Books · Non-Fiction · Shelf Control · Tom Michell

Shelf Control: The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

Shelf Control ~ Bookshelf Fantasies

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.  It is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves.  Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.


I love this idea of celebrating books on our book shelves that have been published for a while and we are yet to discover. I’m not choosing in any particular order. I’m just perusing my shelves and seeing what stands out for me at that moment.

This week, I have chosen a non-fiction book:

The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell.

This edition was published in the UK by Penguin Books in 2016.

~ What it’s about ~

Tom Michell is in his roaring twenties: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. He even has a motorbike, Che Guevara style. What he doesn’t need is a pet. What he really doesn’t need is a pet penguin.

Set against Argentina’s turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Perónist regime, this is the heart-warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom’s side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school. Whether it’s as the rugby team’s mascot, the housekeeper’s confidant, the host at Tom’s parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets – in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other…

~ When I added it to my book shelf ~

I bought this book after it was featured on the BBC Radio 2 Book Club.

~ Why I want to read it ~

Oh that description coupled with the cute book cover makes me feel all warm and fuzzy! This sounds such a charming and delightful story and there’s something beautiful about a special relationship between a human and an animal.

One thought on “Shelf Control: The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

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