Books

Courtesy of Doubleday

Central to the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders was a critique of the role of money in politics, especially large donations from wealthy individuals to help candidates who support their policies or principles.

Clearly, millions of people agree with Sanders and supported him, yet more and more money – including "dark money" from undisclosed donors – is pouring into politics in the hope of influencing elections.

Jane Lindholm; Courtesy of Dana Walrath

We continue to highlight past segments from Vermont Edition, and we're sharing again our conversations from the spring with librarian Jessamyn West and writer Dana Walrath.

Ric Cengeri / VPR File

The course of history is often shaped by the outcome of battles, even small ones.  That's the case with the Battle of Bennington, which was fought back in August 1777.  Phil Holland is an English teacher at Community College of Vermont and the author of the new book A Guide to the Battle of Bennington and the Bennington Monument.

Mercedes Rancaño Otero / iStock

Finding and mapping typical story arcs is nothing new, but now a group of researchers at the University of Vermont's Computational Story Lab has used data mining to look at the emotional arcs contained in thousands of stories. They've identified six basic core arcs that form the emotional foundation of complex narratives.

Matthew Thorsen

If you know a young adult reader who likes the kind of books that you need to store in the freezer at night, you might steer them toward the newest thriller from Margot Harrison.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

Writer David Budbill is well known in Vermont and beyond for his play Judevine, as well as for his work as a poet. Over a year ago, Budbill was diagnosed with PSP, or progressive supranuclear palsy – a degenerative condition that is characterized as a rare form of Parkinson's Disease. Now based in Montpelier, he spoke to Vermont Edition about his current life and work, including the effects of his illness.

coloroftime / iStock

Summer is perfectly suited for reading. Lazy days on a beach towel, in a hammock, or in an overstuffed chair at the lake are the perfect venues to curl up with that novel you've been putting off reading. Or it's an ideal time to read a non-fiction, graphic novel, young adult fiction, or even try some recipes from that cookbook you received as a gift.

Courtesy of the Del Bianco Family Collection

There are few more impressive combined engineering and artistic marvels in this country than Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. One of the individuals who had an integral role in its creation was its chief carver, Luigi Del Bianco, an Italian immigrant who spent some time as a stonemason in Barre.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Author and illustrator Cece Bell was in Montpelier Wednesday night. The author of the graphic memoir El Deafo was in Vermont to accept this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.

Liz Hawkes deNiord

Vermont's poet laureate, Chard deNiord, wants you to know that one mode of language that is too often neglected, and for all the wrong reasons, is poetry.

Children’s book author and illustrator Arnold Lobel was reportedly inspired by childhood summers in Vermont in the creation of his famous Frog and Toad children's book characters. A recent article in The New Yorker discusses the possible romantic relationship between these two fictional amphibians, coupled with insight into Lobel's own personal life.

Summer renovations at Brownell Library, in Essex Junction, have been pushed back several weeks due to manufacturing supply delays. However, library personnel anticipate new subflooring and carpeting will be installed on the main floor at some point this summer, and a plan to keep serving patrons is in place.

Sara Baker

Last year, Danielle O'Hallisey found herself amidst a coming-together of unrelated events, the result of which led to the composition of an exciting new work.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Students from Brattleboro, Killington and Williamstown traveled to the Vermont Statehouse on Friday to receive Vermont's first Letters About Literature awards. This is the 23rd year the Library of Congress has held the nationwide contest, but the first year Vermont has joined as a participating state.

University of Vermont students at this weekend's commencement ceremonies will hear from one of their own, an alum who went on to forge a world-renowned career as an author and journalist. Gail Sheehy graduated from UVM in 1958 and then moved to New York just as a second wave of feminism was changing the rules of the game in traditional reporting and writing.

Liz West / Flickr

Meet Jessamyn West, the radical librarian. She just got a big award from the Vermont Library Association for her role in the selection process for the next Librarian of Congress. She's behind one of the first librarian blogs, she's annoyed the FBI, and she's a crusader for keeping both sides of the digital divide in mind as we move further into the information age. Cory Doctorow of "Boing Boing" has called her an "internet folk hero."

Johnson State College

Jensen Beach's writing can simultaneously provoke readers' judgment while eliciting compassion. His stark, yet multiply-layered prose explores the deep uneasiness people feel, and communicates a complexity of emotions using an economy of words.

VPR's Mitch Wertlieb spoke with Jensen Beach, an assistant professor of writing and literature at Johnson State College, about his new collection of short stories called Swallowed By The Cold.

David Conrad

On a recent afternoon, I met Vermont poet Jean Connor near her home on the campus of Wake Robin in Shelburne. Seated at a round table in the center of the room, Connor had neat stacks of papers and her two books of poetry in front of her; she was poised and ready to talk about her work and writing practice.

Courtesy of Jake Brennan

What do Flannery O'Connor, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Ulysses and State Treasurer Beth Pearce have in common? They're all referenced on the new record from Burlington-based band Violet Ultraviolet.

Songwriter Jake Brennan spoke with VPR about the new album Pop City and the inspirations behind it.

Amulet Books

More than 3,200 Vermont middle schoolers voted for this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, and it was a tight race. But in the end El Deafo was a clear winner. El Deafo is the second graphic novel to win the award in its 60-year history. The first was Smile by Raina Telgemier in 2012. And El Deafo author and illustrator Cece Bell says that book inspired her to create El Deafo.

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