The Bennington Bookshop   November 2016

Vermont's oldest independent bookstore
In November

In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers. They know it is time to be still.
- Cynthia Rylant, In November

Welcome to the November edition of The Bennington Bookshop Newsletter! Our November quote is from a children's picture book, In November, written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Jill Kastner. This edition of the newsletter features a report on our event with Ruth Franklin. What a night we had! We highlight our upcoming event with Harry Haskell who will be at The Bookshop on November 17th to read from his novel, Maiden Flight. There are a couple of sneak previews from Phil, as well as a student review from William Bond. Congratulations, William! Don't forget to check out our book packages - they make ideal holiday gifts, and will help cure all those prone to abibliophobia! (Defined below.) As always, thank you all for your continued support of The Bennington Bookshop - your local independent bookstore.
A Rather Haunted Night
What a great turnout we had for our event with Ruth Franklin! We were a little worried at 6.10pm with only one person there. But then the cars started arriving and people streamed in - there were more than 100 people in the audience by the time Ruth began her talk. We had people from as far away as Maine and Ottawa! And we were so pleased that two of Shirley Jackson's children were able to join us - Barry Hyman and Jai Holly.

Ruth began the evening by talking about her reasons for wanting to write a biography of Shirley Jackson and the extraordinary challenges Jackson faced in her writing career. Ruth then read a couple of passages from her book detailing Jackson's time in North Bennington. As she read, her voice lifted - you could clearly hear how passionate Ruth was about her subject. Ruth said that much of Jackson's work centered around her domestic life: the claustrophobia of marriage and motherhood and the struggle to carve out space for herself as a writer. Jackson's works were undervalued at the time, dismissed by the predominantly male critics of the period.

"My book aims to claim a place for
her alongside the major writers of the 1950s and 1960s," Ruth said.

Ruth said she was thrilled with the turnout and the venue. "This is the biggest turn out I've had for one of my readings by far," she said. "And this venue is ideal."

After the event, Barry Hyman posted on Facebook:

Ruth Franklin, whose monumental biography of Shirley Jackson was published a few weeks ago, gave a wonderful reading to a packed house at the Park McCullough House in North Bennington, VT last night. I was delighted to see that the Bennington Bookshop had every single one of my mother's books on display, as well as Ruth's brilliant new volume (a really first-rate literary biography!) and the brand new (collector's item!) graphic novel of The Lottery by my nephew Miles Hyman. Great music by Sam Clement too -- it was a wonderful event!

Thanks for the support, Barry. This was a real community event. Thanks to all those who helped us pull it off: Sean and Lydia, from Harvest Brewing, for providing the cash bar; Sam Clements and Freddy Shehadi for the music; Lydia for the poster; Jenny at the John G. McCullough Library for putting on the display of Shirley Jackson artifacts; and Pangaea for offering us their hostess table for the event.

Here's a link to a Bennington Banner report on the event: Ruth Franklin

Note: We have signed copies of Ruth's book at The Bookshop, as well as copies of Shirley Jackson's books and Miles Hyman's graphic novel of The Lottery.

Buy Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
Maiden Flight
November 17th, 7.00pm, The Bennington Bookshop

Harry Haskell reads from his novel, Maiden Flight, which explores the life of Katharine Wright, sister to the Wright Brothers of first flight fame. The novel is reconstructed from personal letters, newspaper reports, and other documents of the period, and tells the story of Katharine's break from her older brother Orville to marry newspaper editor Harry Haskell, grandfather and namesake of the author. There will be opportunities for questions and Harry will sign books. Light refreshments will be provided.
Pre-order Harry's book.

Word for the day: Abibliophobia - noun
Pronunciation: uh-bib-li-uh-fo-bee-yuh
Definition: The fear of running out of books

But there's no need to worry anymore, because The Bennington Bookshop has a splendid cure: Our book packages make the perfect gift for you, your friends and your family. Options include fiction or nonfiction, hardcover or paperback, twelve or six month subscriptions. We also offer young adult book packages, as well as packages for children's fiction and children's picture books. Prices include shipping and handling. Check them out: Book Packages.

If you would like to purchase a package as a gift, we would be happy to gift wrap each book and enclose a peronalized note at no extra charge. At checkout, please indicate in the "order comments" section that you would like gift wrapping and the message you would like included with each package. Note: Book packages intended as gifts for the holiday season should be ordered by December 15th to ensure timely delivery.

Sneak Previews

Viet Thanh Nguyen
Released February 7, 2017
Reviewed by Phil

Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer was one of the most widely-praised novels of 2015, and the winner of several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. His next fiction book, The Refugees, is a haunting collection of  stories crafted over the last 20 years. Drawing on his own experience as a refugee and immigrant, Nguyen describes the dislocation of the refugee, living as he/she does between two worlds, the adopted country and the country of birth. I have just finished one story, The Americans, which blew me away: It's one of the best descriptions of aging and love, of frustration and despair, I have read. But each story in this collection is a gift to be savored.

Viet Thanh Nguyen was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air last week. Here's a link: Viet Thanh Nguyen

Exit West
Moshin Hamid
Released March 7, 2017
Reviewed by Phil

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet: sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through . . .

This is a beautifully written book about love and loss, the building of new lives and the gentle letting go of the past.

You can find more reviews here: Reviews and Recommendations
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 William Bond. Congratulations, William!

Raina Telgemeier
Reviewed by William Bond, Grade 4

I read Sisters by Raina Telgemeier over summer vacation 2016. I think that Raina Telgemeier is a good author because she is funny and shows what it’s really like to have a younger sibling. I have a younger sister named Meredith. I would recommend Sisters to anyone who likes funny comics or anyone who has a younger sibling. I thought that it was especially funny when they were at the dinosaur park in Montana. Out of the whole book, that chapter was my favorite. I also thought that the part when they were at the zoo and Raina was telling her sister about the time when she stepped on a dead snake was really funny. I’ve read a little bit of her other book, Smile, and also some of the book, Drama. Both books I thought were pretty funny, too. William Bond

Buy Sisters

You can find all of our student reviews here.

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

Don't miss these!
Every Tuesday, we get shipments of new releases to put on the shelves. Here's just a small sample:

Owl: A Year in the Life of North American Owls
Paul Bannick

Alice Hoffman

Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11 - Double Down
Jeff Kinney

Cooking for Jeffrey
Ina Garten
Coming up...

November 17th, 7.00pm:
Maiden Flight - Harry Haskell
The Bennington Bookshop

Note: For more information on these authors and events, as well as functions coming up later in the year, check out the Events page on our website.
  • New releases: Every Tuesday, we get shipments of new releases to put on the shelves. Come on down and check them out!
  • Orders: We usually submit orders to our wholesaler on Monday and Thursday mornings. If you place an order before 11am on these days, we can have the book in The Bookshop by the next afternoon in most cases, or in three days if it is held at our Tennessee warehouse.
  • Book Clubs: We offer a 20% discount to book clubs and are happy to ship for a small cost. Check out what the other clubs in the area are reading here.
  • Dorothy's List: Vermont Public Radio compiles a list of books and reviews suitable for children. You can find the list here. We are happy to order books from the list for you if we don't have them in stock. There is no extra charge for special orders.
  • Best Sellers: We update the bestseller list each week. You can find the latest list here: Best Sellers
  • Looking for a book to read? Check out the Reviews and Recommendations page on our website.
  • Ordering online: To order books online, simply visit our website (, enter the name of the book you wish to order in the "Look for Books" window (in the right-hand column on each page), then enter your address details and credit card information as prompted. There is a small charge for postage or, if you're a local, you can opt to pick up the book in the store. Please note: Books appearing in the on-line search are not necessarily in stock at The Bookshop. We may have to order them in, but can ship most books in 1~5 days. Please call us if you want to confirm immediate availability: 802 442 5059
Store Hours
Monday~Saturday: 9.00am~6.00pm
Sunday: Noon~4.00pm
For all the latest Bookshop news, don't forget to like The Bennington Bookshop page on Facebook!
To order online, check out our website:
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