Articles by Natalia
Last week was the Raincoast Fall 2012 sales conference. This is when all our publishers come to Vancouver to talk to the sales team about their brand new fall titles. For us publicists, it's a chance to hear about the hot upcoming books and see what will be in store for us this fall! There were so many fabulous books that it made my head spin, but I thought I would share a small selection of my favourites...
I was blown at conference by this new series of classics from Thunder Bay Press. The picture does not convey how beautiful this series is: they're gorgeous books with a soft, velvety leather cover, a celebration of the tactility of the page.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Canterbury Classics singles series
I like to think of myself as a scholarly being, a reader of highfalutin' literary fiction, an intellectual. But then someone throws a book about cat pee in front of me and I think it's hilarious. So much for the highbrow.
I Could Pee On This: And Other Poems By Cats
If you think doing your Christmas shopping on time is a challenge, try getting a book to press in time for the holidays. Publishing is an industry that has to roll way ahead of the game. But this picture book from Sourcebooks is so lovely and sweet it could be enjoyed any day of the year.
A Flower in the Snow
Tracey Corderoy and Sophie Allsopp
Whoever thought rocks would be interesting? This is a quirky one, but I'm intrigued by the promised chapter on inukshuks...
Cairns: Messengers in Stone
Sometimes it's the cover that pulls you in. I love these little quill duelists.
The Language Wars: A History of Proper English
And from Drawn & Quarterly, a very cool collection by New Yorker cartoonist Adrian Tomine.
New York Drawings
What upcoming book are you most excited to see this year?
It's always fun to see the interesting ways that Lonely Planet is expanding into the app marketplace. Their offline translation apps are some of the niftier apps I've ever heard of—real-time translation on the go in the foreign country? The future is here, people!
Lonely Planet is now launching a series of new country guide apps, available as stand-alones and within the Lonely Planet Travel Guides app. Speaking as someone who's lugged her heavy Lonely Planet Ireland halfway across the country and back, I couldn't be more excited about this expansion.
Check it out in the app store!
The street is where you'll find the heart of a cuisine and a culture—somewhere among the taco carts and noodle stalls, the scent of wood fires and the hubbub of fellow diners. It's the most democratic food in the world, gratifying and completely delicious!
Tuesday, March 6th: 6:30pm to 8:00pm
3608 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver
“Poser is a powerful, honest, ruefully funny memoir about one woman's openhearted reckoning with her demons . . . In the hands of a gifted writer, the universal is embedded within the personal. —The New York Times Book Review
“One part memoir, one part social critique, one part yoga history, Claire Dederer’s Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses asks what contemporary motherhood ought to look like … Poser is superb.” —The Globe and Mail
“This memoir about her decade doing downward dog while raising two kids and trying to keep her marriage alive reads like Eat, Pray, Love for hip but harried moms . . . funny, well-observed, and ultimately inspiring.” —People four stars
Check out Claire's latest interview on NPR!
One of the things I like about working in the publishing industry is the long lead times: in an age of 24-hour newscasts and instantaneous gratification, publishers are unique in producing reflective, sustained, intelligent coverage of hot button issues.
But the glacial pace of traditional publishing has its drawbacks—I remember working on a book once that took a decade to move from conception to printing—and of course this is particularly problematic in travel publishing.
Case in point: Lonely Planet's 16th edition of the New Zealand travel guide is due to be published in September, but because it was written before last February's earthquake, the current edition is of limited use on the ground.
So this week Lonely Planet is releasing a free download of the Christchurch chapter on its website. The chapter, researched by Brett Atkinson in December, is the first Christchurch guide to be released since the earthquake, and Lonely Planet is taking the unusual step of making it available eight months ahead of the guide's official release.
Kudos to Lonely Planet for being nimble enough to get the most up-to-date post-quake travel information out to travellers as quickly as possible!
Any Canadian travellers planning a trip to New Zealand can find out more about the book here.
Happy Chinese New Year! Festivities began for the new year yesterday: we are leaving the year of the rabbit and entering the year of the dragon, one of the mightiest and most auspicious symbols in the zodiac. I'm looking forward to Vancouver's Chinese New Year parade this Sunday — always a great event for families.
In honour of the new year, here are a few books featuring the finest, scaliest, most terrifying firebreathers around!
Dragonships of Vindras series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman:
Dragon Age series by David Gaider:
Of course, the Wheel of Time series. Tor is giving away 50 copies of The Eye of the World in celebration of the new year!
And let's take a moment to acknowledge the very first (Western) dragon of them all — a thousand years later still unmatchable for its bloodcurling ferocity:
Then the baleful fiend its fire belched out,
and bright homes burned. The blaze stood high
all landsfolk frighting. No living thing
would that loathly one leave as aloft it flew.
Wide was the dragon’s warring seen,
its fiendish fury far and near,
as the grim destroyer those Geatish people
hated and hounded. To hidden lair,
to its hoard it hastened at hint of dawn.
Folk of the land it had lapped in flame,
with bale and brand. —Beowulf XXXI
Remember to clean your house from top to bottom for good luck in the coming year.
Thomas Frank burst onto the political scene back in 2004 with the publication of What's the Matter with Kansas? which, it's fair to say, became one of the iconic political books of the last few years, much discussed and widely reviewed. With the US Republican primaries in full swing and a new book just out on the shelves, Tom is back in the spotlight.
The presidential primaries matter in Canada: with the Liberals floating a proposal for US-style primaries at this week's upcoming convention, following the American primaries is both entertaining and a topical refresher on the politicals of our southern neighbour.
"Thomas Frank is the thinking person’s Michael Moore." -New York Times
"You ought to read this book" -The Huffington Post
"[T]he fact that the right could be furious with anyone but itself is an astonishing story and one that Thomas Frank was born to cover." -The Guardian
Check out Tom's recent appearance on Democracy Now!
I got my hands on a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty earlier this year and I've been cooking my way through it ever since. Usually when I buy a cookbook, if even one recipe makes it into my personal collection I call it a success—but with Ottolenghi it's recipe after recipe after recipe that I make over and over again. We'll even be doing his pear crostinis as appetizers for Christmas dinner this year—and a recipe has to be pretty fabulous for my family to break with tradition on such a special occasion!
My favourite, though, has to be the saffron taggliatelle with spiced butter. This is to die for, my friends. I felt compelled to buy a pasta maker just to do justice to the pine nuts.
Green bean salad with mustard seeds and tarragon. The fun part is when he directs you to pop the mustard seeds like popcorn!
Sadly, I don't have a picture handy, but I can tell you that there is nothing more exquisite than caramelized fennel with goat's cheese. I had my doubts about fennel—it's a weird looking vegetable don't you think?—but this recipe is delicious.
What are you all cooking this week? Have you ever changed anything about Christmas dinner or is always the same?
I was pretty excited over the weekend to hear that Roland Emmerich's new movie Anonymous is out. I love me a good Elizabethan costume drama—the clothes, the language, the political intrigue! If you haven't heard of it, the film dramatizes the Oxfordian theory of authorship—the idea that Shakespeare's plays were written by Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford (who, as various people have pointed out, died several years before the publication of The Tempest).
The film has triggered a positively apoplectic response from the scholarly community; the New Yorker's David Denby calls it a story "so rotten that, as Shakespeare, or, rather, Oxford, might put it, the kites wheel and shriek rather than batten on so foul a carcass."
Personally, I find the authorship question rather silly—I prefer to read the plays for themselves rather than scan them Da Vinci Code-style for hidden clues to their composition. And why fabricate conspiracy theories when so much historically accurate skulduggery exists? If you like your Shakespeare spiced with criminal intrigue yet still backed up by rigorous scholarship, may I suggest:
Stealing the World's Most Famous Book
Click on the cover for more info!
There was lots of excitement in the office last Friday over some big news from Lonely Planet: in celebration of World Tourism Day, Lonely Planet is announcing a new partnership with the United Nations to provide information for first responders in humanitarian emergencies. Staff from UN agencies deployed in the event of a disaster will be able to use Lonely Planet’s information to help them familiarize themselves with the country before traveling.
"Lonely Planet's expert content makes it easier for humanitarian workers to hit the ground running in unfamiliar environments," said Gwi-Yeop Son, Director of Corporate Programmes at OCHA. "We value Lonely Planet's commitment to provide accurate and up-to-the-minute information for our teams on the ground."
“Lonely Planet’s mission is to provide trustworthy and informative content about a destination,” said John Boris, Executive Vice President of Lonely Planet Americas. “Our unique, in-depth information will empower the teams of humanitarian workers to learn quickly about the areas they are working in and the people they will be assisting.”
This is wonderful news, and a huge vote of confidence in the quality of Lonely Planet's information. Congrats to Lonely Planet!
You can read more about the partnership here.