Books

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.

Kelly Fletcher / Landmark Trust

There's a new, live-action movie coming out of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book." That work - and some of Kipling's other famous works like "Captains Courageous" and the "Just So Stories" - were written right here in Vermont: at Naulakha, the author's Dummerston home.

mustafahacalaki / iStock.com

This week, the Cutler Memorial Library in Plainfield is honoring two longtime trustees. Jan Danzinger and Sandra Wells each served for 20 or more years on the library board.

Courtesy of Nancy Hogue

Author Steve Long was our guest recently to discuss his new book about a devastating storm in New England history. On September 21, 1938, a hurricane slammed into New England killing hundreds and causing long-lasting effects on the economy and the landscape itself.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Library time at the Marlboro School is something of an oasis in the midst of a hectic day. Students in this reading group are serving each other tea and cupcakes, and getting ready to settle in to their discussion of The One Safe Place.

Jeff Woodward

Through her practice as a life coach and her website, Mindful Connections, Marlboro author Nicole Birkholzer is in the business of helping people live in the moment. And as a life-long animal lover, horsewoman and pet owner, Birkholzer saw that our animal companions – who only live in the present – could be the best teachers to get us closer to that goal.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

When this group of students from Burlington's Hunt and Edmunds Middle Schools got together to discuss The Art of Secrets, some of them were meeting for the first time. So Edmunds librarian Carole Renca started them out with a matching game to allow the students to mingle. Some students had cards with the names of characters from The Art of Secrets, and others had cards with descriptions of the character.

Folger Shakespeare Library

In a quiet, darkened room at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, a big book, with gilt edges, sits open under the protection of a clear alarmed plexi-glass box.

Courtesy of Short Story America

In his latest book, "Greeves Passing: A Novel in Fugue," Vermont author Richard Hawley weaves together the stories of three members of the same family. John Greeve is the headmaster of Wells School, a private New England prep school. And Meg is his wife, diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of the book. Their son, Brian Greeve, is a disaffected young adult who has cut ties while he's traveling abroad, "finding himself."

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The early life story of author and illustrator Cece Bell unfolds across the pages of El Deafo in comic book style panels. We first meet Cece as an energetic preschooler who loves to wear her poka-dotted bathing suit everywhere. Then we watch her get sick and lose her hearing as speech bubbles fade to blank.

Jonathan Mingle / Courtesy

When we hear about climate change in the media, the message tends to be of the gloom and doom variety. But there’s a message of hope to be found in a recent book about, of all things, soot.

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?

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