Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Never Back Down by Ernest Hebert

We're very proud to publish Ernest Hebert's latest novel, Never Back Down. Publishers Weekly has already offered wonderful praise:

"New England novelist Hebert (The Dogs of March) offers a stirring tale of two young boys and their lifetime friendship in this coming-of-age tale that begins in the summer of 1953 in rural New Hampshire. Young French-Canadian Jack Landry, son of a WWII veteran (and the novel’s narrator) befriends fatherless Elphege Beaupre, and the pair’s varied teenage adventures take them through baseball camp, a summer job at a textile mill, and first love—all while reinforcing their fearless credo to 'never back down, never instigate.' Through the ’50s and ’60s, Jack excels in baseball, with a rookie stint with the Boston Red Sox; becomes distant from Elphege; and loses it all when he helps troubled girlfriend Alouette escape from a mental hospital. Time in the Army and a few odd jobs somehow reunite the two friends and Jack’s old flame Olympia, but nothing is ever the same again. Hebert’s homespun storytelling is a wonder to behold; the author’s measured prose, tender language, and universal themes of atonement and the bittersweet lessons of maturity shine through. His evocation of New England is spot-on, and his character development of the searching adolescence of two teen boys having the time of their lives creates wonderful reading that will cross generations as well as please Hebert’s many fans."

Ernest has two upcoming events in New Hampshire, both on Saturday, June 2nd:

11am - The Toadstool, Keene, NH
2pm - The Toadstool, Peterborough, NH

In addition, Saturday, September 8th, is "Ernie Hebert Day" in Keene, NH! We're already excited to see what festivities will be planned.

Hebert lives in New Hampshire and teaches writing at Dartmouth College. His other novels in­clude The Old American and the acclaimed six-volume Darby series.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Cynophobia n The morbid dread of dogs. Condition of cats and postmen.

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. Cynophobia appears in the Third.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Last Englishman - NYTBR

The Sunday New York Times Book Review has a review by Ken Kalfus of our new Godine title, The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome by Roland Chambers:

Arthur Ransome is a beloved if minor figure in 20th-century letters. Generations of British readers have grown up with his “Swallows and Amazons” series of young adult novels, the first of which was published in 1930. In these 12 books, children on holiday in the Lake District of England and elsewhere occupy themselves sailing, camping, fishing and playing at pirates. Contemporary readers raised on blood sport in Panem may find the series tame, but the novels are charming and well told. In the few weeks that I’ve contemplated the story of Ransome’s life, every mention of his name to a British acquaintance has elicited a fond smile; from every American it has drawn a blank.

Ransome began “Swallows and Amazons” at the age of 45 after concluding a career as a foreign correspondent. Writing for several British papers, he spent 11 years in and out of Russia during World War I, the revolution and the civil war that followed. Among the ranks of journalists who covered these events, including overt partisans like John Reed, he again cut a minor figure, one who found revolutionary ferment less exhilarating than taxing. “Russia is all very well,” he told his mother, “but too much Russia makes men mad, besides wearing them out.” Even when chasing the big story, he longed for the lush green English landscape and a place to cast his line. 

The enduring affection for “Swallows and Amazons” has ensured a readership for several biographies of Ransome, his own memoir and a 2003 study, “Ransome in Russia,” by Ted Alexander and Tatiana Verizhnikova, that covers very much the same ground as “The Last Englishman.” In this new volume, Roland Chambers, a British author of children’s books, wonders whether Ransome served as a double agent, working on behalf of the Bolsheviks as well as for British intelligence. Although Chambers doesn’t find new evidence of treachery, the old evidence of a confused and compromised journalist is damning enough.

David R. Godine, Publisher is proud to be the US publisher for the entire "Swallows and Amazons" series.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Diamantiferous a Yielding diamonds. "I don't care what you say—I still prefer Julian. Craig may be younger and more handsome, and unmarried for that matter; but Julian is diamantiferous." 

A diamond-studded car (one of thirty-eight cars belonging to Prince Al-Walid of Saudi Arabia)
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. Diamantiferous appears in the Second.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How a book is born

Mariah Bear over at the Weldon Owen (publisher of beautiful books in San Francisco) blog has created a great infographic, "how a book is born":

Have you ever wondered how a great idea becomes a book? Or even how a really crummy one does? Did your mother try to make you stop asking by telling you a story that starts, "Well, when an author loves an editor very, very much . . ." or just blushing and handing you a copy of Our Chicago Manuals, Ourselves?

We're not so shy. Here's the heartwarming, only slightly messy, and roughly 74 percent accurate story of how an idea churns through the publishing process just like—as a publisher we once knew put it—a rat travels through an anaconda. Don't think too much about that analogy. Just enjoy this flowchart that takes you from a brilliant idea to a best-selling trade book. And stop asking your mother embarrassing questions.

Friday, May 11, 2012

World's largest scrimshaw exhibit!

Scrimshaw experts, collectors and fans from around the world will gather for the 23rd Annual Scrimshaw Weekend at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA from May 11–13. The event will feature three days of activities including the opening of a new permanent exhibit on Sunday, May 13th at 2:00pm of the world’s largest scrimshaw collection, titled “Scrimshaw: Shipboard Art of the Whalers.”

Godine is very proud to publish the 400-page, large-format book associated with the collection, Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum by Dr. Stuart M. Frank. For more information on the weekend and exhibition, please visit the museum's website.

Treasure Room: Dr. Stuart M. Frank (right) and Richard Donnelly, photographer of the more than 700 photographs in Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved, examine a whale bone banjo, one of hundreds of rare scrimshaw treasures in the major new exhibit to be unveiled during Scrimshaw Weekend.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Deipnosophist n A wise conversationalist at the dinner table. Unfortunately, the two elements of he definition rarely go together. The author, for example, claims to meet one of the two criteria (he refuses to say which) but not the other.

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. Deipnosophist appears in the Third.

Philip Levine on Naomi Replansky

Philip Levine gave his last lecture as the US poet laureate at the Library of Congress on May 3rd. His 40-minute address entitled "My Forgotten Poets" included a mention of one of our own. He fell in love with a poem by New York writer and Black Sparrow poet Naomi Replansky four years before she published her first book.

We're very proud to have just released Replasnsky's latest, Collected Poems, the collected work of a lifetime by a writer hailed as "one of the most brilliant American poets" by George Oppen. Here is a poem from the collection, for you now:

Nostalgic Memory
of New York

When you come back to,
Come back to the city,
Do not stand and wonder
    —Will it take me back?

It will take you back.

When you look down the
Streets you deserted
They will not rise up
To shake you off,

You, the unfaithful.

The wild automobiles
Will not rear in anger
Nor the gears clash
And their teeth be broken

Just to behold you.

The buildings that never
Bowed down in grief
To see you depart
Will take you back

With their heads high.

And the rush-hour crowd
Will sweep you off your feet
And the short-order cook
Will sizzle you in fat.

Be proud of your welcome.   


Monday, May 7, 2012

Jane Jacobs Walk 2012

This past weekend Jane Jacobs walks took place in over thirty cities across the United States. The Jane Jacobs Walk is a program of the Center for the Living City created by people who knew Jane Jacobs (1916–2006) and wish to celebrate her legacy by helping people organize walks in their communities around the time of Jane's birthday in early May.

Jacobs was a community organizer who helped save her neighborhoods from destruction. She invited everyone to see how cities actually work through experience, to go out and see what makes a neighborhood thrive, or to see what makes a neighborhood struggle. Jacobs's book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), a powerful critique of the urban renewal policies of the 1950s in the United States, greatly affected city planning and architecture and the way we think about how life is lived in densely packed urban centers.

Godine is proud to publish Genius of Common Sense: Jane Jacobs and the Story of the Death and Life of Great American Cities by Glenna Lang and Marjory Wunsch, the first book for young people about this heroine who never attended college whose observations, determination, and independent spirit led her to far different conclusions than those of the academics who surrounded her. This title has a far greater range than the young adult audience and will interest people of all ages looking for a good introduction to Jacobs and her work. The hardcover is available now and the paperback will be released in June 2012.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For our architectural buffs out there . . .

William Morgan, author of Godine's Monadnock Summer: The Architectural Legacy of Dublin, New Hampshire, is an architectural historian and contributing writer to Design New England. He's just won first place for "Best Home and Design" feature which was awarded by the magazine for his story on Box Office (pictured below, located in Providence, RI) which ran in their March/April 2011 issue. Congrats, William!

Literacy posters

Awesome. The Denver, Colorado nonprofit literacy group Burning Through Pages has gone viral with these very cool black and white posters encouraging reading (both designed by Mike Anderick):