Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Gold-Brick, To. v. To shirk hard work; to avoid one’s responsibilities. Thought to have originated in the army, as for example in the case of the inventively minded private who absents himself from parades for the day through the simple expedient of carrying a trash bin around camp and, if asked by an officer what he is doing, replies smartly: “Trash detail, sir!”

Dorothy was known to gold-brick in more ways than one.
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. Gold-brick appears in the Superior Person's Field Guide.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Rich History of the Printed Book

David R. Godine, Publisher began in a deserted barn in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1970. David Godine’s first books, printed on his own presses, were nearly all letterpress, limited editions printed on high-quality rag or handmade paper. Although the company has evolved since then (we even have e-books now!), our founding principles have not changed. At Godine, quality has remained foremost. Our aim is to identify the best work and to produce it in the best way possible. As we strive to design and produce beautiful books, we hope you are as inspired by the rich history of the printed book as we are at David R. Godine.

In that vein, we were excited to hear about "Crossing Borders" at The Jewish Museum in New York City, an exhibit with some of the world’s richest, and most important, collections of manuscripts and printed books related to medieval European Jewish culture. Most of the Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts are on display in the United States for the first time, including the exquisite Kennicott Bible. The 922-page Kennicott Bible was completed in 1476 and is the “most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible” to survive from medieval Spain. You can view highlights from the Bible here.

Kennicott Bible

The exhibition is based on Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures co-curated by Piet van Boxel and Sabine Arndt for the Bodleian Library, Oxford, United Kingdom. Despite language and cultural differences between Jews, Muslims, and Christians, these elegantly illustrated manuscripts imitate, reflect, and communicate with each other through their beautiful images and intricate designs. Don’t miss your chance to view these books from the impressive Bodleian Library at The Jewish Museum of New York!

Book of Hours
Jacob Ben Asher

If you are unable to visit the museum, many of the manuscripts are on display here.

The exhibition is running for one more week, until February 3, 2013. To learn more about the exhibition, please visit The Jewish Museum’s website.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Thermanesthesia n. Inability to feel heat and cold. The use of this term might justifiably be adapted to signify insensitivity to the one or the other. Each of us knows someone who may be found rejoicing, coatless, in the bracing early morning air of a late winter’s day; and each of us knows someone who may be found huddled over the radiator, shivering, on a balmy spring evening. Fate has decreed that the two invariably marry each other. The lexicographer’s contribution to their plight is that they may henceforth excuse their own condition, or commiserate with their helpmeet’s, by the use of the above term.

Long term side effects of thermanesthesia may include the inability to distinguish between sports.
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. Thermanesthesia appears in the First.

Friday, January 18, 2013

An Artist in Venice: Starred Review in PW!

We are very excited to share that one of our newest books, An Artist in Venice by Adam Van Doren, has received a starred review in Publishers Weekly! The review praises Van Doren's "majestic prose" and calls the book "a love letter to Venice":

Architect and artist Van Doren offers a love letter to Venice in this elegant and slender volume, and he sings his praise to the city through majestic prose and 23 beautiful watercolor paintings of Venice. He quickly discovers, after wandering into San Giacomo di Rialto, perhaps Venice’s oldest church, that the city has one "great transformative advantage: Mediterranean light," which offers a new way of seeing the city’s architecture, the history of art, and his own painting. Van Doren praises numerous artists from whom he draws lessons as he explores the city. James Whistler captures the "sweet serenity [of Venice] with perfect pitch." He admires deeply John Singer Sargent’s watercolors of Venice that exhibit his "supreme confidence with color." Van Doren takes John Ruskin as his model, confessing that Ruskin was an "artist of architecture" whose writings convinced him that he could become a painter. In all of his paintings, he has attempts to keep in mind the lesson of one of his teachers: "Keep it simple. Don’t try to make it more complicated than it already is." Clearly, he’s learned his lesson well. Illus. (Jan.)

We gave you a sneak peek of this beautiful book back in October, and it is now available at stores everywhere. You could also buy a copy on our website today!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Musophobia n. The morbid dread of mice. Supposedly a condition of the female human, though not of any female known to the present author.

The mighty elephant may in fact suffer from musophobia.
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. Musophobia appears in the Third.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

December 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.

The “orderly chaos” of Rosemary Verey was reviewed by The Bowed Bookshelf. Here is an excerpt from that review:
Verey’s gardens remind me a little of jazz musicians. A great and successful jazz musician (Branford Marsalis?) once said that great art is not completely improvised: it is creating something new within the constraints of an accepted form. I like the idea of constraints, because we all have them, and some do better than others when operating inside of them. And this is so for Verey. The gardens she created will always be lovely, but they won’t have her individual spark of genius without her.
Read the full article here.

For the aspiring “Anglophile American” gardener, Publishers Weekly's review of Rosemary Verey is one not to miss…
In this well-crafted, very personal biography, one of her apprentices, attorney and gardener Robinson, paints a loving but clear-eyed portrait of this great designer. Those who only know this doyenne of British gardening through the genteel, authoritative voice of her books will meet a more complicated character in these pages. Beneath her calm upper-class exterior was a very ambitious woman, motivated by financial pressures, troubled by family relationships, and pinched by vanity.
Continue reading the article here.

Barbara Paul Robinson was also featured on NPR's Here and Now. Here is a quick snippet from her interview with Robin Young:
Robinson says Verey could have been an anonymous country lady – with a handsome house, a nice family who was devoted to her church and hunted, too. But this gardening chapter came late in her life and it became her career.
Give your eyes a reprieve from reading and take a listen to the full interview here. Buy a copy of Rosemary Verey on our website today!

In honor of the Christmas season, Susan H. Gordon from Biographile reviewed Elizabeth David’s Christmas. Here is an excerpt:
David brandishes an idiosyncratic mix of formality and do-what-you-like on both sides of the kitchen door. After decades of preparing her recipes for eight books and articles in publications like Vogue magazine and The Sunday Times, she doesn’t hide how weary she’s become of cooking, but she shares her stories and recipes for even the richest dishes anyway, and with a warmly authoritative precision: Her recipe for a Christmas pudding is accompanied by an admission of not having made one in years -- and a perfect set of instructions for making one. Once seated, her description of each meal reverts to a candidly delighted description of each dish, regardless how plain or splendid.
Read the full article here. If you have any late holiday parties to prepare for (or if you'd like to be way ahead of the game for next Christmas), you can pick up a copy of Elizabeth David's Christmas on our website.

Finally, December also included some buzz for one of our upcoming titles, Linda Bamber’s Taking What I Like. Ben Fountain, lawyer-turned-author and nominee for the National Book Award, mentioned the book in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered when asked to share which books he’s looking forward to in 2013. Here is an excerpt:
In another, a man is serving time in prison for murder, and he plays Hamlet in a prison production of the play. And - I mean, I've never read anything quite like these stories. They have attitude, they shake things up. They're playful and inventive and funny, and Bamber gets the entire world into each one of her stories. They have the effect, the same effect as when you see a great production of a Shakespeare play. It makes the work come alive.
Continue reading the article, or listen to the interview, here, and watch out for Taking What I Like this spring!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Superior Person's Tuesday!

Poliosis n. Premature graying of the hair. A puzzling concept – after all, what graying of hair is not premature?

The stress of being in charge of an entire nation usually causes poliosis for the President of the United States.
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. Poliosis appears in the Second.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Meet the Newest (and Furriest) Member of Our Team...

...Mops! She sat in on a meeting with us yesterday, but is more of a silent partner, if you will.

Mops, hanging out with David.

Mops, perusing our most recent inventory report.