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Contents

  1. Books in the series: Penguin Modern Classics
  2. WikiZero - Penguin Books
  3. Accessibility links

Nor can one of us drive a tank, fly a jet, hurl a bomb, or plant a tree. We must be taught all that. We have to learn all that. The irreducible price of learning is realising that you do not know. One may go further and point out — as any scientist, or artist, will tell you — that the more you learn, the less you know; but that means you have begun to accept, and are even able to rejoice in, the relentless conundrum of your life.

I have known many black men and women and black boys and girls who really believed it was better to be white than black, whose lives were ruined or ended by this belief; and I, myself, carried the seeds of this destruction within me for a long time.

Both are hybrid pieces, which start in one way — gentle, familial, pastoral even — and become much sharper and tougher. Something to look forward to. Oh Wendell! Let it go! But she packs a punch on the value of poetry, however you define it.


  • According to Mark.
  • Modern Classics According To Mark by Penelope Lively | Penguin Random House Canada;
  • PHOTOPLASM: A Haunting.
  • Intentionally Successful.
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This Penguin Modern series overall gives Penguin an opportunity to recast the character of its Modern Classics range. But in recent years it has expanded into more crime, more SF and more diverse voices, which has worked only because the quality of the writing has always been paramount. These 50 mini-books strongly foreground the newer stuff, with only a few traditional Modern Classics authors: Steinbeck, Nabokov, Bellow … and Orwell. A word about the cover designs for this series.

The typeface is Avant Garde, named after the New York magazine for which it was created, and it comes with numerous bespoke and playful ligatures to join certain letter combinations, which the Penguin design team has made full use of — adding, I suppose, to the air of radicalism the series seeks to project. Yet once you have an impression of an imprint it sticks, good or bad. Anyway, I digress…. Both feature novels that tend to be short-ish and cover fiction from all over the world and even though every book has something different about it you understand why it fits in the imprints umbrella, a certain je ne sais quoi if you will?

In fact I really must pick one of them up next!

Books in the series: Penguin Modern Classics

What about all of you? Do you have a certain publisher that you turn to when you need a good read and are pretty much certain any of their books will do the trick? Feel free to tell me which one publisher it is! Do you have a classic or independent print you make sure you have the whole collection of and really support?

Or does it simply not matter?

Filed under Book Thoughts , Random Savidgeness. Having always read — since I was a very small girl, and now coming up to my 45th birthday I realise I have read a lot of books. In the last year or so I have discovered the absolute joy of re-reading — so often I fear I have read all the best things and envy people their first experiences with books I have loved. These days I think I read far more books published before about than contemporary books — although I do enjoy a lot of contemporary writers too. Engaging with other readers and bloggers has been a greater pleasure than I had ever anticipated — and I am trying hard to make my reviews and blog posts worthy of the bigger audience I now seem to have.

I mainly read classics, and literary fiction, and a few memoirs and biographies. Despite my love of books I do have a kindle — which I like very much, but I read far more real books. Do you keep all the books you read on your shelves or only your favourites, does a book have to be REALLY good to end up on your shelves or is there a system like one in one out, etc? The books on my bookcases are what I consider to be the ones I keep, my permanent book collection.

I do find however, that I am keeping more and more books these days, going back to my bad old ways of almost hording my books. Do you organise your shelves in a certain way? For example do you have them in alphabetical order of author, or colour coded? Do you cull your bookshelves ever? None of my bookcases are organised alphabetically. Many of my books are shelved with other books of the same editions. This system has broken down a little as I have moved books around and acquired new bookcases — but most of my Virago books, Persephone books and Penguin classics and Oxford Classics which are not residing on my TBR are shelved together with other books with the same colour spine.

My TBR is also all shelved together — it takes up more than two shelves, with small stacks of books sitting in front of rows of others. I have one bookcase that has no system; things are rather unceremoniously shoved on to the shelves. This bookcase really needs weeding out, a job I keep putting off. The books I keep to pass on through bookcrossing are in a box in a cupboard —which seems wrong — I do feel that books should be shelved — but that is where they are until they get moved on. What was the first book you ever bought with your own money and does it reside on your shelves now?

Oh dear this is something I really wish I knew the answer to. I have been trying to work out what it might have been but have no idea. All through my childhood my bookishness was encouraged by my parents, although I used the library a lot back then, I was given books for Christmas, and had book vouchers from relatives nearly every year. Are there any guilty pleasures on your bookshelves you would be embarrassed people might see, or like me do you have a hidden shelf for those somewhere else in the house?

I do have numbers 1 — 18 of the Agatha Raisin books — although they are some of the books that are likely to be culled at some point.

WikiZero - Penguin Books

They were for a while a kind guilty pleasure cosy reading I would probably call it — but I thought the later ones quite poor in comparison to the earlier books — and I have stopped reading them. Which book on the shelves is your most prized, mine would be a collection of Conan Doyle stories my Great Uncle Derrick memorised and retold me on long walks and then gave me when I was older? Which books would you try and save if heaven forbid there was a fire?

One book? I also have an American edition of I capture the Castle, which was sent to me by a New York bookcrosser about seven years ago, not long after I first joined the bookcrossing community. I have selfishly kept that one instead of passing it on as it is so pretty, and having read that particular copy twice I am loathe to part with it. I am also rather fond of the three Barbara Pym novels which I have in the Moyer Bell edition — there is a fourth one of those winging its way to me from the USA that I found on Abebooks recently.

I also have a small collection of Agatha Christie first editions which I do rather love. None of them are the very early or rare ones, a few of them are just book club editions so not even real first editions as book club editions always came out a year later — but I am rather fond of them, as I have loved Agatha Christie since I was eleven, and several of them are real first editions. The earliest one I have is from about Did you ever get around to it and are they on your shelves now?

My parents always had a lot of books — many were non-fiction and seemed far too dull to excite my imagination when I was young.


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If you love a book but have borrowed the copy do you find you have to then buy the book and have it on your bookshelves or do you just buy every book you want to read? I sort of store it away in a wish list in my brain, so that should I come across a copy of the book in a charity bookshop or somewhere I will undoubtedly snaffle it up. Certainly there are books I have read and loved that I want to own, one recent example was The Two Mrs Abbots by D E Stevenson — the third Miss Buncle book — I ordered it from the library and it took six months to come in.

I devoured it and loved every word, and so want my own copy. I heard a rumour that Persephone may publish it in the future —I live in hope. I read it a couple of days before meeting the author at a local meet up group I attend. I took my copy with me to get signed and bought two more copies one each for my mother and sister.

I have also added a couple more books to my TBR — but they are both books I am certain to keep once they have been read. Oh goodness — yes so many. I have recently acquired a few penguin clothbound classics — now there is a tiny part of me that wants them all — but such excess would be madness. What do you think someone perusing your shelves would think of your reading taste, or what would you like them to think?

Accessibility links

That I am a reader of fiction first and foremost and that I like classics; Modern Classics and nineteenth century classics in particular. That I like mainly women writers, with a few notable exceptions, the Viragos and Persephone books rather give that away. So while I am away wandering the streets, well more realistically the bookshops, of London I thought I would leave you with the lovely Karyn Reeves whose blog, A Penguin A Week , I adore even if am rubbish at commenting and her wonderful bookshelves. Before we have a good old nosey through her bookshelves though shall we find out a little bit more about her?

It would be rude not to. Karyn is the owner of about Penguins published before well actually many more than that if you count duplicates and Penguins published in other series , and is always on the look out for the titles She is still missing. Her blog is a little different to many in that it has one single idea which is to create some kind of online record about the titles Penguin published before , as some of them are well known but others, many of which are worth reading, are at risk of being forgotten.

Happily, the PhD is now finished and she has now become Dr Reeves. Her thesis was on the analysis of HIV data and about how HIV mutates at a phenomenal rate inside every infected person, partly in response to their specific immune system, which is one of the things which makes it such a devastating disease. Akshaya Rautaray. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.