I received a really interesting email from Penguin Random House UK several weeks ago, about something called #Penguinjourneys. It sounded really interesting, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get up a post in July. But because I quite liked the idea, I thought I’d put a post up now – better late than never!

#PenguinJourneys is basically a campaign by Random Penguin House UK to give holiday reading recommendations from both the Random Penguin House UK team and some of their authors. They also encourage other people to take part by offering some selections of their own.

My #PenguinJourneys is going to start in Africa before moving on to Asia, then on to Australia, then on to North America, before finally stopping in Europe. I am going to recommend a couple of books set in the destination or some authors from the continent. I would love any recommendations you have, so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Let’s start…


I read both these books a long time ago – I think I was pre-teens – and I have very find memories of both of them. At the time I was very into “animal books” and these very much fit the bill. In retrospect I don’t think they are a particularly good representation of Africa, but I think Campbell does a fantastic job of painting the landscape.



TIGER’S CURSE by Colleen Houck & INK by Amanda Sun

Both books are the first in the series, and are actually set in two different areas of Asia. TIGER’S CURSE is predominantly set in and around India, whilst INK is set in Japan. What I like about both these books is that the authors pay attention to the culture of the country in which the book is set in. Never having visited either country, I think both authors do a good job in painting a vivid picture of the country in which their book is set.



Garth Nix & Trudi Canavan

I am ashamed to admit that I cannot recall reading a book set in Australia, and a quick look at my Goodreads lists didn’t find anything either. However, I do have two lovely Australian authors to tempt you with… Nix and Canavan are both brilliant fantasy authors. Nix created a really interesting and fantastical world in his ABHORSEN series – there is even a fourth book CLARIEL coming out later this year. Canavan’s THE BLACK MAGICIAN trilogy is equally as good.



DEAD WITCH WALKING by Kim Harrison & BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong

As with our stop in Asia, both of these books are the first in the series. DEAD WITCH WALKING is set very firmly in the United States – Cincinnati to be exact, whilst BITTEN starts in Canada before crossing into the United States. Although both books fit firmly within the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genres I think Harrison does a good job in painting what the city of Cincinnati is like and Armstrong does a good job in showing the difference between city and rural – though both countries have both, as Armstrong illustrates in later books in the series.



BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys & ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

We’ve reached our final destination, and have two disparate books. BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY is set in Lithuania during World War II. It tells the story of Lina who is forced to work in Siberia in terrible conditions. Whilst ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is a contemporary set mainly in Paris, where Anna attends boarding school. We don’t see much of Paris, but what we do is beautifully done and really fits in well with the overall story.



So that was my #PenguinJourney. I hope you enjoyed the trip. If you want to learn more about the books then follow the links.

One thought on “#PenguinJourneys

  1. Pingback: ICYMI Sunday 17 – Catch-up & Books | The Flutterby Room

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