Tuesday 5 March 2013

Penguin Shorts

No, not some snazzy new clothing for our feathered friends but a relatively new range of e-books from book publisher Penguin which echo the origins of the publisher in producing cheap reading material for the masses. The new Penguin Shorts retail for just £1.99 and allow the reader a short read on a range of subjects.

When the e-books first appeared there were two in the 'Great Battles' series namely, The Battle of Alamein by Colin Smith and John Bierman and The Battle of Isandlwana by Saul David. Although I thought I was quite au fait with both battles I bought and downloaded both to see what they were like.

First off it should be noted that both are extracts from larger volumes, David from his Zulu War history and Smith from his North Africa history, topped and tailed with new text. However, that should not put you off and I found the both not only very informative, useful if you only want to read about the specific battles as opposed to the full theatre campaigns and they allow you to try the author out (in both cases I have gone on to buy the full volumes).

However what I found useful was the fact that being short they did not take too long to ring. Whilst I do enjoy getting stuck into a big history book, I also like some small tasters and these e-books fitted the bill.

The only shame is that since releasing these, Penguin have not added to the Great Battle series which is a crying shame as there must be hundreds of works that could be used in a similar fashion to produce more small works like these.

If you have an e-reader device I recommend both volumes, even if you only have a passing interest in the topics, they are great little tasters...


  1. Thanks for the heads up. Getting one of these devices is looking more and more inevitable!