Books

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Outside their classroom, seventh and eighth graders at Rutland Town School are bounce passing and showing off their basketball moves, including the move their latest read was named for – the crossover. When we asked them how they liked the book, they raved about the book. They’re not alone.

Jon Kalish for VPR

Writer Laura Stevenson has written two works of fiction inspired by her own life in Vermont. One of her books drew on the very personal experience of losing her hearing. 

VPR/Steve Zind

Once upon a time the phone book was an integral part of every home reference library; a source of emergency contacts, a map of time zones, a listing of area codes from here to Alaska – and all those phone numbers. 

But FairPoint Communications says it is no longer issuing residential phone listings in New Hampshire and Maine. However, the printed residential phone directory lives on in Vermont. At least for now.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

For this month's Dorothy's List, seventh graders at Green Mountain Union in Chester have been reading the novel Unfriended by New York author Rachel Vail.

Herb Swanson / swanpix.com

It's hard to imagine a worse disease than amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The muscle-wasting affliction strikes about 5,600 patients each year. Thirty thousand people are living with it in the United States. The vast majority of those cases are not inherited.

But for families that do carry the gene, it is especially heartbreaking. One of those families lives in Vermont, and they are helping to advance medical research.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

There's something magical about spending this season's long, dark nights inside the pages of a book. If you're searching for your next good read, you just might find it at a little free library – possibly one of the two new little libraries in Chittenden County.

Howard Weiss-Tisman/VPR

Ronald Read's story went viral earlier this year when it was reported that the thrifty Vermonter left an estate of more than $8 million when he died.

Brattleboro's Brooks Memorial Library received part of it, and now the library is starting a renovation project thanks to Read's gift.

Courtesy of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church Chicago

Place names like Ferguson, Baltimore - and now, Columbia - have become synonymous with the public debate about race and racism in America.

But how does that conversation play out in Vermont, one of the whitest states in the country?

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

In 1944, a disastrous explosion rocked a Naval base in California called Port Chicago. The racially segregated Navy base had dangerous and unfair working conditions for African American sailors there. After the explosion, a large group of sailors refused to return to work loading ammunition under the same dangerous conditions. They were tried for mutiny. Those men were called the Port Chicago 50.

Have you ever listened in as someone next to you was talking on the phone? Maybe you were able to fill in the blanks to interpret what the person on the other end of the line is saying?

You could probably learn a lot even without hearing the other person. At least that’s the premise of a new novella by author Peter Gould. 

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The fifth and sixth graders file down the stairs and into the school library, like they've done hundreds of times before. They're the big kids at Beeman Elementary, and library time isn't just about read-alouds and checking out books anymore. Librarian Nancy Custer Carroll has a lesson for them on characters in Laura Marx Fitzgerald's book Under the Egg.

Courtesy VCFA

The first-ever Vermont Book Award winner has been announced. Chosen from six finalists, poet Kerrin McCadden of Plainfield won for her collection Landscape With Plywood Silhouettes.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The students at St. Etheldreda's School for Young Ladies are there to learn to behave as proper maidens should. The girls' lives are mundane under the care of their miserly headmistress. But despite their dreary situation at school, there is one fate that all the girls agree would be far worse. And that is being sent home.

So when their headmistress and her brother drop dead at Sunday dinner, the young ladies decide to bury the bodies in the back garden and keep the murders a secret. Thus is born The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

Canadian author Louise Penny conjured the small village of Three Pines for her bestselling Chief Inspector Gamache series. The idyllic town in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, just north of the Vermont border, is just the place one would want to live, if not for the high murder rate.

Johnson State College

Getting published in the New Yorker is a high honor for any author, and that’s particularly true for literary fiction. This week a Johnson State College professor achieved that honor with his story “The Apartment,” published in the Aug. 31 issue of the magazine.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Dr. Seuss fans have a big treat this summer: An unpublished manuscript found among papers left by the late children's writer has just been released.

Right inside the entrance to the Dartmouth bookstore, there it is, a book that was almost lost to history. Almost a quarter century after the death of Dr. Seuss — a.k.a. Theodor Geisel — a new book is for sale.

The Windham County Economic Development Program has been re-launched to distribute funds negotiated from the closure of Vermont Yankee. The High Meadows Fund promotes and finances a new watershed resilience initiative. The Vermont Steampunk Festival is coming to Springfield in September.

Lenemeryphoto / Springfield Vermont Steampunk Festival

Whether you're a steampunk enthusiast, or just curious about the fiction genre that has developed a cult-like following, you may want to make plans to be in Springfield this September. The inaugural Springfield Steampunk Festival is happening September 11-13.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

The long-awaited Harper Lee novel Go Set a Watchman hit bookshelves July 14. To celebrate the release, bookstores across the country held themed parties. Some screened the 1962 movie To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck. Others served southern food or opened at midnight, when bookstores were allowed to start selling the new book. The Vermont Book Shop took a different approach.

The Vermont College of Fine Arts is hosting the first Vermont Book Award this year. Judges announced the six finalists in the running for the inaugural honor – and the $5,000 prize – Thursday.

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