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Where to start reading the Penguin Little Black Classics

There are 128 books in the Little Black Classics collection; here, we pick the best ones to kick off your reading journey.

Photo: Stuart Simpson / Penguin

In 2015, for the 80th birthday of Penguin Books, the Little Black Classics series was born: a selection of bite-sized gems from the Penguin Classics list guaranteed to delight, enlighten and provoke the reader. The LBCs contained stories from almost three thousand years ago through to the 20th Century, poetry from all around the world, and politics from the Constitution of the United States to the Communist Manifesto.

The LBCs were such a success that another 48 titles were added in 2016. It’s a series brilliantly designed to entice readers who want a way into the classics (check out those eye-catching titles: On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts, or How to Use Your Enemies, or Only Dull People are Brilliant at Breakfast). But one question remains: given there are so many to choose from, what’s the best way into the Little Black Classics themselves? We are here to help.

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