Chris Rushby: Vintage reads


The Vintage Classics imprint might not be quite as well-known as its Penguin or Oxford University Press rivals, but it is home to  some of the best 20th century authors, says book buyer Chris Rushby

Look at the Vintage Classics range and you’ll find it packed with wonderful writing, both fiction and non-fiction; and particularly with some of the best twentieth century authors: Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Iris Murdoch and Kurt Vonnegut are just a few of the great names, but the list goes on and on.  

There’s also a Vintage Children’s Classics list, full of the great stories we probably read as a children and which deserve to keep on being read by today’s children: Swallows and Amazons, The Secret Garden, Emil And The Detectives, The Silver Sword – again, these books are just the tip of the iceberg.

This summer we have a buy one, get one free offer on a range of twenty-five adult and twenty-five children’s titles from the Vintage range. Yes, that’s buy, one get one FREE – two books for the price of one. I was tempted to call this post ‘an offer you’d be mad not to take up’ and, honestly, it would be daft not to pick up some of these brilliant books at such a ludicrous price.

All fifty titles are available from our book department. Meantime, here are just six of them to whet your appetite...


The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood


You may have seen the recent TV adaptation of Atwood’s brilliant dystopian novel (featuring the author herself in a cameo role). The TV was fine, but the novel is the real thing.


Instore only


H Is For Hawk

Helen Macdonald


If you only ever read one piece of ‘nature writing’ in your life make it this one: the author is training a goshawk, going through the grief of losing her father, reading TH White’s fascinating but angst-ridden book about training a goshawk. It sounds odd, but is terrifically moving. 




In Patagonia

Bruce Chatwin


Chatwin was a fascinating, mercurial personality who, along with fellow authors like Jonathan Raban and Paul Theroux, helped create the genre we used to call ‘the new travel writing’. This is his first and, I’d argue, his best book. 


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Swallows And Amazons

Arthur Ransome


Ransome’s stories are invariably inspiring, fun – and wholesome. Several of his adventure novels, though not this one, are set on the Norfolk Broads and he had a great affinity with this part of the country.  


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The Railway Children

E Nesbit


The moment when Jenny Agutter says ‘Daddy, my Daddy!’ at the end of the film reliably reduces me to tears. You’ve probably seen that film several times, but if you haven’t read the book now’s the time.


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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Jeanette Winterson


This is the autobiographical version of the story told in Winterson’s wonderful novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. It’s funny and desperately sad by turns. Most of all, it’s searingly honest.


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This summer you can get buy one, get one free on adult and children's books in the Vintage Classics range and on other selected fiction.


Shop all books in the offer


Shop all books

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