“A mark of a classic, to me, is that we cannot really imagine it ever did not exist.”
Need something to read for Shark Week?
Might we recommend Peter Matthiessen’s Blue Meridian? Shark Week trades on great footage of sharks in their natural habitats, but it wasn’t always this easy to get a look. When Peter Gimbel went on a quest to capture the first footage of the great white shark (later to appear in the 1971 film Blue Water, White Death), he invited Matthiessen, one of the great travel/nature writers of our time, to chronicle the voyage. Blue Meridian is his account of that voyage, climaxing in a breathtaking sighting off the coast of Australia. To top it off, these events famously inspired Peter Benchley to write Jaws. We sadly lost Peter Matthiessen earlier this year, but he left an incredible legacy of both non-fiction and fiction, and if you’re looking for a great shark read you’d be well-served to start here!
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
“You couldn’t accuse Willie Wonka of being reasonable: in a world of children who’ve grown up too fast, he’s an adult who has somehow managed to hang on to his childishness. He’s the opposite of what you’ve been taught to expect from a mentor: where other writer supply their child heroes with grown-ups who teach them how to become grown-ups themselves, Willia Wonka is there to remind Charlie not to grow up too far or too fast.”
“People trying to attract the good will of a sovereign usually offer him something they care a lot about themselves, or something they’ve seen he particularly like. So rulers are always being given horses, arms, gold brocades, jewels and whatever finery seems appropriate. Eager myself to bring Your Highness some token of my loyalty, I realized there was nothing more precious or important to me than my knowledge of great men and their doings…”
Monday First Lines | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week.
Obviously this is our Penguin Classics photo of the week. How could we even possibly consider anything else?
Classics Photo of the Week | Tumblr is full of amazing images of Penguin Classics and each Thursday we select one of our favorites from the past week. Tag your photos as “Penguin Classics” so we don’t miss any!
Night shatters in mid-heaven:the bark of guns,
The roar of planes, the crash of bombs, and all
The unshackled sky pandemonium stuns
The senses to indifference, when a fall
Of masonry near by startles awake,
Tingling wide-eyed, prick-eared, with bristling hair,
Each sense within the body crouched aware
Like some sore-hunted creature in the brake.
Yet side by side we lie in the little room,
Just touching hands, with eyes and ears that strain
Keenly, yet dream-bewildered, through tense gloom,
Listening in helpless stupor of insane
Drugged nightmare panic fantastically wild,
To the quiet breathing of our sleeping child.
For the centenary of the Great War, every day this week we offer a poem in remembrance.
“One who sees former abodes,
Sees heavens and hells,
Who has reached the end of births,
Sage perfect in knowledge,
Who has perfected all perfections,
Him I call a Brahmin.”
Friday Final Lines | Every Friday, we offer the closing lines of a Penguin Classic to finish up the workweek.
The Penguin Book of Witches is our new bewitching (yep, went there) collection of primary sources documents covering the history of witchcraft in North America and England. It also might be one of the most-requested Penguin Classics galleys in recent memory, so grab this before it’s too late!