Here at Early Bird Books, we love book giveaways! This month, we've teamed up with Modern Library to give away a prize pack of 10 amazing books to five lucky winners.
An imprint of Random House, Modern Library focuses on publishing treasured classics, translations of influential books from around the world, volumes from essential texts, and highlighting incredible books that have fell out of the limelight.
This prize pack reflects a little bit of everything they do, including classic republished novels with forewords from modern writers, cornerstone nonfiction works, and more.
Five lucky winners will each win a bundle of the books below. Enter by November 27th for your chance to win. And oh—you can double your chances by signing up for The Reader newsletter, too!
Note: This giveaway is now closed.
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About the Prizes
Jane Austen’s last completed novel, a brilliantly insightful story of regret, second chances, and the courage to follow our hearts
Anne Elliot is twenty-seven and unmarried—by all accounts a spinster in her time—seemingly doomed to spend the rest of her life waiting on her image-obsessed father and extravagant older sister; attempting to maintain their once lavish, now dwindling family estate; and occasionally babysitting the children of her married younger sister.
It wasn’t always this way, though. When Anne was nineteen, she was in love with and engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a man with no money and few prospects. Anne’s well-meaning family and friends convinced her that a young heiress like herself could do better, so she broke off the engagement. But when chance brings Wentworth and Anne together again eight years later, he is now an accomplished naval captain with an impressive fortune, and Anne must face her feelings for him that remain and consider how different her life could have been if only she hadn’t been so easily persuaded by others.
Translated, edited, and with an Introduction by Stanley Corngold
Featuring essays by Philip Roth, W. H Auden, and Walter Benjamin
“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” With this startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first sentence, Franz Kafka begins his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. It is the story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetlelike insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing—though absurdly comic—meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosis has taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction.
This Modern Library edition collects Stanley Corngold’s acclaimed English translation—long hailed as the gold standard by scholars and general readers alike—along with seven critical essays by writers including Philip Roth, W. H. Auden, and Walter Benjamin, background and contextual material, and a new Introduction from Corngold himself.
Nearly two thousand years after it was written, Meditations remains profoundly relevant for anyone seeking to lead a meaningful life.
Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.
In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in thirty-five years—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.
With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.
“Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner. I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable.”—Harold Bloom, from his Introduction
“McCarthy is a writer to be read, to be admired, and quite honestly—envied.”—Ralph Ellison
Widely considered one of the finest novels by a living writer, Blood Meridian is an epic tale of the violence and corruption that attended America’s westward expansion, brilliantly subverting the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the “Wild West.” Its wounded hero, the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean, must confront the extraordinary brutality of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians. Seeming to preside over this nightmarish world is the diabolical Judge Holden, one of the most unforgettable characters in American fiction.
Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, Blood Meridian represents a genius vision of the historical West, one whose stature has only grown in the years since its publication.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
The unflinching nineteenth-century autobiography that broke the silence on the psychosexual exploitation of Black women—with an introduction by Tiya Miles, author of All That She Carried and National Book Award finalist
“[A] crowning achievement . . . [Jacobs] remodeled the forms of the black slave narrative and the white female sentimental novel to create a new literary form—a narrative at once black and female.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The New York Times
In clear and unshrinking prose, Harriet Jacobs—writing under the pseudonym Linda Brent—relates the story of her girlhood and adolescence as a slave in North Carolina and her eventual escape: a bildungsroman set in the complex terrain of a chauvinist, white supremacist society. Resolutely addressing women readers, rather than men, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl seeks to make white women understand how the threat of sexual violence shapes the lives of enslaved Black women and children. Equal parts brave and searing, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a triumph of American literature.
Two women in 1920s New York discover how fluid and dangerous our perceptions of race can be in this electrifying classic of the Harlem Renaissance—with an introduction by Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman, finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
“The genius of this book is that its protagonists . . . are complex and fully realized. . . . The work of a highly talented and thoughtful writer.”—Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
Irene Redfield is living an affluent, enviable life with her husband and children in the thriving African American enclave of Harlem in the 1920s. That is, until she runs into her childhood friend, Clare Kendry. Since they last saw each other, Clare, who is similarly light-skinned, has been “passing” for a white woman, married to a racist man who does not know about his wife’s real identity, which she has chosen to hide from the rest of the world. Irene is both fascinated and repulsed by Clare’s dangerous secret, and in turn, Clare yearns for Irene’s sense of ease and security with her Black identity and community, which Clare gave up in pursuit of a more advantageous life, and which she can never embrace again. As the two women grow close, Clare begins to insert herself and her deception into every part of Irene’s stable existence, and their complex reunion sets off a chain of events that dynamically alters both women forever.
In this psychologically gripping and chilling novel, Nella Larsen explores the blurriness of race, sacrifice, alienation, and desire that defined her own experience as a woman of mixed race, issues that still powerfully resonate today. Ultimately, Larsen forces us to consider whether we can ever truly choose who we are.
The classic novel of a quest for knowledge that has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
Though set in a place and time far removed from the Germany of 1922, the year of the book’s debut, the novel is infused with the sensibilities of Hermann Hesse’s time, synthesizing disparate philosophies–Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism–into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man’s search for meaning.
It is the story of the quest of Siddhartha, a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege and comfort to seek spiritual fulfillment and wisdom. On his journey, Siddhartha encounters wandering ascetics, Buddhist monks, and successful merchants, as well as a courtesan named Kamala and a simple ferryman who has attained enlightenment. Traveling among these people and experiencing life’s vital passages–love, work, friendship, and fatherhood–Siddhartha discovers that true knowledge is guided from within.
Susan Bernofsky’s magnificent translation brings out Hesse’s inspired lyricism and his elegant, melodious cadences, illuminating the novel’s universal themes and timeless wisdom about the human condition.
This original Modern Library edition includes a lively new Introduction by Tom Robbins and a glossary of Indian terms.
A Christmas Memory
A holiday classic from "one of the greatest writers and most fascinating society figures in American history" (Vanity Fair)!
First published in 1956, this much sought-after autobiographical recollection from Truman Capote (In Cold Blood; Breakfast at Tiffany's) about his rural Alabama boyhood is a perfect gift for Capote's fans young and old.
Seven-year-old Buddy inaugurates the Christmas season by crying out to his cousin, Miss Sook Falk: "It's fruitcake weather!" Thus begins an unforgettable portrait of an odd but enduring friendship and the memories the two friends share of beloved holiday rituals.
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edited, abridged, and with a critical Foreword by Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Introduction by Daniel J. Boorstin
Illustrations by Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Edward Gibbon’s masterpiece, which narrates the history of the Roman Empire from the second century A.D. to its collapse in the west in the fifth century and in the east in the fifteenth century, is widely considered the greatest work of history ever written. This abridgment retains the full scope of the original, but in a breadth comparable to a novel. Casual readers now have access to the full sweep of Gibbon’s narrative, while instructors and students have a volume that can be read in a single term. This unique edition emphasizes elements ignored in all other abridgments—in particular the role of religion in the empire and the rise of Islam.
“The first English translation in more than fifty years of Alessandro Manzoni’s masterpiece, a work of foundational Italian literature on par with the Divine Comedy and the Decameron.”—The Wall Street Journal
“An exemplary historical novel” (The New Yorker) from the father of modern Italian literature, The Betrothed receives its first new English-language translation in fifty years, hailed as “a landmark literary occasion” by Jhumpa Lahiri.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker
The Betrothed is a cornerstone of Italian culture, language, and literature. Published in its final form in 1842, The Betrothed has inspired generations of Italian readers and writers. Giuseppe Verdi composed his majestic Requiem Mass in honor of Manzoni. Italo Calvino called the novel “a classic that has never ceased shaping reality in Italy” while Umberto Eco praised its author as a “most subtle critic and analyst of languages.” The Betrothed has been celebrated by Primo Levi and Natalia Ginzburg, and is one of Pope Francis’s favorite books. But, until now, it has remained relatively unknown to English readers.
In the fall of 1628, two young lovers are forced to flee their village on the shores of Lake Como after a powerful lord prevents their marriage, plunging them into the maelstrom of history. Manzoni draws on actual people and events to create an unforgettable fresco of Italian life and society. In this greatest of historical novels, he takes the reader on a journey through the Spanish occupation of Milan, the ravages of war, class tensions, social injustice, religious faith, and a plague that devastates northern Italy. But within Manzoni’s epic tale, readers will also hear powerful echoes of our own day.
Michael F. Moore’s dynamic new translation of The Betrothed brings to life Manzoni’s timeless literary masterpiece.
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Note: The sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, DC who are 18 years of age and older by November 17, 2023.