The Mookse and the Gripes discussion

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message 1: by Trevor (last edited Mar 22, 2018 08:20AM) (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1843 comments Mod
This folder is dedicated to our favorite presses. Feel free to put any one here you like, but please name the thread by the publisher.

In the thread itself, please talk about the publisher, what is its ethos, what is its history, what are great titles, what is coming soon, what is the new catalog, etc.

You can also just start one to plant a seed, as I just did for NYRB Classics.

Please comment here if you have suggestions for this folder.


message 2: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments Did anyone buy a book for Indie Book Day yesterday? I bought Swallowing Mercury from Transit Books.


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8236 comments Yes - the new novel by one of the two founders of perhaps my favourite of all indy publishers for their share out-there love of life and literature, Girl at End by Richard Brammer of Doestevsky Wannabe.


message 4: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments Paul wrote: "Yes - the new novel by one of the two founders of perhaps my favourite of all indy publishers for their share out-there love of life and literature, Girl at End by Richard Brammer o..."

That looks like a wild ride! I wanted to order Man with a seagull on his head, but I saw that it will be published by a small Canadian Press this summer so I’m waiting to see if that saves me on postage and Swallowing Mercury had been on my radar for awhile.

You haven’t made a thread for Dostoevsky Wannabe yet.


message 5: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments Can one of the Brits clear up my question about The Book Depositary? Is it only a 3rd party seller? My sense is that it is like abes and the writer and publisher get nothing from books bought from Book Depository, which I know is yet another Amazon landed business.


message 6: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1843 comments Mod
I’m not a Brit, but I’ve used The Book Depository for years. I am curious why you think it’s just third-party. I’ve never gotten that impression. Abe Books is primarily used books or as an online storefront for booksellers, but The Book Depository sells new books and often works directly with publishers and distributors for supply.


message 7: by Doug (new)

Doug I'll ditto Trevor's encomium and add that Book Depo has outstanding customer service, free shipping with no minimums, speedy delivery with tracking, and their prices are often quite a bit cheaper than Amazon US. It's my preferred outlet for all the books I buy.


message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8236 comments Ultimately for most small independent publishers buying direct is much much better.

But Book Depository seems at least as good for publishers as the main Amazon website and seems to subsidise international postage which makes it often better in US, but usually not in UK where I seldom use it.

Their delivery in UK is poor vs Amazon. Books seem to take ages, almost as if they deliberately wait so as not to compete with their parent, and sometimes go astray whereas Amazon is same day and tracked.

Wordery to me is the best Amazon alternative and not owned by them either. But then even Wordery is owned by a wholesaler so it still uses its purcbasing power to slash publisher margins.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1961 comments I'm a big fan of Book Depository for basically all the reasons Doug mentioned. For me, a book takes a week to arrive so I am ok with that. When I use Amazon.Uk my books seem to take three weeks to arrive plus postage is so ridiculous that sometimes it costs as much as the book


message 10: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
I tend to avoid Amazon largely because they do their own deliveries - I actually prefer the post office system which allows me to go and collect a parcel if I am out when it is delivered, at a time that is more convenient to me. I prefer to use the Waterstones store delivery option, but that is not entirely foolproof either - I have had problems there recently with parcels arriving there without the name visible! And every time I get a book by mail order, it reduces the number I can buy to support my local independent shop.


message 11: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments Thank you! I have no guilt about using abes for books by dead or very wealthy writers, but I wanted to make sure that writers and publishers were paid if I bought books from the Book Depository.
Trevor, the prices are competitive so I thought maybe they were selling used books, but I don’t use them that often so wasn’t sure. When I have used them I found that the books arrived in about two weeks and they often came with a whimsical book mark.
So I can rest assured that if I buy a Benjamin Myers book from Book Depository Ben and his publisher got their cut, good to know.


message 12: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments I used the Book Depository quite a lot before it was amazon owned and it has changed very little. It always offered free world-wide postage and was competing with amazon, which is, I'm sure, why amazon bought them.


message 13: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments I just ordered Heathcliff Adrift by Benjamin Myers Heathcliff Adrift from Book Depository and the shipping was free. I hope my savings didn’t come at the expense of profit to publisher and writer though. I’m afraid it might have.


message 14: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments It's time for me to select my 2020 subscriptions. Galley Beggar of course, and I think this year I'm adding Peirene Press, Open Letter, Fitzcarraldo, Charco, and renewing Two Lines. nyrb publishes so many books I'm not renewing because I'd rather choose which books I want from them. I'd like Archipelago, but it's the most expensive at $170. I won't start all this month, but over the next two months I'll start subscriptions. I wish there were more US presses that I like, but the UK seems to have the best right now.


message 15: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2632 comments Did you look at Deep Vellum?


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8236 comments I am downsizing this year - my subscription books hit over 50 which, allowing for prizes I follow as well, meant too many forced choices.

I will subscribe to Fitzcarraldo, Peirene and Charco Press as well as the Republic of Consciouness monthly book club. I also essentially subscribe to Les Fugivites as I order all their books in advance at start of year.

I have reluctantly then dropped Two Lines (too much of cost was postage to UK), Tilted Axis (subscriber customer service wasn’t great although to be fair has improved), Asymptote Book Club (one monthly club is enough) and Galley Beggar (post Booker behaviour)

I will though try to buy direct and selectively from all of those and several other indies eg Salt, Istros (had a rather nice invite through today to their Christmas party as the first person to buy a copy of two of their books this year), Andotherstories etc.


message 17: by Stacia (new)

Stacia | 53 comments Just talked my tiny book club into reading the year of publishing women from And Other Stories. I just ordered our sets from them (their 2018 catalog). Kind-of a subscription, I suppose?

And, I'm getting Valancourt Books' Paperbacks from Hell series of five books. Valancourt is a small, indie publisher (US) that "specializ[es] in the rediscovery of rare, neglected, and out-of-print fiction" (gothic/horror/supernatural; gay interest; neglected authors & works). I wish they had a regular subscription service but I think their only "subscriptions" are special series sets they sometimes put out.

I would like to directly support more indie/small presses in the upcoming decade. Definitely following all the ideas here. I, too, love Archipelago but they are pricey so I can't subscribe to them right now. However, I will most definitely be ordering José Eduardo Agualusa's The Society of Reluctant Dreamers when it is available to order.


message 18: by MisterHobgoblin (new)

MisterHobgoblin Just in case anyone outwith the UK is interested in Peirene Press subscriptions - the prices are prohibitive, especially when postage is factored in. The Book Depository offers all three of next year's titles for pre-order at a greatly reduced price. If I could be annoyed to use a proxy server, I could probably get them even cheaper by logging onto the UK Book Depository site.


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1961 comments My subscriptions are with Dead Ink, Influx and Galley Beggars - so far no complaints on my part. I also have a music subscription with Rough Trade.


message 20: by Louise (new)

Louise | 107 comments This year I am renewing Peirene Press and Charco Press. LOVE them both. I am dropping Tilted Axis (I read three and was not overly impressed), and Fitzcarraldo (very cheap quality books and I haven't read a single one). I am also sadly dropping NYRB because I still haven't gotten my 2019 books that are sitting at a friend's house in the US. Seems pointless to subscribe if I only get my books once a year when I see my friend and it is to exorbitant to get a Canadian subscription.

I still have the latest 3 Charcos to read and am about 1/3 through the Peirene (I started with their very first publication and working my way through all of them). Can't recommend these two presses enough.


message 21: by Jen (new)

Jen | 110 comments MisterHobgoblin wrote: "Just in case anyone outwith the UK is interested in Peirene Press subscriptions - the prices are prohibitive, especially when postage is factored in. The Book Depository offers all three of next ye..."

Thank you


message 22: by Tommi (new)

Tommi | 486 comments I’m going with Fitzcarraldo only – no surprise there – and the current subscription should cover some 2021 titles too. I think I promise myself to read less every year but so far the number has only gone up each year, but I’m hoping to spend some more time reading criticism, which ties in nicely with the recently renewed London Review of Books subscription. However, I will undoubtedly read several fresh Charco and Tilted Axis titles as well as an occasional Galley, Les Fugitives etc. Then it will get out of hand and I end up reading a new record number.


message 23: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments Peirene publishes exactly what I am most interested in right now: contemporary European literature.

I forgot about Deep Vellum! It looks promising. I also forgot about Dead Ink, Influx, and And Other Stories. Oh! And Dorothy!


message 24: by Ella (last edited Dec 14, 2019 11:23AM) (new)

Ella (ellamc) | 1019 comments Mod
I seem to have what feels like an endless subscription to Tilted Axis, but whenever it ends, I'm not renewing. I am going to continue with Transit & Charco. I'm very torn & haven't made a decision about Galley Beggar or Fitz Eds. (Problem: both US subs will overlap with Fitz Eds sometimes.) With Galley Beggar pushing their books, I ended up pretty much, I think, getting only Ducks & Patience, both wonderful reads, but it's a lot of money from the US for two books that I can order (without the black cover) without a subscription.

Bottom line, I have cut off almost all subscriptions.

Another thing that may mess me up a little bit is the new ebook policy from Macmillan. In response to that, my library (and I think MOST US libraries) has this announcement on every page of their website & hanging in very public places:
"Macmillan Publishers has recently introduced a "1-copy only" embargo of all their new eBook titles for the first 60 days of publication. Because of this change, we will not be purchasing any Macmillan titles until 60 days after publication."


Most of these books are academic titles, so they don't overlap w/ Goodreads, but it will make my expenses higher if I need a book and have no way to tell whether the library will order a copy until 2 months after publication, so I've got to keep up w/ professional reading obligations, and that's gonna cost me some dinero this year.


message 25: by WndyJW (last edited May 03, 2020 05:59AM) (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments Did anyone else get Northern Alchemy from a subscription? The publisher is Patrician Press and I don’t know if this an Asymptote book or a RofC book?


message 26: by David (new)

David | 47 comments It's a RofC book!


message 27: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8236 comments Yes I mentioned that before - the Shetland poetry.

Next too are:
I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For - excellent looking collection of short stories, but so good that I had already bought it so will now have two

Mr Beethoven by Paul Griffiths which looks intriguing

https://www.republicofconsciousness.c...


message 28: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments I knew you were getting the book, Paul, but I couldn’t remember from which subscription. This was going to be our serious attempt at developing a love of poetry.

Both of those sound very good. I have a lot of books to catch up on when I finish The Mirror and the Light.


message 29: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 179 comments Has anyone seen this yet? IT's a group of small presses doing an online book club during this hard time!

https://mailchi.mp/f2241f488763/onlin...


message 30: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments So many people and small businesses are going above and beyond to help during this crisis.


message 31: by Louise (new)

Louise | 107 comments Karen Michele wrote: "Has anyone seen this yet? IT's a group of small presses doing an online book club during this hard time!

https://mailchi.mp/f2241f488763/onlin......"


Yes, I think this is a great idea. Starts tomorrow. Is anyone else joining in! I have the first book read, and all the others on my ereader ready to go.


message 32: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 242 comments I'm enjoying the virtual book club a lot. Today's book club chat is about Fate by Jorge Consiglio, a Charco book.


message 33: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 179 comments I am, too! I messed up on the time change week 2, but I listened to the session yesterday and really enjoyed the book and the conversation. I have also purchased the books through the presses (plus extras from Charco during their sale) to support them as they support us. I am almost finished with Fate and I look forward to today's club meeting. See you there!


message 34: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 242 comments Karen Michele wrote: "See you there!..."

ulp, I totally forgot to stop by the online Charco discussion, and I went for a walk at that time. I'm so glad I did, though, because it will be my last walk on the beach for a while. Today Santa Cruz County (where I live) announced that all beaches will be closed until further notice, subject to a $1000 fine. For Santa Cruz in winter? Honestly, I haven't seen people closer than 30 yards on the beaches. Dogs interact now and then, and that's it. It's cold and rainy out there. It seems like overkill, but also kind of patriotic, I guess. I wish I had more junk food if I'm going to be forced to stay indoors. The surfers will not be happy.


message 35: by Irene (new)

Irene | 73 comments Lark it is starting now, you didn't miss it yet.


message 36: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 242 comments Omg, missed it again, by thinking it was yesterday! 😢 it’s good they upload the videos. My sense is time is increasingly impaired by current events.


message 37: by Irene (new)

Irene | 73 comments completely understandable, we are only working 80% the next months due to the economic impact of the corona crisis and there are a few public holidays coming up, so my grasp on what day it is is going to disappear quickly


message 38: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 179 comments Sorry about the beaches closing. My husband and I feel extremely lucky to live in a home with a deck and outside areas. I enjoyed the meeting yesterday, though I feel like I might need to re read parts of the book. I find my mind drifts more during this time. We had some interesting discussions about fate vs chance in our small group. I am looking forward to the next session.


message 39: by Stephen (new)

Stephen | 127 comments I'm not sure really where to post this.

Is anyone aware of any Zoom virtual book chats that are available to join. ]

I have heard of a chat taking place tonight Translated Fiction Online Book Club Week Four. They will be discussing Restless by Kenneth Moe published by Nordisk Groups


message 40: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8236 comments Yes that one is I think the same as that posted below

A few here have joined (timing hasn't worked for me) so hopefully they can tell you how to sign up

Week 4 (April 16th): Nordisk Books present Restless by Kenneth Moe, translated from the Norwegian by Alison McCullough (session led by translator)

Week 5 (April 23rd): Comma Press present Thirteen Months of Sunrise by Rania Mamoun, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette (session led by translator)

Week 6 (April 30th): Istros Books present Singer in the Night by Olja Savičević, translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth


message 41: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8236 comments David Collard (@DavidCollard1) runs an invitation only one A Leap in the Dark that includes music and literature - e.g. discussing Simon Okotie's brilliant In the Absence of Absalon from Salt this Friday. DM him on twitter if interested.

I am sure there are more


message 42: by Louise (new)

Louise | 107 comments The Translated Friction Online Book Club is awesome. Here is the latest email I got:


I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and are all ready for this week's meeting! I personally had a very chilled one, and as a consequence I haven't yet edited the recording of last week's session, but will hopefully have it ready and uploaded in the next couple of days, alongside the Q&A with Jorge Consiglio. Sorry!

As usual, we will be starting at 8.05pm tomorrow. Having once again overrun last week, and as the general consensus seems to be that a longer session is needed, meetings will last 1 hour 15 minutes in the future (which is pretty much how long they've been already, but now it's official). I don't want to have to cut anyone short, especially when you all have such interesting things to say!

This week is the turn of the wonderful Nordisk Books to present Restless by Kenneth Moe, and we will be joined by Duncan Lewis, director of Nordisk, and translator Alison McCullough.

The questions we will be discussing in small groups this week are:
• How did you feel about the main character/narrator, what sort of emotions did he elicit? How did you feel about the object of his desires?
•How do you think the Roland Barthes quote at the beginning of the novel relates to the narrator?
•What did you think of the book's form? Does the fact it takes the form of a letter make it implicitly one-sided?
•Have you read any Norwegian (or Scandinavian) non-crime fiction before? Can you see anything you recognise if so?
•Did it resonate with any personal recollection of young, unrequited love? Do you find it realistic in terms of your own experience?

Please click here to register for tomorrow's Zoom meeting and receive the meeting link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYq...

After this week, the next two weeks will be:

Week 5 (April 23rd): Comma Press with Thirteen Months of Sunrise by Rania Mamoun, tr. Elisabeth Jaquette

Week 6 (April 30th): Istros Books with Singer in the Night by Olja Savičević, tr. Celia Hawkesworth

We're starting to think about how we can continue this past the initial six weeks, so if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

That's all for now! Please register using the link above and I'll see you all tomorrow!


message 43: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 179 comments I'm also thoroughly enjoying the translated fiction book club. I'm not very good at taking notes while reading, so I'm going to do better on that for next week.


message 44: by Karen Michele (last edited Apr 17, 2020 05:51AM) (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 179 comments Karen Michele wrote: "Has anyone seen this yet? IT's a group of small presses doing an online book club during this hard time!

https://mailchi.mp/f2241f488763/onlin......"


I'm just moving my original post with the link on how to join down so people can access it easily.


message 45: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments The small publishers have been great during this stressful time. Charco put together this book club with books from other indie presses, some of them have offered free or deeply discounted ebooks, Galley Beggar put up audio short stories and are doing a serialized audio version of Alex Pheby reading a chapter a week from his upcoming Mordew on their podcast. Bluemoose and a UK bookstore collaborated on a £3 ebook by Ben Myers.


message 46: by Stephen (new)

Stephen | 127 comments I joined in last night - thoroughly enjoyable. The bookclub is now named the Borderless Fiction Book Club. It is moving to one meeting every fortnight and the next book to be discussed on Thursday 14th is Snow Dog, Foot by Claudio Morandini , translated by J Ockenden and published by Peirine Press.


message 47: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments How much notice do you have for novels that will be read? I know e-books can be purchased immediately, but I’m not a fan of reading on my tablet.


message 48: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 179 comments My copy of Snow, Dog, Foot is on the way! I thought last night's meeting was especially informative.


message 49: by Stephen (new)

Stephen | 127 comments I enjoyed last nights meeting, the first I have participated in. I had been there the previous week but left halfway through. I like the idea of the breakout rooms where if you wish you can have a chat with a small number who may or may not have read the book. Its 2 weeks notice until the next meeting but the impression given last night was that they will try to plan ahead and produce some kind of program. This should ensure time to get the book. Hope that helps.


message 50: by Stephen (new)

Stephen | 127 comments I enjoyed last nights meeting, the first I have participated in. I had been there the previous week but left halfway through. I like the idea of the breakout rooms where if you wish you can have a chat with a small number who may or may not have read the book. Its 2 weeks notice until the next meeting but the impression given last night was that they will try to plan ahead and produce some kind of program. This should ensure time to get the book. Hope that helps.


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