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The Penguin FORCES BOOK CLUB



See also other War-time and fighting publications:
'SE' PENGUIN SERVICES EDITIONS
(PoW) THE PRISONERS OF WAR BOOK SERVICE
(Egypt) EGYPTIAN PENGUINS (20)
'PA' PRINTS BY TOPOLSKI (PA1 - PA4)
'H' PENGUIN HANSARD (H1 - H6)
'S-US' FIGHTING FORCES - PENGUIN SPECIALS USA
'F' ÉDITIONS PINGOUIN (F1 - F6)
'V' ÉDITIONS PENGUIN (V1 - V18)





1942 ADVERTISEMENT

THE FORCES BOOK CLUB

" MANY Servicemen have been finding themselves short of books lately, especially of cheap books. The scarcity has been particularly felt by remote and inacessible units such as searchlight clusters, A.A. batteries, corvette crews, etc.

A plan has now been devised whereby the Services can be sure of a ration of good reading. The Army Bureau of Current Affairs and The Services Central Book Depot have collaborated with Penguin Books Limited, to create the Forces Book Club; and official authority has now been given to put the plan into operation.

Each month a committee will select 10 books - Modern Fiction, Crime, Travel, World Affairs, Biography, Science, Humour, Military Operations, Reconstruction, etc.

These 10 books will be made up into a standard parcel and distributed to all subscribing units of whatever size. A unit can take out a subscription covering any number of these standard parcels.

The subscription will be for £3 a year for one parcel a month (viz. 120 different books in all). For this subscription the parcels will be delivered free to units anywhere in the world. This rate, incidentally, works out at sixpence a copy, whereas "sixpennies" nowadays cost ninepence on the bookstalls.

The Forces Book Club will take no individual subscribers. Only units may join (including also, for this definition, Formation headquarters, Messes, Army Study Centres). The books become the absolute property of the units, and they must not be resold.

The Club is open to all units of the British, Dominion and Allied fighting services and to the Merchant Navy throughout the world."




THE FORCES BOOK CLUB, which was launched in 1942, was not a 'Penguin Series' as we understand them - such as the Main Series, or Pelicans, Specials, King Penguins and the others which have a Series pre-fix, such as 'A' for Pelicans. These were an amalgum of books, a selection made by a committee from those already published - or in the process of being published - by Penguin and sent out to Units of the Forces.

This particular venture demonstrated Penguin's desire to meet the needs of the armed services in the field. The War Office supplied 60 tons of paper to Penguin Books each month to enable the production of the package of 10 titles, each with a print run of 75,000. The books being supplied to the Units for an annual subscription of £3. The venture was supported by the Services Central Book Depot, which handled the subscriptions, and also by the Army Bureau of Current Affairs whose director, W.E. Williams also happened to be one of Penguin's original editors!

Books bore the number of the month (1 - 12) on the spine, so that all 10 books had the same number, and bore the same colour.

Many of the images used below are from the collection of David Edwards. We are grateful for the kind permission given by David Edwards to use his images located on Flickr.



Information and cover photographs of the Penguin's THE FORCES BOOK CLUB Periodical:

MONTH 1









Month: 1 - OCTOBER 1942

Book Cover Colour: RED

Selection of 10 Books Published

MODERN BATTLE by Major Paul W. Thompson
Published by Penguin previously as Special: S113
Date: July 1942

A DIARY OF WORLD AFFAIRS by Marcel Hoden
Published by Penguin previously as Special: S98
Date: July 1942

CINE-BIOLOGY by Mary Field, J. V. Durden and F. Percy Smith
Published by Penguin previously as Pelican: A85
Date: June 1942

THE HOUSE OF EXILE by Nora Wain
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 168 (travel and adventure)
Date: September 1938

UR OF THE CHALDEES by Sir Leonard Woolley
Published by Penguin previously as Pelican: A27
Date: February 1938

SILVER LEY by Adrian Bell
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 278 (fiction)
Date: August 1940

THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 365 (fiction)
Date: July 1942 [printed date: March 1942]

THE EYES OF MAX CARADOS by Ernest Bramah

Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 303 (crime)
Date: December 1940

PANIC PARTY by Anthony Berkeley
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 402 (crime)
Date: November 1942

BALLYGULLION by Lynn Doyle
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 366 (fiction)
Date: September 1942


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 2















Month: 2 - NOVEMBER 1942

Book Cover Colour: GREEN

Selection of 10 Books Published

SUNSHINE SKETCHES OF A LITTLE TOWN by Stephen Leacock

Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 320 (fiction)
Date: March 1941

FONTAMARA by Ignazio Silone
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 143 (fiction)
Date: July 1938

THE THREE HUNTING HORNS by Mary Fitt
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 301 (crime)
Date: December 1940

THE MURDERS IN PRAED STREET by John Rhode
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 98 (crime)
Date: June 1937

NATIONAL VELVET by Enid Bagnold
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 232 (fiction)
Date: January 1940 [printed: 1939]

IS TOMORROW HITLER'S? by H. R. Knickerbocker
Published by Penguin simultaneously as Special: S123
Date: November 1942

THE ESCAPING CLUB by A. J. Evans
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 202 (travel and adventure)
Date: May 1939

PROFILES Selected From "The New Yorker"
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 376 (miscellaneous)
Date: January 1943

WHAT HAPPENED IN HISTORY by V. Gordon Childe
Published by Penguin subsequently as Pelican: A108
Date: December 1942

TOWN PLANNING by Thomas Sharp
Published by Penguin previously as Pelican: A66
Date: July 1940


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 3
















Month: 3 - DECEMBER 1942

Book Cover Colour: LIGHT BLUE

Selection of 10 Books Published

DEWER RIDES by L. A. G. Strong
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 371 (fiction)
Date: March 1943 [printed date: 1942]

QUINNEYS' by H. A. Vachell
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 388 (fiction)
Date: April 1943 [printed date: 1942]

THE BAMBOO BLONDE by Dorothy B. Hughes
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 397 (crime)
Date: January 1943 [printed date: 1942]

THE GREEN MIRROR: A Quiet Story by Hugh Walpole
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 361 (fiction)
Date: January 1943 [printed date: 1942]

THE BARBER OF PUTNEY by J. B. Morton
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 246 (fiction)
Date: March 1940

CUT THROAT by Christopher Bush
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 407 (crime)
Date: April 1943 [printed date: October 1942]

AN AIRFIGHTER'S SCRAP BOOK by Ira Jones
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 360 (travel and adventure)
Date: November 1942

GROWING-UP IN NEW GUINEA: A Study of Adolescence and Sex in Primitive Societies by Margaret Mead
Published by Penguin subsequently as Pelican: A117
Date: March 1943

A NATURALIST GOES TO WAR: Memoirs of a Camp-Follower by Philip Gosse
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 369 (travel and adventure)
Date: January 1943 [printed date: 1942]

MODERN AMERICAN SHORT STORIES Selected by Alan Steele and Joan Hancock
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 316 (fiction)
Date: March 1941


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 4




















Month: 4 - JANUARY 1943

Book Cover Colour: YELLOW

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE CHERRY TREE by Adrian Bell
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 264 (fiction)
Date: June 1940

SELECTED TALES OF ALGERNON BLACKWOOD: Stories of the Supernatural and the Uncanny by Algernon Blackwood
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 393 (fiction)
Date: May 1943 [printed date: 1942]

ROOKERY NOOK by Ben Travers
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 399 (fiction)
Date: May 1943

AN A B C OF THE PACIFIC by Dorothy Woodman
Published by Penguin previously as Special: S114
Date: August 1942

ENTER A MURDERER by Ngaio Marsh
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 152 (crime)
Date: August 1938

THE MISSING MONEYLENDER by W. Stanley Sykes
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 62 (crime)
Date: July 1936

ENGLAND MADE ME by Graham Greene
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 392 (fiction)
Date: March 1943

AN ANTHOLOGY OF WAR POETRY Edited by Julian Symons
Published by Penguin subsequently as Pelican: A98
Date: February 1943 [printed date: 1942]

THE WORST JOURNEY IN THE WORLD [in two volumes] by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 99-100 (travel and adventure)
Date: June 1937


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 5




















Month: 5 - FEBRUARY 1943

Book Cover Colour: CERISE

Selection of 10 Books Published

HOWARDS END by E. M. Forster
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 311 (fiction)
Date: February 1941

THE LONELY PLOUGH by Constance Holme
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 47 (fiction)
Date: June 1936

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL MURDER by R. C. Woodthorpe
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 285 (crime)
Date: May 1940

BRITAIN B.C. by S. E. Winbolt
Published by Penguin simultaneously as Pelican: A106
Date: February 1943

Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 414 (fiction)
Date: March 1943

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD by H. G. Wells
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 31 (history)
Date: March 1936,
and then again published by Penguin as Pelican: A58
Date: May 1937

LOVE IN OUR TIME by Norman Collins
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 413 (fiction)
Date: March 1943

THE GUN by C. S. Forrester
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 229 (fiction)
Date: September 1939

TARKA THE OTTER by Henry Williamson
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 81 (fiction)
Date: March 1937

MURDER BY BURIAL by Stanley Casson
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 418 (crime)
Date: March 1943 [printed date: February 1943]


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 6




















Month: 6 - MARCH 1943

Book Cover Colour: TURQUOISE

Selection of 10 Books Published

CLAUDIUS THE GOD and his wife Messalina [in two volumes] by Robert Graves
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 421-422 (fiction)
Date: August 1943 [printed date: March 1943]

DEATH OF MY AUNT by C. H. B. Kitchin
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 190 (crime)
Date: February 1939

SIAMESE WHITE by Maurice Collis
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 294 (travel and adventure)
Date: March 1937

FAREWELL VICTORIA by T. H. White
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 342 (fiction)
Date: April 1943

THE DARK FOREST by Hugh Walpole
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 420 (fiction)
Date: July 1943

SOUTH LATTITUDE by F. D. Ommanney
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 417 (travel and adventure)
Date: April 1943 [printed date: March 1943]

HERE LIES: The Collected Stories of Dorothy Parker
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 419 (fiction)
Date: July 1943

THE NURSING HOME MURDER by Ngaio Marsh and Dr. H. Jellett
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 355 (crime)
Date: March 1942 [printed date: 1941]

A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE by B. Ifor Evans
Published by Penguin subsequently as Pelican: A72
Date: July 1940


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 7




















Month: 7 - APRIL 1943

Book Cover Colour: ORANGE

Selection of 10 Books Published

COLD COMFORT FARM by Stella Gibson
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 140 (fiction)
Date: April 1938

NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austen
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 425 (fiction)
Date: May 1943

CORDUROY by ADRIAN BELL
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 247 (fiction)
Date: March 1940

SPEEDY DEATH by Gladys Mitchell
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 433 (crime)
Date: May 1943 [printed date: April 1943]

THE UNFINISHED CLUE by Georgette Heyer
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 428 (crime)
Date: May 1943

PASSENGER TO TEHERAN by Vita Sackville-West
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 405 (travel and adventure)
Date: July 1943

RUSSIAN NEWSREEL: An Eye-Witness Account of the Soviet Union at War by Charlotte Haldane
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 431 (travel and adventure)
Date: May 1943 [printed date: April 1943

DISRAELI by André Maurois
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 110 (biography)
Date: April 1938

MATHEMATICIAN'S DELIGHT by W. W. Sawyer
Published by Penguin subsequently as Pelican: A121
Date: August 1943

THE LADY OF THE BARGE by W. W. Jacobs
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 416 (fiction)
Date: August 1943


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 8


















Month: 8 - MAY 1943

Book Cover Colour: LIME

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE SCOND SHOT by Anthony Berkeley
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 409 (crime)
Date: June 1943 [printed date: May 1943]

ARTIFEX INTERVENES by Richard Keverne
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 410 (crime)
Date: June 1943 [printed date: May 1943]

THE "EGYPT'S" GOLD by David Scott
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 187 (travel and adventure)
Date: February 1939

NAZIS IN NORWAY by Åke Fen
Published by Penguin subsequently as Special: S95
Date: June 1943

THE DARK FLOWER by John Galsworthy
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 432 (fiction)
Date: August 1943 [printed date: May 1943]

TRADE WINDS by Louis Kornitzer
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 347 (travel and adventure)
Date: July 1943

SEA ESCAPES AND ADVENTURES by "Taffrail" (Taprell Doring)
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 426 (travel and adventure)
Date: September 1943 [printed date: May 1943]

THE BALLADS OF BARNACLE BILL and other jingles by F. W. Thomas
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 412 (fiction)
Date: September 1943

WATCHING BIRDS by James Fisher
Published by Penguin previously as Pelican: A75
Date: February 1941 [printed date: 1940]

MODERN IRISH SHORT STORIES Selected by Alan Steele and Joan Hancock
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 415 (fiction)
Date: September 1943 [printed date: May 1943]


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 9




















Month: 9 - JUNE 1943

Book Cover Colour: VIOLET

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE GERMAN LEBENSRAUM by Robert E. Dickinson
Published by Penguin previously as Special: S106
Date: March 1943

THE THREE FRIENDS by Norman Collins
Published by Penguin simultaneously as Main series: 322 (fiction)
Date: June 1943

THE SURGEON'S LOG by J. Johnston Abraham
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 66 (travel and adventure)
Date: November 1936

THE MUTINY OF THE "ELSINORE" by Jack London
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 430 (fiction)
Date: October 1943

PERSUASION by Jane Austen
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 427 (fiction)
Date: September 1943

WHY SHOOT A BUTLER? by Georgette Heyer
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 429 (crime)
Date: July 1943

THE INVISIBLE MAN by H. G. Wells
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 151 (crime)
Date: August 1938

COUNTRY LIFE by H. E. Bates
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 401 (miscellaneous)
Date: October 1943

BEYOND THE MICROSCOPE: Being an account of a voyage of discovery in the borderland country between the 'living' organism and the 'non-living' chemical by Kenneth M. Smith
Published by Penguin subsequently as Pelican: A119
Date: July 1943

SCANDINAVIAN SHORT STORIES: A selection of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish Stories edited by Estrid Bannister
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 403 (fiction)
Date: August 1943


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 10




















Month: 10 - JULY 1943

Book Cover Colour: GREY

Selection of 10 Books Published

MAX CARRADOS by Ernest Bramah
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 436 (crime)
Date: August 1943

THE NEBULY COAT by John Meade Falkner
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 437 (crime)
Date: September 1943 [printed date: July 1943]

PUT OUT MORE FLAGS by Evelyn Waugh
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 423 (fiction)
Date: October 1943

A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E. M. Forster
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 48 (fiction)
Date: June 1936

SPORTING ADVENTURE by J. Wentworth Day
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 424 (travel and adventure)
Date: October 1943 [printed date: July 1943]
This copy was signed on the cover by the author; part of collection held at Bristol University Library

GUERRILLA WAR IN ABYSSINIA by W. E. D. Allen
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 439 (travel and adventure)
Date: August 1943

PORTRAIT OF ENGLAND: An Anthology by Christian Mawson
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 400 (miscellaneous)
Date: December 1942

WHILE ROME BURNS by Alexander Woollcott
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 118 (miscellaneous)
Date: November 1937

WITHIN FOUR WALLS by Major M. C. C. Harrison and Capt. H. A. Cartwright
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 281 (travel and adventure)
Date: May 1940

SCOTTISH SHORT STORIES Edited by Theodora and J. F. Hendry
Published by Penguin simultaneously as Main series: 389 (fiction)
Date: July 1943


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 11




















Month: 11 - AUGUST 1943

Book Cover Colour: DARK RED

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE SILK STOCKING MURDERS by Anthony Berkeley
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 368 (crime)
Date: January 1942

THE DYING ALDERMAN by Henry Wade
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 266 (crime)
Date: June 1940

INTO MADAGASCAR by K. C. Gandar Dower
Published by Penguin simultaneously as Main series: 441 (travel and adventure)
Date: August 1943

BRIGHTON ROCK: An Entertainment by Graham Greene
Published by Penguin simultaneously as Main series: 442 (fiction)
Date: August 1943

A MAN'S MAN by Ian Hay
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 438 (fiction)
Date: July 1943 [printed date: May 1943]

THE PATRICIAN by John Galsworthy
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 406 (fiction)
Date: October 1943

FRIENDS AND RELATIONS by Elizabeth Bowen
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 398 (fiction)
Date: October 1943

SELECTED SHORT STORIES OF "SAKI"
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 184 (fiction)
Date: February 1939

SOCIAL LIFE IN THE INSECT WORLD by J. H. Fabre
Published by Penguin previously as Pelican: A14
Date: October 1937

A BOOK OF ENGLISH POETRY: Chaucer to Rossetti Edited by G. B. Harrison
Published by Penguin previously as Pelican: A17
Date: October 1937


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.
MONTH 12




















Month: 12 - SEPTEMBER 1943

Book Cover Colour: DARK BLUE

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE CHINESE by William Galbraith
Published by Penguin previously as Pelican: A86
Date: March 1942

SHE WAS A QUEEN by Maurice Collis
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 443 (fiction)
Date: March 1944 [printed date: 1943]

THE COUNTRY HOUSE by John Galsworthy
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 385 (fiction)
Date: December 1942

THE SECRET CITY: A Novel in Three Parts by Hugh Walpole
Published by Penguin subsequently as Main series: 445 (fiction)
Date: December 1942

ARGUMENT OF EMPIRE by W. K. Hancock
Published by Penguin previously as Special: S130
Date: June 1943

THE WEATHER by George Kimble and Raymond Bush
Published by Penguin subsequently as Pelican: A124
Date: November 1943

A CUCKOO IN THE NEST by Ben Travers
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 44 (fiction)
Date: June 1936

ON THE NIGHT OF THE FIRE by F. L. Green
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 386 (fiction)
Date: November 1942 [printed date: August 1942]

THE GENERAL GOES TOO FAR by Lewis Robinson
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 383 (crime)
Date: January 1943 [printed date: 1942]

WILLIAM COOK - ANTIQUE DEALER by Richard Keverne
Published by Penguin previously as Main series: 384 (crime)
Date: November 1942 [printed date: August 1942]


To see a book in the main listings click on the series number above.





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