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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

A DIARY OF WORLD AFFAIRS by Marcel Hoden

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

THE HOUSE OF EXILE by Nora Wain

UR OF THE CHALDEES by Sir Leonard Woolley

SILVER LEY by Adrian Bell

THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane

THE EYES OF MAX CARADOS by Ernest Bramah

PANIC PARTY by Anthony Berkeley

BALLYGULLION by Lynn Doyle

MONTH 2







Month: 2 - NOVEMBER 1942

Book Cover Colour: GREEN

Selection of 10 Books Published

SUNSHINE SKETCHES by Stephen Leacock

FONTAMARA by Ignazio Silone

THE THREE HUNTING HORNS by Mary Fitt

THE MURDERS IN PRAED STREET by John Rhode

NATIONAL VELVET by Enid Bagnold

IS TOMOTTOW HITLER'S? by H. R. Knickerbocker

THE ESCAPING CLUB by A. J. Evans

PROFILES From "The New Yorker"

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

TOWN PLANNING by Thomas Sharp

MONTH 3








Month: 3 - DECEMBER 1942

Book Cover Colour: LIGHT BLUE

Selection of 10 Books Published

DEWER RIDES by L. A. G. Strong

QUINNEYS' by H. A. Vachell

THE BAMBOO BLONDE by Dorothy B. Hughes

THE GREEN MIRROR by Hugh Walpole

THE BARBER OF PUTNEY by J. B. Morton

CUT THROAT by Christopher Bush

AN AIRFIGHTER'S SCRAP BOOK by Ira Jones

GROWING-UP IN NEW GUINEA by Margaret Mead

A NATURALIST GOEAS TO WAR by Philip Gosse

MODERN AMERICAN SHORT STORIES Selected by Alan Steele and Joan Hancock

MONTH 4









Month: 4 - JANUARY 1943

Book Cover Colour: YELLOW

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE CHERRY TREE by Adrian Bell

SELECTED TALES OF ALGERNON BLACKWOOD

ROOKERY NOOK by Ben Travers

AN A B C OF THE PACIFIC by Dorothy Woodman

ENTER A MURDERER by Ngaio Marsh

THE MISSING MONEYLENDER by W. Stanley Sykes

ENGLAND MADE ME by Graham Greene

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

THE WORST JOURNEY IN THE WORLD [in two volumes] by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

MONTH 5










Month: 5 - FEBRUARY 1943

Book Cover Colour: CERISE

Selection of 10 Books Published

HOWARDS END by E. M. Forster

THE LONELY PLOUGH by Constance Holme

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL MURDER by R. C. Woodthorpe

BRITAIN B.C. by S. E. Winbolt
Simultaneously: Pelican A106
Date Published: February 1943

STEAMBOATMEN by C. J. Cutliffe-Hyne
Subsequently: No. 414
Date Published: March 1943

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD by H. G. Wells

LOVE IN OUR TIME by Norman Collins

THE GUN by C. S. Forrester

TARKA THE OTTER by Henry Williamson

MURDER BY BURIAL by Stanley Casson

MONTH 6










Month: 6 - MARCH 1943

Book Cover Colour: TURQUOISE

Selection of 10 Books Published

CLAUDIUS THE GOD [in two volumes] by Robert Graves

DEATH OF MY AUNT by C. H. B. Kitchin

SIAMESE WHITE by Maurice Collis

FAREWELL VICTORIA by T. H. White

THE DARK FOREST by Hugh Walpole

SOUTH LATTITUDE by F. D. Ommanney

HERE LIES by Dorothy Parker

THE NURSING HOME MURDER by Ngaio Marsh and Dr. H. Jeliett

A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE by B. Ifor Evans

MONTH 7










Month: 7 - APRIL 1943

Book Cover Colour: ORANGE

Selection of 10 Books Published

COLD COMFORT FARM by Stella Gibson

NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austen

CORDUROY by ADRIAN BELL

SPEEDY DEATH by Gladys Mitchell

THE UNFINISHED CLUE by Georgette Heyer

PASSENGER TO TEHERAN by V. Sackville-West

RUSSIAN NEWSREEL by Charlotte Haldane

DISRAELI by André Maurois

MATHEMATICIAN'S DELIGHT by W. W. Sawyer

THE LADY OF THE BARGE by W. W. Jacobs

MONTH 8








Month: 8 - MAY 1943

Book Cover Colour: LIME

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE SCOND SHOT by Anthony Berkeley

ARTIFEX INTERVENES by Richard Keverne

THE "EGYPT'S" GOLD by David Scott

NAZIS IN NORWAY by Åke Fen

THE DARK FLOWER by John Galsworthy

TRADE WINDS by Louis Kornitzer

SEA ESCAPES AND ADVENTURES by "Taffrail"

THE BALLADS OF BARNACLE BILL by F. W. Thomas

WATCHING BIRDS by James Fisher

MODERN IRISH SHORT STORIES Selected by Alan Steele and Joan Hancock

MONTH 9










Month: 9 - JUNE 1943

Book Cover Colour: VIOLET

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE GERMAN LEBENSRAUM by Robert E. Dickinson

THE THREE FRIENDS by Norman Collins

THE SURGEON'S LOG by J. Johnston Abraham

THE MUTINY OF THE "ELSINORE" by Jack London

PERSUASION by Jane Austen

WHY SHOOT A BUTLER ? by Georgette Heyer

THE INVISIBLE MAN by H. G. Wells

COUNTRY LIFE by H. E. Bates

BEYOND THE MICROSCOPE by Kenneth M. Smith

SCANDINAVIAN SHORT STORIES by Estrid Bannister

MONTH 10










Month: 10 - JULY 1943

Book Cover Colour: GREY

Selection of 10 Books Published

MAX CARRADOS by Ernest Bramah

THE NEBULY COAT by J. Meade Falkner

PUT OUT MORE FLAGS by Evelyn Waugh

A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E. M. Forster

SPORTING ADVENTURE by J. Wentworth Day
Illustrations: fifty line drawings by Fish-Hawk
Main series: No. 424
Date Published: October 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

PORTRAIT OF ENGLAND by Christian Mawson
Previously: No. 400
Date Published: December 1942

WHILE ROME BURNS by Alexander Woollcott

WITHIN FOUR WALLS by Major M. C. C. Harrison and Capt. H. A. Cartwright

SCOTTISH SHORT STORIES Edited by Theodora and J. F. Hendry

MONTH 11









Month: 11 - AUGUST 1943

Book Cover Colour: DARK RED

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE SILK STOCKING MURDERS by Anthony Berkeley

THE DYING ALDERMAN by Henry Wade

INTO MADAGASCAR by K. C. Gandar Dower

BRIGHTON ROCK by Graham Greene

A MAN'S MAN by Ian Hay

THE PATRICIAN by John Galsworthy

FRIENDS AND RELATIONS by Elizabeth Bowen

SELECTED SHORT STORIES OF "SAKI"

SOCIAL LIFE IN THE INSECT WORLD by J. H. Fabre

A BOOK OF ENGLISH POETRY Edited by G. B. Harrison

MONTH 12










Month: 12 - SEPTEMBER 1943

Book Cover Colour: DARK BLUE

Selection of 10 Books Published

THE CHINESE by William Galbraith
Previously: Pelican A86
Date Published: March 1942

SHE WAS QUEEN by Maurice Collis

THE COUNTRY HOUSE by John Galsworthy

THE SECRET CITY by Hugh Walpole

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

THE WEATHER by George Kimble

A CUCKOO IN THE NEST by Ben Travers

ON THE NIGHT OF THE FIRE by F. L. Green

THE GENERAL GOES TOO FAR by Lewis robinson

WILLIAM COOK : ANTIQUE DEALER by Richard Keverne






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