Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Godine Gift Ideas

Merry Christmas,  Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from everyone at Godine!

Need any (very) last minute holiday gifts? We're here to help you narrow the field.

For the traditional New Englander:

A Farmer's Alphabet, by Mary Azarian

Mary Azarian knows how to depict New England down to a "T." She grew up on a farm, graduated from Smith College in Northampton, MA, and now lives in rural Vermont. This book is an artful collection of her woodblock prints that pairs each letter of the alphabet with a homey New England image. Printed in two colors on beautiful paper, these striking woodcuts – from Apple, Barn, and Cow to aX, Yawn, and Zinnia – give us a child's-eye view of rural farm life. Great for all who delight in the simple life.

And what's B for Better? These prints are also available as greeting cards! Because a real Yankee knows the value of multipurposing.

Sugar on Snow, by Nan Parson Rossiter
Break out your Bean boots, boys 'n' girls!

Remember your first trip to the sugarhouse? Surely that was when you first tried sugar on snow, a quintessentially New England winter treat of warm maple syrup poured over fresh powdery snow. You don't have to wake up at the crack of first light to share in this tradition -- just pick up Nan Parson Rossiter's cozy picture book. Flip through the pages of colorful illustrations and join this family as they collect the season's sap from the maple trees. No boiling involved, though you'll definitely want some maple syrup handy in case you get a craving.

You can purchase A Farmer's Alphabet here, and Sugar on Snow here

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

absquatulate, v., To leave in a hurry, suddenly, and/or in secret. Example: "No problem, Mr. Burbage; just make the check out in cash--I'm doing the accounts tonight and you can rely on me to absquatulate first thing in the morning."
Unfortunately, this term has not been proven to increase your squatting abilities nor can it flatten your abs.
If you are a committed absquatulator, however, our guess is that you are consequently an adept sprinter.

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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Vintage Photos of Le Clézio and Other Godine Authors

While doing some internet research and totally not at all procrastinating, we found this wonderful photo of 2008 Nobel laureate (and Godine author) J.M.G. Le Clézio in Paris in the 60s:

They don't make 'em like this anymore.

After some further digging, as fans of mid-20th century style, we couldn't help but notice that a bunch of our authors were pretty darn cool. Take a look at a few of these other pictures, after the jump.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday

xanthopsia, n. an ophthalmic condition in which everything appears yellow. Condition of a person wearing dark glasses purchased from the "sale" section at the local gas station. A certain unnamed British rock group, for example, may have been wearing said frames as they were writing a certain colorful tune.

"And it was all yellow..."

 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. Xanthopsia appears in the second.

Friday, December 6, 2013

This is TOO CUTE.

Over the holidays, we brave traffic and inclement weather to journey home to see our families. We turn on the game, stuff our faces with turkey and potatoes, and have a nap with the sounds of dessert being put out on the table.

Good old-fashioned family time is also the ideal time for an off-duty intern to promote..er, share the great books that are just too perfect for younger cousins!

Fiona, an enthusiastic reader of Extreme Opposites
Isn't she adorable? Max Dalton's Extreme Opposites is for more than just the kids' table -- these clever juxtapositions are sure to get a chuckle out of the sleepiest grandpas or lipstick smacking aunts.

It's a gift that's just TOO GOOD to be passed up!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Peter Korn on the fulfilling nature of the creative process

Watch Peter Korn discuss his journey to discovering the personal rewards of creativity and craftsmanship in this artistic video clip done by Portland Press Herald:

(Did you catch those sneak peaks of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship?  We could almost smell the sawdust and fresh paint!)

The Herald recently put up this video along with a review of Why We Make Things and Why It Matters, Korn's newest book, which "feels more like a memoir. Korn writes about his personal journey in pursuit of his craft and the satisfaction of being a successful creator, of making and shaping an object with one’s hands and mind."

In the article, Korn also discusses the challenging transition from woodcraft to wordcraft; he started writing the book 2005 and averaged a mere 30 words per day. The sense of fulfillment in creation, however, transcends medium -- he says it's all part of the "nature and reward of the creative process."

Read the Portland Press Herald's full article on Peter Korn here.

And if you've been inspired to try your hand at the craft of woodworking, visit  The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship's site here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Reviews Update!

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.

Verey's famous laburnum walk at Barnsley House in Gloucestershire, England

Nov 29 - We're twice as excited to hear that the popular gardening blog The Garden Interior included not one but two Godine titles in their annual Top Ten Garden Books for 2013!

First is Rosemary Verey: The Life and Lessons of a Legendary Gardener, by Barbara Paul Robinson. Here are some highlights:

A charming biography of one of the 20th Century’s great gardeners, and it is told in Robinson’s engagingly simple, straight-forward prose narrative. [Verey] was relentlessly self-promoting, brilliantly opinionated, tremendously well read, very high-spirited and an arrestingly charismatic speaker.  At a time when garden design seemed moribund, she revived it with a breath of fresh air. 
And second is Writing the Garden, by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers:

"This volume... has rightly won the prestigious American Horticultural Society Book Award.  It fluently but never frivolously discusses the garden writing of more than three dozen great writers, sampling their work and presenting it in a superbly enlightening context. On the whole this is a balanced and very well curated collection of some of the world’s finest garden writing. "

Read the full post with all top ten gardening books here.


"Preachers": Johnny Crabtree and Jim Ed Whitt, both coal miners, preach inside their small church in Sprigg, Mingo County, 1970.
In further news, photographer Builder Levy's newest collection, Appalachia USA, was recently reviewed in the Charleston Gazette:

Appalachia USA is filled with engaging photographs of children living in coal camp houses, many happy and some rather sad. Some play with friends, ride bicycles or feed their dolls. Others just stand inside their homes. 
Country music legend Kathy Mattea, a native West Virginian herself, said, "These pictures took my breath away the first time I saw them. There's a fierceness and a reverence juxtaposed in these images. They capture the spirit of a place, a time, a way of life."

Read the full article here. For more information on Builder Levy, visit his website.

And remember, both of these titles are available directly from www.godine.com!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

 jobation, n. A long, tedious scolding; a lengthy reprimand; a tirade. 

A proper jobation is usually accompanied by an accusatory pointing finger.

 When you find yourself on the receiving end of yet another insultingly patronizing suggestion from your neighbor about how you could improve the appearance of your yard, you say: "By Gosh, old boy, that's awfully nice of you! Next time you come around I really must remember to get my wife to give you one of her jobations.

 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. Jobation appears in the first.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Procellous, a. Stormy or tempestuous

It can also be used to describe someone's mood

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. Procellous appears in the first.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wanda Coleman

Sad news: Black Sparrow author Wanda Coleman, the "unofficial Poet Laureate of Los Angeles" passed away on Friday.  She was the author of more than twenty books, and was awarded the Lenore Marshall National Poetry Prize for Bathwater Wine.  She was also a finalist for the National Book Award with Mercurochrome.  Her other works include Jazz and Twelve O'Clock Tales, Native in a Strange Land, A War of Eyes and Other Stories, Mambo Hips and Make Believe, and The Riot Inside Me.

"Words seem inadequate in expressing the anger and outrage I feel at the persistent racism that permeates every aspect of black American life. Since words are what I am best at, I concern myself with this as an urban actuality as best I can." Coleman once told Contemporary Authors.  She was "most eloquent in poems, illuminating the ironies and despair in a poor black woman's daily struggle for dignity but also writing tenderly and with humor about identity, tangled love, California winters and her working-class parents," Elaine Woo wrote in the L.A. Times obituary. We've posted some excerpts from her poems below.

From Bathwater Wine:

Bubble Eyes Declares War

this is the side i am forever on

arms were taken up at Avalon & Manchester
on a school ground two score & five years ago
i am still fighting the absent horde
of fairer-skinned mockers
who would not play with me because i was too dark
who stole my revengeful reports to God
& passed them around
& my writings caused so much disruption &
hurt so many mean little feelins that the
white teacher man had to intercede
to quell the violence, to dab away the angry tear
remove the fists from my hard-pressed head
then when, skirts flying, they had returned
to 4-square and double dutch
he took me aside privately, stared at me
with those great wide gray eyes
then laughed, said i had quite a gift
to keep such papers at home or face
the principal & suspension & that some day,
if i had the convition & the courage
i'd give something great back to my people

And also from Bathwater Wine, a poem entitled "Letter to my Older Sister,"  for her sister who died in childbirth:

"in the morning i'm greeted by
talking leaves and ghost mushrooms
and the soft mist off the coast,
the scuttlings of ring-tailed
opossums stealing food from feline
odalisques too sated to stir, the
flittings of doves on the mate
and in my reverie i seek you out
to share my favorite lullaby
it is i who sits beside you
it is i who sings from the shallows
it is i scratching against this silence"


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Kakistocracy, n. Government by the worst citizens. For reason which can only be speculated upon, there is no word for government by the best citizens. Aristarchy means government by the best-qualified persons, but the latter are not necessarily the best -- indeed, aristarchy could quite conceivably be a kakistocracy.

Not to be confused with a "khaki"tocracy.

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. Kakistocracy appears in the first.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Books That Matter

By Addie Byrne

David R. Godine, Publisher, prides itself on publishing books that matter for people who care. So...what makes a book matter? And why should anyone care?

Having interned for a few months now at this publishing house, I’m beginning to get a real appreciation for why books matter. Books don’t just happen. In today’s world of blog posts, online status updates and tweets, it is oh-so-easy to lose an appreciation for the written word. After all, everyone can write! But not everyone can write books: there is a lot that goes into them. First comes the idea; some poor, suffering author has a thought in their head that they feel the world needs to know about. That’s the easy part. The hard part is being disciplined and persistent enough to turn one puny little thought into an entire book. Fighting through the self-doubt, the distractions, and the writer’s block, these long suffering authors come out on the other end with a manuscript, and you can be sure that they think it matters.

The next question is: does anyone else think it matters?  The author’s challenge now is to find someone who agrees with them; they must find someone who you’ve managed to reach, simply with letters on a page, who trusts your idea, and who thinks that more people need to read what you’ve written. This is surely one of the most difficult tasks for an author, but just as difficult for the publisher. Even a small publishing house, such as this one, picks so few of the manuscripts it receives. One must rely on a trained eye, good judgment, and at the end of the day, a solid intuition while choosing books. And that’s just the beginning. Then comes the extensive editing and publishing process. Endless emails are exchanged, meetings are held, and many water cooler discussions are had in an attempt to make a manuscript into a book. What does the book look like? What size should it be? What color cover, and what design? What kind of paper? What font? A whole team of people comes together to do work on the book. Together, with the author, they take these letters on pages and make them into something great, something beautiful…something that matters.

Now it’s ready for people who care. Why should anyone care about books? Because reading is fun! More than television, or movies, or video games, books engage a reader’s imagination, providing clues to create a whole world in the reader’s head. People should care because reading makes you smarter in so many ways. It expands your vocabulary. It teaches you about the world, be it real or imaginary. It introduces new lines of thought and challenges old ideas in your head. Reading, in almost everyway, expands upon your self. People should care because reading a book about the Holocaust can allow you to experience, if just for a moment, the fear and terror of the time. Reading a book about a young man’s coming of age in Africa lets you learn about a life completely different from your own. Reading of the death of a child can make you feel in ways you weren’t necessarily sure you could. People should care because books aren’t just books; they are experiences, they are feelings, they are moments of time trapped on a page, forever there to read. And that’s why we are people that care.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Hyperhedonia, n. A condition in which abnormally heightened pleasure is derived from participation in activities which are intrinsically tedious and uninteresting.

Of course, it helps if you're really good at said activities.

For a case study near you, see any golfer.

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.  Hyperhedonia appears in the Second.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Appalachia Now Available For Purchase!

David R. Godine, Publisher is proud to announce one of our most recent books: Appalachia by Builder Levy. 

Builder Levy is part of a grand humanist continuum that includes Lewis Hine, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, to name a few. Intertwining the traditions of fine art, social documentary, and street photography, Appalachia USA is an aesthetically and socially significant book that celebrates the human spirit; it is this spirit that shines through the coal dust in the faces of miners, in mothers struggling to protect their children, and in ravaged but resilient communities. Levy's photographs and accompanying captions capture the tension, the dignity, and the enduring humanity of this troubled corner of America. Includes 69 spot-varnished tritone photographs on large 9 9/16" by 12" pages.

For more information, or to purchase the book, check out our website here.

Why We Make Things and Why It Matters- Now Available For Purchase!

David R. Godine, Publisher is pleased to announce one of our most recent books, Why We Make Things and Why It Matters by Peter Korn.

In this moving account, Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer/maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Ander­son Ranch Arts Center, and finally founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected, non-profit institution.

This is not a "how-to" book in any sense. Korn wants to get at the why of craft in particular, and the satisfactions of creative work in general, to under­stand their essential nature. How does the making of objects shape our identities? How do the prod­ucts of creative work inform society? In short, what does the process of making things reveal to us about ourselves? Korn draws on four decades of hands-on experience to answer these questions eloquently, and often poignantly, in this personal, introspective, and revealing book.

Peter Korn is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, a non-profit school in Rockport, Maine. A furniture maker since 1974, he is also the author of several how-to books, including the bestselling Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship (Taunton Press, 2003). His furniture has been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums.

For more information, or to purchase the book, check out our website here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Aporia, n. Patently insincere professings, e.g., by a public speaker, of an inability to know how to begin, what to say, etc.

Would you know what to say to me?

This is a very high-class word indeed, and should be used only in conversation with Samuel Beckett or Patrick White. Anyone else will assume you are referring to an unpleasant form of skin disease.

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.  Aporia appears in the First.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Ullage, n. The amount by which a liquid falls short of filling its container -- whether because of evaporation, leakage, or any other reason. Commonly term amongst wine makers, but also used when discussing fuel levels in the field of rocket science.

"Well, old chap, since you were kind enough to bring along a bottle of truly excellent wine, I think I owe it to you to make sure you get all the ullage."

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. Ullage appears in the First.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody - New Reprint!

Alexander the Great

When it was first published in 1950, The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody spent four months on The New York Times best-seller list, and Edward R. Murrow devoted more than two-thirds of one of his nightly CBS programs to a reading from Cuppy's historical sketches, calling it "the history book of the year." The book eventually went through eighteen hardcover printings and ten foreign editions, proof of its impeccable accuracy and deadly, imperishable humor.

We won’t claim that the book offers everything you need to know about the historical figures it discusses, ranging from Attila the Hun to Queen Elizabeth to John Smith. No, what Cuppy does is offer up the BEST facts of their lives, if not the most relevant ones. You’ll learn that Cleopatra loved pranking Antony, or that Lady Godiva liked to run around naked as a young girl: you’ll learn just enough that you’ll want to learn more. It’s impossibly to make it through one of his stories without laughing out loud, but most importantly, they’ll leave you curious for the rest of the story. We’d advise this book for everyone, young and old, to inspire a little learning in one’s life.

*Be sure not to skip the footnotes! Cuppy’s sharpest wit is saved for these oft forgotten lines. He injects his own version of what he think is happening, blurring the line between hyperbolic humor and truth. It’s as though Cuppy himself is reading the story with you. The footnotes are his dry, interjected comments that will have you in tears of laughter. 

Read an Excerpt from the book below!


Alexander III of Macedonia was born in 356 B.C., on the sixth day of the month of Lous.1 He is known as Alexander the Great because he killed more people of more different kinds than any other man of his time.2 He did this in order to impress Greek culture upon them. Alexander was not strictly a Greek and he was not cultured, but that was his story, and who am I to deny it?3

Alexander's father was Philip II of Macedonia. Philip was a man of broad vision. He drank a good deal and had eight wives. He subdued the Greeks after they had knocked themselves out in the Peloponnesian War and appointed himself Captain General so that he could uphold the ideals of Hellas. The main ideal of Hellas was to get rid of Philip, but he didn't count that one. He was assassinated in 336 B.C. by a friend of his wife Olympias.4

Olympias, the mother of Alexander, was slightly abnormal. She was an Epirote. She kept so many sacred snakes in her bedroom that Philip was afraid to go home after his drinking bouts.5 She told Alexander that his real father was Zeus Ammon, or Amon, a Graeco-Egyptian god in the form of a snake. Alexander made much of this and would sit up all night boasting about it.6 He once executed thirteen Macedonians for saying that he was not the son of a serpent. . . .

1 That is what the Macedonians called the month of Hecatombaeon, Plutarch says, and he ought to know.
2 Professor F. A. Wright, in his Alexander the Great, goes so far as to call him "the greatest man that the human race has as yet produced."
3 He spoke what was known as Attic Greek.
4 After Philip's death, Olympias had one of his wives boiled alive. Shows what she thought of her.
5 Having real snakes at home does an alcoholic no good. It just complicates matters.
6 He got so that he believed it himself.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Quidnunc, n. A gossip; a stickybeak; one who is forever anxious to know about everything that is going on. Literally like "what now, what now?"

"Pssst! Did you hear what quidnunc means?"
Fun fact: the term was for a time more commonly taken to mean a politician, rather than a chatty Cathy. Seems like a modern quidnunc could be a Twitter-refresh addict, hm?

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. Quidnunc appears in the First.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Boston Book Festival Recap 10/19

by Katlyn Stokarski

There could not have been a more beautiful, perfect fall day for this year's Boston Book Festival. Clear skies and warm sunshine made exploring the many booths set up around Copley square all the more enjoyable. Free swag made this deal even sweeter: browsing with cider donut and free pumpkin latte in hand, I felt even more like finding a good book to curl up with.

And where better to find that book than at the David R. Godine booth? We were conveniently located near Boston Public Library and a delicious Roxy's Grilled Cheese cart (off topic, but I recommend their "Green Muenster").  Here's my sum-up of the day's events:

The Godine staff attending the event woke up bright and early to set up our table--simply trying to find a way to display the vast variety of our books on one little table was a 45-minute challenge in itself (especially difficult considering I didn't find those pick-me-up free lattes til after we set up!). It wasn't even 10am when the earliest browsers came knocking, getting an early bird scoop on what all the booths had to offer.

Colorful Black Sparrow titles ready to be unpacked.
Many perennial visitors to our booth expressed to us their happiness to see David R. Godine still operating independently and continuing to produce quality books. We were happy and proud to show them all of our new releases as well as suggest old favorites. Newcomers and browsers got free catalogs and signed up for our mailing list. Everyone was delighted to find that we had special one-day only Boston Book Fest promotion prices--20% off!!

Children's books were definitely Saturday's hot items. I listened as kids recognized the Catie Copley series, and parents explained about "the old days, before cell phones" as their kids flipped through Peter Ackerman & Max Dalton's The Lonely Phonebooth. Rush hour hit at midday and we soon found ourselves sold out of Susan Fillion's Pizza in Pienza.  Local celebrity and dog ambassador herself Catie Copley stopped by the booth, much to the delight of her awaiting fans. For the occasion she had on her signature red collar and an extra-shiny coat! She posed with us for a few pics:

Catie at the booth with a "paw-o-graphed" copy of her book.
Catie and caretaker Joe: aren't they a dapper looking pair?
And a great day was had by all. A huge thank-you to our supporters and everyone who visited us at the Boston Book Festival this year, and an even bigger thank-you to all those who bought a book! As an intern, it was great to see the personal impact this little company continues to make on the big world of publishing. See you there next year!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Upcoming Stig Dagerman Events

Stig Dagerman (1923–1954) is regarded as the most talented young writer of the Swedish post-war generation. By the 1940s, his fiction, plays, and journalism had catapulted him to the forefront of Swedish letters, with critics comparing him to William Faulkner, Franz Kafka, and Albert Camus. His suicide at the age of thirty-one was a national tragedy. These upcoming events celebrate the author’s life, with guest appearances ranging from his daughter, the translator, and many other figures influential in Swedish literature.

Don’t forget to purchase your copy of Sleet before you go! This selection, containing a number of new translations of Dagerman's stories never before published in English, is unified by the theme of the loss of innocence. Often narrated from a child's perspective, the stories give voice to childhood's tender state of receptiveness and joy tinged with longing and loneliness.
Acclaimed Swedish author Stig Dagerman (1923 - 1954)

22 October 2013: A Swedish Literary Icon: The Writings of Stig Dagerman
Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016
6:30-8:30pm; free; wine & cheese reception to follow

Novelist Siri Hustvedt, translator Steven Hartman, Professor of English at Mid-Sweden University, and PEN Translation Committee Chair Susan Bernofsky read and discuss Stig Dagerman's writings with moderator Ann Kjellberg, editor of Little Star.

The author's daughter, Lo Dagerman, will introduce a short documentary, Our Need for Consolation, based on Dagerman's classic essay and featuring actor Stellan Skarsgård. 

Co-presented by the Consulate General of Sweden in New York and PEN American Center, in association with the American Scandinavian Society of New York. 

More information at: https://www.facebook.com/events/512104298872407/

25 October 2013:  A celebration of the work of Swedish author Stig Dagerman
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany's downtown campus 
7:30 p.m.

The celebration will feature readings and a discussion with Lo Dagerman, his daughter with Swedish movie star Anita Björk, and Steven Hartman, UAlbany Ph.D. graduate and translator of Dagerman's work into English. Short films based on Dagerman's stories, directed by the author's grandson, Dan Levy Dagerman, will also be screened. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.

Translator Steven Hartman, UAlbany Ph.D. graduate and former graduate assistant at the Writers Institute, has worked frequently with Lo Dagerman, and has translated and published a number of his stories in American literary magazines since the early 1990s. These translations have been collected in the new volume, Sleet (2013). Hartman, who lives and works in Sweden, is a founding member and chair of the Nordic Network for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies (NIES) at the Royal Institute of Technology, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, in Stockholm, and professor of English at Linnaeus University in Kalmar.

The celebration will also feature two films by Dagerman's grandson, American filmmaker Dan Levy Dagerman, who has adapted two stories in translation by Steven Hartman: Our Need for Consolation (19 min., 2012), and The Games of Night (20 min., 2008). 

More information can be found here

30 October 2013: Word Power: The Writings of Swedish Literary Icon Stig Dagerman
House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington D.C. 20007
6:30pm; free

Award-winning novelist Alice McDermott, best-selling non-fiction writer Mark Kurlansky, and translator Steven Hartman, Professor of English Literature at Mid-Sweden University, read and discuss Stig Dagerman's writings with moderator Inger Arenander, of Swedish Public Radio.

The author's daughter, Lo Dagerman, will introduce a short documentary, Our Need for Consolation, based on Dagerman's classic essay and featuring actor Stellan Skarsgård.

Hosted by the Embassy of Sweden in cooperation with The Writer's Center.

More information at: http://www.culturecapital.com/event.php?id=26881

More information on Sleet can be found on our website and on our blog

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Latescent a. Becoming obscure or hidden away, as old-world courtesy in a teenager.

She can't be bothered
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. Latescent appears in the Third.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Kinephantom, n. A technical name for a phenomenon that we have all seen and have all been puzzled by.

There are four perfect circles in this picture

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. Kinephantom appears in the Third.

We Art Boston Event Update

When: Sunday, October 20th
Where: Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston
Need more details? Check out the We Art Boston site

Back in August we shared that Godine author Joe McKendry (author of Beneath the Streets of Boston) was inspired to create a fundraising event in an effort to give back to give back to the community after the Boston Marathon bombings in April. My how time flies--this October 20th event is right around the corner!

Called We Art Boston, McKendry's event features original artwork and books personally donated from over 40 authors and illustrators nationwide to be auctioned, with all proceeds going to benefit the Boston Children's Hospital.

In addition to picture-perfect art, be sure to check out the family fun events as well. Activities include watercoloring, bookmaking, book signings & musical performances. There's even stuffed animal portraits! Bring your favorite stuffed animal to have his or her likeness drawn by a professional artist.

This image from Jared Williams' Catie Copley will be for sale at the We Art Boston auction

Godine illustrators Barbara McClintock (Animal Fables from Aesop), Glenna Lang (The Children's Hour), and Jared Williams (Catie Copley) have all generously donated original art for the online auction, which begins October 10th.

So come one, come all! Support Boston Children's Hospital by coming out and visiting  these talented artists and supporting your community while you have fun with your family. Surely a good time will be had by all.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Juvenescent, a. Becoming youthful or young

The Fountain of Youth is the only true way to have a juvenescent experience

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. Juvenescent appears in the Second.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Brooklyn Book Festival

by Addie Byrne

David and I spent Sunday down in New York at the Brooklyn Book Fair, selling books, giving away donuts, and taking in the bibliophile atmosphere. The fair is simply a glorious event for anyone who has a decent library (or aspires to one). With over 150 booths, you could find authors, poets, publishers, bookstores, magazines, and a whole lot of free candy. David had no problem bringing in huge crowds to his booth. I can’t say this with 100% certainty, but we may well have had the most popular booth at the event. It turns out after 40+ years in the book business, you build up quite a following. Or maybe it was the free donuts we were giving out. Either way, I had a blast talking books with so many enthusiasts, who could pretty easily be divided into three categories.

The Godine regulars were the most delightful customers. They’d walk right up to me and introduce themselves, tell me how much they loved ALL of the books, and then proceed to buy a few. Since we had two stands, one on either side of the flow of traffic, I’d often get someone who’d just bought a few books from David, yet somehow could not resist getting a few more from me as well. “Oh I just LOVE his books,” they’d say as they picked up some more, “maybe just another two or three should do it.”

The families with small children were some of my most entertaining customers. I spotted more than a few children darting through the crowd as their parents attempted to shop and not lose a child at the same time. Having spotted a book that was colorful enough to look interesting, the children would suddenly make a beeline towards the table, pick up the book, and start flipping through it. Once the parent located and caught up to their kid, the following transaction was swift, and proceeded as follows:

“Do you like this book sweetie?”
“No,” the child replies as it drops the book, already concentrating on the free stickers in the next booth over, the slightly haggard parent following swiftly behind.

Or this: “Do you like the book sweetie?”
“Okay,” turning to me, “How much?”
Apparently parents will finance their child’s love of books at any cost. Haggling was off the table!

Rebecca and Oshin

Most people did not fall into either of those enthusiastic categories. They would sidle in, spend some time scanning the books, running their fingers over them, showing interest but not giving themselves away completely. They were drawn in by the site of so many fresh books, sprawled all over the table, waiting to be devoured by hungry eyes. Some moved quickly, but most lingered for awhile, testing the first sentence, reading the jacket again, turning the book over in their hands to just get a sense of how it feels. These were my favorite people. These people appreciate books, thus they REALLY appreciate Godine. They just don’t know it yet. David so effortlessly targeted their tastes and picked the perfect book off the table for them, charged half the price and then threw another book in for free. No wonder his stand was so popular…and at the end of the day, there are a few more Godine enthusiasts out in the world. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pizza in Baltimore

 by Susan Fillion

Urban independent bookstores are rapidly disappearing, which makes The Children’s Bookstore in Baltimore all the more wonderful. It sits on a quiet street, across from the post office, a florist on one side and a gift shop (another relic) on the other. Children walk down the hill from school and flop on the floor to read in the afternoon. The shop is sunny, colorful, stuffed with books floor to ceiling and the small staff knows each title inside out. Joann Fruchtman (pictured here with the pizza Margherita that was served at the event) started the business decades ago, and has known David Godine forever. It was Jo who introduced me to David and I remain enormously grateful.

Last week, I gave my first talk on my new book, Pizza in Pienza, there. Speaking to an audience that includes very young children is new to me and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But nobody cried, fell asleep, or walked out – (of course, there was the lure of real pizza afterwards!) – so I guess it went well enough. I read a few pages in English and Italian, spoke a bit about the history of pizza, and offered a brief Italian lesson. Since everyone knows a few Italian words – (pizza, macaroni, cello, gelato, Leonardo da Vinci) – and there are many Italian words that sound quite similar to their English counterparts – (generazioni, principale, tradizionale, famiglia, antico) -- it was easy and amusing to engage everyone there.

At the end of my talk, a tiny little girl with the name of an Italian town walked up to inspect one of the framed illustrations I had brought. She tapped on the glass a few times and then looked up at me with a quizzical expression. It took me a few seconds to realize that she thought it was a tablet screen! Mamma mia! Another reason to salute independent bookstores everywhere.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Kerchief of pleasance, phr. An embroidered cloth worn by a mediaeval knight in his helmet, or round his arm, in honour of his lady (also sometimes called a favour).

The lady offers her knight a kerchief of pleasance before he gallops off into battle.

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. Kerchief of pleasance appears in the Third.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Read a banned book!

by Katlyn Stokarski

It’s Banned Books Week, folks! Well, maybe not quite as “banned” as you might think.

The books are actually the “most challenged” titles based on input from libraries and schools all around the country. Every year, they are at the forefront of fielding complaints from patrons and parents who lobby to remove certain books from the shelves, often in an effort to keep “unsuitable material” away from children. The Office for Intellectual Freedom then “compile[s] lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools.”

So there you have it. The books that make the lists are not so much banned from being sold in your neighborhood bookstore, but their existence and accessibility in the public domain (the local library) is threatened.

I can understand how parents feel the need to protect their children from books containing material that contradicts their values; let them be free to censor their children. What I do not understand is how these parents could assume that it is within their right to deprive everyone of access. Each person has the right to form his or her own opinion, but they first need to get their hands on a copy of the book to do it.

Banned Books Week provides a great opportunity to appreciate our First Amendment rights and examine relevant issues concerning censorship, as well as the everyday challenges our librarians face in protecting our right to read.

And in today's list-loving world, The American Library Association’s page highlighting on Banned Books Week showcases some great ones, such as Top 100 Challenged Books of the Decade, Challenged Classics, etc. Explore their site; you’ll definitely see a few “why haven’t I read that yet?” books, and you’ll be interested to see what books ignited controversy back in the day. Here’s their site: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek

I am no exception to loving lists. Here are a few of my own childhood favorites that made the cut in years past:
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George

And a few that I added to my reading list:
Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez

And what about you, readers? Were there any books that surprised you? Do you think controversial books should be removed from libraries?


Godine Quotables

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Alliaceous, a.  Smelling or tasting of garlic or onion

We're sure she meant to say "alliaceous breath".
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. Alliaceous appears in the First.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Author Events: Susan Fillion Visits Baltimore

Attention Baltimore residents! (especially those interested in pizza -- and c'mon, who doesn't love pizza?!)

  • Pizza Party! Join the Children's Bookstore at an event celebrating the release of Susan Fillion's newest book Pizza in Pienza, tomorrow Sept. 17 at 4pm. Free and open to all, Susan will be reading and signing copies of the book (and most likely eating some pizza with fans). Come join!

  • And later this month, on Sunday, Sept. 29, Susan will be visiting The Baltimore Book Festival 2013  to speak on a panel with fellow children's book authors to discuss the differences in how picture books are created -- from the kernel of the idea, to working with an illustrator, to the final draft. Check out the "Creating Picture Books: A Variety of Perspectives" event here.

These events sound like good fun for book and pizza lovers alike. And if you can't make it to Baltimore, be sure to read more about Pizza in Pienza (and upcoming news of what all our authors are up to) at www.godine.com.

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Ebooks!

David R. Godine, Publisher is pleased to announce the release of four new ebook titles. Ranging from simple to eye-opening, hilarious to heartbreaking, readers will only benefit from the added convenience and accessibility of the ebook versions of these titles. Listed below are short descriptions of each of the books. We hope you enjoy them!

An Artist in Venice by Adam Van Doren

"Architect and artist Adam Van Doren offers a love letter to Venice in this elegant volume, and he sings his praise to the city through majestic prose and 23 beautiful watercolor paintings of Venice." -Publishers Weekly 

This book offers a beautifully illustrated visual guide to the city: it's a walking guide to the Venice from the seat of your couch. In addition to the drawings, the author laces his tour with information, opinion, and citation, creating a reading experience that is both rich and convincing.  Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Sleet by Stig Dagerman

"Dagerman wrote with beautiful objectivity. Instead of emotive phrases, he uses a choice of facts, like bricks, to construct an emotion."
—Graham Greene

This selection of short stories, edited and translated by Steven Hartman, offers new translations of Dagerman’s stories, including some that have never before appeared in English. Many of the stories are narrated from a child’s fragile perspective and give voice to a tender state of high receptiveness and joy fraught by longing, loneliness, and an urgent desire to make sense of a difficult world. The title story, “Att döda ett barn” (“To Kill A Child”), is the most famous of Dagerman’s short stories and one of the most anthologized and oft-read stories in Sweden.  Click here to purchase this title on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.

The African by J. M. G. Le Clézio

"Le Clezio, recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, recalls the emotive and evocative African experience of his youth." - Library Journal

"A vivid depiction of a splintered childhood and the lovely wholeness procured from it." - Kirkus

J. M. G. Le Clézio's autobiographical memoir The African traces the author's childhood, from when he left a war torn Europe in 1948 to the first years of his new life in Nigeria. In Le Clézio's characteristically intimate, poetic voice, the narrative relates both the dazzled enthusiasm the child feels at discovering newfound freedom in the African savannah and his torment at discovering the rigid authoritarian nature of his father.  Click here for links to purchase the ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy

So you think you know most of what there is to know about people like Nero and Cleopatra, Alexander the Great and Attila the Hun, Lady Godiva and Miles Standish? How wrong you are, for in these pages you'll find Will Cuppy footloose in the footnotes of history. He transforms these luminaries into human beings, not as we knew them from history books, but as we would have known them Cuppy-wise: foolish, fallible, and very much our common ancestors.

  Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.