The Bennington Bookshop       June 2016

Vermont's oldest independent bookstore
"This is June, the month of grass and leaves..."
This is June, the month of grass and leaves... already the aspens are trembling again, and a new summer is offered me. I feel a little fluttered in my thoughts, as if I might be too late.
- Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to the June edition of the Bennington Bookshop Newsletter. June is certainly the month of grass - I seem to spend all my free time on the mower these days! In this edition we feature reports on our events with authors Brian Adams and Adam Krakowski. There are several book reviews from Phil and Linda, as well as a review from Tara Oakes. Congratulations, Tara. We also have news of the latest Harry Potter book. We have lots of events planned, so be sure to check out the Coming up... section. The picture? The Roman goddess Juno, after whom the month of June may have been named. As always, thank you so much for your continued support of The Bennington Bookshop - your local independent bookstore.
Teetotalers, Bootleggers and Corruption
June 3rd
Burlington author Adam Krakowski entertained the audience with excerpts from his latest book, Vermont Prohibition. Vermont became the nation's second dry state in 1853, but some locals refused to comply. Adam noted that laws intended to increase responsible behavior amongst the population often had the opposite effect. He told a story about the notorious Catherine Dillon, who obtained a divorce from her husband in the following way, as reported in her obituary in the Burlington Free Press:

"Mr. and Mrs. Dillon were returning from a trip when Mr. Dillon failed to find his valise among the baggage on the platform. On Catherine's advice he selected another bag from those in the pile of baggage for the purpose of exchanging the bag for his when his was found. No sooner had they reached home than she procured his arrest for larceny. The unfortunate man was sentenced to Windsor prison, and as a condition of his release, went out in the Vermont Cavalry Regiment as a bugler."

Catherine made several other colorful appearances during the evening's discussion of the book.

Adam observed that some of the laws passed at the time of the Vermont prohibition remained on the books until very recently. As an example, he cited a law that restricted the number of open containers a person could have in front of them in a restaurant to just one 16-ounce container. This restricted the serving of flights of beer to restaurant customers until the law was repealed as recently as last year.

Adam writes for Yankee Brewing News, a brewing industry newspaper. He also co-authored Vermont Beer with Kurt Staudter.

The event was co-sponsored by the Harvest Brewing and The Bennington Bookshop. The Bookshop has signed copies of Vermont Prohibition for sale. You can order a copy here.
May 19th

Brian Adams's new novel, Kaboom!, is a love story about a girl, Cindy, and a mountain, Mt. Tom, in West Virginia. Brian set the scene for his reading by asking the audience to close their eyes and picture a mountain. He asked us to think of the trees on the mountain, perhaps the sounds of birds, or the chuckle of a stream. Then - Kaboom! - the sound of the explosion of mountain top removal. "Keep this up and they'll have to call us Billies 'cos there will be no more hills," one of the characters in the book wryly remarks.

Brian described Kaboom! as a coming-of-age novel. Cindy slowly gains political awareness and reacts to the environmental destruction going on in her community. Brian said he has always been an activist, and wants to get the environmental message out there. "In Kaboom!, I have tried to do that with humor," he said. "I want to engage people." Brian talked about the difficulty of writing humor. "What some people find funny, others find inappropriate, or even uninteresting," he said. "It's a balancing act."

Brian read three passages from the novel, then fielded questions from the audience.

Shelf Talker

Sydney Chambers and the Shadow of Death
James Runcie
Reviewed by Phil

Sidney Chambers is the vicar of Grantchester. He is an unconventional clergyman and can go where the police cannot. In these six interconnected mysteries, Sidney joins his friend Inspector Geordie Keating in investigating a variety of crimes. Along the way, there is conversation about beer, cricket and jazz. This book is part of the Grantchester Mysteries series. It's a gentle read, fun in places and perfect for a lazy summer afternoon sitting under the shade of a tree.

You can find more reviews here: Reviews and Recommendations
Sneak Previews
Love Warrior 
Glennon Doyle Melton
Reviewed by Linda
This is a deeply personal memoir about one woman's journey to rebuild her life and her marriage after betrayal. Doyle Melton shares her struggles with intimacy, love, body image, addiction, and trust. She explores the the difference between romantic and spiritual love and discovers what she needs to have both in her life and in her marriage. This book is an act of courage and many will find parts of their own story reflected in her words.
Glennon Doyle Melton is an author, public speaker, founder of the online community Momastery, and creator and president of Together Rising, a nonprofit organization that has raised more than four million dollars for families around the world.
Release date September 6, 2016

If I Forget You
Thomas Christopher Greene
Reviewed by Phil

If I Forget You is the story of Henry Gold, an impoverished student, and Margot Fuller, daughter of a wealthy and privileged family. Henry and Margot meet and fall in love at college, but are driven apart by a freak accident and Margot's powerful parents. Twenty one years later, they bump into each other on the streets of Manhattan. Their chance encounter stirs vivid memories from the past but also results in the uncovering of a terrible secret. Will their love survive? This was a well-structured book, beautifully written and makes for a very satisfying read.

Release date June 2016
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 Tara Oakes. Congratulations, Tara!

The Heart of a Dolphin
Catherine Hapka
Reviewed by Tara Oakes, Grade 4

I recommend The Heart of a Dolphin to readers of all ages interested in suspenseful and exciting books. It has a lot of information, and it tells about dealing with bullies and how to fix friendships, even if they take a wrong turn. The plot is about a girl who finds a dolphin that is stuck in a net, and she really wants to help. She swims over, and tries to undo the net, but it is too strong. She returns with a knife to cut the net, and sets the dolphin free. Later, she becomes good friends with the dolphin, and they play together. A bully comes into the story and makes her life difficult, and there is a lot of friend-related drama. This is one of those books I just couldn’t put down, because it was so exciting! The suspenseful chapter endings keep you turning pages, and the book ends on a real cliffhanger. Tara Oakes

Note: 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

The magic continues!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be released on July 31st. The book is based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany and is in the form of a rehearsal script book. What a great way to spend an afternoon with friends, each taking on a role!  The Bookshop is happy to open at midnight on July 30th if people are interested in getting their hands on a copy at the earliest possible moment. Just let us know! We are taking pre-orders now ($29.99).
Coming up...
June 11th, 7pm -
Stories, Songs and Poetry with Juliet Wright and Stan Searl
The Bennington Bookshop

Join us on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 7:00pm when local author Juliet Wright reads selections from her books, sings songs and answers questions about her work. Her special guest, Stanford Searl, will read from his latest collection of poems, Homage to the Lady with the Dirty Feet and other Vermont Poems.

June 27th, 7pm -
Shirley Jackson Day 2016
The Left Bank in North Bennington

The Left Bank in North Bennington, in partnership with Blue Rider Events, will again hold its annual celebration of the career of local writer Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) with a reading of her work on Monday, June 27, at 7pm. The readers will include two of Jackson’s children, J.S.Holly and Barry Hyman. Jackson was a prolific author who lived in North Bennington. During her short life, she wrote eight novels, a historical work of nonfiction, and hundreds of short stories. She is best known for The Lottery, one of the most widely read tales in modern fiction. June 27 is the “Lottery Day” of the original story, which was published in The New Yorker in 1948. 2016 is the hundredth anniversary of the author’s birth. The Bennington Bookshop will be attending the event and will have a selection of Jackson's books for sale.

For further information contact the Left Bank at: or by phone:  802-681-7161, or Blue Rider Events at: tfels@comcast,net

August 1st, 7pm -

An Evening with Judy Schwartz

Local author Judy Schwartz celebrates the release of her new book, Water in Plain Sight, with a reading and book-signing at Pangaea in North Bennington.

August 20th, 10am~3pm -

Sun and Fun Festival
115 Hillside St. Second Congregational Church
Sponsored by Solar Pro and 2nd Congregational Church

The second annual Sun and Fun Festival will be held on Saturday, August 20th at the Second Congregational Church. There will be live music by the Hale Mt. Pickers and a range of children's activities, including face painting, giant bubbles and a scavenger hunt, amongst others. There will be bee-keeping and composting demonstrations, and the opportunity to join in painting a giant mural. The Bennington Bookshop will be there with a range of books on outdoor activities and the environment. Admission is free and there will be drawings for prizes throughout the day. For more information:

October 6th, 7pm -
An Evening with Archer Mayor
Bennington Free Library


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.
  • Book Picks with Joe Donahue: Phil joined WAMC's Joe Donahue for another discussion of books on May 17th. Phil, just back from a visit to the west of England, was surprised to hear just how much of a Gloucestershire accent he had picked up in his time away. Here's a link to the show: Book Picks
  • 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.
  • Shop hours:
    Monday~Saturday: 9.00am~6.00pm
    Sunday: Noon~4.oopm
  • 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
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