Elda Rotor is the Associate Publisher and Editorial Director for Penguin Classics. When she’s not overseeing the US Classics editorial program, she’s helping you memorize Yeats on your smartphone.
If you were granted a wish that lasted through sunset, what would you wish for? A timeless and tempting proposition here, played out in Nesbit’s charming story of five siblings and the adventure and chaos that ensues. The Penguin Classics Drop Cap edition with Jessica Hische’s whimsical sand-fairy N casts a spell on any reader.
For a proper spooky tale, you can’t go wrong with Jackson. This is best-read in bed with a flashlight in a big old house. The creakier, the better.
It’s true what they say about reading classics at different ages and the changes in one’s reading experience. Persuasion is one of my favorite Austens, with its deep reflection on love, longing and loss. All I can say is: we should all get back to letter-writing.
While we await the new Portable Emerson edited by Jeff Cramer later this year, we can dip into its perfect Portable companion for the writings of Thoreau, who is probably the #1 most mentioned author that inspires Classics intern interviewees. Walden & Co. continue to speak to the post-grad set and the rest of us.
Aside from the Penguin Classics Annotated Listing, this is the book I refer to most frequently and from which I gain so much. Edited by Rita Dove, these are the contemporary voices of America, with poems as diverse, dynamic, explosive, energized, meditative, haunting, and beautiful as our lives can be.
After returning from Salinas, CA where we celebrated the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath at the Steinbeck Festival, I’m drawn to rereading Cesar Chavez’s historic speeches chronicling his civil rights leadership in support of fair wages, benefits, and humane working conditions for thousands of farm workers. Powerful, relevant, and timely still.
These days, it’s all about mindfulness, and Siddhartha’s journey is a personal favorite of several Penguin colleagues. To be in this world gladly, each finds her own path, and this is a wonderful guide.
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