July 11, 2012 • Fiction
Bastille Day is one badass French holiday.
It all began in the summer of 1789 when a mob of Parisians stormed the Bastille fortress to collect a large supply of ammunition and put a fork in royal rule.
Widely thought of as the key in the French Revolution ignition, this time period spawned radical social change and brought about many influential writers and activists. As an ode to this holiday, we’ve gathered some pretty badass French writers who have not only made their way into classic literature with their worthy accomplishments, but they’ve also made us say Mon Dieu!
François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (AKA Voltaire): One day, Voltaire got locked up in the Bastille Prison for insulting a French nobleman. He was put away without a trial, no bail, and no form of defense. Fearing a lifelong sentence, he proposed that he be exiled to England instead, which authorities accepted.
Instead of cursing out the government, he made it his goal to improve the French judicial system via his well crafted, observant, and persuasive writings. Go Voltaire! And… he wrote a science fiction piece about aliens visiting Earth only to witness humankind’s foibles. Yes!
Émilie du Châtelet: The romantic puzzlepiece to Volatire, Émilie is famously known for her translation and commentary on Isaac Newton's work Principia Mathematica. To this day, it is still the standard version used among scholars. Émilie was an astute writer who used her mathematical brilliance and academic writing to unravel the mysteries of life. In fact, some say she was writing about energy and velocity 150 years before Mr. Einstein even had a tongue to stick out. Science faux pas.
June 25, 2012 • Fiction
In Ben H. Winters' latest novel, The Last Policeman, we're introduced to Hank Palace, a detective still working the beat in a pre-apocolpytic world.
The first title in a trilogy, the book raises a lot of questions, challenging the reader to wonder what they would do in Hank's precarious situation. Some people have chosen to share their answers with us on The Last Policeman's website. You should too!
Speaking of questions and answers, we sat down and chatted with Ben about his experience writing the book. Read on to learn about his process, his research, and what he would do if the world was ending in six months. Enjoy!
June 14, 2012 • Fiction
Here at Quirk we sure do love infographics and flowcharts. Links to the fabulous literary infographics that Flavorpill posts and Bookriot's Flowchart Friday are regularly forwarded around the office. And as much as we love them, we were jealous. We wanted one!
So in honor of our Ten Year Anniversary, we made our own.
In our infographic, you'll learn all sorts of fun, appropriately quirky facts about our publishing company. How many employees have, at some point, lived in the Quirk office building? How many parties do we throw? If you stacked up all the copies of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children in print, what mountain would that pile be taller than?
Answers to all these questions and more await you below. Enjoy!
June 14, 2012 • Fiction
Nothing goes together like coffee and books. Reading in coffee shops is a favorite pastime of book lovers around the world, so what could be better than a book themed cafe?
These five literary coffee shops will feed both your mind and your body, so be sure to check them out.
Bennu (Pictured Above): A 24 hour coffee house in Austin, Texas, Bennu's known for its gourmet mochas that are named after books. A quick glance at the menu and you'll see classics like The Scarlet Letter, Oliver Twist and The Great Gatsby. Each drink is created with a book in mind, and they all sound delicious. The one the sounds the best to me is the Don Quixote, which is described as “Azteca D'oro Spiced Chocolate Mocha topped with home-made whipped cream and dusted with Mexican spiced powder." Yum!
McNally Jackson Cafe: A bookstore in NYC, and its cafe is really something special. Books hang suspended from the ceiling and pages line the walls, giving the space a whimsical feel. The lights above the counter hold stacks of books, which is appropriate for its place in a bookstore. They even have a literary experience section on the menu where you can eat and drink the same things as a character from your favorite book.
Literati Cafe: Located in Los Angeles, Literati Cafe does not disappoint. The walls feature black and white photographs of various literary figures as well as posters of famous book covers. The atmosphere has been described as “bookish”, with little nooks and crannies for customers to sip a latte and crack open a novel.
June 12, 2012 • Fiction
BEA 2012. We came. We saw. We gave out tons of totebags.
This year's BEA was a particularly special one, as we were (and still are!) celebrating our ten year anniversary. We dished out special totebags and posters over the course of the convention, had our Prize Patrol scour the expo floor for fans, and chatted with industry folk and media about our special plans this year.
Our PubDate party with DC Entertainment, Graywolf Press, Other Press, Pegasus Books, Seven Stories, and Steerforth Press was an absolute blast, Ben H. Winters' signing of The Last Policeman went incredibly well (we went through over 100 ARCs in under a half hour!), and Jason had a great time appearing on the BEA Middle-Grade Buzz panel. Thanks to everyone who came out to any (or all!) of these things.
Read on for some of our individual highlights.