Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Superior Person's Tuesday: Ygdrasil

YGDRASIL, n. The gigantic ash tree which, according to Norse mythology, binds together with its roots and branches the whole of earth, heaven and hell. Suggested as a pet name for that tree in your backyard — the one you want your husband to chop down before its spreading canopy brings total darkness to your clothesline, your herb garden and your sunbaking spot.

Image via Viking-Mythology.com.
Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Ygdrasil appears in the third.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Literary Happenings 8/19 - 8/22


Monday August 18
  • Porter Square Books: Joshua Wolf Shenk's Powers of Two, in conversation with Sven Birkerts, 7 pm
Tuesday August 19
  • Brookline Booksmith: Gail Gutradt’s In a Rocket Made of Ice, 7 pm

Wednesday August 20

Thursday August 21
  • Porter Square Books: Dan Ward's F.I.R.E. How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation, 7 pm

Friday August 22

"I Remembers" from the Staff at Godine: Heather

In celebration of Godine's new publication of Perec's I Remember, the office staff reflected on a few of our own I-Remember moments. Here are a few reminiscences from production manager Heather Tamarkin:


  1.       I remember slap bracelets
  2.       I remember when Joey Potter sang "On My Own" for the pageant episode of Dawson's Creek and everyone imitated her in the high school cafeteria for weeks
  3.       I remember Gak, and Floam, but I don't remember what you were supposed to do with them
  4.       I remember (and try to forget) overall shorts, butterfly clips, white eyeliner, and metallic taupe-brown lipstick



Check out I Remember and other Perec titles from Godine on our website!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"I Remembers" from the Staff at Godine: Dan


In celebration of Godine's new publication of Perec's I Remember, the office staff reflected on a few of our own I-Remember moments. Here are a few reminiscences from editorial assistant Dan Turkel:

  1. I remember waking up at seven a.m. on a Saturday to watch early morning cartoons, parents in bed but me not big enough to reach everything yet so they would leave out breakfast the night before.
  2. I remember the cathode ray TV I played video games on, with a knob for vertical-sync, another to adjust the picture quality, another for the color saturation.
  3. I remember the hard plastic door of my mother's red Dodge Caravan, where I could sometimes find a spot shaped just right to rest my head on long trips.
  4. I remember meals served on airplanes on domestic flights, free.




Check out I Remember and other Perec titles from Godine on our website!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"I Remembers" from the Staff at Godine: Chelsea


In celebration of Godine's new publication of Perec's I Remember, the office staff reflected on a few of our own I-Remember moments. Here are a few reminiscences from editorial assistant Chelsea Bingham:

    1. I remember crushing the protrusions of plastic that stuck into the reels in the case of every VHS my family owned. 
    2. I remember reading The Lord of the Rings at sunrise through the crack of the window shade while my little sister continued to sleep in the room we shared.
    3. I remember the late-night car ride to pick up my father after his deployment in Qatar.
    4. I remember waiting in line at midnight for the release of the newest Harry Potter book with my best friend, multiple times, and spending the next days at school sleep-deprived after attempting to stay up as long as possible reading.
    5. I remember celebrating outside my dorm the night Obama was elected.




Check out I Remember and other Perec titles from Godine on our website!

Superior Person's Tuesday!

SHIBBOLETHn. A doctrine or principle once held essential by a particular group or party but now seen as rather old-hat, if not abandoned altogether. It is probably a comment on the nature of life and mutability, rather than on etymological processes, that the original meaning was a password or other identifying sign, such as an opinion or style of dress, that distinguished the members of a particular group because of their unique attachment to it. Thus advocacy of the nationalization of industry was a shibboleth of the political left wing in former years in a sense quite different from that in which it is now  their shibboleth. Just how important it was in earlier times to be on the right side of a shibboleth can be judged from the original usage in Judges 12:6: "... and it was so that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilea said unto him [sic] Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him..."



Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Shibboleth appears in the first.


Monday, August 11, 2014

"I Remembers" from the Staff at Godine: Megan

In celebration of Godine's new publication of Georges Perec's I Remember, the office staff reflected on a few of our own I-Remember moments. 

I Remember is the last of this essential writer's major works to be translated into English. Consisting of 480 numbered statements, all beginning identically with "I remember," and all limited to pieces of public knowledge—brand names and folk wisdom, actors and illnesses, places and things ("I remember: "When parents drink, children tipple"; "I remember Hermès handbags, with their tiny padlocks"; "I remember myxomatosis")—the book represents a secret key to the world of Perec's fiction. As playful and puzzling as the best of Perec's novels, I Remember began as a simple writing exercise, and grew into an expansive, exhilarating work of art.

Here are a few reminiscences from publicity manager Megan Sullivan:



1.     I remember driving around in the ’84 Toyota Camry that was passed down to me when I was in high school.
2.     I remember watching Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back and immediately wanting a Princess Leia action figure afterward.
3.     I remember misdialing our rotary phone constantly and having to start all over again.
4.     I remember the dinginess and odd smell of the Waltham Tap in the South End, Boston.


Check out I Remember and other Perec titles from Godine on our website!

Literary Happenings, 8/11 - 8/17


Monday August 11

  • Porter Square Books: Prajwal Parajuly’s The Gurkha's Daughter, 7 pm
  • Trident Booksellers: Cymbeline, a Shakespearean Reading with Hub Theatre Co., 7 pm

Tuesday August 12


Wednesday August 13

  • Porter Square Books: Kate Manning’s My Notorious Life, 7 pm

Thursday August 14

  • Porter Square Books: Ellen Cooney’s The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances, 7 pm
  • Brookline Booksmith: Nomi Eve’s Henna House, 7 pm
  • Trident Booksellers: Hend Hegazi’s Normal Calm, 7 pm

Friday August 15

  • Harvard Bookstore: Fiction Friday, get 15% off fiction purchases at the store
  • Brookline Booksmith: BASH Reading Series, with poetry readings featuring Donald Dunbar, Rachel Springer Dunbar, and Andrew Morgan

Saturday August 16


Sunday August 17

  • Harvard Bookstore: Tax Holiday Sale 2014, Offering a 15% discount on top of purchases being tax-free! In-store and online all weekend.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Intern Field Trip

Last week all of the interns here at Godine went on a summer field trip—nothing says staff bonding like a (few) long car-ride(s) and delicious small-town deli sandwiches. During this two-day trip we had the pleasure of visiting Puritan Press, where we were led around by a father-daughter printing duo; the New Hampshire Bindery, where we learned what a Parmachene Belle was (hint: it has nothing to do with binding); and Monadnock Paper Mill, a huge factory that puts a priority on high quality products that are still ecologically friendly. The most important stop was at our own warehouse, where at long last we met Michele and Christine, with whom we normally only get to speak on the phone. They're even more charismatic and helpful in person.

At each place we took an extensive tour. At Puritan, we learned about the challenges with printing ink on paper. It requires the correct balance of inks, all layered as minuscule dots in order to create the correct color. One of the coolest parts was seeing the replication of artwork for print in books. The way they match the colors from the original so exactly is incredibly impressive.

While visiting the New Hampshire Bindery, we learned that some of their machines have been in use for over a century, and they still work just as well now as they did when they were new. One machine in particular could hold dozens of books in the binding process at a time. A fly-fishing expert led us through the binding process, start to finish, and let it suffice to say that you should appreciate your well-bound books (and a hand-tied fly), because the process is deceivingly complex!





At Monadnock, we followed the process of paper-making, from stirring the pulp to checking the finished papers with various tests. Enormous machines strung the pulp out into perhaps miles-long reams, perfecting the tone, caliber, and consistency along the way and adjusting the process as necessary. It did not smell as terribly as we expected, though it was a bit loud!

We stayed the night at David Godine's gorgeous New Hampshire house after enjoying a cookout and reading until the last light of day faded. 




One of our favorite little treasure from the trip was a series of photographs of Mark Twain at the New Hampshire house.

This series of 7 photographs registers with scientific precision, stage by stage, the progress of a moral purpose through the mind of the human race’s oldest friend.
Shall I learn to be good? …….. I will sit here and think it over. Truly Yours, Mark Twain.
There do seem to be so many differ….
And yet if I should really try….
…and just put my whole heart in in…
…But then I could break the Sab….
…and there’s so many other privileges, that… perhaps….
Oh, never mind, I reckon I’m good enough just as I am.
At the Godine warehouse we helped Michele and Christine with restocking books and sorting through hurt books and jackets. 


Overall, the trip was a wonderful experience. We experienced first hand how books are brought into being, beginning to end.  If you are interested in becoming a Godine intern, visit here for more info...and psst, you get to grab some books from the warehouse!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Literary Happenings, 8/4 - 8/9


Monday, August 4


Tuesday, August 5


Wednesday, August 6
  • Brookline Booksmith: Annie Weatherwax’s All We Had, 7 pm
  • Porter Square Books: YA Author Panel with Marjorie Agosin, Eileen O’Connor, John Plotz, and Laurie Stolarz, 7 pm 


Thursday, August 7


Friday, August 8
  • Harvard Bookstore: Fiction Fridays, 15% off fiction purchases this summer


Saturday, August 9