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Kalevala

Elias Lonnrot (Author)

Kalevala is the poetic name for Finland: ‘the land of heroes’. Here you’ll find the cultural essence of a young country but an old land, the stories, songs and poems that recount the mythical adventures of humankind. Ambition, lust, romance, birth and death can all be found within its pages, as well as the sampo, a mysterious talisman that brings great happiness to its possessor and over which great battles will be fought.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HORATIO CLARE

Classic Ghost Stories

Various (Author)

Do you believe in ghosts?

Not monsters, not floating objects or unexplained coincidences, but an actual presence – a flicker in the corner of the eye, a shadow in a darkened hallway, a hand pressed against the window, or a figure at the end of the bed. Sometimes they are a malevolent warning, or they come seeking revenge, or as a horrible reminder of past misdeeds. But ghosts could visit on the brightest summer's day, on a lonely stretch of beach, making their presence felt just when you least expect it.

The great writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, from Elizabeth Gaskell to Rudyard Kipling, also produced some of the most influential ghost stories ever written, shaping the conventions of the form for generations of writers to follow. Collected here are some of the most iconic of these Victorian ghost stories, from Charles Dickens's 'The Signalman' to M.R. James's 'A Warning to the Curious', alongside more unexpected contributions from masters of the form such as J.S. Le Fanu and H.G. Wells.

You may think you don't believe in ghosts, but these stories will haunt you nonetheless.

Walden

Henry David Thoreau (Author)

In 1845, the American Transcendentalist philosopher Henry David Thoreau went to live in the woods near his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. For over two years he resided there largely in solitary, in a small cabin built by his own hands. Walden is his personal account of this time, in which he documents both his passion for the landscape and wildlife of Walden Pond, and his philosophical and political motivations for rejecting the materialism which continues to define not only America, but much of the modern world.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY BENJAMIN MARKOVITS

Liberty

Virginia Woolf (Author)

Freedom and enfranchisement. Something anarchical which pushes at boundaries. The sweetness of leisure time. Each of these rich avenues of meaning are bound up in the word 'liberty' and are explored here in varied pieces by one of the most ground-breaking writers of the last century. Whether via the passionate feminist polemic of A Room of One's Own, the experimental narrative of her fiction, or a whimsical account of roaming the streets of London, Virginia Woolf's writing will set your thoughts at liberty.

Selected from the books A Room of One's Own, The Waves and Street Haunting and Other Essays by Virginia Woolf

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Calm by Tim Parks
Summer by Laurie Lee
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Race by Toni Morrison

Depression

William Styron (Author)

How does a writer compose a suicide note? This was not a question that the prize-winning novelist William Styron had ever contemplated before. In this true account of his depression, Styron describes an illness that reduced him from a successful writer to a man arranging his own destruction. He lived to give us this gripping description of his descent into mental anguish, and his eventual success in overcoming a little-understood yet very common condition.

The unabridged text of Darkness Visible by William Styron

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Babies by Anne Enright
Work by Joseph Heller
Calm by Tim Parks

Motherhood

Helen Simpson (Author)

Welcome to motherhood – a land of aching fatigue, constant self-sacrifice and thankless servitude, a land of bottomless devotion, small hands and feet like warm pink roses, and velvet kisses. Here is a land where men and women, once carefree and engrossed in work and sex, now try to solve age-old arguments and search fruitlessly for another hour in the day. Perhaps you know this land well, or perhaps you’re entering it for the first time – either way, you need these honest, sharply funny, humane stories from an expert guide.

Selected from Helen Simpson’s short story collections Dear George, Hey Yeah Right Get a Life and Constitutional

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Language by Xiaolu Guo
Fatherhood by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Drinking by John Cheever

Sisters

Louisa May Alcott (Author)

Your sister might be the kindred soul who knows you best, or the most alien being in your household; she might enrage you or inspire you; she might be your fiercest competitor or closest co-conspirator, but she'll always share with you a totally unique bond. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are four of the most famous sisters in literature, and these stories of the joys and heartaches they share are a touching celebration of the special ties of sisterhood.

Selected from the books Little Women and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Love by Jeanette Winterson
Language by Xiaolu Guo
Motherhood by Helen Simpson
Home by Salman Rushdie

Eating

Nigella Lawson (Author)

In this inspiring, witty and eminently sensible book, Nigella Lawson sets out a manifesto for how to cook (and eat) good food every day with a minimum of fuss. From basic roast chicken and pea risotto to white truffles and Turkish Delight figs, Nigella brings the joy back into the kitchen.

Selected from How to Eat and Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Drinking by John Cheever
Home by Salman Rushdie
Summer by Laurie Lee
Liberty by Virginia Woolf

Death

Julian Barnes (Author)

When it comes to death, is there ever a best case scenario?

In this disarmingly witty book, Julian Barnes confronts our unending obsession with the end. He reflects on what it means to miss God, whether death can be good for our careers and why we eventually turn into our parents. Barnes is the perfect guide to the weirdness of the only thing that binds us all.

Selected from the book Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Calm by Tim Parks
Drinking by John Cheever
Babies by Anne Enright
Psychedelics by Aldous Huxley

Swimming

Roger Deakin (Author)

Is there anything quite so exhilarating as swimming in wild water? This is Roger Deakin’s swimming tour of Britain, a frog’s-eye view of the country’s best bathing holes – the rivers, rock pools, lakes, ponds lochs and sea that define this watery island. Charming, funny, inspiring, an assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, a celebration of the magic of water – this book will indeed make you want to strip off and leap in.

Selected from the book Waterlog by Roger Deakin

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Liberty by Virginia Woolf
Summer by Laurie Lee
Desire by Haruki Murakami

Psychedelics

Aldous Huxley (Author)

Could drugs offer a new way of seeing the world? In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gramme of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything, from the flowers in a vase to the creases in his trousers, was transformed. His account of his experience, and his vision for all that psychedelics could offer to mankind, has influenced writers, artists and thinkers around the world.

The unabridged text of The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Drinking by John Cheever
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Desire by Haruki Murakami

Love

Jeanette Winterson (Author)

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Desire by Haruki Murakami
Babies by Anne Enright
Depression by William Styron
Race by Toni Morrison

The Songlines: Moleskine Special Edition

Bruce Chatwin (Author)

A limited special edition of Bruce Chatwin's classic text, produced in association with Moleskine, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of publication.

The Songlines is Bruce Chatwin's magical account of his journey across the length and breadth of Australia, following the invisible and ancient pathways that are said to criss-cross the land. Chatwin recorded his travels in his favourite notebook, which he would usually buy in bulk in a particular stationery shop in Paris. But when the manufacturer went out of business, he was told “Le vrai moleskine n’est plus”.
A decade after its publication, on reading this anecdote in The Songlines, a small Milanese publisher was inspired to revive production of the legendary ‘moleskine’ notebook.

This special edition of The Songlines celebrates both the 30th anniversary of the publication of Chatwin's iconic work, and the 20th anniversary of a brand that has now become synonymous with culture, memory and travel.

This beautiful Moleskine-bound edition is sold together with a blank Moleskine notebook, in which readers and travellers can record their own thoughts and adventures.

Jealousy

Marcel Proust (Author)

Can we truly know the one we love? In this painfully candid book Marcel Proust looks straight into the green eye of every lover’s jealous struggle. He broods on why we are driven to try and possess one another, how jealousy can outlive death, and whether we can ever reclaim those careless days of first love. There is no greater chronicler of jealousy’s darkest fears and destructive suspicions than Proust.

Selected from the book In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Desire by Haruki Murakami
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Home by Salman Rushdie
Babies by Anne Enright

Work

Joseph Heller (Author)

Bob Slocum is anxious, bored and fearful of his job. So why is it he wants nothing more than the chance to speak at the next company convention? In this darkly satirical book, Joseph Heller takes us for a turn on the maddening hamster wheel of work. Heller’s workplace is a cradle of paranoia, bravado and nauseating banter, forever shadowed by that perennial question, who’s really running the show here? In Heller’s hands, our daily grind has never seemed so absurd.

Selected from the book Something Happened by Joseph Heller

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Drinking by John Cheever
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Liberty by Virginia Woolf
Death by Julian Barnes

Fatherhood

Karl Ove Knausgaard (Author)

How to be a good father?

Children’s birthday parties, unsuccessful family holidays, humiliating antenatal music classics: the trials of parenthood are all found in Knausgaard’s compelling and honest account of family life. Contrasting moments of enormous love and tenderness towards his children with the boring struggles of domesticity, this is one father’s personal experience, and somehow, every father’s too.

Selected from the book A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Desire by Haruki Murakami
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Babies by Anne Enright
Language by Xiaolu Guo

Babies

Anne Enright (Author)

Selected from the book Making Babies by Anne Enright

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Love by Jeanette Winterson
Fatherhood by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Motherhood by Helen Simpson
Home by Salman Rushdie

Desire

Haruki Murakami (Author)

You’ve just passed someone on the street who could be the love of your life, the person you’re destined for – what do you do? In Murakami’s world, you tell them a story. The five weird and wonderful tales collected here each unlock the many-tongued language of desire, whether it takes the form of hunger, lust, sudden infatuation or the secret longings of the heart.

Selected from Haruki’s Murakami’s short story collections The Elephant Vanishes, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman and Men Without Women

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Love by Jeanette
Jealousy by Marcel Proust
Liberty by Virginia Woolf
Babies by Anne Enright

Language

Xiaolu Guo (Author)

Selected from the book A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Desire by Haruki Murakami
Eating by Nigella Lawson
Race by Toni Morrison
Babies by Anne Enright

Home

Salman Rushdie (Author)

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Love by Jeanette Winterson
Race by Toni Morrison
Death by Julian Barnes
Sisters by Louise May Alcott

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