We love tea, we love a big squishy sofa and we love a good book. It’s just that we don’t often find the time to indulge ourselves. Recently we’ve been hearing lots about not reading as much as we used to, except maybe during our annual long holidays. Life gets busier and we concentrate more and more time flicking through snippet sized bits of info on our phones. All this is not good for our poor little brains! 

We’ve decided to embrace the “slow reading movement” and will be having a bash at re-training our minds by creating our own book club with Sam, the lovely chap in the photo, from Penguin books. He’ll be recommending a new book every 8 weeks – why not join us?

Penguin Books turn 80 this year and to celebrate, they’re releasing a special collection of 80 Little Black Classics – short stories and novels by some awesome writers. We’d like to say that we’ve read lots of great literary works but we’d probably be lying. Sometimes they just seem so big and intimidating. However the Little Black Classics are just what they say they are. Little and classic. An excellent way to get into reading some great stuff. The first book in the #teapigsbookclub will be A Pair of Silk Stockings, by Kate Chopin (you can read all about it below).

exclusive prize!

Little Black Classics won’t be in the shops until 26th February, but Penguin have kindly given us some sneaky first releases (super exclusive, yay!). We are giving away a complete set of 80 books (and our new cheeky tea bundle) to one very lucky winner, and we have 20 runners up prizes of this month’s book club book – A Pair of Silk Stockings.

For your chance to win, just email becky@teapigs.co.uk with your name, address and “Penguin books” in the subject.  Winners will be selected at random. Closing date – 16th Feb 2015 (UK only – sorry!). (GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED)

about this month’s book - A Pair of Silk Stockings, by Kate Chopin

We asked Sam to tell us a little bit about the book:

what’s it about?

“The birth of a child unearths a heartbreaking secret from the past; a husband's death has unexpected consequences; the purchase of a pair of silk stockings awakens a woman's urge to spend and spend. Revelations, hidden desires and surprising twists of fate”

where’s it set?

“Louisiana – its remote plantation and its bustling, gilded cities, these are startling, atmospheric stories.”

who wrote it?

“Kate Chopin, born Katherine O’Flaherty in St Louis, Missouri in 1850”

tell us about her and why we should read her book

“Her fiction was some of the most shocking and adventurous of her day, exploring the realities of women's lives and loves with moving honesty.  She moved to Louisiana when she married, and her short stories are soaked with the mixed southern influences that shape her work, from the French influence of her own family to the Creole and Cajun cultures that she absorbed. In 1899, her second novel, The Awakening, was published to much outrage and harsh criticism for its scandalous depiction of marriage and illicit love” Ooooooh!

what do you like about her?

“I love Kate Chopin’s view of the changing world she was living in. She was one of the first writers bold enough to write about the reality of women’s lives in Southern society and her stories are still such a pleasure to read. These stories are a window to a different time full of beautiful imagery and intrigue but the challenges these characters face are absolutely timeless.” 

Make sure you follow along with our book club by using the hashtag #teapigsbookclub – we’ve love to hear your thoughts! We’ll be posting a review of this book and recommending a new one in April. Happy reading everyone.