The Vermont Book Shop

02/24/2020
(Knopf Publishing Group) “Weather,” at its base, is a book about a university librarian, a mother, a wife and the sister of a brother struggling with addiction, but it soars far above that. How is it possible for Jenny Ofill, author of the critically acclaimed “Dept. of Speculation,” to lift this seemingly mundane, domestic story to such heights? She does it with exquisite prose, precise and deliberate structuring and truly original style. The book itself has six parts; each part has multiple passages and each passage contains multiple fragments. Each fragment addresses a different concern —...
02/17/2020
(Scout Press) You’ll instantly fall in love with the narrator of this book, Zelda, and get completely caught up in her enthusiasm for everything Viking. She is also enthusiastic about rules and she finds a simple set of tenets to live by, like “strange people are not appreciated in her home” and “tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.” These rules go a long way toward keeping everything in order and in place, and as a 21-year-old young woman with a cognitive disability eager to fend for herself, order is very important to Zelda. What you likely won’t love...
02/10/2020
(Riverhead Books) Two sisters were born to a mother who died young, a victim of the opioid addiction crisis, and their paths diverged. One excelled in school, then became a police officer, patrolling the decaying Philadelphia neighborhood where the girls grew up. The other succumbed early to addiction, worked those same streets for money, and nearly lost her life multiple times. Now those streets are even more dangerous. Girls, just like officer Mickey’s sister Kacey, are turning up dead, and Kacey is missing. Fearing the worst, Mickey works furtively behind the scenes, but her inexperience...
02/03/2020
(Harper) Peggy Orenstein, bestselling author of “Girls & Sex,” returns with a companion book, subtitled “Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity.” She spent over two years talking to young men between the ages of 16 and 22, and in some cases, hearing stories that the boys had never before confessed to anyone but her. The case studies are revealing, with one or a few of the boys’ stories forming the backbone of a chapter’s subject, and featuring quotes and real-life examples of boys’ experiences. Orenstein describes the last story of the book as “...
01/27/2020
(Tin House Books) A memoir penned by a poet is pure delight to read, and this particular poet has penned an astonishing memoir. First the structure is unique: Koh translated letters, composed in Korean, that her mother sent to her over the course of the years Koh and her brother were left in the United States while their parents returned to Korea for a job opportunity her father could not pass up. The letters themselves, in handwritten Korean, are also reproduced in the book, complete with her mother’s often erroneous translations into English for her daughter (“She writes, I have to assert...
01/20/2020
(Flatiron Books) Hailed in the book world as the most anticipated book of 2020, “American Dirt” has already won accolades from multiple esteemed writers and critics: Stephen King, Tara Conklin, and more. Hannah Beckerman of The Guardian says “it is hard to imagine there will be a more urgent or politically relevant novel this year.” This work of fiction seeks to put individual faces to the faceless numbers of migrants coming to the United States from Central America. Lydia and her son Luca seek asylum. They survived a cartel attack that killed her entire extended and immediate family; her...
01/13/2020
(Grove Press) In a thoroughly readable, engaging and informative book, author Ada Calhoun delineates many of the extenuating factors — not excuses — for why middle-aged women are plagued with unmanageable insecurities. She interviewed women across the country concentrated on the middle class and utilized her own experiences as well as those of her friends, revealing the unique predicament of Generation X women. Like a middle child, Gen Xers, born between approximately 1965 to 1984, are uncomfortably sandwiched between the much larger generations of baby boomers and millennials. Calhoun brings...
01/06/2020
G. P. Putnam’s Sons It’s refreshing to start the new year with a new perspective. And it’s refreshing to start reading a fun, contemporary new novel and find at the end that you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes. Caught between two important people in her life, both seemingly supportive of her but actually presenting false fronts, 26-year-old Emira Tucker is stuck. As a nanny for affluent Alix Chamberlain, living an Instagrammable life, Emira manages the real-life stickiness of Alix’s children so Alix can appear effortlessly chic. And Kelley, the boyfriend, well-meaning in a pushy way...
12/26/2019
(Trinity University Press) When Vermont writer Leath Tonino headed out west for college, a friend predicted, “the west will swallow you.” Luckily for us, Tonino hasn’t forgotten his Vermont roots, and in his writing, his strong sense of self and place has only developed with his wanderings. In these collected essays, he explores California, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and... “Hither and Yon.” His infectious enthusiasm for this earth, on display in “The Animal One Thousand Miles Long: Seven Lengths of Vermont and Other Adventures” published in 2018, spills out in every paragraph...
12/23/2019
(Islandport Press) Vermont writer and wilderness professional Sam Brakeley (he’s an EMT, former ski patroller, search and rescue team member, trail builder, etc.) doesn’t actually ski with Henry Knox. In fact, it’s been almost 250 years since General Knox traversed the winter lands between Fort Ticonderoga and Boston to deliver artillery to the revolutionary forces fighting the British in a pivotal period in the Revolutionary War. Brakeley, faced with a pivotal moment in his own life, wanted an experience akin to that treacherous, lengthy winter journey, so he set out to ski the Catamount...

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