Penguin 80s Competition, or Solemn Pact

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Newly arrived in the bookshop: 80 short and wonderfully chosen books from Penguin, selling for a mere 80p a pop, to celebrate the publishing house’s 80th birthday. Just to show how heartily we approve, here is our Penguin Birthday Solemn Pact: 80 days from now (FRIDAY 15TH MAY 2015, let’s say midnight), whichever author’s Little Black Classic has been the most popular we’ll make our author of the month in June. Natalia has firmly committed to this.

At the moment, drawing for second place are Jane Austen, Walt Whitman, Karl Marx, and the wonderful Johann Peter Hebel (who is completely new to me and like nothing on earth, I am thoroughly rooting for him to win). In first place by a nose is Baltasar Gracian, with How To Use Your Enemies. I feel sure these rankings will not stay stable for long, though. (Already downstairs there is someone eyeing up the Kate Chopins.) COME ON HEBEL.

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