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The Penguin Lessons
The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned from a Remarkable Bird | Tom Michell
43 posts | 25 read | 49 to read
A unique and moving real-life story of the extraordinary bond between a young teacher and a penguin, this book will delight readers who loved Marley & Me, Dewey the Library Cat, The Good Good Pig, and any book by Jon Katz. In 1975, twenty-three-year-old Englishman Tom Michell follows his wanderlust to Argentina, where he becomes assistant master at a prestigious boarding school. But Michells adventures really begin when, on a weekend in Uruguay, he rescues a penguin covered in oil from an ocean spill, cleans the bird up, and attempts to return him to the sea. The penguin refuses to leave his rescuers side. That was the moment at which he became my penguin, and whatever the future held, wed face it together, says Michell in this charming memoir. Michell names the penguin Juan Salvador (John Saved), but Juan Salvador, as it turns out, is the one who saves Michell. After Michell smuggles the bird back to Argentina and into his campus apartment, word spreads about the young Englishmans unusual roommate. Juan Salvador is suddenly the center of attentionas mascot of the rugby team, confidant to the dorm housekeeper, co-host of Michells parties, and an unprecedented swimming coach to a shy boy. Even through the collapse of the Pernist government and amid the countrys economic and political strife, Juan Salvador brings joy to everyone around himespecially Michell, who considers the affectionate animal a compadre and kindred spirit. Witty and heartwarming, The Penguin Lessons is a classic in the making, a story that is both absurd and wonderful, exactly like Juan Salvador.Praise for The Penguin Lessons I loved this book, and you will, too! Its as charming, heartwarming, and surprising as a penguin on a roof terrace. Whats more, The Penguin Lessons teaches an important truth: that a single act of compassion can be repaid a thousand-fold.Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig and the National Book Award finalist The Soul of an Octopus [Tom Michells] tone suits the material perfectly. . . . You believe every word. . . . No fool, this penguin. No fools, these publishers, who have unleashed such a delightful and charming book just in time for Christmas.Daily Mail (U.K.) Heart-warming is a wholly inadequate phrase to describe this captivating story that is pure delight from beginning to end.The Bookseller (U.K.)From the Hardcover edition.
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Texreader
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#wondrouswednesday Thanks @TheSpineView for the tag!

1) I normally am reading at least 3 books at a time: 1 IRL, 1 ebook (sometimes 2 if one is depressing), & 1 audiobook

2) I‘ve read many good books this year and this post is no promise it will be my final best book. But it was one of my first favorites of the year

I panned the Last Will and Testament…a book I read for Cape Verde and I bailed on The Big Killing, both for #readingafrica2022

TheSpineView You're welcome 3w
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Texreader
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My #readingbracket now that February is over. It was a hard choice for both January and February, but dang it, the penguin stole my heart. Thanks to @chasjjlee for starting this and @CoverToCoverGirl for tagging me. I love this!

CoverToCoverGirl I can‘t wait to see what my best book of the year will be! 9mo
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Texreader
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Pickpick

Probably the best book of 2022 so far and probably in the running for best book of the year. The author finds a dying penguin drenched in oil on a beach and decides to try to save it. He does & then smuggled it into #Argentina. I was roaring with laughter about their antics together. At turns serious about the plight of the country & lessons he learned from Juan Salvado (the penguin), it is all but impossible to put down. All the ❤️ for this book.

Butterfinger I've really enjoyed your posts about this book. 10mo
KathyWheeler I‘ve enjoyed your posts about this book too and intend to read it. 10mo
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Texreader
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Texreader
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wanderinglynn This book sounds delightful! 🐧 10mo
Texreader @wanderinglynn It was such a wonderful read. 10mo
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TheBookHippie
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Pickpick

#FOODANDLIT ARGENTINA

I enjoyed this one! 🐧

TheBookHippie @GingerAntics this book is really good you laugh so hard and learn so much, it‘s incredible. It‘s a lot of history I didn‘t know a ton about. 10mo
GingerAntics Ooooh that sounds right up my alley!!! 10mo
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Texreader
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GingerAntics This book seems so cute. I‘ve got to read it now. 10mo
TheBookHippie I love this! 10mo
TheBookHippie @GingerAntics I just finished it I loved it! 10mo
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Texreader @GingerAntics @TheBookHippie I can‘t recall when I have enjoyed a book this much. It‘s so good. And we‘re getting a healthy dose of history too. 10mo
TheBookHippie @Texreader I seriously just adored it. I need to own a copy now 😂♥️ 10mo
GingerAntics So excited for this now. 10mo
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Texreader
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While the book can be extraordinarily funny, it also is about the terrible circumstances in which #Argentina found itself. The author describes the exorbitant inflation and how he managed to deal with it, and now the bombings. I‘m enjoying this book so much, but I‘m also learning a lot about the country and its history.

Here, Perón died during his third term, and his second wife (his VP) became president

#foodandlit @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

TheBookHippie I so enjoyed this read. 10mo
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Texreader
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I ❤️ Juan Salvado, the penguin!

#Argentina #foodandlit @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

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Texreader
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Have I mentioned how much I love this book? I‘m about a quarter through it and I‘ve laughed so hard I have tears in my eyes. And the penguin‘s personality is just the best.

#Argentina. #foodandlit @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

rockpools You‘ve sold me on this one - sounds fun! 10mo
charl08 I love these illustrations, so cute. 10mo
TheBookHippie I seriously need to own this now. I had a library book! 10mo
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Texreader
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He‘s named the penguin Juan Salvador Pingüino!

#Argentina. #foodandlit @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

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Texreader
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“I also bought a tin of sardines, the only thing I could find that I thought the penguin might want for his tea.”

This book is so quotable. I‘m barely into it and I‘m chuckling a lot.

#Argentina. #foodandlit @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

Sapphire That is funny! 10mo
GingerAntics 🤣😂🤣💙💙💙 10mo
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Texreader
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While strolling a beach in #Uruguay, the author came upon a beach full of dead penguins from an oil spill. One was alive, willing to fight to the death in the man‘s attempt to save it. With ingenuity the author captured it to take back to his friend‘s spotless luxe apartment to clean the oil off. Once the bird realized the man wasn‘t going to kill it, it calmed down. This description of the bird‘s reaction is adorable. Looks like a book I‘m ⬇️

Texreader going to love. It‘s the author‘s last day of vacation so I‘m anxious to read how he gets the penguin to his home in #Argentina. #foodandlit @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks (edited) 10mo
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Texreader
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Like any book that‘s worth its salt, the tagged book begins with a lovely map. #Argentina #foodandlit @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

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Texreader
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Having finally finished the History of #Argentina, I‘m ready for some good reads about the country starting with this one. #foodandlit @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

Teresereading Such a cute book 10mo
Texreader @Teresereading Oh my goodness I‘m loving it! I think it‘s going to be a favorite. Have you read it? 10mo
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Texreader
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These are the books I‘ve lined up for #foodandlit in February for #Argentina. @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

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Texreader
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I caved and bought this ebook on sale today too. It looks too cute.

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rachaich
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Mehso-so

Nice account of a penguin pal, simply written.
I found there was a bit much bumpf in it but also realised the author isn't a writer.

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rachaich
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Enjoying this tale of a man who rescues a penguin! 🐧😊

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sprainedbrain
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#3books with animals on the cover that I really, really loved, for very different reasons.

Tagged book only read because of @VeganCleopatra and her fabulous #NewYearWhoDis list last year. 😉

OriginalCyn620 Great covers! 2y
VeganCleopatra 🤗 I'm glad my list made such an impact. 2y
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sprainedbrain
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Pickpick

This was such a sweet, funny, clever story—the true story of the author‘s time with a penguin in his early 20s in 1970s Argentina. Obviously, it‘s full of his times with Juan Salvador the penguin, but there are also stories of his other travels and adventures in South America. I giggled a lot and teared up a little.

Oh, and the audiobook is very well narrated by none other than Bill Nighy, too! 😃

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#NewYearWhoDis

Biverson12 I studied abroad in Argentina a few years ago so I‘m very interested in this book! Late 1970s were a troubling time for Argentina though... does this book go into any of the political issues of that time? 4y
sprainedbrain @Biverson12 Yes, he touches on that, as he was living there during the 1976 coup. 4y
Biverson12 @sprainedbrain Cool, I‘m definitely adding to my list! 4y
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Teresereading
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Pickpick

Fascinating memoir about rescuing a penguin from an oil spill, including a marathon bus trip and smuggling it across the border into Argentina. Recommended by a friend, not something I would have chosen for myself, although I am a sucker for stray cat stories eg Dewey, Bob and Cleo! An enjoyable read with a smattering of Argentine history. #tommichell #penguins #collectivenouns

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whatrebeccasread
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Pickpick

An informative read about my favourite animal which really put a smile on my face. 5 stars! 🐧

Check out my blog to see more of what I thought of this one! 📚

TrishB Love the pic 💕 4y
whatrebeccasread @TrishB thank you! I‘ve had this penguin for years so it only seemed right to include him!! 🐧 4y
BrittanyReads @LindsayRipley Ever read this?? 🐧 4y
ripley_reads @BBL4nkensh1p No but I should, I love penguins!!! 🐧 4y
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Chronic_Reader
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Bonus midday reading time in waiting rooms is probably the best perk of having many medical appointments 🤓📚 #alwaysreading

rather_be_reading haha def! 5y
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Sophoclessweetheart
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Very big thank you to Helen @ShookBelf for this lovely card and book. This sounds absolutely darling and I‘ve been wondering about it since spotting it in Waterstones earlier in the year. If there‘s ever anything I can do to return the favour, please let me know. 💛 #bookmail #litsyisthebest #community #memoir #truestory #nonfiction #bookblogger #booklover #bookish

ephemeralwaltz Lovely photo! 5y
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ShookBelf
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@Wanderingwithwords @miralunasbooknook @MayJasper @jenniferw88 @TCLinrow @jhod @kezzlou85

Your giveaway books will be in the post today. Hope you have many hours of #happyreading 📚💗📚💗📚

laurieluna Thank you so much! Have you popped your address in? Would like to send a thank you! 😊 xx 5y
kezzlou85 Oh yay how exciting thank you so much. 💜 5y
Sophoclessweetheart Thank you so much dear x 5y
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MayJasper Thank you so much for your generosity 😊❣😍 5y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️ 5y
TCLinrow Awesome! Thank you 💜💙🧡 5y
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ShookBelf
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Pickpick

Prepare to fall in love, not only with this delightful little story but with its main protagonist, Juan Salvado, a rescued Magellan penguin. This is a quick read but will have you laughing and crying. A definite 5 stars.
#AtY #readathon #JuanSalvador #catchthefeels

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ShookBelf
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This is such a delightful little read. Utterly charming and magical. Long live Juan Salvado 🐧🐧🐧🐧
#AtY #readathon #penguin #JuanSalvado

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Itchyfeetreader
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Happy penguin day - here‘s an easy but touching memoir (published by penguin) and a collection of my alcoholic penguins 😂 🐧 from l to r - cocktail shaker, wine bottle opener and wine stand (who does not want to show his head) !

TheKidUpstairs I love the penguin shaker! 5y
Itchyfeetreader @TheKidUpstairs thanks my dad rescued from the floor of a department store late one Christmas Eve and polished him up and brought him home! I confess he has never shaken a cocktail but he has watched over life !! (edited) 5y
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ardismargrethe
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Pickpick

Sweet book, that starts with a dark story, but the rest of the book is as sweet as the cover ❤️

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Christine
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Pickpick

This was a great little memoir - thoughtful and witty, and very charming in both the story and the writing. I‘d never heard of it until @Libby1 posted about it the other day, and it became an instant must-read because my 11 year old is a lifelong extreme penguin enthusiast. 🐧🐧🐧 Can‘t wait to share this with him in the future.

Libby1 @Christine - I am so pleased about that! 💕 5y
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Oryx
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Pickpick

I have a new love and his name is Juan Salvado penguin. This story is lovely. I'm completely charmed.

And someone on Litsy recommended this to me, but I can't remember who! So sorry, but thanks whoever it was.

Oryx And if you want to see Juan swim, see him in this cinefilm from the 70s https://youtu.be/cagXtsdcmPM 😍 5y
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Oryx
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Dog walked. Laundry done. Banana bread in the oven. Afternoon plans.

Tanisha_A That penguin! 🐧 5y
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Libby1
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Pickpick

An utterly charming memoir with an environmental message. Lovely.

Libby1 Have you seen this book, @PenguinInFlight ? 5y
PenguinInFlight @Libby1 AHHHHHH! No! But I need it in my life! 😍❤️🐧 5y
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zsuzsanna_reads
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Pickpick

An utterly charming story about a young man who rescues a penguin in South America after an oil spill and ends up taking him home - he is a teacher at a boys' boarding school in Argentina.

🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

Oryx Ordered 😀 5y
Cathythoughts Ahhhhhh 💕 5y
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ChrisM
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This was 1 of my favorites from last year... When I read it it just touched me & I loved it! Plus my dog Snowball (don't ask, a teenager named her)has the coloring of a penguin
#thisistheend

Itchyfeetreader Loved this book! 6y
Libby1 ❤️Snowball?❤️ 6y
zsuzsanna_reads Snowball is a cute name, but I'd expect a white dog 😉 6y
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Crash
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found this little gem of a book today. looks like it will be interesting.

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broadwaypants
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Juan Salvado is the cutest ever and now I want my own penguin. Except also I don't because I don't want to have to rescue one from terrible conditions! This book has been wonderful so far and I'm anxiously awaiting a negative twist, because so far it has been smooth sailing.

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broadwaypants
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Outdoor reading weather is the best weather, and penguins are the best birds. Excellent combo.

actualdisneyprincess Omg I want to read this book JUST FOR THE COVER. 6y
broadwaypants @actualdisneyprincess It is so cute so far. I think you'd like it! 6y
5 likes2 comments
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ChrisM
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Pickpick

One of my favorite books of the year!! A story of what can happen when you are open to adventure & the unexpected!!

BestOfFates That dog is adorable! 6y
ChrisM @BestOfFates @Susanintiburon Thanks!! some days she's cute but not today, she went through the screen on my porch to make her own doggie door 😁 6y
SusanInTiburon @ChrisM Been there! 6y
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Extraaardvark
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Pickpick

Any book about penguins is bound to appeal but the adorable illustrations and the idea of a penguin with such a grand name was utterly irresistible. Life goals: smuggle a penguin over an international border.

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Extraaardvark
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Penguins. What's not to love?
And the delightfully named Juan Salvado de pinguino. I'm half way through and I'm in love with this little penguin, though I hear it has a sad ending 🐧💔

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bermudaonion
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Mehso-so

This one dragged in the middle for me but penguin lovers should adore it.

capriciousreader The audio was great. Bill Nighy was fantastic. 7y
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