Common Reader Editions


Beginning in the late 1990s, Akadine Press, through its catalog company, A Common Reader reissued dozens of neglected titles in handsome paperback editions. With a few exceptions, the titles dated from the 1940s on, but they ranged from story collections to cookbooks, and included quite a few commonplace books, such John Ciardi’s “Browser” dictionaries and Barbara Holland’s light-hearted collections. In particular, the press championed English novelist Alice Thomas Ellis.

Sadly, A Common Reader filed for bankruptcy in early 2006 and it’s unlikely further titles in this series will ever be reprinted.


· Adam’s Task: Calling Animals by Name, Vicki Hearne
· The Adventurer, Paul Zweig
· Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village, Ronald Blythe
· All The Time In The World, Hugo Williams
· American Places, William Zinsser
· Another Self, James Lees-Milne
· Anybody Can Do Anything, Betty MacDonald
· The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, Oliver Wendell Holmes
· Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast, Bill Richardson
· Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog, Vicki Hearne
· The Birds of the Air, Alice Thomas Ellis
· The Black Hole Of Calcutta, Noel Barber
· Blessings in Disguise, Alec Guinness
· Brief Heroes and Histories, Barbara Holland
· A Browser’s Dictionary, John Ciardi
· The Candlemass Road, George MacDonald Fraser
· Captain Blood, Rafael Sabatini
· Ceremonials of Common Days, Abbie Graham
· The Coast of Bohemia, Edith Pargeter
· The Complete Henry Root Letters, edited by William Donaldson
· A Coffin for King Charles, C.V. Wedgwood
· Come, Tell Me How You Live, Agatha Christie Mallowan
· A Day of Light and Shadows, Jonathan Schwartz
· The Dead Secret, Wilkie Collins
· Dream Days, Kenneth Grahame
· Emerald, Elisabeth Luard
· Endangered Pleasures : In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences, Barbara Holland
· England’s House, Vera Brittain
· Evening of Adam, Alice Thomas Ellis
· Fairy Tale, Alice Thomas Ellis
· Following the Brush, John Elder
· Gift Of Fire, Richard Mitchell
· The Golden Age, Kenneth Grahame
· The Graves Of Academe, Richard Mitchell
· The Haunted Bookshop, Christopher Morley
· The Hills is Lonely, Lillian Beckwith
· In Love With Daylight, Wilfrid Sheed
· The Inn at the Edge of the World, Alice Thomas Ellis
· In Private Life, Barbara Holland
· Invasion 1940, Peter Fleming
· I See By My Outfit, Peter Beagle
· La Tavola Italiana, Tom Maresca and Diane Darrow
· Lady Molly Of Scotland Yard, Baroness Orczy
· Leaning Tower of Babel, Richard Mitchell
· Less Than Words Can Say, Richard Mitchell
· The Lyttelton Hart-Davis Letters 1955-1962, George Lyttelton and Rupert Hart-Davis
· Love Conquers All, Robert Benchley
· Marguerite, Elisabeth Luard
· The Man Who Robbed the Robber Baron, Andy Logan
· The Marriage of Meggotta, Edith Pargeter
· Max Jamison: A Novel, Wilfred Sheed
· McAuslan Entire, George MacDonald Fraser
· The Morning After … and Long After, Wilfrid Sheed
· My Cousin Rachel, Daphne Du Maurier
· No Bed for Bacon, Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simon
· Of All Things!, Robert Benchley
· The Old World Kitchen, Elisabeth Luard
· One’s Company, Barbara Holland
· Parnassus on Wheels, Christopher Morley
· The Plague And I, Betty MacDonald
· Playing for Time, Jeremy Lewis
· Quartered Safe Out Here, George Macdonald Fraser
· The Pyrates, George MacDonald Fraser
· The Return of the Twelves , Pauline Clarke and Bernarda Bryson
· Rome and a Villa, Eleanor Clark
· Scaramouche, Rafael Sabatini
· Screaming In The Castle, Charles Nicholl
· The Sea for Breakfast, Lillian Beckwith
· Seaspray and Whiskey, Norman Freeman
· A Second Browser’s Dictionary, John Ciardi
· Secrets of the Cat : Its Lore, Legend, and Lives, Barbara Holland
· The Seven Deadly Sins, W.H. Auden, Cyril Connolly, Patrick Leigh-Fermor, Edith Sitwell, Christopher Sykes, Evelyn Waugh, and Angus Wilson
· The Sin Eater, Alice Thomas Ellis
· Skye High, Hesketh Pearson and Hugh Kingsmill
· Something Wholesale: My Life and Times in the Rag Trade, Eric Newby
· The Steel Bonnets, George MacDonald Fraser
· The Summer House Trilogy, Alice Thomas Ellis
· A Third Browser’s Dictionary, John Ciardi
· Through the Magic Door, Arthur Conan Doyle
· Trooper to the Southern Cross, Angela Thirkell
· The 27th Kingdom, Alice Thomas Ellis
· Unexplained Laughter, Alice Thomas Ellis
· The Villa Ariadne, Dilys Powell
· Walls Came Tumbling Down, Henriette Roosenburg
· Wasn’t the Grass Greener?: A Curmudgeon’s Fond Memories, Barbara Holland
· The Weather Prophet, Lucretia Stewart
· Within This Wilderness, Feenie Ziner
· The Zoom Trilogy, Tim Wynne-Jones and Eric Beddows