From the editors of Penguin Books and Penguin Classics

“Only the enlightened can recall their former lives; for the rest of us, the memories of past existences are but glints of light, twinges of longing, passing shadows, disturbingly familiar, that are gone before they can be grasped, like the passage of that silver bird on Dhaulagiri.”

Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014) - The Snow Leopard

Even the greatest journeys must come to an end, and so today we say our goodbyes to Peter Matthiessen. Called “our greatest modern nature writer the lyrical tradition” by Stephen Jay Gould, Matthiessen penned meticulously crafted pieces of both fiction and non-fiction — stories of the vast world around us that most of us don’t ever get to see.  We are grateful to have his final work, In Paradise, as his parting gift. 

“For Ántonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.”

Willa Cather, My Ántonia


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

universitybookstore:

Delighted to see Shirley Jackson having something of resurgence (again) with the Penguin reissue of her novels, and the Library of America edition of Novels and Stories.

Glad you’re enjoying it! We’re so thrilled to be a part of this.

(via openbookstore)

“This is the sort of book that stirs one so deeply that it is almost impossible to attempt to convey the impression it leaves.”

From the original Kirkus review of The Grapes of Wrath. Much more wonderful Grapes ephemera like this to emerge in the coming weeks, as the 75th anniversary approaches.

Seriously, we can’t get enough of Clark Ashton Smith. In this video, the editor and introducer of all things weird and supernatural for Penguin Classics, S. T. Joshi (including our Smith collection, The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies), talks about the importance of Smith to the genre and reads a few selections. S.T.’s enthusiasm for the material is infectious, and he’s a great dramatic reader — definitely worth a few minutes of your time!

Opening Day is here at last, and we can’t think of a better companion to the season than this recently resurrected classic of baseball literature. Pitching in a Pinch: Baseball from the Inside, by Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson, is a thoughtful defense of baseball as an intellectual endeavor. “To be a successful pitcher in the Big Leagues,” he wrote, “a man must have the head and the arm.” Like Mathewson himself, the book played a major role in changing popular perceptions of the sport.
In the late nineteenth century, just before Mathewson showed up, baseball was widely considered a game for degenerates and brutes: according to Connie Mack, manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, it was “thought by solid, respectable people, to be only one degree above grand larceny, arson and mayhem…” Pitching in a Pinch is not only a brilliant work of strategy, but an early justification of the game itself, making it the perfect start to an understanding of how baseball became America’s pastime. Play ball!

Opening Day is here at last, and we can’t think of a better companion to the season than this recently resurrected classic of baseball literature. Pitching in a Pinch: Baseball from the Inside, by Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson, is a thoughtful defense of baseball as an intellectual endeavor. “To be a successful pitcher in the Big Leagues,” he wrote, “a man must have the head and the arm.” Like Mathewson himself, the book played a major role in changing popular perceptions of the sport.

In the late nineteenth century, just before Mathewson showed up, baseball was widely considered a game for degenerates and brutes: according to Connie Mack, manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, it was “thought by solid, respectable people, to be only one degree above grand larceny, arson and mayhem…” Pitching in a Pinch is not only a brilliant work of strategy, but an early justification of the game itself, making it the perfect start to an understanding of how baseball became America’s pastime. Play ball!

“There was a time when people were in the habit of addressing themselves frequently and felt no shame at making a record of their inward transactions. But to keep a journal nowadays is considered a kind of self-indulgence, a weakness, and in poor taste. For this is the era of hardboiled-dom.”

Saul Bellow, Dangling Man


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

"When I first read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, I immediately gave it to my girlfriend. She read it in two nights and ran to give it to her sister, who devoured it and gave it to their mother. For all I know that copy is halfway to Tuscaloosa by now. It’s that kind of novel.” - Lincoln Michel

Flavorwire’s final Shirley Jackson Author Club piece is up, a thought-provoking essay on Jackson’s final novel, its strong female characters, what it would look like in today’s publishing world and how the novel reflects the later stages of Jackson’s life. Many kudos to Flavorwire for this great series on an incredible writer!

“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.