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

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