Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Penguin passion:

I'm not saying that Penguin has the monopoly on beautiful paperback design -- not really. But I am confessing that I've been in love with Penguin's paperbacks since I was a little kid. I am also confessing to purchasing copies of Penguin paperbacks that are not in readable condition, simply because I love to look at them. I even have them lining the picture rail in my bedroom, and sitting in little stacks in odd places.

My favourite Penguin cover is the simple tri-colour image with the solid bar at top and bottom, the title on cream in the centre, the text in bold black sans-serif -- and of course the enduring Penguin logo. To me, it's an example of classic, timeless design. I love it.

I was thrilled, then, when Penguin once again began publishing old (and new) favourites in this gorgeous imprint -- happy little orange paperbacks with crisp covers, perfect hangbag size, and at a good price.

I was even more thrilled, yesterday, though, when THESE BABIES arrived. Thrilled is possibly an understatement; delirious might be closer to fact. The latest twenty-six Popular Penguins, all in a box, all courtesy of Penguin on Twitter*, delivered to my door. Can we please spare a moment for some serious exclamation pointage?

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

(The extra exclamation point is for the adorable book bag that also came in the box).

It's kind of totally a book-and-Penguin-lover's dream come true.

So now, my friends, where to start? I definitely want to blog my way through these books, sharing my reactions, which ones were my favourites, which ones were not, which ones you will just have to try for yourselves -- and I want your help to decide which to start on. I've narrowed down a possible starting place with these six:

The High Window, Raymond Chandler
The Pearl, John Steinbeck
The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
The Accidental, Ali Smith
The Autograph Man, Zadie Smith
A Kestrel for a Knave, Barry Hines

Which one/s have you read? Which did you love the most? Which titles intrigue you? I'm ready to be dictated to by your choices! Thank you, Penguin, for providing so much giddy bookish joy!

*Follow them on Twitter for book news, quizzes and giveaways, and general bookish appreciation.

Edited to add: no wonder I felt so much affinity with this blog design; check out the layout and the colours. Hmm...

* * * * *


Laura Elizabeth -- November meet-up possibilities WOOHOO! (and yes, I love mum and dad's mugs, too)

Katie -- the moustache mug also has Frida Kahlo's eyebrows on it. It's basically amazing.


  1. Woah woah woah! Did Penguin just send them to you?!?!?! That's awesome. (If that's not what happened, that's totally what happened in my head!).

    I have a couple of old Agatha Christie novels in Penguin editions. We brought a house and the owner had recently died and her family were like "We'll come by and get all her books" and they never did. Luckily we are bibliophiles in my family and we just incorporated them into our book collection! That was a really long roundabout way of saying that I haven't read any of those books but my vote is to start with Raymond Chandler.

  2. And sorry for leaving my own novel as a response :)

  3. Wow! All those new books - do they smell good too? i suggest, Steinbeck's, The Pearl. Don't read it if you are not in an 'up' frame of mind. It will provoke some philosophical ponderings on human nature and what is of true value. i enjoyed it!
    Happy reading whatever you choose.

  4. I am loving the fact that you post so often!! Yay.

    Your book collection looks *so* cute. They make me want to sit down and read, read, read! I have no idea which book to start with because I've never read any of them. :)

  5. Dare I say, "The Day of the Triffids". Just not at night.


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