Tag Archives: Prospect Park Books

Colleen Dunn Bates celebrates 10 years of Prospect Park Books

Looking for a small press that focuses on authors outside the mainstream? Look no further than Prospect Park Books, based in Pasadena, California. Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, Prospect Park Books’ founder, publisher, and editor Colleen Dunn Bates writes about her experience and doles out some sound wisdom for Literary Hub in a post published November 8th.

The long game aspect of the business frustrated Bates, but has given her a new understanding of publishing and patience, especially the accompanying learning curve: “It takes years to build a backlist, to find and build relationships with talented authors, designers, and staff, and to learn how to make budgets and forecast sales with at least a shred of realism.” However, the love of books and authors drives Prospect Park to keep publishing truly remarkable books.

“We never would have had our #1 bestseller, the debut novel Helen of Pasadena, if I hadn’t said, impetuously, passionately, and (at the time) foolishly, ‘What the hell, let’s go for it!'” Helen of Pasadena follows a wife and mother from (you guessed it) Pasadena whose life changes when her cheating husband gets killed by a parade float. Prospect Park has also fostered a relationship with author Michelle Brafman. author of Bertrand Court and Washing the DeadBertrand Court gives a close-up view of life in a suburban cul-de-sac, while Washing the Dead  deals with a woman confronting her family’s past after her mother’s death. Says the Washington City Paper about Bertrand Court: “Subtle and convincing… Brafman’s book works best in the way these characters interconnect from story to story, maintaining the reader’s interest as a novel should.”

Prospect Park publishes fiction as well as gift and cookbooks; Little Flower Baking  is a perfect example of one of their excellent cookbooks, a baking cookbook that won the Southern California Independent Bookseller Award for Best Nonfiction and has Leite’s Culinaria raving about the plum crumble pie, “a mutant combo in the best possible way.” This is a great gift for the holidays!lfbaking_cover_small

What final piece of advice does Bates give about the small press world? “Every book is our baby, every author is our family member, and there will never be enough hours or dollars to do everything possible to make it succeed. But we try anyway. Because we cannot imagine doing anything else.”

Indeed.

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With Book Love to Mom

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a mother in possession of one or more children must be a superhero. That’s how the Jane Austen quote goes, right? In the United States, we’re celebrating all mothers on Sunday, May 8th. From CEOs to stay-at-home types, from soccer moms to PTA-faithfuls, from teachers to carpenters to scientists and more, no two moms are alike. Finding a Mother’s Day gift that fits your mom(s) just right can feel like an impossible task.

That’s why we’ve made this special “Mom Edition” round-up of titles sure to pique the interest of even the most one-of-a-kind moms. They’ll be sure to thank you for your thoughtful gift, if they can stop reading long enough!

If your mother is the hippie gardener type…

soil sistersSoil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers (New Society Publishers) by Lisa Kivirist is a practical, hands-on guide for female farmers. Women in agriculture are sprouting up in record numbers, but they face a host of distinct challenges and opportunities. Blending career advice with sustainable agriculture practices viewed through a gender lens, Soil Sisters provides a wealth of invaluable information for fledging female farming entrepreneurs.

If your mother likes to use the word “patriarchy” in everyday conversation…

Men Explain Things to Me (Hamenexplainymarket Books) by Rebecca Solnit is a landmark essay collection based on the article that went viral, inspired the word “mansplaining,” and prompted fierce arguments. In Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit takes on the conversations between men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t. The ultimate problem, she shows in her comic, scathing essay, is female self-doubt and the silencing of women.

If your mother knows “home” is a complicated word…

miles between meMiles Between Me (Curbside Splendor) is Toni Nealie’s debut essay collection. New Zealand native Nealie examines journeys, homelands, family, and motherhood. She details humiliating confrontations with airport security, muses on the color brown, and intimately investigates her grandfather’s complicated and criminal past, all while hearkening home—wherever and whatever that is.

If your mother knows that “family” isn’t just biological…

the mothersThe Mothers (Text Publishing) by Rod Jones is a moving multi-generational story of motherhood, adoption, and the inescapable presence of the past in all our lives. The Mothers interweaves the lives of three generations of women who learn that it’s often the stories we can’t tell that shape us and make us who we are. Rod Jones’ writing has been praised by the New York Times as “utterly original.”

If your mother was an English major…

you should pityYou Should Pity Us Instead (Sarabande Books) by Amy Gustine is a collection of short stories that explore love in its many guises—family, romance, friendship. You Should Pity Us Instead explores some of our toughest dilemmas: the cost of Middle East strife at its most intimate level, the likelihood of God considered in day-to-day terms, the moral stakes of family obligations, and the inescapable fact of mortality. Gustine’s complex characters and thoughtful turn-of-phrase will make you want to read this book again and again.

If your mother knows her way around a kitchen torch…

Little Flower Baking (Prospect Park Books) by Christinlittle flower bakinge Moore, is a collection of recipes from one of California’s most acclaimed bakers, all adapted and carefully tested for the home cook. Extensively photographed and rich with Moore’s down-home warmth and wisdom, it inspires home cooks to make her rustically beautiful, always delicious cookies, cakes, pastries, savory baked goods, breads, rolls, bars, puddings, and so much more.

If your mother is a runway star no matter where she goes…

ysl coloringYves Saint Laurent Coloring Book (Arsenal Pulp Press) has been heralded by BuzzFeed as the “Chicest Stress-Reliever Ever”. This elegant, imaginative adult coloring book explores the dynamic, fanciful creations of iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. The book’s line drawings for coloring are based on many of the designer’s original sketches for dresses over the years, accompanied by full-color photos of original dresses for reference.

 

Find out where to purchase Soil Sisters, Men Explain Things to Me, Miles Between Me, The Mothers, You Should Pity Us Instead, Little Flower Baking, and Yves Saint Laurent Coloring Book here on the Consortium website!

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Book Trailer Banned From Facebook

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The book trailer for After Abel and Other Stories was banned from Facebook for pornographic content, which we think is a little ridiculous since the video contains classical paintings of biblical characters as well as an endorsement from a rabbi.Yahoo! News, LAObserved, and TakePart thought the censorship level was outrageous as well and posted articles promoting the video. After Abel and Other Stories also received reviews from Booklist and Jewish Book Council, who said that the collection “will appeal to readers with even the most basic introduction to the Biblical canon, but especially to those whose imaginations are piqued by the mystery of an untold story.”

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Bookslinger Update: “The Tycoon and the Architect”

The Bookslinger app has been updated with a new story!

Today’s story comes from the Gobble-Up Stories by Belgian author Oscar Mandel, published by Prospect Park Books. The collection is comprised of 46 short fables; the products of a life spent learning and thinking, these tales offer surprising insights on the human condition through animal allegories. Mandel’s wisdom shines through the glowing prose and intellectual complexity.

 

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