The Bennington Bookshop   April 2017

Vermont's oldest independent bookstore
Dare we hope that Spring has sprung?

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.
Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 
Welcome to the April edition of The Bennington Bookshop Newsletter! There was ice on the ground when I walked the dogs this morning, but now the sun is out - we're one month on in the middle of May, it seems. In this edition, we report on our event with Andrew Schulman. We also have details about three events towards the end of the month - it's going to be a busy time.  We have a couple of book reviews from Phil. Phil appeared on GNAT-TV's inaugural Vermont Voices program in March  - there's a link in the Etcetera section of the newsletter. And The Bennington Bookshop was selected as one of the best bookstores in Vermont! As always, thank you for your continued support of The Bennington Bookshop - your local independent bookstore.
Waking the Spirit
We had an entertaining evening with Andrew Schulman and Dr. Marvin McMillen on March 29th at the Oldcastle Theatre. The evening began with a showing of the documentary, Andrew and Wendy, which relates the story of Andrew's remarkable recovery from a coma that medical staff had not expected him to survive. Andrew's wife, Wendy, as a last resort, plugged in Andrew's ear buds and played his favorite music, Bach's Saint Matthew's Passion. Andrew began to stabilize and woke up a few days later. After his recovery, Andrew returned to the hospital to play music for patients in intensive care, his way of giving something back to the hospital, staff and patients. With his surgeon, Marvin McMillen, Andrew later founded the Medical Musician's Initiative, which aims to train professional musicians to use music to assist patients in intensive care. After the documentary, the pair read extracts from the book and answered questions from the audience and Andrew played some of his favorite pieces on his guitar. Eric Despard, music director at Southern Vermont College, also played a beautiful piece. Eric is one of the first musicians to be trained as a Medical Musician. Andrew's book Waking the Spirit tells the full story of Andrew's journey. The Bookshop has signed copies of Waking the Spirit for sale.

Buy Waking the Spirit

Coming up...

Democracy Now!: Covering the Movements Changing America
Amy Goodman
Tishman Lecture Hall, Bennington College

April 27th, 2017, Noon.

Join award-winning journalist, Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, at the Bennington stop on her North American tour: Democracy Now!: Covering the Movements Changing America.

Goodman will speak about increased threats to freedom of the press and the importance of truly independent media to hold those in power accountable. In more than 20 years of reporting, Democracy Now! has covered the social movements that are now forming the groundswell of opposition to the Trump administration; movements long ignored by the corporate media, but central to Democracy Now!’s daily journalism. Amy will be introduced by her brother and co-author, Vermont-based journalist David Goodman.

Democracy Now! is a New York Times best seller and will be out in paperback later this month. The book will be available for sale at the event, with a book signing to follow the talk.

The event is free and open to the public.

Order Democracy Now!
Note: If you are unable to attend the event but would like to secure a signed copy of the book, please order the book in advance. We will arrange to have it signed.


Independent Bookstore Day
The Bennington Bookshop
April 29th, 2017

Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April.  Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. At The Bennington Bookshop, we will have door raffles and spot sales throughout the day. We will also have exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. So come on down and join in the fun at your local independent bookstore - The Bennington Bookshop.

Shetland Tea Murder
The Bennington Free Library
May 1st, 2017, 7pm

To celebrate the release of mystery writer Ann Cleeves's new book, Cold Earth, the Bennington Free Library and The Bennington Bookshop are co-hosting a murder mystery night! Cleeves has written a murder mystery based around a traditional Shetland tea.

Let's set the scene:

This evening we’re not in Bennington, but in Shetland, at Sunday Tea. This is a community meeting that brings people together in Shetland once a week to catch up on local news, hear music, and sell homemade items. This Sunday began like any other as the Shetland Tea committee met early to set up today’s tea, until the body of committee member, Minnie Laurenson, was found. Only the people at the Sunday tea committee could have committed the murder – they were the only ones present in the hall and nobody else had access. Detective Jimmy Perez has been called but he is delayed on the mainland due to storms. One of the suspects standing before you is a killer, and in the absence of the detective your task is to deduce which of them stabbed Minnie Laurenson.

We will read four witness statements, then take a break. After the break, it is the audience's job to decide who committed the murder. The names of people who choose the correct suspect will go into a hat for a prize-drawing!

This event is free and open to the public.

Order Cold Earth

National Book Awards - Best New Biography 2016
Ruth Franklin's biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, recently won the National Book Award for best new biography. Congratulations, Ruth!

Sneak previews

Anything is Possible
Elizabeth Strout
To be released in May, 2017
Reviewed by Phil

I loved Elizabeth Strout's earlier book Olive Kitteridge, but was disappointed with her follow up, The Burgess Boys. The latter was a fine book in its own right, just not as sharp and crackling as Olive. Anything is Possible marks a brilliant return to form. Former Amgash resident Lucy Barton, now living in New York, has just published a book. News of the book triggers memories in the minds of various people in the small Illinois town where Lucy grew up. There is sadness, hope, and love in the tales Strout so deftly weaves from the lives of this small town's residents. This is such a beautifully written book, moving and thoughtful and rich. I can barely wait for her next one!

Order Anything is Possible

Fredrik Backman
Release date 25th April, 2017
Reviewed by Phil

Small town politics and pride set the scene for Backman's latest novel, Beartown. Loyalty is the underlying theme of this marvelous book and Backman poses the question: just where do our loyalties lie when everything we believe in is threatened? Beartown is a hockey town: The mood of the residents ebbs and flows with the weekend performances of the high school hockey team. This year, the team is on a winning streak, and the team players are heroes who can do no wrong. Until... (There are echoes of small-town America here, and the glory piled on the youthful shoulders of the high school football team.) This is a beautiful book. It touches so gently on trust, and love, and respect, and where we fit in, or don't. I read it in one sitting.

Order Beartown

You can find more reviews here: Reviews and Recommendations

Recently released
Here are three titles that we reviewed in earlier editions of the newsletter that have recently been released. Good reads all:
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Kathleen Rooney

The Refugees
Viet Thanh Nguyen

Exit West
Mohsin Hamid

You can find reviews of these books and more
here: Reviews and Recommendations
Did you know?
Flying as a flock in V-formation, geese can travel up to 70% further in a single flight than an individual goose flying on its own. They take turns as leader, and honk encouragement to each other. Now that's teamwork! Honk! Honk!
  • GNAT TV: GNAT-TV in Manchester recently aired its inaugural Vermont Voices program, hosted by Cherise Madigan. The program featured a round-table discussion on the roles of libraries and bookstores in bringing ideas to the communities in which they live. Guests included Betsy Bleakie of the Manchester Community Library, Chris Morrow of the Northshire Bookstore, and Phil Lewis of the Bennington Bookshop. Here's a link, if you'd like to watch:…/
  • Best Bookstores in Vermont: The Bennington Bookshop was recently selected as one of the best Bookstores in Vermont by Best of American Towns! Here is a link to the page:
  • Book Packages: We are pleased to offer a range of book packages featuring current bestsellers. 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. Book Packages
  • 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: 10.00am~6.00pm
Sunday: Noon~4.00pm
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