11 July 2008 - Just an update on an earlier post: The full covers for the third series of Penguin Great Ideas are finally available online via Flickr
Penguin first launched their Great Ideas series in 2004. The concept is to take extracts of great books that have shaped thoughts and societies through history, and publish them in pocket-sized booklets priced at £4.99 each.
The first series proved so popular that in 2005, the second series of Penguin Great Ideas was released. There are 20 titles in each series - nuggets of ideas from philosphers, thinkers, writers - such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel de Montaigne, Henry David Thoreau and Confucius.
In August 2008, Penguin UK will launch the third - and probably the final - series of Great Ideas. The series will be launched at a later date in the US.
List of titles on the Penguin Great Ideas Series Three:
- A Confession, Leo Tolstoy
- The Sickness Unto Death, Soren Kierkegaard
- Some Anatomies of Melancholy, Robert Burton
- Man Alone with Himself, Friedrich Nietzsche
- The Evils of Revolution, Edmund Burke
- Concerning Violence, Frantz Fanon
- The Significance of the Frontier in American History, Frederick Jackson Turner
- The Future of an Illusion, Sigmund Freud
- The Invisible Hand, Adam Smith
- Useful Work V. Useless Toil, William Morris
- The Fastidious Assassins, Albert Camus
- The Spectacle of the Scaffold, Michel Foucault
- In Consolation to His Wife, Plutarch
- An Appeal to the Toiling, Oppressed and Exhausted Peoples of Europe, Leon Trotsky
- The Lamp of Memory, John Ruskin
- Human Happiness, Blaise Pascal
- Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Days of Reading, Marcel Proust
- The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin
- Books V. Cigarettes, George Orwell
Personally, I'm curious about Orwell's Books V. Cigarettes, where he ponders this dilemma: does he spends more money on reading or smoking? He explore everything from the perils of second-hand bookshops (sounds famiiar, anyone?) to the dubious profession of being a critic, from freedom of the press to what patriotism really means.
I'm also interested in Proust's Days of Reading, because, can we ever get enough of Old Marcel? (Actually, there are days when I just want to smack that snobbish little prig) In this essay, Proust explores all the pleasures that we take from books, as well as explaining the beauty of Ruskin and his work, and the joys of losing yourself in literature as a child.
Oh, I'm feeling the vapours just from the description. Must buy!