PENGUIN BOOKS GREAT IDEAS SERIES
Welcome to the first installment of "Portable Feasts", a category highlighting purse-friendly books. The idea is almost too simple — I keep books in my purse so I tend to look for small, thin tomes that give bang for the buck. Penguin Books, bless their hearts, have come out with a series of …well…small, thin tomes that are stimulating, yet discreet. The 2 books from the series that I have are 18 cm. x 11 cm. x1 cm. Here’s a bit of blurb from the back of my Orwell book:
Now PENGUIN brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization…
Sounds good to me!
The paperback series has a different design for each book but uses the same colors to identify it as a series — brownish-red, white, black. Very elegant. There’s 12 books in the series.
Any-hoo, An excellent collection is WHY I WRITE, a collection of essays by George Orwell. George Orwell would have made a great drinking buddy. He’s such a keen observer of communication patterns between people and institutions. Reading his essay "Why I Write" is like looking into a pond of crystal clear, mirror-smooth water. Not only does he see things clearly, but his writing style is blunt and passionate. Being English, he can’t help a bit of long-windedness, but he maneuvers jargon and vernacular quite deftly. He’s also a very self-aware writer. He knows his strengths and weaknesses. When I read WHY I WRITE, I feel like he’s talking to me person-to-person. I can picture him throwing up his arms and tearing out his hair, flicking a cigarette away.
The book also contains the amazing POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE — one of the most straight-shooting essays ever written about how crap political jargon is. Every person considering going for public office should read P&TEL and ANIMAL FARM. If that doesn’t put you off running for office, you can see how you’re going to end up.
The book is like a shot of vitamin B-12 to the brain. You can feel blood flowing through your brain. Realization sparks and bounces. Ideas like popcorn popping in your head. Great ideas!