Great Gifts from the Folio Society

Posted November 15, 2017 by Lory in brief reviews / 13 Comments

If you’re looking for a really special gift for a book-lover in your life, the Folio Society has some fabulous offerings. Here’s a glimpse at some of my favorites from their newest list.

East of Eden, the great American novel by John Steinbeck, is a marvelous evocation of a particular place (the Salinas Valley in California) and of the intertwined destinies of two families. Love, death, murder, revenge, redemption, self-destruction, and freedom all have a role to play in a timeless drama that echoes the story of Cain and Abel. The new edition from Folio features dark, moody illustrations by Edward Kinsella that bring out the shadows in the story. Majestic in size, bound in emerald green cloth with a ribbon marker, this is a very impressive edition of an important and beloved book.

Illustration by Edward Kinsella for the Folio Society edition of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden

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A new Folio volume of poetry by Rumi offers a wealth of food for reflection and inspiration. The Sufi poet spirals from the earthly to the divine in a wonderfully mind-expanding way, and the free-verse translations by Coleman Barks allow us to experience something of his spirit in the English language. The Folio edition comes in an unusual square format that allows plenty of space for the poems, along with intricate borders printed in two colors of metallic ink. (My one complaint is that there are only four of these borders that repeat through the volume — it would have been lovely to see more variety.) A splendidly ornamented binding and a gold ribbon marker make this book a gorgeous package in itself.

Design by Marian Bantjes for The Folio Society’s edition of Rumi: Selected Poems.

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For something completely different and utterly charming, check out The Hundred and One Dalmatians illustrated by Sara Ogilvie. Ogilvie has illustrated several children’s books for Folio, but in my opinion this is the one that perfectly matches her style. Her energetic line-and-wash drawings bring the infamous Cruella de Vil to life, along with dozens of individually-characterized dogs, in an appropriately 1950s-flavored setting. A spotted slipcase and detailed endpapers may further tempt you to forget the screen versions and get back to the classic original — and Dodie Smith’s comic masterpiece is well worth it.

Illustration by Sara Ogilvie for The Folio Society’s edition of Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians
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Three other books that I’ve reviewed earlier on the blog have also been recently published by Folio. Click on the links for the Folio description and for my review (of another edition). From the preview images, these all definitely look like books I would  love to give, or to receive… (hint, hint)

Illustration by Felix Miall for The Folio Society’s edition of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Mark of the Horse Lord.

The Mark of the Horse Lord: My review / Folio edition

Illustration by Gwen Raverat for The Folio Society’s edition of Raverat’s Period Piece: The Cambridge Childhood of Darwin’s Granddaughter

Period Piece: My review / Folio edition

Illustration by Paul Cox for The Folio Society’s edition of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals: My review /Folio edition

Have you ever given or received a Folio Society book? What are your favorites?

Books received for review purposes from the publisher. No other compensation was received, and all opinions expressed are my own.

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13 responses to “Great Gifts from the Folio Society

  1. They just sent me a few of their new releases recently, including She-Wolves, which looks really interesting, and The Book of Psalms. The latter is my favorite Folio design yet. It’s an adorable size and the typography is absolutely gorgeous.

  2. Great post. Folio Society books look wonderful. I have this fantasy of having a big collection of high quality books of this sort. I do agree, for the right person, these wsould make great gifts.

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