For people with as many degrees in English as we have between us (uh, five, roughly half the number of bookcases in our house), we hardly ever talk about books on this blog, let alone small presses (recent trips to bookstores around town notwithstanding). But some gift cards to the Strand led to an hour of browsing, which led to the discovery of Faithful Ruslan, about a decommissioned guard dog in Siberia, the best book we read in 2011.
Hooray for browsing! Hooray for hard copies! Hooray for good design! We were drawn first to the novel's cover: a dog's head against a blue background. As it turns out, a profile in white against a colored background is the design trademark of Neversink Library, an imprint of Melville House Books, which reissues books that "have been overlooked, underappreciated, looked askance at, or foolishly ignored." Founded in 2001 and based in Brooklyn, Melville House Books recently published its 200th title; 20 books / year is a better track record than some of the conglomerates. Now that we've discovered this publishing house, we're particularly excited to read more Neversink as well as those in another imprint, Melville International Crime. If we could purchase such titles at our favorite mystery bookstore, well then our minds would really be blown.