I realised this week that my 4-year-old thinks that I read lots of books about penguins. She sees a Penguin Classic with the iconic penguin character so often around the house she has come think that I have quite the fascination with penguins. It made me smile when earlier this week she asked me if my ‘book about penguins’ was good! Ahh, so cute…and so observant!
It has been a little bit of a penguin bonanza of late.
This month’s book club pick was Sonya Hartnett, Of a Boy. We haven’t had our book club discussion about this book yet, so I’ll keep my thoughts here to a minimum, except to say, I could have lived without this one. I struggle with books that are obscure for the sake of it. While Of a Boy had some definite overarching themes, the end of the book did little to address these themes. It dipped so quickly in and out of the lives of its characters there was no time to gather a real sense of who they were or develop any warmth towards them. The end of the book is horrifically tragic and left you feeling distressed and disturbed. Undoubtedly, book our book club discussion will be an interesting one this month!
So on a lighter and much more fun note; I have also stumbled across a range of Penguins that I never knew existed. There is incredibly fun series called the Penguin Ink which are covers done in the style of classic tattoos. Bridget Jones’ Diary looks almost readable carrying a cover like this!
The Great Love series is another Penguin set that had slipped under my radar. They are not only designed beautifully, they are a range of amazing books from a incredible cross-section of authors. There a quite of few of my favourite Russians represented and a few surprises, like Updike and Kierkegaard, and overall a fantastic collection of books.
Penguin says about them, ‘United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love’s endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love…‘
See the entire set here.
And finally, the best till last! This extraordinary series of Penguin’s is called the Great Ideas Series (1-4). It is a collection of world changing books that have impacted individuals and entire societies. It is an incredibly diverse collection of books and authors, ranging from Cicero, St John, Orwell, Freud, St Augustine, Kant and Du Bois. Such a beautifully put together collection, not only designed well, but I love the unapologetic way they have placed rival books and contradicting ideas side by side. If I could, this series would be finding its way to my door sooner rather than later.