Penguin Books’ Great Ideas Series: VanderMeer Versus the Classics, 60 Books in 60 Days, Starting in December

Jeff VanderMeer • October 25th, 2008 @ 8:47 am • Book Reviews, News, Photos

(The Predator: outgunned and overmatched but still fighting…)

Many thanks to Penguin Books and in particular Colin Brush for sending me the entire 60-book set of Penguin’s Great Ideas series. Not only are these classics, they’re presented in gorgeous designs.

So here’s the skinny: I’ve set myself the daunting challenge of reviewing all 60 books in the Great Ideas series, one a day, every day from December 13th until I’m done. I’ll read one book each night before bed and then blog about it the next day. (Granted, some of these I’ve encountered before.) A short review, a quote from the book, and a question posed to readers based on my reading of the book. 60 books. 60 days. Will I go mad from the weight of this? Will my reviews more resemble the ravings of the obsessed by book thirty or forty? Tune in to find out. And…Bring it on!

Brush also sent the first ten in their new line of horror novels, published as part of the Red Classics series. (More on them in a separate post before December.) These are beautiful books, some of which I haven’t read before.

A few more photos below the cut (whole set here.)

13 Responses to “Penguin Books’ Great Ideas Series: VanderMeer Versus the Classics, 60 Books in 60 Days, Starting in December”

  1. Sir Tessa says:

    They’re very pretty. I shall watch this experiment with interest.

    And from a safe bunker on the other side of the world.

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Watch me get to day two, and punk out.

  3. Chris Billett says:

    I’m scared to even read the reviews…

    “O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
    No more of that.”

    … well, actually, I want the books. Damn it. I’m going to have to buy the whole damn series.

  4. Matt Cheney says:

    Your head will explode! (I’m stocking up on bandages to send now…)

    I’ve got the first 12 or so of the blue-spined Penguins and like them a lot for their aesthetics, though I haven’t yet gotten around to reading any of the ones I wasn’t already familiar with.

  5. Bryan Russell says:

    Oh boy. If I actually had any money the fact that you posted that horror series would be getting me in some serious trouble…

  6. Larry says:

    I…I…I…want those books! Even if I have many of them. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for your posts on them!

  7. Grant Stone says:

    I predict this will go the way of ‘Super Size Me’. You will be throwing up inside the first few days, then gain a massive amount of weight. From now on all your fiction will feature scenes where Adam Smith and Ralph Waldo Emerson engage in knife fights with Nietzsche spurring them on.

  8. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Grant: I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Larry: I have extras of two of them. Happy to send them to you.


  9. Larry says:

    I’d appreciate that a lot, Jeff. Thanks!

  10. Timblynod says:

    Gaud O’Hell. That’s masochism–stark and unfettered.

    Can’t wait to see the gore! =b

  11. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Will do, Larry.

    Timblynod–ha! It might be. But I really feel that it’ll be kind of refreshing. And rejuvenating.

  12. Brian A. Lynch says:

    Sounds like something I’d be crazy enough to do.

    And who knows what ideas you might come up with while you’re doing it?

    Best of luck, and I hope it works out for the best!

  13. ray hom :: a personal blog of a filmmaker, web dev dude, and wannabe writer 10 Books In One Month » ray hom :: a personal blog of a filmmaker, web dev dude, and wannabe writer says:

    [...] by Jeff Vandermeer’s “60 Books In 60 Days“, I made a challenge with Matt to read 10 books within a month. We choose February, and, yes, [...]

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