New York Times bestselling memoirist Meredith Hall’s debut novel Beneficence (Godine, 2020) has been named the inaugural selection of Maine Public’s All Books Considered Book Club for December/January.
The All Books Considered Book Club will meet via ZOOM on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. and be joined by a very special guest: Meredith Hall.
For more details and to sign up for the club, click HERE.
While Meredith Hall’s hometown newspaper, the Maine Sunday Telegram, recently called her novel Beneficence “a glorious book,” both the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post are also gushing. Here’s what the critics are saying:
“As organically as it traveled to heartbreak, Beneficence progresses to the place of wisdom that lies beyond it, where we learn that a home is part of the ‘vast world of innocence and harm,’ not an island beyond it.”
—Wall Street Journal
“These voices from the past speak so clearly to our time, at a moment when many of us wonder whether we’ll lose the things that we consider blessings….Beneficence is a quiet but steady book, one that echoes ancient and important rhythms.”
“Beneficence is a glorious book, its joy as quietly beautiful as the tragedy at its center echoes loudly through the lives of its characters. Hall acknowledges that each life is very small, on its own, but that the love we each bear for one another is immense, our capacity for it endless.” —Maine Sunday Telegram
In a recent review in The Wall Street Journal, Paul Dickson raves about Thomas W. Gilbert’s How Baseball Happened, writing that the book:
“Explores the conditions and factors that begat the game in the 19th century and turned it into the national pastime. The book explains how almost all conventional wisdom about baseball’s origins and formative years is wrong. A delightful look at a young nation creating a pastime that was love from the first crack of the bat.”
The California Independent Booksellers Alliance has announced the winners of this year’s Golden Poppy Awards—which honor “the most distinguished books written by writers and artist who make California their home”—and Wanda Coleman’s Wicked Enchantment has been named poetry book of the year!
The winners are chosen by California’s independent booksellers, which makes the award especially meaningful given what a truly independent spirit and bookstore lover Coleman was.
At a recent online book event for RJ Julia Booksellers in Connecticut, New York Times bestselling author Dani Shapiro and book critic/debut author Kerri Arsenault (Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains) were asked to recommend the best book they’ve read recently. Both authors leapt to recommend the same book: the newest novel from Godine, Meredith Hall’s Beneficence.
Shapiro gives the novel what she says is the highest praise she can give a book: she compare Hall’s immersive, deeply felt writing to that of Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner.
Farnsworth’s Classical English Style—our third title in the Farnsworth’s Classical English Series—has received a rave from The Millions. The long review includes many memorable lines, including:
“Farnsworth’s Classical English Styleis a worthy rejoinder to [Strunk & White’s] The Elements of Style. . . [it] provides some deeper and more useful axioms of writing. . . [the book] is a Molotov cocktail wrapped in paisley; a hand-grenade cushioned in madras.”
The Paris Review has just published a gorgeous new essay by longtime Godine author Wesley McNair—whose latest collection is Dwellers in the House of the Lord. The essay, “Donald Hall’s Amanuensis,” illuminates the close, decades-long bond between Hall (below) and his last literary assistant. It begins:
“When Donald Hall interviewed Kendel Currier for the part-time job of typing his correspondence in August of 1994, one of the first things he asked was, “Will you type curse words?” His earlier hire for the position, a woman active in a local church, backed out when she discovered curse words in a letter, and he wanted to make sure Currier wouldn’t quit, too.”
Barba’s powerful, earth-centric collection just received rave reviews in both the Los Angeles Review of Booksand Hyperallergic. McNair’s book-length narrative poem grappling with family and politics was recently excerpted in the widely distributed newspaper column American Life in Poetry, and translation rights were recently acquired by Italian publisher Fuorilinea.