From the editors of Penguin Books and Penguin Classics

“He knelt by the bed and bent over her, draining their last moment to its lees; and in the silence there passed between them the word which made all clear.”

Edith Wharton, House of Mirth


Friday Final Lines | Every Friday, we offer the closing lines of a Penguin Classic to finish up the workweek. 

18 Famous Literary First Lines Perfectly Paired With Rap Lyrics

In which MentalFloss puts famous first lines into RapPad and amazing results follow. There’s nothing more to say about this, so we’ll just leave you with a sample, and invite you to go see the rest:

Robert Frost/2Pac

Whose woods these are I think I know
Creep with me through that immortal flow.
(“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “Thug Passion”)

Original Review: Of Mice and Men€™ (1937)

With all the press and excitement over the new Broadway run of Steinbeck’s play, NYT offers the chance to look at Brooks Atkinson’s original review of the 1937 production at the Music Box Theater. More Steinbeck ephemera, please!

“Master Sun said:
War is
A grave affair of state;
It is a place
Of life and death,
A road
To survival and extinction,
A matter
To be pondered carefully.”

Sun-Tzu, The Art of War


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

“For the space between my shadow and the shadow of the horror is straitened momently…and the space is no wider than the thickness of a wizard’s pen.”

Clark Ashton Smith, “The Double Shadow,” from The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies


Friday Final Lines | Every Friday, we offer the closing lines of a Penguin Classic to finish up the workweek. 

Now that it’s spring, it’s time to get wise and drop some knowledge bombs on your friends. If you’re keeping up with Poems by Heart, your friends are probably totally sick of you quoting Yeats by now, so how about switching to something new? The futile yet imaginative questing for adventure of “Miniver Cheevy,” the doubting/inspiring (depending on how you view it) “The Road Not Taken,” and jaw-dropping ode to beauty that is Teasdale’s “Moonlight.” All great verses to turn to in a pensive moment.

Now that it’s spring, it’s time to get wise and drop some knowledge bombs on your friends. If you’re keeping up with Poems by Heart, your friends are probably totally sick of you quoting Yeats by now, so how about switching to something new? The futile yet imaginative questing for adventure of “Miniver Cheevy,” the doubting/inspiring (depending on how you view it) “The Road Not Taken,” and jaw-dropping ode to beauty that is Teasdale’s “Moonlight.” All great verses to turn to in a pensive moment.

Flavorwire Author Club: Shirley Jackson's 'The Sundial' as True American Gothic

The latest iteration of the Flavorwire Author Club, this time featuring Shirley Jackson, has begun. Head over for a great write-up of The Sundial by Jason Diamond who explores its status as an underrated work with much to reveal about the places we live and the fate of the human race.

To finally get into the game on one of our favorite internet trends:
Ten Books That Have Stayed With Me, from Penguin Classics Editorial Director Elda Rotor (no particular order):
Willa Cather - My Antonia
Leslie Marmon Silko - Ceremony
The Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry
Rainer Maria Rilke - Letters to a Young Poet
Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass (1855 First Edition)
John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath
Herman Hesse - Siddhartha
Keith Haring - Journals
William Shakespeare - Sonnets
S. E. Hinton - The Outsiders

To finally get into the game on one of our favorite internet trends:

Ten Books That Have Stayed With Me, from Penguin Classics Editorial Director Elda Rotor (no particular order):

Willa Cather - My Antonia

Leslie Marmon Silko - Ceremony

The Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry

Rainer Maria Rilke - Letters to a Young Poet

Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass (1855 First Edition)

John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath

Herman Hesse - Siddhartha

Keith Haring - Journals

William Shakespeare - Sonnets

S. E. Hinton - The Outsiders

Allow us to introduce you to Clark Ashton Smith: autodidact, amateur philosopher, sculpture artist, painter, poet and storyteller of the highest cosmic order. A writer so fantastic that his lost worlds are some you might barely be able to imagine a person could dream up. Except that here they are, so richly wrought in Smith’s ecstatic, haunted, Poe-like poetry and prose. H.P. Lovecraft said Smith was “perhaps unexcelled by any other writer dead or living.” Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison also number themselves among his most ardent fans. Simply put, Smith wrote like no one else. This volume brings together the very best of Smith’s tales and poems, all full of  phantasmagorical worlds, classical mythologies, dystopian obsessions, and metaphysical wonder.
 In “The City of the Singing Flame,” the narrator and his friend fall into thrall of the titular flame in a strange city and are never the same afterward. “I am wondering why I came back again to the human world,” the narrator says; reading Clark Ashton Smith is itself a bit like that. Don’t read him if you’d like to stay the same.

Allow us to introduce you to Clark Ashton Smith: autodidact, amateur philosopher, sculpture artist, painter, poet and storyteller of the highest cosmic order. A writer so fantastic that his lost worlds are some you might barely be able to imagine a person could dream up. Except that here they are, so richly wrought in Smith’s ecstatic, haunted, Poe-like poetry and prose. H.P. Lovecraft said Smith was “perhaps unexcelled by any other writer dead or living.” Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison also number themselves among his most ardent fans. Simply put, Smith wrote like no one else. This volume brings together the very best of Smith’s tales and poems, all full of  phantasmagorical worlds, classical mythologies, dystopian obsessions, and metaphysical wonder.

In “The City of the Singing Flame,” the narrator and his friend fall into thrall of the titular flame in a strange city and are never the same afterward. “I am wondering why I came back again to the human world,” the narrator says; reading Clark Ashton Smith is itself a bit like that. Don’t read him if you’d like to stay the same.