Reading lists

The classics we fell in love with, as chosen by our authors and readers

This summer, we're celebrating the individual books that readers have fallen in love with. We've sought submissions from authors to artists, musicians to booksellers, and from you, Penguin Classics readers. 

Each book you've shared tells a story of its own, through its cracked spine, dog-eared pages, scribbled margins or its missing cover. And because the most beautiful books are the ones that have been well-read, we’d love to see yours.

Look out for the posters across the UK and share your own Classics with us on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #HappyReading.


From the bookshelf of Carlo Rovelli:

"Damn Plato: how much to disagree with, and yet, always going back to this books..."


From the bookshelf of Ali Smith:

"A young French woman who had a teaching assistant placement at Inverness High School in 1979 gave this book as a gift to 16-year-old Ali Smith."

 The Prelude

From the bookshelf of David Gentleman:

"I chose Wordsworth’s Prelude for the breadth of his experience, thought and comment, from his acute observation of natural and human details to his lines on the French Revolution:

'That nothing hath a natural right to last

But equity and reason.'"

Leo Tolstoy

From the bookshelf of Chantal Joffe:

"This copy is battered and peeling from being read in the bath over many nights. My strongest memory is not of Anna Karenina’s tragic love affair but of Levin and Kitty’s happy marriage".


From the bookshelf of Abi Daly:

"I got this copy when I was 8 or 9. It’s now falling to pieces but I treasure it and the message of hope that Anne has to pass on to us."


From the bookshelf of Zachary Hill:

"Brings back so many bittersweet memories of A-level english literature..."

Never Greener

From the bookshelf of Charlotte Harrison:

"The myths I'd loved as a kid but the 'grown-up' version - totally blew my mind!"


From the bookshelf of Ian Tompkins:

"Bought 40 years ago, happily used for teaching." 

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