Fall News 2009

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Penfield Books Celebrates 30 Years

Founded in 1979 by John Zug and Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret, the Iowa City publisher is ending its 30th year. Over 115 titles have been published, of which 100 are still in print. Penfield’s books are sold nationwide in the U.S., Canada, Sweden, and Finland. One of the first titles, still available, is The American Gothic Cookbook. Joan says Grant Wood appeared to her in a cloud of mist, saying, Preserve my strawberry shortcake, and she did.

Miriam’s recipe book Buffets and Potlucks is back in print featuring collages of Grant Wood stamps by Velga Easker of Cedar Rapids. Dorothy Crum has edited all Penfield titles. Other Iowa City area editors have included Maureen Patterson, Georgia Heald, Michelle Nagel, author of License to Cook Iowa Style and Dear Danish Recipes, Dwayne Bourret, John Johnson, Deb Schense and Connie Schnoebelen.

Penfield is noted for cultural ethnic recipe books spanning the nation and Europe as well as a state series including those by Melinda Bradnan of Cedar Rapids. Many Penfield titles are noted for being lavishly illustrated in color such as Barns Around Iowaby Luella Hazeltine of Toddville with cover design by Rodger Rufer of Williamsburg and Iowa City. Molly Cook of Cedar Rapids, has designed many of the covers.

Penfield titles have photographs by Publisher Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret, a photographer for over sixty years. Diane Heusinkveld of North Liberty, is noted for many charming illustrations of fruits, vegetables, and landscapes in many of the recipe books.

Greta Anderson, Nevada, Iowa, is credited for editing a series of books by the Selma Lagerlöf of Sweden, first woman to win a Nobel Prize. These books published in the 1900s had been out of print for over sixty years, Several of the Scandinavian titles released by Penfield are reprints of historic volumes also found in the University of Iowa Libraries by Joanne Asala of Chicago, who compiled proverb books. Pat Costello, an artist in Maquoketa, has contributed covers for Recipes from Ireland. The late Harry Oster of Iowa City, was the inspiration for folklore published by Penfield. Many additional authors and editors have contributed to the success of Penfield Books (originally Penfield Press) and to the publisher’s prize-winning titles.

The publisher, Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret at age 80 has plans to publish new books for the coming year including Fire in the Bowl: Favorite Chili Recipes and More compiled by Carol Blakely of Dallas, and a Hungarian recipe book. For a listing of all Penfield titles noted with an * asterisk, and those distributed from other publishers, you may visit our bookstore online at: www.penfieldbooks.com

Comments on Penfield Books 30th Celebration

Dear Joan,

I thought it was a lovely event and so nice to see such a great turn out. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay any longer but I was on duty in the library on Saturday and I couldn’t abandon my co-worker any longer. I did enjoy the passages that Julie McDonald read and I thought it was terrific the first woman acknowledged the significant impact you and your books had on the development and appreciation of Cedar Rapids’ Czech village. Your contributions are far reaching even if people do not always trace the threads back to you and your accomplishments. I would have spoken about the byproducts of Penfield Press like the magnificent collection of Grant Wood photographs or your collection in general. So, congratulations to you and your collaborators. I loved it when the first lady spoke of your outstanding teaching skills – instructing, cajoling, coaching, critiquing, and all of the other generous gestures you make towards others – and how they help people develop their creativity and aim high. You have always been prolific in your own creations but everyone should note how prolific others are because of your influence.

Very wise to mark this major milestone with an event like this so people know of the dedication and positive energy required to make Penfield Press such a success. John Zug would have been beaming with pride!!

Glad I could make it,
Love and hugs,

Mary Bennett
Archivist State Historical Society of Iowa
Dear Joan,

Thank YOU! You were so graceful and comfortable in front of a crowd. Welcoming and funny. I kind of knew that about you, but seeing it on Saturday was awesome. I would think Prairie Lights would be very welcoming of more coffees ? I was not the only person buying books after the reception!

Mary Sharp,
Cedar Rapids Gazette Editor


Spring News 2009

Dear Friends,

Our dog’s autobiography, Finding My Way, by May McGregor Bourret will be available in early May. The book is $14.95 retail with 112 pages, 6×9 format. Mostly in color, the photographs are hilarious of May as a fashion model and modeling hats for her new career in laughter yoga for dogs. There are many photographs of people who sleep with their dogs. See more information in category new releases. Read the press release. The Trouble I’ve Faced May’s book is available as a fundraiser for dog shelters(cat lovers keep reading). Already shelters in seven counties are among those to benefit from prospective sales of this delightful book. Please call us if you want to assist in supplying a shelter in your town or county. We have a reward system for all. We also have, Vivian’s Original Cat Astrology available for cat lovers as a fundraiser. Read the review here.

May is also happy to introduce her new merchandise line. Visit Mays merchandise store on Cafepress!

Our title License To Cook Missouri Style, one of the stocking stuffers released in 2008, is among the finalists in the awards contest of the The Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA). The 19th Annual Midwest Book Awards attracted 149 nominations from 66 publishers from the 12 Midwestern states. The 73 finalists are now posted on the MIPA web site at www.mipa.org We congratulate our author of this title, Julie Broski of Kansas City.

Hugs and wags from Joan and May