The magic of King

Thank you for your engaging article – In praise of the 'Reset Read'. My reset isn't a book, but an author – Stephen King. They don't all work magic, but when I find one that does I'm back on track again.


Glistening spiders' webs

Hello, Just wanted to say I loved 'Why all true booklovers know Autumn is the greatest season'!  I've been bemoaning the onset of colder weather and the evenings getting darker, but this article made me really excited. I'd forgotten the joy of reading a book in the warm when the weather's raging outside, and it's really made me want to revisit books like On Beauty and The Secret History, as well as reading something new like The Haunting of Hill House, which I've had on my list for ages and this might just be the perfect season to read it!



Autumn reading

Stuart Simpson / Penguin Books

The perfect season


It was such a joy to read the article 'Why all true booklovers know Autumn is the greatest season'!  Autumn is my favourite time - the ethereal misty mornings glistening with spiders’ webs and the soft Autumn evenings when the sun can suddenly turn the trees into spheres of burnished gold. It is the magical season that appeals to all the senses.

I love to read Gothic literature on an Autumn evening. Some favourites: Once Upon A River, Diane Setterfield; Bone China, Laura Purcell; The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry.  

Best wishes,


A summer reader writes

WELL I THINK AUTUMN AT THE MOMENT IS BLOODY COLD. Give me the silver sea and swimming for oblivion and that-warm-air summer forever! 


Ideal book length

Mica Murphy / Penguin

Hungry for stories

Thank you for the thought-provoking article: What's the perfect length for a book?

I have dyslexia. The term 'reluctant reader' was used to define my relationship with books in elementary school, but I was never 'reluctant'. Reading was simply a challenge. I have always been hungry for stories. Reading still exhausts me. I schedule a daily hour-long reading time each day. For me, the perfect book-length is 200 to 250 pages – with an average of 10 pages per chapter. I have read longer books but more than once I found, in these longer books, large chunks that could easily have been edited out. My reading time is too precious to read filler. 

Thank you for your time and attention,


Simultaneously writing and reading


I really enjoyed your article, 'The Unexpected Joy of Pairing Video Games with Novels'. I teach Creative Writing at Warwick, where I do a module on Video Game narratives (I will share your article with the class).

As a lifelong gamer and writer, I think very similarly about games and novels, and it was awesome to see this on a Penguin page.

I also think that ‘agency’ in games is experienced by a simultaneous writing and reading exercise (making decisions within the established code), making it quite a new experience for those who relate more often to fiction through books.

Thank you for writing so seriously about games and hope you’ve managed to recover from The Last of Us 2.

All the best,


Gaming and reading

Mica Murphy / Penguin

From September...

A few moments of reverie


A great article, as are all those which you send me. I can suggest another way to remind yourself of what you have read: include a note of where and when you purchased the book as well as when you read it. I find that this is an excellent memory jogger, and what is more, it allows you a few moments of reverie as it takes you straight back to a previous moment in time – perhaps a time when you were even another person.

Thank you and please keep up your excellent work.

Best wishes


Keep doing you

Dear Penguin,

I am loving your content at the moment. Adored the piece on heatwave fiction – it made me wonder how long you’d sat on it, waiting for that perfect moment for it to drop. God, it was a scorcher when I read it, and I tip my hat to your editorial decision.

Just thoroughly enjoyed ‘six signs you’re maddening, desperately in love with a book’ (or a very similar, probably profoundly better, title 😉). The last book that did that to me was Fire and Hemlock in early lockdown. And I still am seeking someone to talk to about it.

Anyway, keep doing you, Penguin. I’m loving your work.


Just the Ticket

Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your interview with Sophie Mackintosh. I really like the sound of Blue Ticket and the audio clip was so good that I've added it to my audible wishlist.

Best wishes


In a Rushdie

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the summer newsletters. My mailbox usually only contains grocery fliers and insurance offers. At 62, my reading goal this year was simply to get through one Salman Rushdie novel. As much as I revere this author I have never succeeded in finishing any of his highly regarded books. But Quichotte so far has captured my attention. 

Since I am already over the assigned age for your list I decided to see what I missed out on. I’ve read Martin Amis, but not his father. And Heller’s classic looks good. So, I may give Penguin my credit card information around Labor Day. After I read Salman’s novel. 

Kindly, Robert

Animal Farm

A very British scandal

Dear editors,

Well done! Orwell has accompanied me throughout my life, and Animal Farm is a timeless classic, as “all animals are equal but some are more equal than others” was beautifully demonstrated in the Dominic Cummings scandal.

Wasn‘t that noticed in the British press?



A delightful experience

Dear Editor,

Thanks for the great article about the overwhelming pleasure of an exciting read.

I have a delightful little bookcase with ornate fretwork on which I keep books which form part of who I am. Nestled amongst these volumes is Richard AdamsThe Girl in a Swing published by Penguin in 1986. I’ve read it repeatedly; indeed, when deeply crushed by life’s events, I retreat to a quiet place and read it again. It has everything I want: beautiful writing (oh that first page!), a plot which never falters or loses pace, and a delightful experience I enjoy – a book which informs me, in this case, about antique English porcelain, and the Greek theatre. Also thrown into the mix is deep love and a ghost story.

Another favourite writer is Geraldine Brooks, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former war correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. People of the Book runs a very close second in my heart for similar reasons to Richard Adams’ offering. Both writers have other great books, but I single out these two for stardom.

Thanks for the article!



Let us know what you think of Penguin.co.uk by emailing editor@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk.


Read more

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising