffrey Archer, and Jacqueline Susann.

Written for all lovers of fiction, Lives of the Novelists succeeds both as introduction and re-introduction, as Sutherland presents favorite and familiar novelists in new ways and transforms the less favored and less familiar through his relentlessly fascinating readings.

Boleto

By Alyson Hagy

An unforgettable story of men and horses, the American West, and the dream of a ticket out Will Testerman is a young Wyoming horse trainer determined to make something of himself. Money is tight at the family ranch, where he’s living again after a disastrous end to his job on the Texas show-horse circuit. He sees his chance with a beautiful quarter horse, a filly that might earn him a reputation, and spends his savings to buy her. Armed with stories and the confidence of youth, he devotes himself to her training – first, in the familiar barns and corrals of home, then on a guest ranch in the rugged Absaroka mountains, and, in the final trial, on the glittering, treacherous polo fields of southern California. With Boleto, Alyson Hagy delivers a masterfully told, exquisitely observed novel about our intimate relationships with animals and money, against the backdrop of a new West that is changing forever.

The Year of the Gadfly

By Jennifer Miller

“Do you know what it took for Socrates’ enemies to make him stop pursuing the truth?”

“Hemlock.”

Storied, fiercely competitive Mariana Academy was founded with a serious honor code; its reputation has been unsullied for decades. Now a long-dormant secret society, Prisom’s Party, threatens its placid halls with vigilante justice, exposing students and teachers alike for even the most minor infraction.

Iris Dupont, a budding journalist whose only confidant is the chain-smoking specter of Edward R. Murrow, feels sure she can break into the ranks of The Devil’s Advocate, the Party’s underground newspaper, and there uncover the source of its blackmail schemes and vilifying rumors. Some involve the school’s new science teacher, who also seems to be investigating the Party. Others point to an albino student who left school abruptly ten years before, never to return. And everything connects to a rare book called Marvelous Species. But the truth comes with its own dangers, and Iris is torn between her allegiances, her reporter’s instinct, and her own troubled past.

The Year of the Gadfly is an exhilarating journey of double-crosses, deeply buried secrets, and the lifelong reverberations of losing someone you love. Following in the tradition of classic prep school novels such as A Separate Peace, Prep, and The Secret History, it reminds us how these years haunt our lives forever.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

By Jonathon Gottschall

A provocative young scholar gives us the first book on the new science of storytelling: the latest thinking on why we tell stories, what stories reveal about human nature, what makes a story transporting, which plots and themes are universal, and what it means to have a storytelling brain – what are the implications for how we process information and think about the world?

Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories

Birds of a Lesser Paradise coverBy Megan Mayhew Bergman

From a prizewinning young writer whose stories have been anthologized in “The Best American Short Stories” and “New Stories from the South” comes a heartwarming and hugely appealing debut collection that explores the way our choices and relationships are shaped by the menace and beauty of the natural world.

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