The Bennington Bookshop      July 2015

 Vermont's oldest independent bookstore

July is a busy month at The Bennington Bookshop!

Welcome to our July Newsletter! It's a busy month for us and we have lots of news about upcoming events. This newsletter features two author interviews, with Jenna Woginrich and Kim Wassick. Both authors have events in Bennington this month: Kim will be reading from her Basil and Prune the Pug books at the Bookshop on Saturday, July 18th, starting at 10.00am. Jenna will read from her work at the Bennington Free Library on Monday, July 20th, starting at 7.00pm. Other events include the Big Drum Mindfulness Meditation and Native American Children's Stories with Fidel Moreno, on Friday, July 24th at 7.00pm, and again on Saturday, July 25th, at 10.00am. Then, of course, there's Midnight Madness on Thursday, July 16th! We look back on our June author event with Peggy Kern, author of Little Peach. We also feature Sarah Harris's student review of The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. In addition, we offer a sneak preview of Ron Rash's latest book, Above the Waterfall.
In her own words: Local author Jenna Woginrich
Jenna is a homesteader and the author of Barnheart, Chick Days, and Made from Scratch. She blogs at Cold Antler Farm, as well as Mother Earth News and the Huffington Post. A Pennsylvania native, she has made her home in the mountains of Tennessee, in northern Idaho, in rural Vermont, and most recently in upstate New York, where she lives with a flock of Scottish Blackface sheep, a border collie in training, chickens and geese, a hive of bees, a horse, and several amiable rabbits.

On living on a One Woman Farm: I live the way I do because it makes me feel satisfied emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Homesteading takes care of the whole person.

On the spiritual nature of life on a farm: Some people love mantras, yoga, churches, and temples. Some people collect crystals, amulets, prayer beads and candles... I prefer heavy horses, hard work, and the way a river feels after a day of moving 300 50lb haybales. We all get our religion somewhere.

On the heartbreak of working with animals: Oh man, this is an essay in itself. I think the hardest choice is putting animals down you can't afford to save. It's that fight between the pocketbook and the heart so many small farmers need to make to stay afloat. Here as well.

communicating with animals: We are all animals, and when a horse needs something I find it isn't about any deep, spiritual, communication as much as a loud holler right in your face. People are looking for so much deep meaning these days from animals, and they usually miss the messages right in front of their faces. I've learned much of my livestock cares a lot more about the three biggies (food, sex, and sleep) and very little else. When you accept that you really start the conversation.

On the rhythms of writing, the seasons and the farm: Rhythm sounds so nice, bless you. It's more of a manic fistfight of creativity. I write in the m
orning when I need to write for a deadline, and I write in the evening when I need to write for passion. Seasons are just the furniture. 

On advice for aspiring writers: Write every day. Pile it up. Someone's bound to notice. 

On a favorite book: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I can't even begin to write like that but waking up in a world with that book makes me more excited to live in it.

Note: Jenna will be reading from her books at the Bennington Free Library on July 20th, starting at 7.00pm. There will be a question and answer session after the reading, and Jenna will sign copies of her books. Refreshments will be provided.
In her own words: Children's author Kim Wassick
On writing books for children: I have always loved telling children’s stories. When we would have friends over to our house, I would tell stories to the children. They would beg, “ Tell us more. Tell us more.”  I would give the characters similar names to the children I was telling the story to. They really like that.
On the inspiration for her work: I was inspired to write Basil and Prune the Pug after observing the hysterical relationship between my granddaughter Basil and her little black pug named Prune. I thought they were so funny together, that one day I said, “I am going to create two little characters after Basil and Prune.” I started out by telling the true story of them. I talked about how they slept together, ate together, played together and even shared “Binkies” together. I thought it made for a silly little book that toddlers would enjoy. 
On finding rhymes for her books: I have to tell you that it comes naturally to me. I had a really silly grandmother that was always making up songs and rhymes. I remember getting two turtles at a young age and my grandmother, otherwise known as MISS MUVVY, named them Myrtle and Girdle. Whenever I am rhyming I say, “Oh, Miss Muvvy is with me!” 
On her next project: At the moment I am working on more designs for my next book. As an artist and designer my brain is always thinking up new ideas. It’s hard to turn it off………but I love it!! I am currently working on a Basil and Prune the Pug’s Christmas. I am hoping to have it out by October. I plan to write and illustrate more fictional books about the two characters that I created inspired by Basil and Prune. Basil will remain a toddler in all the books and Prune will remain the same age too! 
Note: Kim will be reading from her Basil and Prune the Pug books at The Bennington Bookshop on July 18th, starting at 10.00am:
This is a special event for families with young ones.
So why don’t you come along and join in the fun!
Basil and Prune – the inside story!
For our younger readers, here are some of the things you wanted to know about Basil and Prune:

Q: How did Prune get his name?
A: When Prune arrived with his little shriveled up face, we thought he looked just like a prune. Hence the name Prune!!
Q: What’s Prune’s best trick?
A: One of Prune’s favorite tricks to do is, what we call, "The Prune Shuffle.” When he has a large audience he runs in circles as fast as he can. He just keeps running and running and the more we laugh, the faster he goes! 
Q: What’s Prune’s favorite food?
A: Prune doesn’t have a favorite food. Prune likes EVERYTHING!!!! When Basil is eating in her chair, Prune waits underneath it and eats everything Basil drops. He will eat anything and everything!!
Q: What treats does Prune like?
A: Basil’s favorite treat is Annie’s Bunny Crackers. She eats one and then feeds Prune one. She eats one…. she laughs…  and gives Prune another one. This goes on and on!
Little Peach
On June 20th, an emotional Peggy Kern read from her latest book, Little Peach. In researching the material for the book, Peggy spent time with a New York detective, and interviewed two survivors of child prostitution extensively. The result is an authentic picture of the horrors of human trafficking. At the reading, Peggy talked about meeting Miracle and Jen, the two young women she interviewed while researching her book. Peggy was clearly upset as she talked about how these children's circumstances had resulted in them being coerced into prostitution. "It's not something they do by choice," Peggy said. "Rather, a series of events leave them vulnerable and open to exploitation." Audience members thanked Peggy for raising awareness of the issue of child trafficking and asked what they could do to help. Peggy suggested looking for non-profits that help young girls on the ground, such as the Girls Educational and Mentoring Service (GEMS). She also encouraged readers to talk about the issue, and to share their copies of Little Peach with friends.
Note: We still have a few signed copies of Little Peach. Let us know if you’d like one. For a review of Little Peach, check out our June newsletter.
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 Sarah Harris. Congratulations, Sarah!

The Burning Sky - Sherry Thomas
Reviewed by Sarah Harris, Grade 11
Born into a world where the elements can be manipulated by mages, Iolanthe Seaborne is to become the greatest of them all and the saviour of the Realm. A prophecy that had been passed down from generations telling of her coming puts Iolanthe in danger and she must hide in a realm that doesn’t have mages. In this twisting tale from a world of mages to that of humans, written by Sherry Thomas, The Burning Sky is filled with excitement, terror, and a hint of hope. As the first in a trilogy, this book is burning with thrilling danger. Sarah Harris

Parents! Are you suffering from the Summertime Blues - when you despair over how to keep your children occupied through the long summer? Why not have them read a book (Now, there's a novel idea!), write a review, and send it to The Bennington Bookshop?

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
Sneak Preview
Ron Rash's next book, Above the Waterfall, will be released in September. Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southern Appalachia, this lyrical novel unwinds the tangled histories of small town residents - their guilt for past actions, the debts they owe for past kindnesses - and how these play out today. This is Ron Rash at his best. At times, the evocative prose reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer.
  • Go Set a Watchman: Harper Lee's long-awaited second novel will be released on July 14th. We will have multiple copies in the Bookshop. If you simply can't wait that long, you can read the first chapter here: Chapter 1
  • Summer Reading Winner: Congratulations to Beth Morrison, the winner of a gift certificate for her recommendations for our Best Books for Summer reading list. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for summer reading. You can see the full list here: Best Books for Summer
  • Midnight Madness: Thursday, July 16th. It's almost here! Storewide sale 10~40% off.
  • Summer Hours: We have extended our business hours for the summer. We are now open until 6.00pm Monday to Thursday, and Saturday, and until 8.00pm on Friday.
  • Book Sale: We have a selection of books on sale - 40% off. Recent releases in hardcover - fiction, biography, art, cookbooks, Young Adult, and more. Come in and check out the sale!
Coming up...
July 18th, 10.00am -
Local author Kimalie Wassick reads from her Basil and Prune the Pug series of children's books.
The Bennington Bookshop
Come along and join in the fun as Kim shares the hilarious adventures of Basil and her dog Prune!
Note: Kim's books are available through the Bookshop, but not through our online ordering system. If you'd like to order copies, please contact the Bookshop.

July 20th, 7.00pm -
A conversation with Jenna Woginrich

Bennington Free Library
Local author Jenna Woginrich reads from her latest book One Woman Farm. Co-sponsored by the Bennington Free Library and The Bennington Bookshop.

July 24th, 7.00pm and July 25th, 10.00am -
Big Drum Mindfulness Meditation and Native American Children's Stories with Fidel Moreno
Join us for meditation, singing, drumming and stories - for children of all ages.
This event will be held at The Bennington Bookshop.

August 24th, 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
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Friday: 9.00am~8.00pm
Sunday: Noon~4.00pm
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