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.
Confessions of a Bookseller author Shaun Bythell recently went live on Facebook from The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. He gave a tour of the Georgian townhouse jammed with more than 100,000 books (Scotland’s largest used bookshop) and read a few excerpts for his new book, which Kirkus Reviews calls “Irascibly droll and sometimes elegiac, this is an engaging account of bookstore life from the vanishing front lines of the brick-and-mortar retail industry. Bighearted, sobering, and humane.”
Wesley McNair was recently interviewed for National Book Review about his tenth poetry collection, Dwellers in the House of the Lord, by Mike Pride, longtime editor of the Concord Monitor and former administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.
The National Book Review writes:
McNair and Mike Pride have known one another for 35 years and speak often about McNair’s work and poetry. For The National Book Review, they recently conversed about Dwellers in the House of the Lord, which Pride describes as a “powerful depiction of current times in America.”