Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #1: His Dark Materials Omnibus

This is my first time participating in Shelf Candy Saturday, a weekly meme hosted by the amazingly awesome Maria at her blog A Night's Dream of Books.  The purpose of this meme is to spotlight beautiful book covers, illustrations, etc and generally judge a book by its cover.  I knew immediately what book I wanted to feature as my first ever Shelf Candy pick. *drumroll*....

This is the latest (2011) omnibus edition of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy-- a wonderful and classic children's fantasy series and some of my all-time favorite books, for those of you who haven't already guessed from their constant appearances in my Top Ten Tuesday lists.  It was published by the Everyman's Library-- which tends to release gorgeous editions of popular books-- and the illustrator/artist is Kate Baylay.

I first laid eyes on this eye candy of an edition while wandering the narrow aisles of the university bookstore a block from my dorm.  I think I gasped aloud and cradled it in my hands for a long moment, being careful not to smudge the soft black cover with my fingerprints.  Since then I have revisited it many times, subtly gaping and marveling at how wonderfully **shiny** it is.  The price is a bit much for me-- broke college student, remember?-- and I do already own other editions of these books.  But I have made a promise to myself that if I do really well on all my exams in December, I will spend whatever funds I have left to buy this.

While checking out Kate Baylay's website, I was also delighted to discover this:
"Mrs. Coulter, loosening the cramped way some roses had been bunched into a vase, saw that Lyra wasn't moving and glanced pointedly at the door."  --(from The Golden Compass)

What an eerily intriguing illustration of Mrs. Marisa Coulter-- who is something of the villainess of the His Dark Materials series.  I love how her golden monkey dæmon looks here, as I always imagined in the books when I was younger, eerily omniscient yet somehow slightly cute and, well, hug-able.  Kate Baylay's artwork is so beautiful and unique; I really enjoyed looking through it and would recommend anyone else to drop by her site, as it is definitely worth visiting.

Well, I guess that's enough gushing about this cover!  I would love to see what shelf candy you're featuring this Saturday.


Rinn said...

That is a gorgeous cover! I really didn't get on with Northern Lights the first time I read it, I may have even tried to read it more than once. I have no idea why =(

Maria Behar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria Behar said...

(I deleted the previous post because of typos...)

Hi, Kat!

Thank you so much for participating in this meme, and commenting on my SCS post!! Thanks as well for the compliments you included in your own post!! You're one of the nicest bloggers I know!!

I LOVE this cover!! OMG. I would be scrimping and saving for this one, too!! It's so GORGEOUS!!! Well, I'm going to go look this one up on Amazon. I've heard SO much (all of it good, too) about these books, and now, here's an awesome book cover for them!!

As for the illustration you found on the artist's website, what an unusual style it has! It reminds me somewhat of the style of Aubrey Beardsley. You're probably familiar with his work.

Thank you as well for sharing such great Shelf Candy!!!! : )

Kat said...

@Maria-- Oh, you are right! Kate Baylay is totally reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley: the beautiful strangeness and mythological themes.

And you're very welcome-- thanks for hosting such an awesome meme. I like how you feature the artists as well and give background details in your meme, rather than just posting a picture of a pretty cover. Hope to participate again next week! :)

@Rinn-- I like the title "The Northern Lights" better than the Golden Compass. You're from the UK, I guess? This edition is actually a UK import, which makes it extra-special, to me. :) Maybe you can try the book again sometime; I know a lot of people consider the beginning to be somewhat slow. *shrugs* Thanks for visiting!

Maria Behar said...

Hi, again!

It's great that you noticed the similarities to Beardsley's work. I love his art, except for those of his lllustrations that are rather too 'risque'...

I looked up this book on Amazon, and you can get it for $19.14 or less, if you buy it from a third-party seller. I've addded it to my Amazon wish list, and am heading over to Goodreads to add it to my TBR.

Here's the Amazon link:

I'm so happy you're planning to participate in Shelf Candy Saturday again next week!! Thank you!!! : )

Aylee said...

Oh my. Love that artwork!! Truly gorgeous. Hmm, now I really want to own this, too, despite already owning all the books.

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