Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Opening night at the Grolier

Here are photos from the recent opening night of the David R. Godine, Publisher exhibit at The Grolier Club in New York City. The exhibit runs until January 7, 2011 in the second floor gallery.

David with Bill Henderson, the publisher of Pushcart Press, editor of "Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses" annual anthology, and, last but not least, Godine author of the forthcoming All My Dogs: A Life.

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Zzxjianw n. A Maori drum. The recommended use is in Scrabble. The technique is to save up, at all costs, the letters Z, X, J, O, and W (or a blank that can be used in place of any you don't manage to acquire); to wait for a dangling AN on which you can build; and then to strike. The satisfaction to be derived from this single act altogether outweighs whatever chagrin you might otherwise experience through losing the game, as you assuredly will – even that experienced through losing six games in succession, if need be, before you can effect your coup.

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. Zzxjianw appears in the First.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Barry Moser on WAMC

Barry Moser was recently on WAMC's The Roundtable with Joe Donahue. Listen to the interview here.

Moser is considered one of the most important book artists of our time. Godine just published One Hundred Portraits: Artists, Architects, Writers, Composers and Friends, Moser's latest book, which includes wood and relief engravings of personalities as varied as Charles Dickens, Daniel Webster, Stephen Crane, Dante Alighieri, Frédéric Chopin, Nelson Algren, Jean Cocteau, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Rembrandt van Rijn, Ben Shahn, Jim Harrison, Flannery O'Connor, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Walt Whitman, William Blake, Eric Carle, Kaye Gibbons, Virginia Hamilton, Nancy Willard, Patricia MacLachlan, Jack Coughlin, Jane Yolen, Joyce Carol Oates, and many others.

In addition, Ann Patchett, the recipient of the 2002 Pen Faulkner Award and Great Britain's prestigious Orange Award, contributes a splendid essay about Moser's portraits and the subject of portraiture in general.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Yirn v. To whine, to pout, or show petulance by facial grimaces. Pronounced the same as yearn. "My husband is an idealist; he's always yirning for something."

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. Yirn appears in the First.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Godine 40th anniversary limited edition poster is in!

It's really a thing of beauty:

This limited edition poster has been designed with painstaking care by longtime friend of the house, author, and illustrator Glenna Lang. Its image depicts our little house's "cottage industry" beginnings, a time when, as David Godine writes, "The narrow, personal world of trade publishing was still run by opinionated individuals, whose names were often eponymous with their companies, and who more or less published what they liked and did their crying in private;" when "It was still possible to dream of becoming a general trade publisher whose list would cover a variety of subjects and whose books could be produced to high standards, and to do it all with a minimum of fuss and compromise."

It was hand-silkscreened in eight colors on fine acid-free paper by master printer Luther Davis at Axelle Editions in Brooklyn, NY. This is a limited edition of 250 prints, each signed and numbered by the artist.

The print would make an excellent holiday gift and at $50 is truly a great bargain. Purchases can be made through our website.

What's Daniel Radcliffe going to do next?

Radcliffe stars in the motion picture release of The Woman in Black, due out in 2011:
"The 21-year-old took a 10-day break from 'Woman in Black' to promote 'Deathly Hallows - Part 1,' but he'll soon be headed back to the set for another four weeks of filming. Based on a 1983 thriller by Susan Hill, the supernatural thriller follows Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) as a lawyer who travels to sort out a recently deceased client's affairs, encountering dark secrets and haunting presences when he arrives. Radcliffe told us he's been loving the production, which is just a fraction of the size of a 'Potter' film. 'It's faster," he said. "I'm loving it. It's very, very exciting.'"

Stills from the film were just released:

Godine is proud to publish the US edition of The Woman in Black!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Email Promotion!

It's about that time . . . Season's greetings everyone! To celebrate, David R. Godine, Publisher will be sending out a holiday email promotion on Monday, 11/22, (just before the Black Friday madness) to our subscription list.

We will be offering an amazing 30% off some incredible titles—books featured on the big and small screen, food writing, and, of course, children's books.

By joining our subscription list, throughout the year you will get special discounts on backlist books (and new titles sometimes); updates from authors, information about author readings, lectures by David, and other fun events. We promise to not share your information with anyone and to never crowd your inbox.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From the Griffin Museum

Godine and friends (Michael Russem, Steve Stinehour, and Paul Parisi) at his well-attended lecture on photo books last night at the Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A recap of Godine at the Grolier Club in NYC

The blog of the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University offers a lovely post on David Godine's opening night event for the exhibition of his books at The Grolier Club in New York City:

"'It began in a barn with one press and three smart people,' said the fine press publisher David Godine last night at the opening of an exhibition of his books held at the Grolier Club in New York City. While still in his early twenties, Godine rented an abandoned cow barn in Brookline, Massachusetts, for the price of one book a year. 1968 and 1969 were spent fitting it out with the basics—electricity, heat, and plumbing—before he, Lance Hidy, and Martha Rockwell could begin production.

David R. Godine Inc. had three basic guidelines: to offer a wide selection of books of editorial and textual importance; to produce books that delighted the eye and did not offend the purse; and to maintain the highest production standards.

One of their most ambitious early projects was Specimen Days by Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Because of the large edition size, the book was set at Stinehour Press and printed by Meriden Press. 'We would be the architects, but not necessarily the builders,' writes Godine. A three-page rave review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review assured the book’s success. 'The next day Richard Abel called from Oregon to order five hundred copies. We had never shipped more than three copies of anything to anyone in our history.' (GAX Oversize 2007-0365Q)

I am one of the fortunate few who walked away last night with a copy of the keepsake Godine wrote and printed for the occasion: 'David Godine: the Letterpress Years: Offprint from Matrix 29.'"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Xenoglossia n. The supposed ability to communicate with others in a language which you do not know. (A term from the world of so-called "psychic research.") The impracticability of this concept is soon exposed if you attempt to talk with your teenager using some of the terms that you have heard him use in conversation with his friends. This will, however, at least afford him considerable entertainment, and you will be pressed, with much sniggering, to "say that again" — something that he will never otherwise say to you.

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. Xenoglossia appears in the Third.

Kim Smith on Romantic Gardens

"Richly illuminated with drawings, watercolors, and engravings, Godine has joined with the Morgan Library and Museum and the Foundation for Landscape Studies to produce this sweeping and superbly researched survey of the development of the Romantic movement in landscape design in Europe and America. This beautiful and beautifully written scholarly, yet accessible, book will become a highly valued resource for landscape designers, architects, landscape architects, historians and students of the Romantic movement. And, as do all Godine books, Romantic Gardens makes for a treasured and thoughtful gift. The book was written to accompany the exhibition Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art, and Landscape Design held at the Morgan Library and Museum during the summer of 2010. The authors Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, Elizabeth Eustis, and John Bidwell co-curated the exhibit.

Drawn from the Morgan’s holdings of manuscripts, drawings, and rare books, from the collections of the authors Rogers and Eustis, and from collections across the nation, Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art, and Landscape Design features approximately one hundred and fifty texts, outstanding works of art, plan drawings, and photographs providing an overview of ideas championed by the Romantics and also actualized by them in private estates and public parks in Europe and the United States. Notable are the plan drawing and early photographs of Olmstead and Vaux’s winning Entry No. 33 of Central Park, a J.W. Winder photograph of Adolphe Strauch’s Spring Grove Cemetery, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and several Frederic Edwin Church landscape vistas in oil, including a view of Olana, Church’s estate overlooking the Hudson River."

Read the rest of the review on Kim Smith's site.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Godine at the Griffin Museum!

Our fearless leader, David R. Godine, will speak at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA on Wednesday, November 17th from 7-8:30pm.

Godine will discuss the photo books he has published, starting with Arnold Newman, moving to the work of Southworth and Hawes in The Spirit of Fact, then to the contemporary photographs of George Tice, Sally Mann, Olivia Parker, and Nick Nixon, etc. He will also explain how he has used photographs to elucidate certain themes, such as Stryker's role in the FSA in The Likes of Us or the role and place of postcards in Prairie Fires & Paper Moons and As We Were or of marine photos in On the Wind.

We hope that you can join us!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ni Hao is Chinese for Hello

By Kit Bakke, author of Godine's Miss Alcott's Email

I’ve just returned from three weeks in China and am bursting with reactions, memories, advice, and mostly, encouragement. Go! That’s the first piece of advice — don’t hesitate to travel to China on your own. The days of being unable to manage China as an independent traveler are long gone. English is used in the subways of the large cities. Hotels are full of helpful, young staff people with college degrees in English literature. Drivers and guides-for-the-day (again, twenty-somethings with English lit degrees) are plentiful, cheerful, and affordable. Menus have pictures. ATMs are plentiful in the big cities.

I traveled with my husband and another couple. We did our homework ahead of time and made all our hotel and flight reservations in advance. Overall, we spent four days each in Beijing and Shanghai, then two or three days each in Hangzhou, Kunming, Lijiang, and Shangri-La.
Yes, Shangri-La — a small but growing town at the 10,500 foot level in the Himalayas on the far southwestern edge of Yunnan province, near Tibet and Burma. It’s an ethnic Tibetan community whose village fathers were savvy enough to change their name to draw the tourist trade. Today it’s a fascinating mix of subsistence farms (mostly barley and turnips), no plumbing, arranged marriages, hundreds of prayer flags, free-ranging livestock on the outskirts, and, in town, there’s an airport, broad, new (mostly empty) boulevards, new schools, electric plants, hotels, and car dealerships.

China faces enormous challenges, and its government is doing some things right and some things wrong. As in any country, there’s a disconnect between the politics and the people. China may have a totalitarian government, but it also has 1.3 billion people with a 5,000 year history who now, for the first time, have access to electricity and education.

The country is far too large for generalities. It would be like saying you know America because you’ve seen New York and Disney World. But here are a couple of quickies: We saw many Buddhist temples, all in daily use. We saw many statues of Mao. We visited artists and painters who are pushing boundaries with modern depictions of China’s worst environmental and human rights abuses. We ate terrific food every single day. They really do dance and do tai chi in the public parks. The air quality in Beijing is abysmal — the sun was always reddish and I doubt anyone ever saw the moon. We had guides in Yunnan point out “the most polluted lake in China” and various paintings and sculptures “damaged in the Cultural Revolution.” Shanghai is a global city with every high-end European retailer present and accounted for. You can’t drink the tap water anywhere. All of China is one time zone. Handpainted Chinese calligraphy is ethereally beautiful.

Besides the usual guidebooks, I read several excellent books to prepare for the trip. Nien Cheng’s gripping Life and Death in Shanghai, Anchee Min’s more literary but less informative Red Azalea, Peter Hessler’s wonderfully paradoxical River Town, and John Pomfret’s insightful Chinese Lessons were the best. All but Hessler’s book center on the Cultural Revolution and what it did to those who survived and those who did not.

Here’s a picture of part of the Forbidden Palace in Beijing at about 3 pm. See what I mean about the air pollution?
And here’s Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from Lijiang. So quiet and beautiful!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Wamble n. A rumbling or similar disturbance of the stomach. A comforting word, which deserves to be more used. "Was that my wamble or yours?"

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. Wamble appears in the Second.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One more round of praise for The Lonely Phone Booth . . .

This time none other than The New York Times Book Review chimes in:

"'The Lonely Phone Booth,' the first children's book by Peter Ackerman, a screenwriter and playwright, takes a more intimate look at a slice of life in a New York City neighborhood. In a happenstance befitting this warm, quirky story, it turns out that the author and I reside in the same building just a few blocks from the real phone booth, at 100th Street and West End Avenue, that inspired his book. Scene-stealing illustrations by Max Dalton convey the story's nostalgic sensibility. His saturated colors and cartoonish faces suggest Miroslav Sasek's 1960 tribute "This Is New York," and other books in that series . . . a [cozy] story celebrating the fabric of a neighborhood, that intangible quality New Yorkers treasure."

The Lonely Phone Booth is of course available on our website.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A lovely review for The Lonely Phone Booth

Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews has posted a wonderful review of Godine's The Lonely Phone Booth:

"This delightfully unique picture book will not only entertain readers of all ages, but it was also serve as a reminder that there are some things that should not be replaced by new technology. There are some things that belong in our communities and that deserve to be saved and used.

Peter Ackerman’s winning text is wonderfully complimented by Max Dalton’s retro style artwork. The art not only tells a splendid story in and of itself, but it also celebrates the colorful and diverse people who live in New York City."

Peter will be in the Boston area next weekend. Please be sure to catch his local events if you're in our neck of the woods!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Hesternopothia n. A pathological yearning for the good old days. You knowwhen World War II was in full swing, your children got diphtheria, and dentists used slow drills and no anaesthetic.
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. Hesternopothia appears in the Second.