Bloomsbury Modern Classics: Must-Haves for Fans of Literary Fiction

Bloomsbury launched a modern classics series comprised of beautifully designed limited edition paperbacks earlier in September. Each of the ten Bloomsbury titles have iconic scenes from the books commissioned from international illustrators for their new covers, and feature photographs and additional stuff. With french flaps and gorgeous artwork, this collection is an essential addition to ever literary buff ‘s collection. You can check out the complete series here.

These fancy paperbacks will not only look awesome on your shelves but will also make for great gift books. I have compiled brief synopsis of all the books to make it easier for you to pick and choose from this irresistible series.

little friend donna tarttThe Little Friend by Donna Tartt

Twelve-year-old Harriet is doing her best to grow up, which is not easy as her mother is permanently on medication, her father has silently moved to another city, and her serene sister rarely notices anything. All of them are still suffering from the shocking and mysterious death of her brother Robin twelve years earlier, and it seems to Harriet that the family may never recover. So, inspired by Captain Scott, Houdini, and Robert Louis Stevenson, she sets out with her only friend Hely to find Robin’s murderer and punish him. But what starts out as a child’s game soon becomes a dark and dangerous journey into the menacing underworld of a small Mississippi town.

 

song of achillesTHE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, the boys develop a tender friendship, a bond which blossoms into something deeper as they grow into young men. But when Helen of Sparta is kidnapped and Achilles is dispatched to distant Troy to fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

 

the kite runnerThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

 

restlessRestless by William Boyd

Eva Delectorskaya, a beautiful Russian émigrée living in Paris, is recruited for the British Secret Service by the mysterious Lucas Romer. Under his tutelage she becomes the perfect spy—trusting no one, even those she loves most.  Since the close of the Second World War, Eva has carefully rebuilt her life as a typical English wife. But once a spy, always a spy. Now she must complete one final assignment, and this time Eva can’t do it alone: she needs her daughter’s help.

 

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England’s history. All practical magicians but one has faded into England’s past—the reclusive Mr Norrell, whose magical powers send a thrill through the country. Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.

 

snow falling on cedarsSnow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson

A fisherman is found dead in the net of his boat off the coast of a North American island. When a local Japanese-American man is charged with his murder, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man’s guilt. For on San Piedro, memories grow as thickly as cedar trees—memories of a charmed romance between a white boy and a Japanese girl. Above all, the island is haunted by what happened to its Japanese residents during the Second World War, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbours watched.

 

the english patientThe English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

The final curtain is closing on the Second World War, and in an abandoned Italian villa, Hana, a nurse, tends to her sole remaining patient. Rescued from a burning plane, the anonymous Englishman is damaged beyond recognition and haunted by painful memories. The only clue Hana has to unlocking his past is the one thing he clung on to through the fire—a copy of The Histories by Herodotus, covered with hand-written notes detailing a tragic love affair.

 

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale

On a summer’s morning in 1860, the Kent family awakes in their elegant Wiltshire home to a terrible discovery; their youngest son has been brutally murdered. When celebrated detective Jack Whicher is summoned from Scotland Yard he faces the unenviable task of identifying the killer—when the grieving family are the suspects. The original Victorian whodunnit, the murder and its investigation provoked national hysteria at the thought of what might be festering behind the locked doors of respectable homes—scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness, and loathing.

 

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want—husband, country home, successful career—but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and set out to explore three different aspects of her nature, against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.

 

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

Jakob Beer is seven years old when he is rescued from the ruins of a buried village in Nazi-occupied Poland. He is the only one of his family to have survived the invasion. Adopted by his saviour, the Greek geologist Athos, Jakob must steel himself to excavate the horrors of his own history. A novel of astounding beauty and wisdom, Fugitive Pieces is a profound meditation on the resilience of the human spirit and love’s ability to restore even the most damaged of hearts.

 

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