Bond. James Bond.

shelved under Beach Reads

One of the great pleasures of living in New York City is popping into one of America's best used bookstores, Strand Books. Every time I walk through the door I end up with another great idea for a book list.

Today? The complete James Bond series. But not just because they're fun books, but because they've been reissued with fantastic new covers. Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, I'll stop writing now and let you gaze at the beautiful book covers below.

Casino Royale (1953)

Casino Royale (1953)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

The first Bond novel. None of the expected gimmickry, over-the-top villains, or elaborate lairs... just straightforward espionage, intense action and an unforgettable last line. The recent film version is actually a fairly good translation.

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Live and Let Die (1954)

Live and Let Die (1954)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

While this is a good entry in the series, there are many examples of racial stereotyping. While these may have been less out-of-place at the time of publication, they now make this an uncomfortable read.

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Moonraker (1955)

Moonraker (1955)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

Not too bad... it has a good plot, good energy, and a good villain. The technology is laughably out of date, but that's part of the charm.

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Diamonds Are Forever (1956)

Diamonds Are Forever (1956)

by Ian Fleming

Natasha Yar-Routh says:

James Bond vs. the Mafia. The villains are a pair of brothers and Mafia dons who are smuggling diamonds out of South Africa. The book is far more intense and serious than the campy movie. A good look at Las Vegas when the Mafia ran the town.

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From Russia with Love (1957)

From Russia with Love (1957)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

As good as the movie is, the book is even better. Intricate, exciting, unforgettable characters. This is prime Fleming, as good as he gets.

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Doctor No (1958)

Doctor No (1958)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

This is Fleming in his stride with a strong story, memorable characters, and not an ounce of fat or padding — great cold war escapism.

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Goldfinger (1959)

Goldfinger (1959)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

It's been a while since I read this, but I recall it as being much more heavily plotted than the film. A strong entry in the canon.

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For Your Eyes Only (1960)

For Your Eyes Only (1960)

by Ian Fleming

Natasha Yar-Routh says:

A collection of Bond short stories. These are stripped-down-to-the-point stories and some of the best work Ian Fleming ever wrote. Well worth the read.

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Thunderball (1961)

Thunderball (1961)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

Technically a novelization based on a screenplay credited to Fleming, Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham, this is a good book with a strange and complicated history. It's also The first appearance of SPECTRE and Blofeld!

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The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

The most atypical of all Bond books, told in the point of view of a young woman stranded in a cabin and menaced by gangsters. Bond comes to her rescue. No super-villains, no Spectre, no Blofeld, no threats of world domination. Very personal, lots of tension, but for me at least, strangely unsatisfying.

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On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)

by Ian Fleming

Sparkling Wolf says:

This one stands out as a sad book in the series due to a pivotal plot turn. I won't say what it is — I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.

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You Only Live Twice (1964)

You Only Live Twice (1964)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

Another strong entry, the last appearance of Blofeld in the novels. Tiger Tanaka joins Felix Leiter, Rene Mathis and Kerin Bey as James Bond's allies from other secret services. The arc of this novel is wonderful, going from despair to satisfied revenge to forgetting to tentative awakening...

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The Man With The Golden Gun (1965)

The Man With The Golden Gun (1965)

by Ian Fleming

Richard Bruno from New York, NY says:

To me, a strange, bizarre book, with little to recommend it. Fleming running out of steam and inspiration... in hindsight, perhaps he was in ill health.

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Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)

Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)

by Ian Fleming

Eric Mueller from Los Angeles, CA says:

This book, published two years after Fleming's death, is a collection of short stories. It originally contained "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights" and recent editions now also include "The Property of a Lady" and "007 in New York." (This version contains all four.)

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