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!