Feature & Follow #10

I haven’t done a “Feature & Follow” post in awhile and it’s probably long overdue. It’s the only real activity I participate in that allows me to connect with other members of the blogging community. Sometimes I feel like a Lone Pooka (less well-known than the Lone Wolf, but just as bad-ass & solitary). Answering this week’s question, posed by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read, is my attempt to rejoin the pack (if only in a very minimal way).

They ask,
Q: “Which books did Santa stuff your stocking with this holiday season?”

A: It may surprise you to know that I received zero books this Christmas. There’s an easy explanation for that: I asked for zero books this Christmas.

My small apartment is stuffed with more than enough book-filled bookcases at the moment, and I may be moving soon. The last thing I need is to do is add more weight to what’s already sure to be a backbreaking burden. I have a surplus of unread reading material on my shelves, in addition to the two stacks I currently have checked-out of the library. The only real book desire I have is a complete flight of fancy — an unrealistic dream. I lust after Penguin’s new Drop Caps set (which would never fit in a Christmas stocking).

Seriously. Have you guys seen this shit?

pengdropThey’ve chosen an author to represent each letter of the alphabet, and have designed an all-new cover for each character. “A” is for Austen, “B” is for Bronte, “C” is for Cather (the selected tomes are Pride & PrejudiceJane Eyre, and My Antonia, respectively). They haven’t gotten to all 26 yet. They’re only up to “P.” But they’re beautiful, colorful, and, as far as I’m concerned, a word nerd’s idea of Heaven. My favorites are “M” for Melville, which is designed with a harpoon shot straight through the letter, and “G” for Golding, which looks a bit like orange slices due to the color scheme, but is actually a representation of Piggie’s broken glasses. So clever!

I do wonder at some of their choices, though. Like “K.” “K” puzzles me. There are any number of authors they could’ve picked who would’ve matched their chosen “Classics” theme, but instead they went with Sue Monk Kidd & The Secret Life of Bees. One of these things is not like the others…

It got me thinking. If I were on the selection committee, which authors/texts would I have volleyed for?

Below, you’ll find my selections. Let me know what you think! Have I bested Penguin? Did I make any mistakes? Which 26 authors/books would you choose? Leave a comment, or write your own post & link to mine (don’t forget to let me know if you choose the latter option!)

“A” is for Atwood
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

“B” is for Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

“C” is for Chopin
The Awakening by Kate Chopin

White Noise Penguin Classics edition cover
“D” is for DeLillo
White Noise by Don DeLillo

“E” is for Eugenides
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

“F” is for Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“G” is for Garcia Marquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“H” is for Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

“I” is for Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

“J” is for Joyce
Dubliners by James Joyce

“K” is for Kerouac
On the Road by Jack Kerouac

“L” is for Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“M” is for Melville
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

“N” is for Nabokov
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

“O” is for O’Connor
The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor

“P” is for Poe
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

“Q” is for Quinn
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

“R” is for Rand
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

“S” is for Smith
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

“T” is for Tolstoy
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“U” is for Updike
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

“V” is for Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

“W” is for Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

“X” is for Xi
Habit Of A Foreign Sky by Xu Xi

“Y” is for Yates
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

“Z” is for Zusak
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The hardest parts for me were the end of the alphabet (“X” is impossible… unless it’s acceptable to use “X” as “Anonymous.” That’d make things a lot easier), and making a final decision on “G” (it pained me to leave out Neil Gaiman & American Godsbut I think I did the right thing). It’s also interesting to think about how different demographics play into it. I’m sure Penguin has to consider the ratio of male to female authors, Brits to Americans (as well as other, multicultural authors), etc. etc.  I’m also amused to find that the only letter I kept intact (I chose a different work for James Joyce, but stuck with the man himself) was “M” for Moby-Dick. I also have to admit that I haven’t read every book on my list (nor on Penguin’s).

The whole thing’s just fascinating. And I want it. Anyone have ~$600 to donate to the cause? Money is wasted on the rich. (They just do silly, indecent, inhumane things – like buy rabbit fur coats. I’d make much more worthy investments. I’d pay good money for knowledge – and for that pair of pumps I saw last week… you can’t blame a Pooka for wanting her legs to look as good as possible).

Alright. That’s all she wrote.
It’s time to strike out on my own again.
But perhaps I’ll visit your neck of the woods (the populated area) next week! Until then, may the wind be ever at your back (and the odds ever in your favor. Of course).


About pookapicks

I'm a 20-something gal working in Children's Library Services. My likes include googly eyes, coffee, magical realism, leading Story Hours, and forcing my taste in books down people's throats. I have a pet rabbit named Moxie Crimefighter.
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20 Responses to Feature & Follow #10

  1. Antara says:

    That is an impressive wishlist! I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read most of them. *Must brush up on the classics next year* Oh and I added Habit Of A Foreign Sky by Xu Xi to my TBR, I’d never heard of it before and it sounds great.
    New follower on bloglovin!

  2. Book Blondie says:

    Wow, what a great list! Have you ever thought of joining the Classics Club? Its a great book club that requires you to read at least 50 books within the next five years. I just recently joined and am super excited about the community they have.

    Here is a link to my post if you are interested:

    Happy reading!
    New follower on Bloglovin

    • pookapicks says:

      I actually looked at that on your blog! I thought about it, but I’m really bad at sticking to book goals. Maybe I’ll just make a really loose, amorphous goal – like reading at least 5 Classics by the end of 2014.

      Maybe I’ll even remember to let you know which 5 I choose! (Looking at your list, I’d like to at least read “The Secret Garden” and “Great Expectations”). Wish me luck! (And good luck, yourself!)

  3. Amie says:

    Holly crap 0_0 that’s so cool. Didn’t know about it until now and OMG I want the Penguin Drop Caps too. They are so lovelies =)
    Thanks for stopping by and I follow back.

  4. Greg says:

    Such an excellent post! No issues with any of your 26 choices – all have a lot to recommend them. New follower via Bloglovin. My FF

  5. I see you like the classics! Enjoy them reads! 😉
    New Bloglovin’ follower!
    My FF

  6. Hi there, following thru from Parajunkie’s FF, and now following you via Bloglovin. You can find my blog at Kismet Book Reviews & Tours
    Happy Holidays!

  7. Jessi says:

    I too have been slacking with the FF posts and since it too is my only real connection with others, I thought it was due time to let people know that I in fact have NOT fallen off the face of the earth. Great list! I haven’t heard of this letter project but it sounds interesting.

  8. Angie says:

    OH… this is cool!! I love it sooooo much. I also like that you took the time to think of books…. but classics is hard when it comes to adding the modern books. I never know how to decide which of those are classics!

  9. That is really cool! I love the covers and great selections!

  10. Those are beautiful covers! Penguin Classics are the best. There are these beautiful chalk designed children’s classics by Puffin which is a Penguin imprint that I want so badly! They have great designers!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my FFF post! You’re comment made me laugh so hard!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  11. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for following! I followed back via bloglovin 🙂

  12. This list … I SWOON 🙂 Happy New Year, dear Pooka 🙂

  13. Great list! Penguin editions are always hard to resist – I had a book-buying ‘accident’ over the holidays that I blame entirely on their beautiful covers.

    • pookapicks says:

      You mean you tripped, and fell, and when you got back up and dusted yourself off, you were surprised to find that 30 new books had suddenly made their way to your shelves?
      I’ve had such an accident before…

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