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!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Picture Book Heaven

We adore picture books here at David R. Godine, Publisher, and were recently inspired by the Picture Book Museum Library in Iwaki City in Fukushima, Japan.

 From The Interiorist blog via Ken Lee 2010

Image by Ken Lee 2010

Mr. Ray, a Kindergarten principal, dreamed of creating a special space for children to enjoy books and expand their imaginations. He pleaded with renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando to design a privately-owned library that would mainly serve three local preschools. Ando agreed and was given only one piece of instruction from Mr. Ray. Ando was required to construct a library that would allow the book covers to be displayed outward for the children to see. The Picture Book Library was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s book Outside Over There. Ando produced the building using only three materials: reinforced concrete, glass, and wood. He integrated the exterior with the interior spaces to give the appearance of reading outdoors.

The main reading room houses books with the covers facing outward in book cubbies. Stairways weave throughout the room, allowing children to explore the tall wooden walls filled with books and to sit to read a book they have chosen. Ando did not use color in his design, but rather allowed the bright illustrations of the books themselves to bring to life the building. There are approximately 10,000 international picture books in the collection, with 1,500 books on display at any given time.

After the project was completed, Ando stated, “I am sure there is no sign, don’t laugh, anywhere. An atmosphere of playfulness, not awe or indoctrination, is the hallmark of this new paradigm of educational facility…It will help [kids] dream.” For more information, visit A Library Architecture Resource.

In the spirit of being inspired by Japanese art, learn about the Japanese master illustrator and printmaker, Hokusai, in our beautifully illustrated children’s book, Old Man Mad About Drawing by Francois Place.

You can purchase our latest picture book, Just Perfect, written and illustrated by Jane Marinsky, from the Godine website. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Superior Person's Wednesday!

We might have missed Tuesday, but seeing as it is a 4-day work week, we're hoping you'll cut us some slack. At any rate, here is your Superior Person's word of the week!

Acorporal a. Without a body. In response to a remark by Samuel Rogers that in moments of extreme danger it was very desirable to have presence of mind, the Reverend Sydney Smith replied that he would rather have absence of body. This was said on the very same night that Smith, dining at Rogers’ home, was asked for his opinion on a new lighting system installed by Rogers in the dining room, in such a way that the light was directed at the ceiling, leaving the table below in subdued lighting. Smith replied that he did not like the new system at all, “for all is light above, and all below is darkness and gnashing of teeth.”

Desperate to become immortal, the acorporal Lord Voldemort is forced to use Professor Quirrell’s body while stealing the sorcerer’s stone in J. K. Rowling’s first novel.
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. Acorporal appears in the Third.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Brooklyn Book Festival Recap

Photo from 52 Projects
A few weeks ago, David R. Godine, Publisher, attended the Brooklyn Book Festival and had a great time. We arrived early with a car full of books, posters, tablecloths, and a few boxes of raisins for David. It was cold and blustery as we hunted for our booth, which we eventually found tucked behind the Festival stage. After unpacking and stacking piles of irresistible Godine books, we took the chance to explore the festival grounds before the festival started. Everyone was scrambling to finish setting up as the booths came to life with books of all shapes, sizes, and genres.

Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City and throughout the day thousands of book lovers flocked to the festival to mingle with publishers and authors and browse through piles of books looking to discover the next great read. Perhaps unsurprisingly, The Brooklyn Novels by Daniel Fuchs was a big hit.

Thank you to all of those that stopped by our booth to explore our Godine books with us! We had a wonderful time with old friends and new.

We hope to see more of you at the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 27, 2012!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nan Parson Rossiter Book Signings!

If you live in the Connecticut area and are a fan of beautiful picture books, you're in luck. Nan Parson Rossiter, author of The Fo’c’sle: Henry Beston’s “Outermost House” and Sugar on Snow, has not one, but two book signings coming up this weekend!

On Friday, October 5, at 6:30 pm, she will be at the Merwinsville Hotel Restoration Fine Arts & Crafts Show in Gaylordsville, CT.     

Busy Friday? No problem - you can also catch her on Sunday, October 7, at 2 pm at the Bank Street Book Nook in New Milford, CT.

We hope to see you at one (or both) of these events!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Kinetosis n. A fancy name for travel sickness.

Even the mention of the song “Wheels on the Bus” causes Jimmy to have kinetosis. 
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. Kinetosis appears in the First.