From the editors of Penguin Books and Penguin Classics
It’s Drop Caps Day! This isn’t a joke. X, Y, and Z are on sale today, and we’re giving away a full twenty-six book set to celebrate. Because we love Drop Caps and we love our readers. (US/CAN only — sorry international readers, we really do love you too!)
Click the image or click here to enter! Good luck and don’t forget to share your Drop Caps photos with us so we can re-post some of our favorites!

It’s Drop Caps Day! This isn’t a joke. X, Y, and Z are on sale today, and we’re giving away a full twenty-six book set to celebrate. Because we love Drop Caps and we love our readers. (US/CAN only — sorry international readers, we really do love you too!)

Click the image or click here to enter! Good luck and don’t forget to share your Drop Caps photos with us so we can re-post some of our favorites!


The final Penguin Drop Caps go on sale tomorrow! In anticipation of this special day and an exciting announcement (stay tuned…), check out this sensational animation of the first few titles by Down the Street Designs.

(Source: vimeo.com)

“If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world: for it is absurd to suppose that the endless affliction of which the world is everywhere full, and which arises out of the need and distress pertaining essentially to life, should be purposeless and purely accidental. Every individual misfortune, to be sure, seems an exceptional occurrence; but misfortune in general is the rule.”

Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms


Monday First Lines | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week.

Everyone knows we’re in a golden age of cover design. And how does that relate to Banned Books Week? Because for some great artists and illustrators, our freedom to publish what we want means their freedom to make great, unrestricted art. So as this week closes out, we’re celebrating Noma Bar (Fear of Flying), Tomer Hanuka (Philosophy in the Boudoir), and Malika Favre (Kama Sutra) for their bold, daring artwork. Just because what’s inside the covers isn’t bashful doesn’t mean that the covers have to be!

“The officer, surrounded by these noises, was moved and a little embarrassed. He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together; and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance.”

William Golding, Lord of the Flies


Friday Final Lines | Every Friday, we offer the closing lines of a Penguin Classic to finish up the workweek. William Golding’s classic boyhood misadventure ranked 68th on ALA’s list of the  most banned and challenged books from 1990-1999. Read banned books!

There may be no Penguin Classics author more frequently mentioned in the context of book banning than Mark Twain (the ALA lists Huck as the 14th most-banned/challenged book for 2000-2009). For years, teachers, critics, students, parents and politicians have wrestled with Twain’s language and themes, keeping debate over his books’ merit in the classroom alive. In his introduction to our new edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain scholar R. Kent Rasmussen gives a detailed history of the novel’s censorship and banning. In the spirit of Banned Books Week, he concludes with the central message that we need to keep reading, thinking critically, and conversing:

While Mark Twain’s colorful characters and memorable episodes contribute to the novel’s endurance, Huckleberry Finn holds an even richer substance. It is a novel that continues to demand our engagement, ensuring that it will be read critically, dissected, analyzed, and fiercely debated. Such questions as whether Huckleberry Finn or Uncle Tom’s Cabin is the greater antislavery novel may never be settled but will nevertheless continue to be argued. Debates about whether the book is racist or antiracist will take on changing forms as American society itself continues to evolve and each new generation responds to Huckleberry Finn differently. As each fresh discovery is made, each new theory is developed, and each new battle over the novel is fought, Huckleberry Finn stays full of life. It is likely to remain so for a long time to come.

The Drop Caps series is chock-full of banned and challenged books (including Joy Luck Club, The Secret Life of Bees, My Antonia, and Leaves of Grass), but none more so than Lord of the Flies. Golding’s timeless representation of boyhood and human nature has earned challenges for almost every imaginable reason: violence, sexuality, language, and even "demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal." But is there any better study of survival and power? There are few more revelatory moments in literature than  Ralph’s tears for "the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy." To be denied the chance to experience and learn from that moment is far more than, as the officer blithely mutters, "fun and games." Read banned books.

The Drop Caps series is chock-full of banned and challenged books (including Joy Luck Club, The Secret Life of Bees, My Antonia, and Leaves of Grass), but none more so than Lord of the Flies. Golding’s timeless representation of boyhood and human nature has earned challenges for almost every imaginable reason: violence, sexuality, language, and even "demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal." But is there any better study of survival and power? There are few more revelatory moments in literature than  Ralph’s tears for "the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy." To be denied the chance to experience and learn from that moment is far more than, as the officer blithely mutters, "fun and games." Read banned books.

This year, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. But since it’s Banned Books Week, it’s also vital that we mention that in August 1939, the book was banned in Kern County, California. The book was pronounced as a “libel and lie” and was banned on obscenity charges (but in truth, political grounds). By a vote of 4 to 1, the book was banned, but an unsung hero, local librarian Gretchen Knief, was working behind the scenes to overturn the ban. Knief (above, right) wrote powerful letters condemning the banning and burning (above, left) of the book. "Besides, banning books is so utterly hopeless and futile. Ideas don’t die because a book is forbidden reading," she wrote. The ban only lasted 18 months.

This year, for Banned Books Week, don’t just celebrate the books, but also celebrate everyone who has fought and continues to fight for great books.For more on Gretchen Knief, head over to NPR and listen to our Penguin Classic On Air podcast.

penguinteen:

It’s Banned Books Week! Celebrate your freedom to read by picking up a banned or challenged book this week. Why do YOU read banned books?

Because classic literature is classic literature!

penguinteen:

It’s Banned Books Week! Celebrate your freedom to read by picking up a banned or challenged book this week. Why do YOU read banned books?

Because classic literature is classic literature!