1211_billboard_penguinshorts

There is something very satisfying about reading an entire book in one sitting. Part of the pleasure of Julian Barnes’ Booker Prizing winning novel, The Sense of an Ending, is that you can spend a deeply pleasurable and indulgent afternoon devouring the book whole. You don’t have to worry about forgetting who said what when, of losing track of the plot as you nibble your way through the pages, piecemeal, when you get a moment here or there. The book is completely with you and the reading experience all the richer for it.

Last week we launched a new series of eBooks written with this experience in mind. The Penguin Shorts can be read over a long commute or a short journey, in your lunch hour or between dinner and bedtime, these brief books provide a short escape into a fictional world or act as a primer in a particular field or provide a new angle on an old subject.

To introduce you to the series, we are going to blog our way through all nine of the launch books, as we read through the series on our way in and out of work. To kick off, I’m starting with Colm Tóibín’s A Guest at the Feast. Celebrated as one of the finest novelists and short story writers of his generation Colm Tóibín, in his Penguin Short, turns his hand to his first piece of memoir, moving from the small town of Enniscorthy to Dublin, from memories of a mother who always had a book on the go to the author's early adulthood, from a love of literature to the influences of place and family.

To Work: 388 from Victoria Park Road to Embankment (50 minutes)

It was bitterly cold yesterday morning. It proved difficult to keep my reader still as I tried to steal away the first few pages while keeping my morning vigil for the 388 to take me into work. It’s a good journey, I always get a seat and it allows for just shy of an hour of solid reading time. A Guest at the Feast opens with Tóibín's childhood in Enniscorthy, the story of how parents got together, his schooling (good at maths, giving ‘smart answers’ and being ‘no good’), childhood trips to the Wexford Town, and by the time I reach work, he is on his way to Dublin and University.

Back Home: 26 from Aldwych to Cassland Crescent (50 minutes)

In Dublin, Tóibín’s love of the arts develops. There is a wonderful scene in which he meets Frederick May, a forgotten Irish composer, responsible for ‘one of the greatest contributions to Irish beauty which was ever made’. He continues, reflecting on his mother, an avid reader that adored ‘smart’ books and stayed clear of those she found ‘slow-moving’. And finally, to the importance of place and the influence it has had on him and his work. And that’s it, a perfect gem of a book and an insight into one of our most profound writers, completely enjoyed and digested on a single day on my way in and out of work.

 

Matt Clacher
Penguin General Marketing

 

…………………………………………………………………..

Remember that by posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use. If you consider any content on this site to be inappropriate, please report it to Penguin Books by emailing reportabuse@penguin.co.uk

……………………………………………………………………

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Guys, I have a question that is not related to this post at all, but I found no other place to ask it, so here it goes: Did you guys stop printing the Madame Bovary book from the Clothbound Cover Collection? (Just in case, ISBN 0141040319). It seems a bit impossible for that to happen, but because I couldn’t find it in any Library, I decided to buy it online from your website and, for my surprise, it’s not even listened among the other books from that collection.
    I’m really waiting for an answer from you guys, hopefuly I’ll get an e-mail from you. Despite that, the collection is getting more and more amazing!
    My best regards! Gabriel Gomez

    Reply
  2. You looked so fine, and your wonderful clogs only added to the perfection; I wish every one of your readers could have seen how great you looked!
    Friend Link: http://www.shoeshop-online.com

    Reply
  3. I am hoping I can build a site similar to your own and will check out your posts with great interest.

    Reply
  4. Even so, you should post “No Smoking” signs along the outside of your restaurant.

    Reply
  5. It is true that there is something very satisfying about reading an entire book in one sitting. My family has used to reading books when they have nothing to do. They do not opt to their gadgets but prefer to scan the pages of the books.

    Reply
  6. You looked so fine, and your wonderful clogs only added to the perfection; Porsche Design Adidas, Adidas Porsche Design,Adidas Porsche Design Shoes, http://www.dailydeal-shoes.com

    Reply
  7. On Wednesday, the Mariners did not have A’s-killer Felix Hernandez

    Reply
  8. What’s good in Dublin to visit to is because of its English speaking country. It’s very easy and exciting to go anywhere compared to non-English speaking places. Dublin is a romantic place.

    Reply
  9. Start a journal during your search to make notes and keep track of the things you like and dislike.

    Reply
  10. Good info. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later!

    Reply
  11. Ilove what you guys twnd tto be up too. This kind off clever work andd coverage! Keep up the wonderful works guhys I’ve included you guys to my own blogroll.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Category

Uncategorized

Tags

, , , , ,