• Current Reads

      Life after Life Jill McCorkle
      This Is Your Captain Speaking Jon Methven
      The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont
      Snark David Denby
      Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
  • Popular Tags

  • Recent Reflections

  • Categories

  • Moleskine’s All-Time Favorites

  • Echoes

    The HKIA brings Hong… on [788] Island and Peninsula 島與半…
    Adamos on The Master and Margarita:…
    sumithra MAE on D.H. Lawrence’s Why the…
    To Kill a Mockingbir… on [35] To Kill A Mockingbird…
    Deanna Friel on [841] The Price of Salt (Carol…
    Minnie on [367] The Rouge of the North 怨…
  • Reminiscences

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,081,336 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,710 other followers

Penguin 16-20

image

Penguin Books launches their Christmas Book-a-Day challenge, Season’s Readings. A prompt for everyday up to Christmas Day. Are you getting into the holidays spirit?

16. For someone I love
Love: Poems by Pablo Neruda

17. Funny read
Without Feathers by Woody Allen

18. Massive Tome
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

19. Traveling home—reading this
I’m actually going home *after* Christmas and New Year, in mid-January. I have been fussing with my reading list for this trip to Asia and two of them are The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

20. Set where I live
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, a tribute to books in print and type set in my very own San Francisco

Penguin 11-15

image

Penguin Books launches their Christmas Book-a-Day challenge, Season’s Readings. A prompt for everyday up to Christmas Day. Are you getting into the holidays spirit?

11. Christmas Classic
I always used to pick A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; but The Christmas Train by David Baldacci is not a bad choice. I like story set in a train.

12. Book of poems
Love: Poems by Pablo Neruda

13. Stocking filler
What I call “loo literature” books! Books on etiquette, about dogs and cats, and little travel tips kind of books.

14. Read at school
A Separate Peace by John Knowles has stayed with me all these years. The loss of innocence and peer betrayal first shocked me in my formative years and continues to remind me of our regard of morality.

15. Favorite colour cover
I like very plain cover without a lot of design. I opt for black and grey.

Penguin 8-10

image

Penguin Books launches their Christmas Book-a-Day challenge, Season’s Readings. A prompt for everyday up to Christmas Day. Are you getting into the holidays spirit?

8. It’s a mystery!
Defend and Betray by Anne Perry really blew me away. She’s really dark, and her mystery often probes the darkness of human heart. This is one of the three mysteries in a single volume. I enjoyed every one of them.

9. I judged this by its cover
1momentCute, chick lit-ish, well-written tale about an ex-techie woman in Silicon valley saving an old neighborhood bookstore. Charming!

10. Latest purchase
With the giftcard I received for my birthday I bought A Gathering of Old Men and A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines.

Penguin 5-7

image

Penguin Books launches their Christmas Book-a-Day challenge, Season’s Readings. A prompt for everyday up to Christmas Day. Are you getting into the holidays spirit?

5. Quintessentially British
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

6. Everyone should read
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

7. Childhood favourite
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Penguins Challenge

image

Penguin Books launches their Christmas Book-a-Day challenge, Season’s Readings. Here are my answers for the first 4 days.

1. Iconic first line
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley

2. Last read
A Time to Kill by John Grisham, actually one of the best reads this year.

3. On my Christmas list
On my wishlist is All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr

4. For chilly nights
Any Agatha Christie would do, but I’ll go for Peril at End House, which I haven’t read.

Penguin’s Birthday

1penguin

Happy birthday to Penguin! On this day in 1935, Penguin Books was founded by Sir Allen Lane. At the Penguin archives in Bristol today, visitors can see a picture of the first 10 Penguins ever published, from Lane’s own collection.

I have only read two: A Farewell to Arms and The Mysterious Affair at Styles. All the rest is now on my to-read list. I prefer this simple and iconic original Penguin format.

Returning to London from a weekend at the Devon home of the crime writer Agatha Christie in 1934, the publisher Allen Lane scoured Exeter Station for something to read. All he could find were reprints of 19th century novels and Lane decided to found a publishing house to produce good quality paperbacks sold at sixpence each, the same price as a packet of cigarettes.

Lane’s secretary suggested Penguin as a “dignified, but flippant” name for the company and the office junior Edward Young was sent to sketch the penguins at London Zoo as its logotype. Young was then asked to design the covers of the first set of ten paperbacks to be published in summer 1935 including Ariel and A Farewell to Arms. Considering illustrated book covers to be trashy, Lane insisted on his following a simple horizontal grid for Penguin’s jackets in colors that signified the genre of each book: orange for fiction, green for crime, and blue for biography.