Today, July 30th marks the official 75th anniversary date for the launch of Penguin Books, and Penguin is going all out to celebrate this summer.
Check out their dedicated anniversary website for more details—but here are some of the highlights of what Penguin is doing this summer:
A bright-orange Penguin Mobile (an adorable mini-cooper with the Penguin logo) is driving to bookstores all over the US to bring some of our bestselling authors to parties in their hometowns, increase awareness of The Nature Conservancy, and promote literacy -- I was lucky enough to see it at BEA last May.
At each event, a set of 75 Penguin Books is donated to a local library or literacy group. Each author is signing the Penguin-mobile as it makes its way across the United States, and the summer’s events will culminate with a party at the New York Public Library in September where Penguin will auction the car with the proceeds going to the New York Public Library.
Penguin is also donating sets of books to numerous U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Penguin’s founder Allen Lane started the paperback revolution with that little flippant but dignified Penguin (his secretary came up with the name and he sent another colleague off to the zoo to make sketches). One year later, 3 million Penguin paperbacks had been sold. Today, the
Penguin imprint alone has over 4000 books in print. To learn more about their history, see here and here.
Giveaway alert: Penguin has graciously offered to send me two terrific books, and I want to share one of them with you. Here's my issue -- I can't decide which book to keep and which book to share so I'm asking for your help. Just leave a comment telling me which book you'd prefer along with your email address; and if your name is picked, then you win the book of your choice! This contest will be open until August 12th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winner the following day. Open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!
Here are your choices THE LIAR'S CLUB or THE PIANO TEACHER:
Summary: When it was published in 1995, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, as well as bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr’s comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger’s—a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. Now with a new introduction that discusses her memoir’s impact on her family, this unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood is as “funny, lively, and un-put-downable” (USA Today) today as it ever was.
Summary: In the sweeping tradition of The English Patient, Janice Y.K. Lee's debut novel is a tale of love and betrayal set in war-torn Hong Kong. In 1942, Englishman Will Truesdale falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong to work as a piano teacher and also begins a fateful affair. As the threads of this spellbinding novel intertwine, impossible choices emerge-between love and safety, courage and survival, the present, and above all, the past.