Friday, December 21, 2012

Godine Staff: Our Favorite Books of 2012

2012 is winding down and we at David R. Godine, Publisher, are feeling nostalgic for the year that was. We asked our employees and interns what their favorite new Godine titles of 2012 were, and why. Here, in our last blog post of the year, are their answers. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone!

The Fo'c'sle: Henry Beston’s “Outermost House” by Nan Parson Rossiter

This isn't fair. It's like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. But if driven to the wall, I'd have to choose The Fo'c'sle. Perhaps because we have been working with Nan so long on the book, but more likely because I reread Beston's The Outermost House every few years and still find it among the most remarkable series of essays ever written by a naturalist. Nan manages to capture both the spirit and the wonder of his stay at that little house – and the magic of the night sky and changing seasons.
–David Godine

Karsh: Beyond the Camera selected, with an introduction & commentary by David Travis

This is a once-in-a-lifetime treat to get a private glimpse into the conversations between such a great photographer and his extremely famous, but often very private, subjects. This is also such a beautifully printed book, and a true treasure in every way. Every time I open to a page I learn something new and feel pampered to take in such gorgeous photographs that seem lit from within. What more could one ask for?
–Jennifer Delaney

Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum by Stuart M. Frank

My first thought after “ Whales?” was “Amazing!” Who knew so much could be crafted from the bones of these leviathans! After settling down, I was thoroughly engrossed by the painstaking detail that went into these rather obscure artistic relics and the manifold purposes that they serve.
–Ryan Edward Brown

Pale Blue Ink in a Lady's Hand by Franz Werfel

This is a great little work by Franz Werfel about a love triangle.  The writing is beautiful and the story is fascinating.  I highly recommend this book - it is a fun read.
–Michele Motuzas

Mary Azarian Greeting Cards by Mary Azarian

As an avid sender of cards by way of snails (snail mail, that is), I instantly fell in love with these beautifully printed adaptations of Mary Azarian woodcuts. My favorite design of the collection is F for Farm because it reminds me of New Hampshire.
–Lauren Shimmel 

The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel

[I chose] Franz Werfel's The Forty Days of Musa Dagh not only because of its literary merits, which are significant, but also because of its power to demonstrate fully the horror and tragedy of the Armenian Genocide.
 –Susan Barba

This year, the Rosemary Verey biography was "the little book that could." Its success is, I think, due to three factors: it's a very entertaining and accessible book, Rosemary Verey has a passionate and loyal following, and author Barbara Robinson, who worked tirelessly to promote it on both sides of the Atlantic, does as well. Lastly, I was particularly pleased that even though the book did not have a UK publisher, it graced the front cover of Country Life magazine, with a six page extract, and got major UK review attention.
–Sue Ramin

This is a gorgeous book, but more than that, it's also really interesting. I love how Joe's paintings track the progress of One Times Square through the years from the same perspective, so you can truly see it growing and feel its progress. It's won four awards this year, including a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Award, and there's no doubt that they're well deserved.
–Kristin Brodeur

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wesley McNair 2013 Events

Wesley McNair, Godine author and current Poet Laureate of Maine, has a busy year ahead of him - he already has readings planned through July 2013!

McNair is the author of five books of poetry with Godine: Fire, The Ghosts of You and Me, Lovers of the Lost, Talking in the Dark, and The Town of No & My Brother Running. Donald Hall of the Harvard Book Review said of McNair: "He has a gorgeous ear for the rubbing-together of adjacent words. . . McNair is a New England poet, preserving the speech and character of a region intimately known. Because he is a true poet, his New England is unlimited. Whole lives fill small lines, real to this poet and real to us."

Want to know where you can catch him? Take a look at the calendar below:

2/4/13 - New dates and locations added!

  • January (dates, times, places to be announced): one event per week for last three weeks; Poetry Out Loud coaching sessions for Maine students.
  • January 24: Maine Poetry Express stop at the library, Swan’s Island, ME (sans poet laureate), 7 pm.
  • January 24: Reading from memoir, The Words I Chose at Gibson’s bookstore in Concord, NH, at 7 pm. Contact:
  • January 31: Official Maine launch of memoir, The Words I Chose, at the Portland Public Library, 6:30 pm. Contact:

  • February 2: Interview on my literary friendship with Donald Hall at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. Afternoon time TBA. Contact Maryli Tiemann at
  • February 5: Reading from The Words I Chose at Booksellers in Farmington, ME, at 7 pm. Contact:
  • February 26: Maine Poetry Express stop at Camden Library, Camden, ME, 7 pm. Contact: Ken Gross,
  • February 28: Maine Poetry Express stop at Patten Library, Bath, ME, 7 pm. Contact: Leslie Mortimer,

  • March 7: Reading of poetry at York Community College, 4:30 pm. Contact: Doreen Rogan,
  • March 14: Maine Poetry Express stop at the Waterville Library, Waterville, ME, 7 pm. Contact: Pat Burdick,
  • March 21: Maine Poetry Express stop, 7 pm at the Cobscook Community Center, Trescott, ME.
  • March 26: Maine Poetry Express stop at the Turner Library in Turner, ME, 7 pm. Contact: Betty Twitchell,

  • April 1: Reading at the Maine Historical Society at noon. Contact Larissa Pickard, at
  • April 6: Master Class at the 2013 New Hampshire Writers' Project Writers Day, Southern NH University, Manchester, NH. Contact: Carla Gericke,
  • April 9: Maine Poetry Express stop at the York Public Library, York, ME, 7 pm. Contact: Kim Meyers,
  • April 11: Annual address as poet laureate at the Blaine House, with launch of Take Heart: Poems from Maine, based on the Take Heart newspaper column, with reading by Maine poets.
  • April 19: Keynote address at the 2013 Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival, UMA, Augusta, ME, 7 pm; group reading from poetry anthology,Take Heart, April 20, time TBA. Contact Ellen Taylor,
  • April 25: Maine Poetry Express stop at the Solon Meeting House, Solon, ME, 7 pm. Contact: Barbara Sullivan,

  • May 2-5: Poetry workshop at the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance (MWPA) Black Fly Retreat in Grand Lake Stream. Contact: Joshua Bodwell, Executive Director of MWPA,
  • May 14: Maine Poetry Express stop at the Space Gallery in Portland, ME, 7 pm.
  • May 24: Reading of poetry at the Young Writers Conference of Champlain College in Burlington, VT. Contact: J.C. Ellefson and Lesley Wright,

  • June 29: Maine Poetry Express stop on Chebeague Island, ME. Contact: Deborah Bowman,

  • July 20: Poetry as storytelling at the Western Maine Storytellers Festival, Farmington Public Library, time TBA. Contact: Rob Lively,
  • July 25 (date subject to adjustment): Reading and workshop in The Early College Creative Writing Program, time TBA. Contact: David Stankiewicz,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Superior Person's Word of the Week!

Absquatulate v. To leave in a hurry, suddenly, and/or in secret. “No problem, Mr. Burbage; just make the check out to cash – I’m doing the accounts tonight and you can rely on me to absquatulate first thing in the morning.”

The waitress tried to stop her customers from absquatulating from the table without paying.
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. Absquatulate appears in the Second.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crime and Puzzlement - Now an App!

The Crime and Puzzlement App as it appears on the iPad Mini and iPhone 5.
We are thrilled to announce our very first app! Crime and Puzzlement: 24 Solve-Them-Yourself Mysteries by Lawrence Treat is now available for just $0.99 on the AppStore for the iPhone (including full compatibility with iPhone 5 / iOS 6) and the iPad (including the iPad Mini). Many thanks to AppEndix, LLC, who developed the app for us.

It’s not just another hidden objects game; Crime and Puzzlement by award winning mystery author Lawrence Treat lets you discover detecting powers you never dreamed you had.

Who stole the Van Bliven necklace? Did Mrs. Fallwell really fall out of her twelfth-floor window? Where did little William go? YOU find out!

* Read the story 
* Ponder the picture 
* And solve it yourself!

View this brief video demo to see how it works:

Here are a few screenshots from the iPad:

The app is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese. Find it in the AppStore here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Do You Remember When You Learned to Read?

Arkansas, 1938. A typical schoolroom Harper Lee might have known.

Do you remember when you learned to read, or like me, can you not even remember a time when you didn’t know how?

So begins a letter that Harper Lee, author of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, wrote to Oprah Winfrey in May of 2006. As book lovers, we can all relate to her feeling that we were born knowing how to read, but we might not be able to understand the scarcity of books that plagued her childhood. There were no public libraries or bookstores near her, and she was a hundred miles away from the book section of a department store. As a child, Ms. Lee was starving for new books, but today, book lovers have the opposite problem: we buy more books than we have time to read (if only there were more hours in the day!).

Harper Lee concludes her letter by declaring her love for the physical book; something that we can identify with here at David, R. Godine, Publisher. We love curling up with a good book and being swept away by the magic and tragedy contained within the pages. Harper Lee writes,

And, Oprah, can you imagine curling up in bed to read a computer? Weeping for Anna Karenina and being terrified by Hannibal Lecter...some things should happen on soft pages, not cold metal.

One of our very own authors, Steven Gilbar, selected essays for The Open Door: When Writers First Learned to Read to celebrate the importance and joy of reading. Mr. Gilbar included an excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), which was based on Harper Lee’s childhood in Monroeville, Alabama.

I never deliberately learned to read, but somehow I had been wallowing illicitly in the daily papers...Now that I was compelled to think about it, reading was something that just came to me. I could not remember when the lines above Atticus’s moving finger separated into words...I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

Join us in celebrating books and reading today!

For the full text of Harper Lee’s letter to Oprah, visit Letters of Note.

You can purchase The Open Door: When Writers First Learned to Read by Steven Gilbar on the Godine website.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Gynotikolobomassophile n. Someone who likes to nibble on a woman’s earlobe. Truly, there is a name for everything. This one is reported in the amazing dictionary of verbal erotica compiled by Mrs. Josefa Heifetz Byrne (the daughter of Jascha Heifetz, incidentally). One of the Personals: “Gynotikolobomassophile wishes to meet woman with large ears.”

Humans are not the only gynotikolobomassophiles in the world.
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. Gynotikolobomassophile appears in the Second.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide!

Still finishing up your holiday shopping? There's something for everyone here at David R. Godine, Publisher, and we've put together a holiday gift guide to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Take a look below!2012 Holiday Gift Guide

For more ideas, you can also view our full catalog:

Direct Mail 2012

All books can be purchased through, by emailing, or by calling 1-800-344-4771.

Happy Holidays from everyone at David R. Godine, Publisher!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Pogonophobia n. A morbid dread of beards. As many whilom (q.v.) bearded ones can attest, the severity of this complaint is as nothing compared with the severity of its opposite number – the morbid dread of family members of a face from which a beard has just been removed.

The children succumbed to pogonophobia well before they reached the mall Santa.
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. Pogonophobia appears in the Second.

Monday, December 3, 2012

November Review Round-Up

Here at David R. Godine, Publisher, we strive to produce high quality books above all else. So, when our books and authors are praised, we hope you'll forgive us for acting like proud parents. Please join us in celebrating the recent success of a few of our talented authors.

Garden guru, Allan Becker, calls Rosemary Verey by Barabara Paul Robinson a “very satisfying book.” Here is an excerpt from Allan’s article:
Mrs. Verey’s influence upon me, as well as on many of my colleagues and clients, has been so pivotal that as soon as I found out about this book I added it to my must-read list. In it I found comfort when I learned that the placement of a plant - as challenging as it might be for us today - was no less of a challenge for the world’s great authority on that subject. It is reassuring to discover that even the most talented among us sometimes struggle, as we do, in order to overcome obstacles. Readers are in for a treat…
Continue reading the article here.

Rosemary Verey was also profiled in Gardens Illustrated (UK). Below is an excerpt from the review:
Robinson is also scrupulous in acknowledging the key part played by Rosemary’s husband David in the creation of the Rosemary Verey phenomenon. It was he who introduced her to garden history; he who created the vistas at Barnsley House and imported the architectural features. Verey claimed to have reintroduced the British to their own garden traditions, and the photogenic English Country House style was very much her creation, though she would have been the first to acknowledge her historical antecedents. But Robinson suggests her more enduring legacy might be in the US, where she encouraged American gardeners to have faith in their own horticultural vernacular. Her writings have fared better than her gardens, and Verey’s most important contribution may well be as ‘the great encourager’, crisply exhorting us all to get outside and get on with it.

Enjoy reading this lively review posted on Robinson’s blog. And don’t forget to purchase your own copy of Rosemary Verey today!

ForeWord Reviews recently highlighted David Travis’ Karsh: Beyond the Camera in their Winter 2013 issue. Here is a passage from the review:
Karsh’s works of the 1940s and ‘50s in particular offered a heady glamor or intriguing sense of gravitas: Humphrey Bogart and a waft of cigarette smoke, Harry Truman adjusting his glasses, or Pablo Picasso, who surprised everyone he knew by being punctual and wearing a new shirt. French author Francois Mauriac was posed in a darkened profile, both for dramatic effect and because the electricity wasn’t working in his Paris apartment that particular day. There are also lovely poses from actresses Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly (who went from curlers and blue jeans to gorgeous in minutes), but Karsh insisted that the most “sublime woman he had ever photographed” was activist and author Helen Keller, for everything that was in her soul… Karsh knew the world in all its good and evil, and he had a strong love for his family: his first wife, Solange, whom he lost to cancer, and his second wife, Estrellita. This sense of connection apparently gave Karsh’s portraits an integral depth, just as his ability to see beyond preconceptions made his photographs memorable. Travis has shown us not just a technically brilliant artist, but a man of compassion who wanted to share his vision with us all.
Add this beautiful book of Karsh’s photographs and recollections to your bookshelf today!

Last, but certainly not least, One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World by Joe McKendry was reviewed in Euroman Magazine (Denmark). We are sure it is a rave review. . . however we can’t be certain because the article is in Danish. Can anyone translate for us? (Click to enlarge the photo.)

Click to enlarge
Pick up your copy of One Times Square, a 2012 New York Times and Publishers Weekly Best Illustrated Children’s Book, today!

Congratulations Barbara Paul Robinson, David Travis, and Joe McKendry!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Joe McKendry Author Events!

Attention fans of beautifully illustrated children's books! Joe McKendry, author and illustrator of One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World, has several author events coming up over the next week. If you live in or near New York or Massachusetts, you won't want to miss out on your chance to meet this award-winning artist.
  • Saturday, December 1st: Books of Wonder, New York, NY, 12-2 pm. Joe and seven other talented authors and artists will discuss their middle-grade books, take questions from the audience, and sign copies of their books. A free event; more information here.
  • Saturday, December 1st: Museum of the City of New York, NYC, 3-4:30 pm. Joe will discuss his artistic process and sign copies of the book. A free event; more information here.
  • Monday, December 3rd: Porter Square Books, Boston, MA, 7 pm. Joe will discuss his artistic process and sign copies of the book. A free event; more information here.
  • Friday, December 7th: Back Pages Books, Waltham, MA, 7 pm. Joe will discuss his artistic process and sign copies of the book. A free event; more information here.
 We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Superior Person's Word of the Week!

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.”

Little kids are notorious for yirning when they want their parents to give them sweets.
Each Tuesday (for the most part...), 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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Boston Book Festival Wrap Up

Last month, David R. Godine, Publisher, attended the Boston Book Festival and had a fantastic time meeting readers, selling books, and soaking in the literary atmosphere. Here is a recap of the day's events from our interns, Lauren and Ryan.

While we loved the bustling crowds at the Brooklyn Book Festival in September, we felt more at home in Copley Square at the Boston Book Festival. The smaller venue allowed for a more intimate exchange with our customers, fellow book-lovers, and avid readers alike. The Boston Book Festival goers were book-enthusiasts. They admired, read, and bought our books, even as we were packing up the booth at the end of the day.

Each year the Boston Book Festival sends young readers on a “Passport to Imagination” adventure and we were lucky enough to be apart of the magic. The children picked up a passport at the BBF tent and traveled through Copley Square searching for stamps. When the participating children came to our booth, we read an excerpt from Catie Copley, which is the story of the real-life black Labrador that is a member of the guest services team at the storied Fairmont Copley Plaza. Catie was scheduled to be away for the weekend, but she made it back early and stopped by our booth in the afternoon. It was a delightful encounter that only solidified Catie’s claim to being the Copley’s totem of hospitality. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Catie Copley and Catie Copley's Great Escape were our biggest sellers of the day.

(l-r) Kristin, Lauren, and Ryan awaiting readers at the start of the Book Festival. [Ed. note: We did not stand in height order intentionally...]

When attending a book fair, one does not generally anticipate many unexpected events or noteworthy high jinx, but rather expects a more discerning and subtle affair. Yet, the 2012 Boston Book Festival managed to be both at once. For instance, how often do you get to watch a man dressed as a sandwich interact with members of the public? And, as a result of said interaction, receive a tasteful t-shirt? I would say seldom, if not often enough. The intrigue deepens - what does a seven foot tall fully articulate Sasquatch (and/or wood ape) mannequin have to do with a foam rubber suit Curious George? On a good day I hope very little, but at the Boston Book Festival, patrons had the opportunity to meet both. We also had a very convincing elf stop by our booth.

Point being, aside from perusing publishers and their wares, engaging in enthused conversations about literary personalities, obtaining varying degrees of swag, and attending free lectures, a book festival – and the Boston Book Festival in particular – is well worth attending. Even if you come simply for the books, you’ll find yourself staying for the manifestations of the literary community.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth, and an even bigger thank you to those who bought a book or two (or more!). We had a great time meeting and talking to all of you. Till next year…

If you saw something you liked but didn’t get a chance to buy it during the Festival, you can buy any of our books at And for a limited time you can receive up to 3 free books with your order!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

It's Thanksgiving week, so here is a superior word that is Turkey Day worthy:

Pantophagy n. Omnivorousness, i.e., eating anything and everything. "Sorry to have to say this about my brother, but I should let you know about him if you're really thinking of inviting him into your house. The fact is he's . . . er, well . . . I'm ashamed to say this but I suppose I have to . . . he's pantophagous."

The one time of year pantophagy is celebrated. Happy Thanksgiving!
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. Pantophagy appears in the Second.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Joe McKendry at the NYT Best Illustrated Awards

Earlier this week, the 2012 New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book winners gathered in New York at the Times headquarters to celebrate their honors. Joe McKendry was in attendance to accept his award for One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World and he's shared a few pictures with us. Congratulations again, Joe, and to all of this year's winners!

Here's a few words from Joe about the event:

On Monday, Nov. 13th I attended the awards ceremony for the "Best Illustrated Books 2012" as chosen by The New York Times. It was a fun event and a great opportunity to meet some other fantastic illustrators. Illustrators are usually holed up in our studios working, so getting the chance to meet Albertine, illustrator of Little Bird, Henry Cole, author and illustrator of Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad, Oliver Jeffers, author and illustrator of The Hueys in the New Sweater, and Chris Raschka, this year's Caldecott winner for A Ball for Daisy, was a real treat. All in all it was a great time, attended by a group of really interesting people. 

Joe McKendry, left, with Henry Cole, author and illustrator of Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad.
Joe McKendry, far left, with the group.

And don't forget, you have until the end of the day tomorrow, November 16th, to enter our One Times Square giveaway! You can enter on the blog by commenting on the original post or by emailing Details and original post can be found here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Three Chances to Catch Ernest Hebert

Ernest Hebert, author of Never Back Down, is making the rounds across New England this week. If you've never seen him speak in public we highly recommend attending one of these events - or perhaps even all three!
  • Thursday, November 15th: Hancock, NH, Town Library, 7 pm. Free and open to all. Ernie will read from Never Back Down and talk about the book. More information here.
  • Friday, November 16th: Author's Night at the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock, VT. Ernie, along with authors Howard Coffin and Katharine Fisher Britton, will discuss their writing, process, and read from their books at a wine and cheese event to benefit the library. 5:30pm-8:00pm, $35 per person. More information here
  • Saturday, November 17th: Ernie will read from and sign copies of Never Back Down at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, VT. The event starts at 4 pm and is free. More information here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Aichmophobia n. Extreme fear of the sight of any sharp-pointed instrument, whether a needle, a nail, a thorn, a spike, etc. James I of England suffered from this phobia, and could not endure the appearance of a drawn sword.

Due to his acute aichmophobia, dentist appointments are a bit of an ordeal for Henry.
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. Aichmophobia appears in the Third.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

One Times Square Giveaway!

We just recently surpassed 600 "likes" on our David R. Godine, Publisher, Facebook page, so we wanted to thank all of our wonderful readers by offering a book giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a free copy of One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World by Joe McKendry. You may have noticed that One Times Square has been getting a lot of attention lately - so far this year, it has been selected to the Society of Illustrators' "The Original Art 2012", named one of The New York Times' Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2012, and been chosen as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Nonfiction Books of 2012! It is a beautiful book that tells the story, through words and pictures, of the history of Times Square. The New York Times called it "a handsome and highly readable book, one that will be pored over cover to cover by young New Yorkers, real and aspiring."

To enter, all you have to do is tell us, in 20 words or less, why you love Godine books. There are two ways to enter:

--By commenting on this post (but be sure to include your email address), or
--By sending an email to Be sure to mention this contest in the subject line.

We'll select one entry at random and will notify the winner through email. The contest will end on Friday, November 16th, so make sure to get your entries in before then!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One Times Square Named One of Publishers Weekly's Best of 2012!

It's another day and another award for One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World by Joe McKendry. The book, which has already been selected to the Society of Illustrators' "The Original Art 2012" and named one of The New York Times' Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2012, was just named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Nonfiction Books of 2012!

Congratulations, Joe, on this tremendous honor!

You can buy a copy of One Times Square on our website or at a retailer near you. 

Superior Person's Tuesday!

In honor of Election Day. . .

Roturier n. Someone without any rank or status in society. A peasant, a plebeian, a day-labourer, a schoolteacher, or a civil servant.

Make sure to vote today! Be heard, roturiers!
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. Routurier appears in the Third.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Review Round-Up

Here at David R. Godine, Publisher, we strive to produce high quality books above all else. So, when our books and authors are praised, we hope you'll forgive us for acting like proud parents. Please join us in celebrating the recent success of a few of our talented authors.

The Washington Post called Rosemary Verey, by Barbara Paul Robinson, an “irresistible biography of horticultural sage.” Michael Dirda, author of the article, was drawn to the book by the lush and “ravishingly gorgeous” cover.

Here is an excerpt from the article:
As [Verey] once told another gardener: “We don’t do things because they’re labor-saving or low-maintenance or because they’re horticulturally correct. We do them because they’re pretty.” And very pretty, too, is this neatly designed book from the publisher David Godine. Robinson, a New York lawyer by day and a gardener by avocation, writes not just clearly but also affectionately about her beloved, influential and rather spiky subject.
Continue reading the article here and don’t forget to pick up your copy of Rosemary Verey today!

Black Sparrow author Naomi Replansky was profiled in The Jewish Daily Forward and HuffPost Books for her recently published Collected Poems. Replansky is a poet whose verse combines the compression of Emily Dickenson, the passion of Anna Akhmatova, and the music of W.H. Auden. Both articles highlight Replansky’s life-long journey as a poet.

Here is an extract from the HuffPost Books article:
She started writing at ten; riding "surges of feeling," she disciplined by 15 with a poetic craft beyond her years, forging a plain-spoken, yet highly allusive, style from a stew of influences that included William Blake, black spirituals, Latin American Surrealism and Mother Goose. She pulled in the socialist ideals nurtured by a childhood of working-class poverty, in the secular, Jewish home of immigrant parents. Born months before the end of World War I, long before any formal gay consciousness, she became boldly self-liberated, writing poems to a girl she fell in love with in high school.
You can read the rest of the HuffPost article here and the entire Jewish Daily Forward article here. Add a copy of Replansky’s Collected Poems to your bookshelf today!

The Buffalo News highlighted Jane Marinsky, author and illustrator of Just Perfect, for her whimsical new picture book that combines the story of wanting a new pet and welcoming a new baby into the family.

Here is a passage from the article:
Particularly delightful is the octopus, who "made a mess of everything." A bright orange giant octopus, its tentacles waving and stirring what might be chocolate pudding, wreaks havoc in the kitchen – milk spilled, eggs broken, a pot boiling over, the sink overflowing. […] Right down to the charming ending, this book is a delight, "Just Perfect" in every way.
Continue reading the article here and don’t forget to pick up your copy of Just Perfect today!

Congratulations to Barbara Paul Robinson, Naomi Replansky, and Jane Marinsky!

Friday, November 2, 2012

One Times Square: A NYT Best Illustrated Children's Book 2012!

We couldn't be more excited to confirm that One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World by Joe McKendry has been selected as one of The New York Times' Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2012! Although the official press release and article have not yet been released, Pamela Paul from the Times tweeted the news yesterday. Edited to add: The article is now available online here.

Please join us in congratulating Joe McKendry on this fantastic accomplishment! The full list of winners is currently available on The Horn Book's website.

You can purchase a copy of One Times Square on our website or at a bookstore near you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Superior Person's Word of the Week!

Futtock n. A particular wooden component — the exact nature of which is unknown to the author — in the structure of a ship. A ridiculous word. If you have a yachting friend or otherwise nautical friend, make a point of always greeting him with the cheerful inquiry: "And how are your futtocks these days, old bean?"

I for one, make it a habit of checking my futtocks daily, so to prevent inundation while at sea.
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. Futtock appears in the First.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Back on October 4th, David R. Godine and some intrepid interns attended the 39th Annual Fall Conference of the New England Independent Booksellers Association (or, for those who care to relish in the art of acronyms, NEIBA).

The three-day conference took place in the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. Throughout the week there were a myriad of presentations and a profusion of authors dispensing autographs, but the best part of the week’s events, in our humble opinions, was the booksellers exhibition. Though the number of booksellers has dwindled as of late and is no longer the biblio-behemoth sprawling across the convention center, it was still a sight to behold.

We arrived in Providence with a comfortable chunk of time before things got underway. Time enough to receive an exhibitor badge, lug an extra table into the conference hall, and display our bound accoutrements. Things began slowly as people trickled into the hall. The sullen overcast sky teetered on the verge of rain that never came; instead an unseasonable mugginess permeated the landscape. Thankfully this did not keep away the great multitude of book buyers who ebbed and flowed as the day wore on.

The archipelago spread out before us and tables piled with books upon books filled the room. Fellow publishing house representatives milled about, showcasing their wares to prospective buyers. A man in a carrot suit occasionally jogged through the throng (seriously), catalogues were exchanged, swag was rendered onto those who cared for it, raffle tickets were dispersed, and scavenger hunt questions answered. For those who missed our booth, our answer was Turkish Armenia (the question: which country was Yousuf Karsh from before moving to Canada?). We had a great time meeting with everyone who stopped by our booth.

We here at David R. Godine, Publisher, would like to thank those of you who made orders with us at this year’s NEIBA:

            The Bookloft of Great Barrington, MA
            Books on the Common of Ridgefield, CT
            The Bookworm of Omaha, NE
            Bridgton Books of Bridgton, ME
            Buttonwood Books & Toys of Cohasset, MA
            Devaney, Doak & Garrett of Farmington, ME
            The Flying Pig Bookstore of Shelburne, VT
            Galaxy Bookshop of Hardwick, VT
            Hickory Stick Bookshop of Washington Depot, CT
            Kennebooks of Kennebunk, ME
            Northshire Bookstore of Manchester Center, VT
            Open Door Bookstore of Schnectady, NY
            Parnassus Book Service of Yarmouthport, MA
            Red Tail Books of Wilmington, VT
            Children’s Book Shop of Brookline, MA
            Toadstool Bookshops Inc. of Peterborough, NH
            Wellfleet Marketplace of Wellfleet, MA

For our Boston-area fans, don’t forget to check us out this weekend at the Boston Book Festival! The event takes place Saturday, October 27th, from 10 am until 5 pm. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Barbara Paul Robinson on "Real Dirt"

Barbara Paul Robinson, author of Rosemary Verey: The Life & Lessons of a Legendary Gardener, was featured on Ken Druse's "Real Dirt" radio show on Friday! You can listen to the podcast on Ken Druse's website, here.

From the article accompanying the podcast:
The gardens Barbara Paul Robinson has created with her husband, the painter Charles Robinson, have become quite well known. But when they bought their 18th century weekend house in the northwest corner of Connecticut in 1971, the idea was to just do some “tidying up.” But Charles began a vegetable patch. It was the miracle of sprouting seeds that awakened a passion in Barbara she didn’t even realize was there.
Get-attachment_editIn 1991, Barbara took a one-month sabbatical from her position as a partner in a New York City law firm to go to England to work for the late designer and author Rosemary Verey at the world famous gardens of Barnsley House in the heart of the Cotswolds. Not only did Barbara learn at the side of Mrs. Verey, they became lifelong friends until the end of her life in 2001. (Robinson with Verey at her eightieth birthday celebration – photo Charles Robinson.)
“There was nothing low-maintenance…about Rosemary’s style of gardening,” writes Barbara. “In her view, good gardening meant hard work: the garden was to be watched and managed every day with careful attention to dead-heading and tidying. Hers was a high maintenance approach that required careful planning and strict adherence to a schedule of ongoing planting, pruning, lifting, and replanting to keep the garden looking beautiful throughout the year.”
Barbara Robinson has written a biography of her mentor – Rosemary Verey: The Life & Lessons of a Legendary Gardener, which was published by David R. Godine in 2012.
Mrs. Verey began making her garden in middle age (above, photo by Jerry Harpur). As an economic necessity after the death of her husband, David, she started to write for newspapers, magazine and books. In 1980, at the age of 62, she published her first of 18 books, The English Woman’s Garden, with Alvilde Lees-Milne. Her other works include The American Woman’s Garden, The Scented Garden and The Garden in Winter.
Despite being a self-taught amateur, Rosemary Verey became sought after as a garden designer, planning gardens for luminaries like Oscar de la Renta, Sir Elton John and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who became a close friend. One month before her death, she was designing a garden in Kentucky. She loved America (and America loved her).
You can buy a copy of Rosemary Verey on the Godine website, as a Google ebook, or at a retailer near you.

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Limophoitos n. Insanity brought on by lack of food. A condition occurring in older teenagers after about ten o'clock at night, causing them to do strange things after the rest of the family have gone to bed, such as eating eight slices of cheese on toast while watching rap videos.

Henry will eat anything and everything during his episodes of limophoitos.
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. Limophoitos appears in the Second.

Friday, October 19, 2012

SNEAK PEEK: An Artist in Venice

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We here at David R. Godine, Publisher, have been excited about our upcoming memoir An Artist in Venice by Adam Van Doren for a while now. In the book, Van Doren, grandson of the Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Mark Van Doren, details his love of Venice and the time he spent exploring and painting in the city. Interspersed throughout the pages are 21 full-color drawings by the author/artist himself.

We haven't been able to share much about this charming memoir - until now. When we recently received proofs of the gorgeous images in the books, we realized we had to share a few with our friends and followers - it would be selfish of us not to!

So, for your viewing pleasure, here is a sneak peek of a few of the paintings from An Artist in Venice. And if that's not enough for you, Adam Van Doren has also written an exclusive short piece, just for this blog, about his artistic process amongst the beauty of Venice. Enjoy!


San Giorgio, 2009
As an artist who works mostly outdoors, en plein air, it is hard to imagine a better subject to render than Venice. Though the city is often choked with tourists, there are many areas off the beaten track that are remarkably tranquil and conducive to painting. For me, those areas are on the outermost fringes of Venice, by the edge of the Laguna Veneta. Over the years, I have grown familiar with these quiet corners by the water’s edge, and once I’ve discovered these hidden spots I seldom forget them (though it can take me awhile to find them again on the map).

Riva Schiavoni, 2010
Carrying my portfolio and folding stool in one hand and a rucksack of art supplies in the other, I trudge through the labyrinthine calles, or alleys, squeezing my way towards a glimpse of daylight. Here, along the borders of the city, I can simultaneously experience the life of the streets and the life of the lagoon. The Zattere, which faces the Giudecca Island, and the Fondamenta Nuove, which faces San Michele cemetery, are two such remote areas. Looking outward, the shimmering turquoise water fills the scene, and the salty ocean air is a welcome respite from the putrid odor of the interior canals.  The passing boats offer a pleasant distraction, and the broad expanse of uninterrupted sunlight creates long and arresting shadows. The vistas are impressive: I can see churches off in the distance, like the Redentore, which commands a noble presence on the horizon. I pull out my brushes and move quickly to capture the moment on canvas.

Il Redentore, 2010
The ultimate vantage point to see La Serenissima (another name for the city) is from the eastern tip of the Dorsoduro, a section of Venice just below the old Customs House which faces San Marco on one side, and San Giorgio Maggiore on the other. It is the gateway to the Grand Canal, and a popular destination for visitors. I must start early in the morning if I want to work in peace and get any painting done, but it is worth the effort. The waves lap up right next to where I am sitting, and I feel as if I am on the bow of a ship, heading back in time. The onion domes of San Marco rise above the city, just beyond the Ducal Palace. All I have to do now is bring the scene to life.


An Artist in Venice will be available in December 2012.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Jar-Owl n. The European goatsucker. I swear that this is the complete definition as given by my source. Goatsucker? Do not write to me or to the publisher to explain this. Neither of us wishes to know.

The ambiguity of the word jar-owl is enough to drive goats into trees and jar-owls into chupacabra.
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. Jar-Owl appears in the Second.

Profile of Eddie Chuculate

Black Sparrow author Eddie Chuculate was recently profiled in High Country News, a Colorado-based magazine that focuses on the culture and environmental issues of the Western United States. In the profile, Chuculate, author of Cheyenne Madonna, describes his writing style and how, despite his Oklahoma roots, the West is in his blood.

Here's an excerpt from the article:
"Dear Shorty" describes a young Creek/Cherokee man who wanders across the Southwest, in and out of trouble with alcohol and the law, all while writing letters to his dad. It's from Chuculate's first book, Cheyenne Madonna, a tale of Oklahoma grit and Native wanderlust. Creek poet Joy Harjo praised it, noting how the author "investigates the broken-heart nation of Indian men. The epicenter of action is the tenuous meeting place between boyhood and manhood, between fierce need and desire."
Chuculate, who is Creek Indian and Cherokee, first learned how to spin a tale at the family dinner table. "There were only three channels on TV. We'd spend the evenings acting out what happened that day, or we'd mimic how someone walked or talked." After high school, Chuculate worked as a local sportswriter for a few years, but eventually decided he would "die if I had to cover one more Little League tournament or trout-fishing competition."
And so, in 1994, after a friend told him about the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, he hopped a Greyhound to the heart of the Southwest. His love affair with the West began on that journey. "In the morning, the sun came up behind the Sandias -- that was the first time I saw mountains." At the Native contemporary arts school, Chuculate thought he'd be a museum studies major until he took a fiction class and discovered an outlet for his natural inclination for story. "Our first assignment was to write a story about a memorable character in our family," he says. "So I started writing 'A Famous Indian Artist' based on my uncle. Then I started writing about my dad, my grandma and grandpa. Their characters are all over (Cheyenne Madonna)."
You can read the rest of the article here. Pick up your copy of Cheyenne Madonna today!