Making sausage at Farrar, Straus & Giroux: Hothouse by Boris Kachka

hothouse“By the way, did you read Hothouse when it came out last year?” I asked a  bookish friend in an email this week. “It took me ages to slog through the introduction so I’m hesitant to make a 400-page commitment if I’m going to hate it.”

A year after its release and I’ve finally read Hothouse, the history of the publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux by Boris Kachka. I remember seeing the book at Books on Beechwood in Ottawa last summer, as part of a display on these types of literary histories. I would have picked it up right away but was distracted by David Mason’s The Pope’s Bookbinder on the same table. I knew I was only going to be leaving with one massive, forty-dollar hardcover that day and having worked with the colourful rare book dealer Dave Mason only that past year I was far more eager to read his memoir; it was to be like reading the diary of a co-worker you’ve heard scandalous rumours about.

But I digress.

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The Great BookCon Experiment via

The Great BookCon Experiment via

Head over to Vulture to read about Book Expo America trying out a ComicCon approach.

Bonus: The piece is written by Boris Kachka, who is awesome, and the writer of Hothouse which I’m reading right now! (Well not RIGHT now. Right now I’m typing this post. But you get it.)