What our customers think of Popular Penguins

by |July 6, 2010

One week down and three weeks to go in our fantastic Popular Penguin promotion and up for grabs are four Popular Penguin libraries. Yep, one set of 20 books of your choice are going off each week.

All the details are here. It is not too late to enter the competition.

Meanwhile, here are some comments from  some of our entrants so far. Having read through all of their wishlists, I reckon I should be curled up with one of those orange and cream beauties rather than writing this now! What a way to whet my appetite!

So the question Booktopia readers were asked was “which Popular Penguin book are you most looking forward to reading?”


I discovered Popular Penguins a while ago and have since read many classics. I think it is great that whilst browsing a bookstore you can come across a classic you have heard so much about yet made no attempt to read. How many of us have heard about Dracula or Frankenstein? Randomly I have come across those books and for a few gold coins you get a fantastic read.Of the books that I picked up the one I am most looking forward to reading is A Clockwork Orange. I have seen the movie a number of times but have never bothered to read the book. I am curious to find out just how brutal the story is compared with the film and the accompanying controversy that surround it. (Hamish Griffin)

I am 73 years young and love reading. I am looking forward to reading Jane Eyre again if I win. I read this book many years ago and saw films made – but  think that now I am older I will savour and cherish this book much more. Thank you for this opportunity. (Patricia Greenwood)

I have just ordered The Power of One – I haven’t read this inspiring and powerful book for a long time and can’t wait for it to arrive so I can revisit such an incredible story by a brilliant author! There are so many other fabulous titles it was really hard to decide which one to choose!! Thanks Penguin books and Booktopia! (Jessica Sewell)

I am most looking forward to reading Thea Astley’s It’s Raining in Mango. I was fortunate to hear Thea discuss her work in Sydney in the late 80s.

I was a fan of Donald Fagen & planned to ask her about her relationship to his music as she had quoted him in the introduction to Beachmasters the book before It’s Raining in Mango.  When she took questions after her talk I asked her about the quote and she said that she loved listening to Fagen anytime!. Then out of the blue asked me if I would sing a few bars for the ‘group’ of ‘Walk Between The Raindrops’ – the quote in her book. I gladly agreed & sang to the ‘group’ which numbered about 100 people & was treated to a round of applause.  When we met afterwards, she was very grateful & praised me for my courage. She signed my copies of It’s Raining in Mango and Beachmasters: “From one Fagan fan to another.”

After reading these wondrous books I posted them to my grandmother in England who was an avid reader & enjoyed the stories immensely.  My grandmother passed away in the 90s and no one is quite sure what happened to all of her books!

I haven’t read It’s Raining in Mango for many years & I am so looking forward to reading it again. Thea Astley remains an inspiration to this day. (Steve Davis).

The book I’m most looking forward to reading is Tim Winton’s In the Winter Dark. He has always been one of my favourite authors. He creates characters that are real and vulnerable, people you are able to relate to and he evokes many different emotions from the reader. His writing can be beautiful, and yet brutal, but you can never put it down until the final page has been read.
(Tamara Keenihan)

This is a very difficult choice to make, there are so many great books available in such a wide range of genres! I was hard pressed to pick 20 as a wish list!

If one needs to be singled out, though, then it would need to be In the Winter Dark by Tim Winton. I’ve recently finished Breath, have previously read Cloudstreet, Dirt Music and The Riders and loved them all. He is a wonderful writer who just gets better. I was visiting my in-laws in Ireland last Christmas and one of my sisters-in-law is an avid reader too. She asked me to suggest some books to read and I told her that Tim Winton’s books are are great introduction to Australia and Australians.

Keep up the good work on the website, it’s great! (Geoff Williams)

I am most looking forward to reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets as I believe he has a wonderful mastery of the English language and he has a great capacity to touch all the human emotions. (Dianne Thurtell)

I am most looking forward to reading of all the Popular Penguins is Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected because as a child I read everything of Roald Dahl’s I was allowed to get my hands on. Now I teach his work to my students, and while his adult work is far from appropriate for them, it would be deliciously appropriate for me. (Belinda Hatherly)

Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park …. I thought it was the most amazing book when I was in Grade 8 and at 32 yrs of age I am dying to read it again.(Emily Hickey)

I am interested in entering the Popular Penguins Competition and have ordered Picnic at Hanging Rock.  I remember the film with its haunting music and its wonderful scenery and, of course, the beautiful Miranda…(Jenny Pengelley)
Im looking forward to reading the Beautiful and the Dammed by F. Scott Fitzgerald, as I have read The Great Gatsby and I found that the style, layout and era is beautifully portrayed. An absolute masterpiece!  (Paul Kearley)
I am looking forward to reading Ian Fleming’s from Russia With Love , I first read this some 40 years ago as a “set” book for English!!!  having said that I want to read them all, every single one of them I think I am an addict and should attend book reader and owners anonymous (the library just doesn’t do it for me). (Maggie KN)

I would love to read Scoop by Evelyn Waugh, as I’ve enjoyed his Brideshead Revisited and The Loved One so much that I’m sure this comedy about journalism will be equally riveting. (David Jackson)
It would be impossible to choose which Penguin book im most looking forward to, if i had to say im am really looking forward to reading Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde which is why I had to buy it,I simply couldnt wait. Other Penguin books im am looking forward to reading are Inferno by Dante Alighieri which has almost been impossible for me to find, and also Tales of the Arabian Nights another one which has been difficult for me to find. (Priscilla Mealy)
The Popular Penguin title that I am most looking forward to reading is H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds (hence the reason this is one of my purchased books) – I first heard of this work through a high school music teacher, who compelled classes of 13 and 14 year olds to sit through the audio ‘broadcast’ and music of War of the Worlds. That experience has stuck with me over 20 years later, so I am interested in reading the novel to see if my memories about the story/hoax have changed! (Jodie Hally)

I am most looking forward to reading The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. I have previously read this wonderful book and wish I had have saved my copy. (Michelle Wood)

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  • Meg Sherval

    July 21, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I am looking forward to revisiting ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. I loved the suspense of it all when I was a child and still have debates with people over what really happened to the girls!

  • Emily Rowe

    July 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I have always been a fan of the Penguin Classics, and I am so excited that they have such a range. I have just ordered Six Thinking Hats by De Bono, as I am a teacher and would love to delve deeper into his educational and learning theories. I am most excited about reading The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels. I want to know what it is about this simple book that changed the world. How can one book published in 1848 still be the leading component of 21st century politics in so many countries? If I am unlucky in this competition I will definitely endeavour to make my way through my wish list, and The Communist Manifesto will be first.

  • Suzan Fayle

    July 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I am very excited at the addition of many of my favourite books to the Penguin Classics. Whilst I have read many on the list, one book I am very much looking forward to reading is Holding The Man by Timothy Conigrave. I saw a theatrical production of this work at Belvoir Street Theatre and loved it. This is a story that transcends all ages and genders. I am sure the book will be just as illuminating and moving.

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