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Home » Books & writing

Penguin Books 75th Anniversary Giveaway

Submitted by on July 29, 2010 – 11:29 pm 16 Comments

When I was new in the U.S. and first started reading classics, I noticed the penguin logo was on every paperback I read (couldn’t afford hardcovers back then) and assumed it was on all paperbacks. Of course, I found out later this wasn’t true but my little black and white friend was certainly the symbol of a good book.

Today Penguin Books officially turns 75 but all summer, the Penguin Mobile has been touring the country and driving its authors to celebrations at bookstores in their hometown. The final event will take place in September in New York City, where the Mini Cooper will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the New York Public Library. If I had the cash, I would bid on it in a heartbeat. I’d then take it on a car chase like in The Bourne Identity but that’s another story.

Since I can’t get to NYC, I’m celebrating here by giving away a paperback of Tana French’s In the Woods, which won the 2007 Edgar for best first novel. I haven’t read it but intend to very soon due to all the good reviews her books have received (check out this one by Picky Girl).

Here’s the synopsis from French’s website:

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled shoes, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox – his partner and closest friend – find themselves investigating a case with chilling links to that long-ago disappearance. Now, with only snippets of buried memories to guide him, Rob has the chance to unravel both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

To enter:

  • be a subscriber or Twitter follower (tell me which)
  • leave a comment telling me which author you’d like to spend some time with in that cozy little car (perhaps while parked in the woods?)
  • have a U.S. address

Giveaway ends next Wednesday, August 4, 5 p.m. PST. A winner will be randomly chosen via and only announced here and on Twitter. I won’t contact you personally so please check back to see if you win. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize before an alternate name is chosen.

Now, let’s party in the car and start fogging up the windows!



  • DarcyO says:

    I subscribe to your feed in Google Reader. I’d like Michael Connelly in the car with me.

  • @WotV from Twitter here! I’d love to share the car with Christopher Moore. He is incredibly funny.

  • Kieran says:

    I subscribe through Google Reader. I picked 3 authors b/c Technically the mini seats 4!
    Cory Doctorow
    Rick Riordan
    JK Rowling

    I’d like James Joyce but he might be a bit odorous considering his current state

  • Amy says:

    I subscribe to your blog via email! There are so many authors I would love to visit while driving around in that cute orange car, it’s just my size! I would love to meet Wallace Stegner but as he is no longer with us on earth, that would be difficult. I would be thrilled to meet and chat with Mary Karr, that would be wonderful. She is a brilliant woman with a wonderful sense of humor and a great perspective on life.

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway!
    And, yes, I live in the USA

    ~ Amy
    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

  • Paulette says:

    I don’t know how to subscribe to blog by email (I am a technidiot!), but I would if I could! After your “jonesing over Daniel Craig” comment, I cannot seem to get him off my mind, so if it’s all the same to you, I will choose him capture in the Cooper!

  • EIREGO says:

    Loved the mini cooper chase in Bourne Identity, but you have to give a shout out to the heist sequence with mini coopers in The Italian Job. That was pretty cool as well.

    Okay…an author I would like to steam up the windows of a mini cooper with……hmmmm, Okay Sophie Littlefield! Just tell her to leave that bat on the cover of A Bad Day for Pretty at home!

  • Reader#9 says:

    I would like to sit in the back seat of that minicooper with Alafair Burke!

  • meg says:

    I am a subscriber by email. I’d love to sit with Stephen King in the orange car in the dark listening to his latest story ideas.

  • Pop Culture Nerd says:

    I’m loving these responses!

    DarcyO, Connelly is shy so you might have to initiate the conversation. But he’s really funny once you get him started!

    Dorothy, you’d have a good time with Moore!

    Kieran, when you’re with Rowling, please find out when her next book is coming out and what it’s about. And yes, I’m guessing Joyce might stink up the car in a way no air freshener would cure.

    Amy, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read Stegner or Karr but—the former’s status aside—they sound like good company. And you’re welcome re: the giveaway. I love sharing good books!

    Paulette, look at my sidebar in the upper right hand corner under the heading “Subscribe & Follow.” Enter your e-mail address in the box, hit “submit” then follow instructions in your confirmation e-mail to verify your subscription. And if you’ve got Daniel Craig in the car, make room for me!

    EIREGO—I liked the Italian Job sequence, too, but Bourne is more memorable for me because it’s a better movie. And I don’t think Sophie needs that bat. You do know she’s 9 feet tall and has arms of steel, right?

    Reader#9—Um, I think I’ll tell Alafair to stay in the front seat.

    meg—Oooh, spooky! You should do it on Halloween for extra creepiness. The car is even painted orange!

  • Travis says:

    Hmmm. It would be fun to drive around LA with James Ellroy pointing out different historical crime areas of the city as well as places where he committed his own shameless exploits… the problem is that he is manically animated and has wingspan over six feet. Driving in a Mini, I’d probably end up with a bloody nose at minimum and possibly a lost eye or an accident. So I think I’ll take a controlled recluse like Cormac McCarthy and drive him around until he loosens up (good gas mileage) and tells me how writes such efficient prose.

    If the Mini were a time machine, I’d go back to the fifties and take Jim Thompson for a spin.

    I’m a subscriber.

  • What a great competition, PCN, and that Mini Cooper is all kinds of wonderful, as is the Penguin. Though I’m not eligible, I’ll go for Sophie Littlefield, not because I want to steam up the windows with her {I’ll leave that to Eirego}… but because I’d love some personalised “kick-ass” tips!

  • karenk says:

    thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel…love your mini cooper scheme 🙂 i’m an email subscriber, too…

  • le0pard13 says:

    First off, you know I love to hear your stories from your youth and introduction to this culture. Your reactions and insights from those times are always a welcome read.

    For me as we tool around my home town, I think I’d want (especially for their individual L.A. perspectives) riding with me in the Mini would be Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley, and Robert Crais. Oh, the places we’d go…

    Thanks, Elyse.

  • Anita Yancey says:

    I subscribe by email. I would like to spend time in that car with Janet Evanovich. I have been wanting to read this book, it sounds really good. Please enter me. Thanks!

  • Pop Culture Nerd says:

    Travis—Haha! Good point about the Mini being too small for Ellroy. Perhaps Truman Capote would be more fitting. And don’t even start about it being a time machine. I’d try to cram so many authors from the past in there, it’d look like a clown car.

    Shell—Sophie could definitely help you get into Secret Agent school!

    karenk—You’re welcome and thanks for being a subscriber.

    L13—I like the stories about your family, too, especially those involving your mother and/or family reunions. That is an incredible group of authors in your car. Might have to strap myself to the hood just to listen in on the conversation.

    Anita—Oh, your car would be rocking with laughter!

  • Eileen Elkinson says:

    Hi there-
    I am a subscriber:

    I think I’d enjoy a trip with the Kellerman’s. They both have written some exceptional mysteries and I have read most of them. We could talk.


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