The Bennington Bookshop      May 2015

 Vermont's oldest independent bookstore

Thank you Bennington!

We’d like to thank everyone from Bennington and beyond who came into the Bookshop to support us on Independent Bookstore Day, May 2. We had people from all over – our first customers of the day were from France! They came in to buy some hiking maps.
A special thank you to all the presenters who helped make the day a success: Chris Gingo, Shawn MacKenzie, Joe Hall, Steve Haggerty and John Goodrich.
Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump!
That’s the sound of Mortimer’s family tramping up the stairs to ask Mortimer to be quiet! It was also the sound of the young children gathered round Chris Gingo as she read aloud to the group from the book Mortimer, inviting everyone to join in with a stomping of feet! Our first Children’s Story Hour was a great success, and we plan to have a regular Story Hour on Saturdays once Chris gets back from her travels in August. Stay tuned!

In her own words: Local author Megan Mayhew Bergman

On her bestselling book Almost Famous Women: The stories truly grew out of my reading and research interests. I had spent nearly a decade reading about unusual women - ambulance drivers in the World Wars, female artists who hadn't gotten their due, jazz musicians - and finally gave myself [permission] to start writing the stories I had already begun imagining in my head. So little is known about many of these women that one's imagination already has to do work to fill in the gaps. 

On the influence of home on her writing: I grew up in eastern North Carolina, in the small town of Rocky Mount. I do think my writing grew out of the southern tradition - a little gothic, a taste of morality, too many Sundays sitting with the highs and lows of a sermon washing over you, the lyrical quality of speech and hymns. While I am not purely a southern writer, I am a rural writer, and it's good for me to be in the beautiful state of Vermont. Any expatriate can tell you that "home" becomes a nebulous concept, and that clarity comes with distance. Along with a pang of nostalgia. 

On her current work, a novel set in Savannah: It will be my first publish
ed novel - let's say that! I usually follow my heart and imagination, and my heart and imagination were on a houseboat in Savannah.

On a favorite book: I love Beryl Markham's West With the Night. I like its authoritative prose and minimalist style, but also its brave and gritty heroine who is more interested in her own passions (aviation and horse training) than romance and pretty dresses. I like seeing women depicted in books as strong and serious people with passions - not rom com stock characters. I hope
to write books that feature strong women - not strong women in the comic book sense, as I believe strength is not always a manifestation of masculine qualities, and comes from a life well-lived, heartbreak, risk-taking, and great love. 

On advice for aspiring writers: Learn to give and take criticism with gra
ce. Be generous and at the same time thick-skinned. Seek to give the reader a gift - beauty, humor, or insight - but aim to make art, something with meaning. Join a larger conversation. Illuminate people and ideas.

Note: We have signed copies of Megan's books in the Bookshop.
Student review
Each month, we ask local school students to submit reviews of the books they are reading. We select one of these for publication in the newsletter. The reviewer receives a $10 gift certificate for The Bennington Bookshop. This month's review is from Rory Parsons. Congratulations Rory!

The Alex Rider Series - Anthony Horowitz
Reviewed by Rory Parsons, Grade 12

The Alex Rider series brings to the 21st century the same thrills that Ian Fleming produced with the James Bond novels. Appealing to both teens and adults, the series follows the new teenage MI6 agent Alex Rider as he defends England and the world from evil organizations, terrorists, and eccentric billionaire madmen, as well as other grave threats. The author, Anthony Horowitz, does a great job keeping Rider an authentic teenager in his thoughts and actions, but shows his maturation as his job continues. Overall, the series is great for anyone looking for a great story with many twists and turns that will leave the reader right on the edge until the very end. Rory Parsons.

Submissions: The decision of The Bennington Bookshop in selecting which reviews to publish in the newsletter is final. Other entries may be published on The Bennington Bookshop website. The Bennington Bookshop reserves the right to edit entries as necessary. By submitting a review, reviewers agree to these terms. Please submit reviews to

Poem competition
Congratulations to Barb Krause who was the first person to correctly identify the poem and poet in our puzzler from last time. Here’s the line again:
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way
The poem is Not Waving But Drowning, by Stevie Smith. You can find the full poem here:
Look for books
The Look for books function on The Bennington Bookshop website allows 24 hour book browsing and purchasing through our online ordering system. If the name of that long-forgotten book comes to you in the middle of a sleepless night, we'll be there to help you find it...
Coming up...
July 20th, 7.00pm -
A Conversation with Ed Rubin
Bennington Free Library
Ed Rubin talks about his new book Vermont: An outsider's inside view
Co-sponsored by the Bennington Free Library and The Bennington Bookshop.

"Emmy award-winning art director and international award-winning fine art photographer Edward L. Rubin has created a stunning visual portrait of the people and landscapes of contemporary Vermont. Rubin has photographed everyone from the Governor to goat farmers, artists, mechanics, supreme court justices, waitresses, and activists in beautiful color and black and white photographs revealing life in the Green Mountain State from the unique perspective of an outsider who has been invited to join in and record privileged, private moments. His images reveal that there are still places in America where people know each other deeply, help each other freely, and are bound to each other in heart, mind, and community." Fine Arts Press
Store Hours
Monday~Thursday, Saturday: 9am~5.30pm
Friday: 9am~6pm
Sunday: Noon~4pm
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