Humane_small Lous_sqGrowing up, my family always had pets. When I first moved out on my own, I didn’t think twice about adopting Toonces and EK – who were both previously abused rescues. A little love and care went a long way with those two and they quickly became wonderful kitty companions – A true testament to the Humane Society Animal Rescue Team’s importance.

I was given the opportunity to adopt Lou about a year ago.  I’m pretty sure he has won multiple first place awards for best cuddler, and he recently proved that yes, cats can play fetch, too!

He is truly a joy to be around and I’m so lucky to have him as part of the family.

- Carla Clifford, National Account Manager – Paperback Sales

Learn more about Read Humane


“I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

This Friday, Baz Luhrmann waves his magical movie wand over The Great Gatsby. To prepare, we’ve scoured the Penguin book shelves (metaphorically) to find you other Fitzgerald gems and books about or inspired by The Great Gatsby.

This Side of Paradise was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s debut novel, published when he was 23.

this_side_of_paradise2 this_side_of_paradise1 SignetClassicsLogo [Converted]

The Beautiful and the Damned was his second novel, published two years later.

the_beautiful_and_the_damned the_beautiful_and_the_damned3 the_beautiful_and_the_damned2

Short stories collections:

tales_of_the_jazz_age Curious Case FRONT.indd havenots american_short_stories

Books about the books we know and love:

critical_studies_gatsby  pansy_ohara dancing_with_mrs_dalloway

Books about Fitzgerald’s life and times and his editor, Max Perkins:

exiles_return max_perkins

Books inspired by Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby.

call_me_zelda rules_of_civility the_summer_we_read_gatsby

Posted by: Julie Schaeffer, Senior Online Content Coordinator

killer_in_crinolinesGranola or Grits? Big hair or Flat? Pearls or Beads?

I live in Cincinnati, right on the border of granola and grits. The Ohio River is not very wide, I mean people swim across the thing…usually after a few beers but that’s another blog.

On the south side of the Ohio River sushi is, and always will be, bait and granola is squirrel food. On the north side if you order sweet tea they toss you a packet of sweet-and-low.  I don’t have big hair but I use hairspray, I love sweet tea and pork is the food of the gods but it has to be free-range pork where they treat the piggies nice.

So, am I North or South? The reason this is important, is my ohio_bridgebook is set in the South, so what part of my life goes into to the story and what gets ditched? I made a checklist to find out want part of me was Belle and what part was Deb.

So my question is… Who are you? Are you a Deb or a Belle?

-Do you never wear white after Labor Day or before Easter or do you go by the weather?

-Do you own a strand of real pearls and wear them with pride or are you into beads?

Savannah sweet tea-Do you drink sweet tea and love it when they have it on the menu or do you order Coke Zero?

-Does a part of you truly believe in damn Yankees or are the Yankees the baseball team in NYC?

-Civil War? What Civil War? That there was the unfortunate Northern Aggression!

-Do you have Lee as part of your name or your children’s name or is it Kaitlin?

-Are GWTW, Steel MagnoliasFried Green Tomatoes, and Something to Talk About your favorite movies and you recognize all the places or are you a Sex and the City girl and watch The Wire?

-Do you have a tiara hidden in your panty drawer? Do you know how to twirl a baton, or do you have a hockey stick in the closet beside your down coat?

-Do you have a daddy or a dad?

-Do you have an umbrella that looks a bit like a parasol or a North Face rain jacket?savannahforsythparkigougo

-Does the term red-eye go with gravy or taking a picture?

-Do you make biscuits from your grandma’s cookbook or buy them from the bakery?

-Do you prefer country club and the beauty salon or prime real estate in NYC and the mall?

-White gloves or black leather?

-Southern Living or Martha Stewart?

-Sundresses or shorts?

-Pineapple doorknocker or lion’s head?

-Mind your manners or mind your business?

-Follow NASCAR or NFL?

-Drive a hard bargain or drive an SUV

So, how do you measure up? Is a part of you a Southern Belle? Part of you Northern Deb? All of one or the other? Do you know someone who is?

Southern Foods-001I am definitely a closet Southern Belle! I do make fried chicken and bathtub gravy. That’s what my kids call my cream gravy because they could eat a bathtub full of it. I do make my own pies, have white gloves, crab at my kids if they don’t mind their manners, buy extra-hold hair spray, subscribe to Southern Living, have a fancy umbrella that I’ve been known to twirl from time to time and I do know how to twirl a baton for real. I even took lessons and still have the baton!

On the Southern Belle scale I’m about a 7. Well, maybe an 8. Guess that’s why I wanted to write a book and set it in Savannah. What is your Southern Belle Score? Your Deb score?

Ya’ll have a good day now, ya’ hear.

Hugs, Duffy Brown



Excerpt (27)
Excerpt The Other Typist Suzanne Rindell (Amy Einhorn Books)
Excerpt Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland Ace Atkins (Putnam)
Excerpt Zero Hour Clive Cussler (Putnam)
Excerpt The Pocket Scavenger Keri Smith (Perigee)
Excerpt Parenting Without Borders Christine Gross-Loh (Avery)
Excerpt The World’s Strongest Librarian Josh Hanagarne (Gotham)
Excerpt The Book of Woe Gary Greenberg (Blue Rider Press)
Excerpt Original Skin David Mark (Blue Rider Press)
Excerpt Silken Prey John Sandford (Putnam)
Excerpt American Savage Dan Savage (Dutton)
Excerpt A Conspiracy of Faith Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton)
Excerpt The Plateau Effect Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson (Dutton)
Excerpt Appointment in Samarra John O’Hara (Penguin)
Excerpt Mom’s List St. John Greene (Plume)
Excerpt Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting Noel Janis-Norton (Plume)
Excerpt A Map of Tulsa Benjamin Lytal (Penguin)
Excerpt Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea Morgan Callan Rogers  (Plume)
Excerpt Darkness Unmasked Keri Arthur (Signet Select)
Excerpt Cooked Michael Pollan (The Penguin Press)
Excerpt Ransom River Meg Gardiner (Dutton Adult)
Excerpt Angel City Jon Steele Blue Rider Press
Excerpt The Enemy Tom Wood (Signet)
Excerpt The 5th Wave Rick Yancey (Putnam Juvenile)
Excerpt I’m Not Gonna Lie: And Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50 George Lopez & Alan Eisenstock (Celebra)
Excerpt The Mist-Torn Witches Barb Hendee (Roc)
Excerpt The Time Between Karen White (NAL)
Excerpt Theodore Boone: The Activist John Grisham (Dutton Children’s)
Excerpt The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems  Lauren Myracle – Author; Jed Henry – Illustrator (Dutton Children’s)

Video (3)
Video Angel City Jon Steele (Blue Rider Press)
Video The Enemy Tom Wood (Signet)
Video I’m Not Gonna Lie: And Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50 George Lopez & Alan Eisenstock (Celebra)


Posted by: Lindsay Jacobsen, Online Content Coordinator

whatonearthWhat are you doing this Earth Day?  Here are ten suggestions for fun ways to celebrate and explore the biological diversity of our remarkable planet. Earth Day is a time to reflect on the grandeur of Nature, the state of the environment, and ways in which we can be sure that biological diversity is sustained. It’s also a reminder we have only begun to discover and map the biosphere—the closer we look at the natural world, the more we appreciate the beauty and wonder of earth’s millions of species that call our planet home.

  1. Visit a Natural History Museum. Permanent exhibition halls are a fantastic way to see a cross section of biodiversity and, like a good movie, each time you see them, you discover something you didn’t see before. Pick one diorama or exhibition hall and see how many different species you can spot.
  2. Visit a Zoo or Botanical Garden. For friskier displays, visit your local zoo or botanical garden. Instead of a brisk walk through the whole park, pick one area of the garden or zoo and spend a few hours closely examining and comparing all the species of reptiles, mammals, azaleas, or trees.  Or, become an ethologist and take notes on animal behaviors;. watch a spider spin a web or wasp build a nest, .
  3. Take a Hike. Depending on where you live, this can be a spectacular time to dust off your field guide to wildflowers or birds or insects and take a hike to see how many species you can identify while communing with Mother Nature.
  4. Learn about the Birds and Bees (and Butterflies). Strategically add plants to your garden that will attract bees and butterflies or install bird feeders, then see how many species of each you can draw to your own garden throughout the season.
  5. Volunteer.   Share your passion for nature and volunteer at a museum, botanical garden, or not-for-profit.  Help with annual bird or butterfly counts.   Or, contact your state’s Fish and Game Department and see if they need volunteers to monitor water quality in lakes or creeks or rivers near you.
  6. Join a Club. Conservation organizations do good work and can use your support. Many clubs offer outdoor experiences, often with an expert guide, so you can access places you might not otherwise see. In addition, there are wonderful clubs focused on everything from dragonflies to snap dragons through which you can find kindred spirits to appreciate Nature.
  7. Visit a Park.  Whether it’s a city, state or national park, get outside. Many parks have lists of their common plants and animals. Find a copy of that list and see how many species you can spot in a day. It’s a good excuse to slow down and really look at the world around you. As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”
  8. Leave no stone unturned. You don’t have to go somewhere exotic to see exotic creatures. Just turn over some rocks or some decaying vegetation in your back yard or in a nearby wild area. Take a magnifying glass and look closely at anything that moves. If you’re patient, many tiny invertebrates that initially play dead will come to life. See how many different classes, orders, and families of arthropods (insects or worms or spiders or centipedes) you can identify. Find one that fascinates or disgusts you that you didn’t recognize and track it down online or in field guides to find out about its ecology. Depending on where you live, however, don’t pick them up with your bare hands since some may be poisonous!
  9. Start a Life List. Pick a taxonomic group you like—birds, flowers, insects, whatever—and make an Earth Day resolution to keep a life list to see how many different species of the group you can see. Or go totally all-in and start an insect collection or flowering plant herbarium of your own.
  10. Pre-Order What on Earth? Finally, order our book, in which we pick our 100 favorite new species discovered over the past decade, among them our choices for the prettiest, strangest, deadliest, and those with the best names. There are nearly 2 million species that have been named to date and perhaps 10 million more yet to be found. With about 18,000 species new to science each year, what you didn’t know about life on earth will amaze you.

Read an excerpt from What on Earth?

Quentin Wheeler and Sara Pennak are both professors at Arizona State University and work at the International Institute for Species Exploration.

Excerpt (3)
Excerpt The Humanity Project Jean Thompson (Blue Rider Press)
Excerpt The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls Anton DiSclafani (Riverhead)
Excerpt Loyalty Ingrid Thoft (Putnam Adult)

Reading Group Guide (8)
Reading Group Guide Breathless Anne Swärd (Viking)
Reading Group Guide The Burning Air Erin Kelly (Pamela Dorman Books)
Reading Group Guide Sonoma Rose Jennifer Chiaverini (Plume)
Reading Group Guide The Serpent and the Pearl Kate Quinn (Berkley)
Reading Group Guide The World’s Strongest Librarian Josh Hanagarne (Gotham)
Reading Group Guide The Bookman’s Tale Charlie Lovett (Viking)
Reading Group Guide The Other Typist Suzanne Rindell (Amy Einhorn Books)
Reading Group Guide No One Could Have Guessed the Weather Anne-Marie Casey (Amy Einhorn Books)

Video (2)
Video The River of No Return Bee Ridgway (Dutton)
Video Someone Could Get Hurt Drew Magary (Gotham)

Posted by: Lindsay Jacobsen, Online Content Coordinator

that_old_flameAround this time of year, we’re always thinking about grilling some nice spring veggies! Some onions are growing in the backyard and we have some nice little hot peppers and some carrots in the greenhouse. We wait until a warm, sunny day and fire up the grill!

Veggies are much better when you cook them on the grill. This is the best way to get kids to try eating their vegetables. That grilled flavor and texture make a huge difference.

Today, we have a friend who’s coming over. She grows cabbages over the winter, so we’ll have some cabbage for the grill. We’ll add everything, along with some buttered bread with garlic. Bread is awesome on the grill! If you don’t eat all of it, you can make croutons that are good later!

We have a secret sauce that we’ll share with you. We make it ourselves and use it for grilling but also for marinating and for salad dressing.

We call it ‘Whatever Sauce’peppers from my garden

1 cup olive oil

1 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Mix together and eat!

We put the veggies on the grill after cleaning them well. We never peel anything – most of the nutrients are in the peelings! Cooking time depends on the size of the veggie.

Small onions only take a minute or so. Carrot fingerlings need about two minutes on each side. We make cabbage in chunks so that takes about three and a half minutes. Hot peppers take about two minutes. The bread only takes about a minute on each side.

Grilling Spring VeggiesYou don’t want the veggies too done or too black. You want them to maintain some of their crispness and color.

Use a brush to baste the veggies with whatever sauce you use as they cook. Turn frequently. Try not to have the flame so high that they burn. We’re not looking for incineration here!

Grilled veggies are good by themselves, or with anything from meat to macaroni and cheese. We try to stay in season with the veggies, switching from spring to summer as the weather gets warmer. And don’t forget fruit! Peach halves are good on the grill and so are apples and plums. Try your own ideas. Enjoy!

J.J. Cook is the author of That Old Flame of Mine from the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries. For more information visit

Excerpt (16)
Excerpt The Alchemists Neil Irwin (Penguin Press)
Excerpt Decadence Eric Jerome Dickey (Dutton)
Excerpt Bunker Hill Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking)
Excerpt Give and Taken Adam Grant (Viking)
Excerpt The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones Jack Wolf (Penguin)
Excerpt Pastors’ Wives Lisa Takeuchi Cullen  (Plume)
Excerpt The Iron Lady John Campbell (Penguin)
Excerpt The Mystery of Mercy Close Marian Keyes (Viking)
Excerpt Tuesday’s Gone Nicci French (Pamela Dorman Books)
Excerpt Flip Kevin Cook (Viking)
Excerpt Bristol House Beverly Swerling (Viking)
Excerpt Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble Ann B. Ross (Viking)
Excerpt Beyond War  David Rohde (Viking)
Excerpt The Plantagenets Dan Jones  (Viking)
Excerpt Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince Nancy Atherton (Viking)
Excerpt The Way of the Knife Mark Mazzetti (Penguin Press)

Q&A (1)
Q&A The World’s Strongest Librarian Josh Hanagarne (Gotham)

Reading Group Guide (5)
Reading Group Guide The Interestings Meg Wolitzer (Riverhead)
Reading Group Guide Above All ThingsTanis Rideout (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)
Reading Group Guide Movement of Stars Amy Brill (Riverhead)
Reading Group Guide River of No Return Bee Ridgway (Dutton Adult)
Reading Group Guide Pastors’ Wives Lisa Takeuchi Cullen (Plume)

Video (1)
Video Ol’ Mama Squirrel David Ezra Stein (Nancy Paulsen Books)

Posted by: Lindsay Jacobsen, Online Content Coordinator

At Tarcher/Penguin, our motto is: “Great lives begin with great ideas.” Some of the world’s greatest ideas can be found in poetry, distilled into a form where individual readers can interpret different meanings for themselves. In this way, poetry can be a like a Rorschach test for the soul, allowing us to discover a different meaning than our neighbor does while exploring the same poem. We hope you’ll read these three superb works, and discuss them with your literary friends. It’s a guaranteed way to learn more about yourself, and others. (Talk about a great idea!)

smallrumi smallhaiku smallrilke

Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved, translated by Jonathan Star
A treasury of Rumi’s verse that spans the poet’s life and includes his most celebrated and poignant work. It is an enchanting volume of classic Eastern thought that creates an exhilarating experience for all readers.

Love’s Voice: 72 Kabbalistic Haiku, by Richard Zimler
Acclaimed novelist Richard Zimler uses the form of haiku to distill Kabbalistic philosophy into its most essential form, providing a rare and deeply affecting experience of the wisdom of the ages.

In the Company of Rilke: Why a 20th-Century Visionary Poet Speaks So Eloquently to 21st-Century Readers, by Stephanie Dowrick
Drawing on her deep understanding of the gifts of Rilke’s writings, as well as her own personal spiritual seeking, Stephanie Dowrick offers an intimate and accessible appreciation of this most exceptional poet and his transcendent work.

To find more great reads for the mind, body, and spirit, visit

Also follow the #PenguinPoetry thread on Twitter for daily poetry tweets & giveaways.

– Andrew Yackira, @acyackira

hand_me_downI didn’t dream of being a writer.

Before I could read or write on my own, music was how I accessed and expressed emotions; it was my first love. My mom says the only way she could get me to stop crying as a baby was to put me in the car and play Joni Mitchell. She also sang to me a lot, and some of my safest memories are filled with lullabies in her voice, soothing me after a fall or before bed. Later, I would sing those same lullabies to my little sister.

For most of my youth, I wanted to be a rock star or an actress; thought performing was my destiny. My dad was a drummer in a band and his best friend had a recording studio in his garage, so my sister and I recorded our first original song at the ages of six and four called, “I Got the Baby Blues, Baby.” I sang in choirs, acted in school plays, performed in musicals, and in sixth grade snagged the lead in a church play in which I was onstage for the entire show and had a six minute solo that I performed at a conference in LA for hundreds of people. It was exhilarating, the live performance, feeling the audience react, and I loved every minute of it.

Even with my focus on singing and theater, it’s not like I didn’t write. I wrote new lyrics to songs tunes I knew and sang them to myself in the shower. I kept a detailed journal. In junior high I started writing poetry, bad rhymes at first that morphed into prose poems that got published in my high school’s literary magazine. In college I took a few workshops in poetry and fiction, and I even wrote for a school paper for about five minutes, but I saw no way to make a career as a writer. An actress who sang seemed to have so much potential as a way to be creative and still make money, so I remained a theater major.

A few years into acting classes at UCSC, performing began to lose its luster. I became less interested in being the subject of the story and more interested in creating the story. More and more I took on the role of producer or writer in theater class projects—I penned one spoof of Waiting for Godot set in ancient Greece with the people waiting for the Gods that I’m particularly proud of—and I couldn’t stop taking creative writing classes or writing poems in the margins of my notebooks. Finally, it was my mom, after reading one of the stories I’d written for class who said, “Forget acting. This is what you should do.” She was right. Soon after, I changed my major to English.

Now, writing is primarily how I access and express my emotions, how I deal with the world, but music remains a close second. And luckily for me, I’ve been able to make a career out of being a writer.