Socially Awkward Penguin Books

By March 16, 2017Literature

My fellow Reading Addicts,

Have you ever felt like you just want the ground to open up and swallow you whole?

Have you made a quip that fell flat, or did something a bit odd and you weren’t quite sure why you did it?

Do you have nightmares about social gatherings and the pressures of societal norms?

Then these books are for you!

Disclaimer: unfortunately these are not real books.

I know, I wish they were too.






How many of those could you relate to, my majestically awkward readers?

Can you think of any more we have missed?

Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter!




Barack Obama Shares What Books He’s Been Reading

By | Discussion and Recommendations, Political, Reading Habits | No Comments
It’s always interesting to learn what other people are reading, even more so when they happen to have been one of the most powerful people on the planet. If you’ve been wondering what former US President Barack Obama has been reading since he left office then you’re in luck. As Harper’s Bazaar reports, Obama recently took to his official Facebook page to share what he’s been reading.

“I’m often asked what I’m reading, watching, and listening to, so I thought I might share a short list from time to time,” he wrote. There’s so much good writing and art and variety of thought out there these days that this is by no means comprehensive – like many of you, I’ll miss The Americans – but here’s what I’ve been reading lately. It’s admittedly a slightly heavier list than what I’ll be reading over the summer.” Read More

An Introduction to Mary McCarthy

By | Authors | No Comments
Mary Therese McCarthy (June 21st, 1912 – October 25th, 1989) was an American novelist, critic and political activist born in Seattle, Washington. McCarthy learned loss at an early age, losing both her parents to the flu epidemic of 1918, a situation that led to a childhood of harsh treatment and abuse raised by an uncle and aunt at her catholic father’s parents’ home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. McCarthy explored the complexities of this time in her memoir Memories of a Catholic Girlhood. Read More

5 of our Favourite Summer Poems

By | Poetry | No Comments
Summer is here at last!

The next few months will be full of al fresco dining, bright evenings, and beach trips, interspersed with lots and lots of reading. To mark this season of sandcastles and ice cream we have gathered five of favourite Summer poems.

Let us know which of your own favourite poems remind you of the Summer time.

Read More

US Authors Campaigning Against ‘Kids in Cages’

By | Authors, Children's Literature, News, Political | No Comments
Wherever you are it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard about the current move by the US administration separating children from their parents who are seeking asylum. Despite many smokescreens and accusations that this policy has been around under previous administrations, that is simply a myth. The policy was introduced on 6th April 2018 and was the brainchild of John Kelly and Stephen Miller and approved by President Trump to serve as a deterrent for undocumented immigration. Read More

Vikram Seth, Life, Love and Writer’s Block

By | Authors | No Comments
Vikram Seth is an Indian novelist, poet and travel writer and one of the best known English language Indian writers of our time. Best known for his epic novel A Suitable Boy, Seth has been writing for three decades, although notably and famously suffered from writer’s block in recent times.

Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) on 20th June 1952 Seth studied in India, moving to England to complete his A-levels at Tonbridge School. From here Seth headed to Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
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Julia Roberts to star in Chris Cleave novel adaptation

By | Adaptations, Literature | No Comments
Chris Cleave’s ambitious and powerful novel The Other Hand, known in the USA as Little Bee, is being adapted for Amazon this year.

The novel is a dual-narrative story which follows an asylum-seeker (Little Bee) from Nigeria and a British magazine editor, who meet during the oil conflict in the Niger Delta, then re-unite in England many years later. The Other Hand humanises asylum-seekers in the UK and the struggles they go through. Cleave examines the asylum system in Britain, and how the country treats refugees. He also touches upon the very relevant subjects of British colonialism and globalisation.

Amazon Studios plan to adapt this passionate and humane book, and Hollywood star Julia Roberts has also jumped at the chance to get involved.

The Wonder actor will play the character Sarah O’ Rourke, the magazine editor who meets Little Bee during the oil conflict in the Niger Delta. She is also producing the project with Red Om Films.

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In 1938, Tolkien Tried to Get the Hobbit Published in Germany, He Was Asked If He Had Jewish Ancestry, Here Is His Reply

By | Authors, Political | No Comments
In 1938, only a year or so before the start of the Second World War, J.R.R. Tolkien was busy trying to get The Hobbit published overseas. Tolkien’s publisher was working on bringing the novel to Germany where, under Adolf Hitler, anti-Semitism was rife. Before The Hobbit would be published, Tolkien was asked whether he was of Aryan origin, and by extension whether he was Jewish or had Jewish ancestry. Tolkien replied thusly:
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