Spotlight Series Tour Stops: Graywolf Press

>> Monday, July 12, 2010

Many thanks to everyone who has signed up for the Spotlight Series Tour for Graywolf Press. Please join us July 18 - 31 to check out these great books on tour and visit with our participants. Below are the list of all blog stops on the tour and the book that will be reviewed. 

Note to Participants: If you would like to change the book you are reviewing, please let us know and we will edit this page. Also, if you have not yet chosen your book, please let us know as soon as possible so we may update the schedule. Thank you!

July 18, 2010

July 19, 2010














Spotlight On : Graywolf Press

>> Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Graywolf Press was founded by Scott Walker in 1974. It took six months to print the first book from Graywolf Press, a book of poetry. Since then they've gone on to publish memoirs, short stories and novels. 36 years as a small publisher is an impressive accomplishment.

A small sampling of the authors they work with are Tess Gallagher, William Kittredge, and Jane Kenyon.

With a broad range of genres and an impressive catalogue, Graywolf Press on the Spotlight Series is sure to be a lot of fun!

Please check out the Graywolf Press book list for your next read.

The Spotlight Series Tour for Graywolf Press will run July 18-31, 2010.

To be part of the tour for Graywolf Press first check out the Welcome and FAQ pages on the blog. Then sign up with our Sign Up page. Pick up your book choice as soon as possible. Have fun!

Sign ups are now closed. Thank you.


Thank you!

>> Monday, May 24, 2010

Thank you
Thank you to everyone who participated in our NYRB tour last week!  We hope that the thirty-five reviews posted in that time frame helped you learn more about NYRB and the books they reissue.  And perhaps added some books to your wish lists or shopping carts.

We hope all of you who participated this time will be willing and able to participate in our next series that should be happening in July.  Please watch this space and, as always, we are open to suggestions for future publishers, so let us know if there is one you think deserves the spotlight!


Interview with Sara Kramer of NYRB Classics!

>> Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We're halfway through the Spotlight Series on NYRB Classics!  How many books have you added to your wish list?  Ones that are new to mine?  The Summer Book, The Dud Avocado and A Meaningful Life.

How do you choose which books get published through the NYRB Classics line?  Is the decision based on suggestions or some other criteria?
 There are probably as many criteria in our selection process as there are suggestions. Years ago, the series creator and editorial director, Edwin Frank described the Classics as being edited "rigorously by whim." He might wish he never uttered the phrase at this point, because I bring it up frequently, but there is some truth to that offhand remark. Which is not to say that we don't go through a sort of checklist in assessing a title. Among the most basic questions we ask ourselves are: what was/is the critical reception of the book when it first came out and since? is there an audience for the book (this could be an existing audience that knows and loves the book or one that's out there, just unfamiliar with the book as yet)? is there something that makes it stand out from the masses of out-of-print books? and finally, do we love it?

The question everyone wants to know the answer to- how do you pick your cover art?
Well, Edwin studied art history for many years, and keeps up with art scene. Our designer, Katy Homans specializes in museum art catalogs and her husband is a curator. She has thousands of art books in her library. We generally go over to her office with some ideas, a few pages ripped from magazines like Artforum and Art in America, and then the two of them brainstorm, pulling books from the shelves. In some cases, that process doesn't suit a book, so I or someone else will comb through fine arts image archives, or Magnum photos. I keep hoping I'll come across something perfect on image blogs like Bibliodyssey or A Journey Round My Skull. I recently found something we might use on Tumblr. After a while you start seeing potential cover art everywhere, like in that old Tootsie Roll ad.

How do you choose who writes the introductions/afterwords for the books?
Sometimes a writer will suggest a book to us (as Michael Chabon recently did with The Long Ships) or have written approvingly about it in the past. Sometimes you have a feeling that he or she knows a book already and would like to write about it, and sometimes (particularly with the most obscure titles) there's a little matchmaking going on (with Terry Castle and Victorine for instance).
 How do you determine if it's better for a book to have an afterword than an introduction?
 We generally default to introduction. But on ocassion, it becomes obvious that too much is given away in a piece for it to usefully serve as an introduction. People would prefer that nothing be given away in an introduction. But I myself usually save them for last anyway. There's no requirement to read an introduction first, after all.
If you publish a book by an author who has already passed away, is it more difficult to generate interest in that book?  If so, how do you go about publicizing?
 Well, we've published so few living authors that it's hard to make a comparison, to be honest! The real problem is that it's tough to get reviews of reprinted books period (though our publicist manages to get quite a few reviews despite this barrier). Book reviews (the few that are left) are oriented toward the new, as is the larger culture, really. On the other hand, publications like Bookforum and the Believer, and on-line journals like The Barnes and Noble review and Bookslut (there must be magazines that don't start with B's—but I can't think of any right now) are less hung up on the new and shiny. And then there are so many blogs that aren't beholden to anything but their own taste, and even some that focus on neglected books.
How do you use the online book community to help spread word about books?  Is there anything you wish to change in publisher/reader or publisher/blogger relationships?
 We don't have any big corporate plan regarding this, and we've been getting into the swing of things relatively slowly—first setting up a blog, then getting on Facebook and Twitter. If anything, I relish the opportunity to be in direct contact with all sorts of readers in ways we never could be before.  

Can you give us a glimpse of some upcoming NYRB Classics publications?  Anything that you're very excited about?
I'm pretty pleased about the inclusion of Brian Moore's first novel, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne in the series—it was a book we'd had our eye on for years and a true modern classic. It does the thing that novels do when they're really working, which is take you on an emotional journey—in this case along with a pretty unappealing character, who you nonetheless come to feel for. Moore said that the Judith Hearne, despite being entirely unlike him in almost every particular, was in some ways autobiographical, and that comes through.
I'm also looking forward to the publication of a book in our children's line called Mud Pies and Other Recipes—which is a "cookbook" of inedible dishes made up of items you find in the backyard. Erik Blegvad's drawings are charming and Marjorie Winslow's text is fully serious in its imaginary instructions. It's just the kind of thing I would have loved as a kid. In fact, I first heard about it on a Publishers Weekly blog, written by a children's bookseller.


Spotlight Series Tour Stops!: NYRB

>> Monday, May 10, 2010

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the Spotlight Series tour for New York Review Books Classics. Please join us May 16-22 to check out these great books on tour and visit the our participants. Below are the list of all blog stops on the tour and the book that will be reviewed.

Note to Participants:  If you would like to change the book you are reviewing, please let us know and we will edit this page!

May 16

We Be Reading - Great Granny Webster
My Friend Amy - Manservant and Maidservant
Things Mean a Lot - Nonsense Novels
paorta-kremvax conglomerate - The Goshawk
Musings of a Bookish Kitty - Hard Falling Rain

May 17

Just William's Luck - A Meaningful Life
Jenny's Books - The Dud Avocado
Milk and Honey - A Book of Mediterranean Food & Summer Cooking
Letters Journal - One-Straw Revolution
BookLust -  An African in Greenland

May 18

Cold, Colder, Coldest - The True Deceiver
blogocentrism - Stoner
page 247- The Summer Book
Commonly - Miserable Miracle
BookLust - Memoirs of an Anti-Semite

May 19

Fleur Fisher Reads - The Child
We Be Reading - The 13 Clocks
Kaleidoglide - All About H. Hatterr
Stiletto Storytime - Summer Will Show
The Evening Reader - The Siege of Krishnapur
Raging Bibliomania - Wish Her Safe at Home

May 20

A Good Stopping Point - The Summer Book
A Few of My Favourite Books - Hons and Rebels
book-a-rama - One Straw Revolution
The Researcher's Tale - The Go-Between
Scattered Chapter - Letters: Summer 1926

May 21 

Lizzy's Literary Life - The Snows of Yesteryear
A Collection of Small Things - Nightmare Alley
PeetSwea - Wish Her Safe at Home

May 22

Tell Me a Story - The Strangers in the House
Book Magic - Wish Her Safe at Home
Literarily Speaking - A Month in the Country
The Professor's Wife -The Lore and Language of School Children
Magnificent Octopus - Sunflower
Five Borough Book Review - The Old Man and Me
Our Towns - The Way of the World


Spotlight On: NYRB Classics!

>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New York Review Books Classics publishes unique and interesting classics from many eras and parts of the world. Some you may have heard of, others you'll discover for the first time! Often they are translated from other languages and include such greats as such as Euripides, Dante, Balzac, and Chekhov. NYRB Classics include not just fiction titles but also non-fiction such as memoirs, cookbooks, travel and literary criticism.

Just a sample of their authors: Daphne DuMaurier, Arthur Conan Doyle, Christina Stead, Mavis Gallant, Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky.

Considered the wide range of eras, genres and nationalities you are sure to find something to suit your tastes.

NYRB Classics have a blog: A Different Stripe and a lovely catalogue (PDF).

Spotlight Series will feature book reviews of NYRB Classics from participants during the week of May 16-22, 2010.

Sign-ups Are Now Closed!


Spotlight Series Tour Stops!: Unbridled Books

>> Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank you everyone who signed up to participate in the Spotlight Series!  Even if you didn't sign up, but want to add more fantastic books to your TBR pile, check out the following blogs, all of which will be stops on the Unbridled Books Spotlight Tour.  Below are the list of all blog stops on the tour and the book that will be reviewed.

Note to Participants:  If you would like to change the book you are reviewing, please let us know and we will edit this page!

March 14
Chris Book-a-Rama - Angel and Apostle

March 15
Bookalicious - Last Prince of the Mexican Empire
NovelWhore - The Good Doctor Guillotin

March 16
Fizzy Thoughts - In Hovering Flight
Beth Fish Reads - Taroko Gorge

March 17
Tutu's Two Cents - The Singer's Gun

March 18
A Striped Armchair - Cranioklepty:  Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius AND The Green Age of Asher Witherow

March 19
Literarily Speaking - The Annotated Nose

March 20
Booklust - Rain Village
Rundpinne - Last Night in Montreal

March 21
Literary Feline - 31 Hours
Wyvernfriend - The Pirate's Daughter

March 22
Only You - The Journal of Antonio Montoya
Tell Me a Story - The Pirate's Daughter
Flight into Fantasy - An Unfinished Score

March 23
Reading on a Rainy Day Last Night in Montreal
PeetSwea - 31 Hours

March 24
Linus's Blanket - Evolution of Shadows
Lit & Life - An Unfinished Score

March 25
A Good Stopping Point - Abbeville

March 26
she reads and reads - Conscience Point
Notes from the North - The Distance Between Us

March 27 
My Friend Amy - Hunger
Rundpinne - The Singer's Gun


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