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Bookseller Summer Reading: Part 4 October 26, 2012

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It was brought to my attention that I missed posting Marisa’s summer reading list, so on this Indian Summer day, here’s a bit of summertime (or, really, anytime) reading for you:

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
An otherworldly circus, open only at night, is the setting for a duel between two young magicians. The imagery is amazing and the story compelling. It’s a hard book to put down!

2. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

Budo is the imaginary friend of a boy named Max. He gives us the inside scoop on what it’s like to be an imaginary friend and a close look at the trials and tribulations he goes through to save Max’s life, at the risk of his own.

3. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
I got so attached to the characters in this novel that when I was through, I seriously considered starting over again. A novel about baseball, family, friends and love.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In this futuristic dystopian novel, 24 children ages 12-18 are pitted against each other in a televised fight to the death. It’s now a movie but as is often the case, the book is better.  It’s worth a read, even if you’ve already seen it.

A few other books I liked: The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai, Cutting for
Stone by Abraham Verghese and The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
by Jonathan Evison.

I also read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Half the time I loved it and the other half I felt like “accidentally” losing it so I wouldn’t have to read it anymore. Some classics make me feel that way. I know I’m supposed to like them, but sometimes it’s hard.

Attica Locke’s novel, “The Cutting Season” September 11, 2012

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Locke’s novel is a superb, multilayered, historical/mystrey/thriller. If you like female heroes, courageous but troubled single mothers, African-American history, Louisiana and the trouble caused by the discovery of a dead body, you will love this book. The story protagonist, Caren Gray is a law school drop-out who returns to the sugar plantation-turned tourist attraction where her mother worked and where she spent her childhood. Branded as a failure by the father of her nine year old daughter, Caren is not so much a quitter as she is a person that wants to impose her will on her own life story instead being subject to the wills of others. Her troubles are compounded when the body of a latina migrant worker is found in a ditch alongside the road that divides the ancient  plantation grounds from the cane fields. It is also rumored that the slave quarters that still stand are haunted by the ghosts of her ancestors. I highly recommend this book.

–Edgar

Bookseller Summer Reading: Part 3 September 3, 2012

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The next bookseller to weigh in on the question, “What did you read this summer?” is Sandy Scott.

My summer reading list is shorter than I’d like, but I’ve managed to get
a few good books under my belt. My favorites have been:
1. The Borrower, by Rebecca Makkai, which is a novel about a 26 year old librarian whose involvement in a young patron’s life leads to an unplanned kidnapping.
2. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman, a young adult fantasy with a main character who pulled me right into her story. Seraphina is a talented musician whose world is built on an uneasy truce between humans and
dragons, who are able to shift into human form. With the 40th anniversary of the original peace treaty approaching, tensions are high and a dangerous secret that Seraphina guards is threatened with discovery. Excellent writing, fascinating dragons, and a strong female lead character should appeal to fans of the Eragon series and Kristin
Cashore’s Graceling trilogy.
I’ve also enjoyed Tina Fey’s Bossypants; Archer Mayor’s forthcoming novel, Paradise City; Privacy, by Garret Keizer; Penelope, by Rebecca Harrington; The Diviners, by Libba Bray; and Liar & Spy, by Rebecca Stead.

Bookseller Summer Reading: Part 2 August 27, 2012

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Diane Grenkow is the second bookseller to ring in with an answer to our “back to school” question: What did you read this summer? 

Here are some of the books I’ve read this summer.  I really did read The Pickled Pantry even though it is about pickling and doesn’t really tell a story exactly.  Except maybe the story of summer.  I read it cover to cover anyway and stuck slips of paper in where there are recipes I want to try.  It turns out, it would have been easier to mark the ones that I DON’T want to try.  I have been reading Anne of Green Gables books to my daughter and wishing we could run off to Prince Edward Island.  My son suggested I read the Ranger’s Apprentice series and I’ll admit I picked up the first one just to be nice because he asked me to.  Then I couldn’t put them down and neglected the things that should have been pickled because I was too busy reading the whole series.  Whoops!  The Man Who Quit Money provided food for thought about how to live one’s life and how to relate to money and what we do to get it and keep it that might not be in our best interest.  I love Archer Mayor and Toni Morrison, whatever they write.  Birds of a Lesser Paradise, a collection of stories, and Wild took me places the way you want a good summer read to take you.  Right now I am reading Louise Erdrich’s forthcoming novel, The Round House.  It tells a brutal story but I’m completely taken with it so far.

Bookseller Summer Reading: Part 1 August 20, 2012

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Hey! We’re back! And we’re turning a (virtual) fresh page on the blog with a new series of bookseller Q&A.

For the first question, we’re tweaking the quintessential “What I did on my summer vacation” a bit and asking, “What did you read this summer?”

Our first answer comes from Edgar Davis, who has two books to recommend:

Blonde Faith, by Walter Mosley, is part of the Easy Rawlings Detective Series which includes Devil in a Blue Dress and Little Yellow Dog. This installment deliver the same detailed, imaginative and introspective narration from the story’s hero, Ezekial Rawlings, a private-eye and Korean War veteran who makes his home in the L.A. of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. While using his detective’s skill  to aid a member of of his close-knit African-American community, Easy’s own life becomes complicated when he’s abandoned by Bonnie, the love of his life.

The Devil’s Storybooks, by Natalie Babbitt, is a delightfully collection of fables written with a rare combination of light-heartedness and sharp wit. The tales are both funny and profound. A good book for anyone from 13 to 30.

Busy weekend ahead! May 21, 2012

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This coming weekend, May 26th and 27th, is a busy one for the Hardwick area. Saturday is the 62nd Annual Hardwick Spring Festival, beginning with a 5K run at 9 a.m.; parade at 11:00; and an outdoor exhibitor and vendors fair, rides, food, and games at Atkins Field until 4 p.m.

Before or after (or during–we have a great view from our window!) the Main Street parade, visit The Galaxy Bookshop, take a look at some of the wonderful new books filling our shelves and browse through our sale bin for some great finds.

While you’re in town, or perhaps the following day, you can also take advantage of Open Studio Weekend, visiting a number of local artisans and galleries that will feature beautiful handmade items for sale, and in some cases demonstrations and sales.

In addition to the Vermont Crafts Council website linked above, more information about both events can be found on the Hardwick Area Chamber of Commerce online calendar.

Time for another party! April 30, 2012

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We strongly believe in having parties–period. We had a party to celebrate the announcement of our move, a party to move the store, and a party to celebrate our re-opening. This month, we have another reason to celebrate: the gorgeous mural that Tara Goreau designed and painted for us has been installed! Over the past few months, we’ve heard numerous creative suggestions for decorating our walls, and each time we were mentally rubbing our hands together with glee, thinking, “Oh, just you wait and see!” Well, the waiting is over, and the artwork is even more amazing than we could have imagined. A whimsical view of Hardwick overhung with a sky of sparkling constellations, full of so many imaginative details that it can take multiple viewings to notice them all; this painting is, itself, a celebration of books and reading and community.

Join us this Saturday, May 5th, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. to to toast Tara and her work!

Review: Oh, No, George! April 17, 2012

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Every dog–and every kid–knows that the best intentions can be blown to the wind in the face of temptation, and this is what the hapless hero of Oh, No, George! discovers, time and again.

” ‘Yes,’ says George ‘I’ll be very good.’ I hope I’ll be good, George thinks,” when Harry steps out for a little while. But, “Oh, no, George!,” the lure of a cake, a playful cat, and a garden bed prove too strong to resist. How will the poor, disgraced pup redeem himself?

Using a vibrant palette of reds and purples, author/illustrator Chris Haughton paints George and his antics in an abstract style that allows the characters expressions to shine through, eliciting both laughter and sympathy for this well-meaning pooch.

Haughton wrote a fantastic, well-illustrated, blog post about the process of writing and illustrating this book, from conception to layout. Click here to read all about it!

The League of Vermont Writers 2012 Literary Competition April 9, 2012

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Calling all writers: The League of Vermont Writers (LVW) has announced its 2012 Literary Competition!

This year’s theme is “My New England.”

Categories are Fiction, Personal Essay, and Poetry.

Entry fee is $15 per submission.

Deadline for submission is May 15, 2012.

The Final Judges are David Budbill, Ron Powers, and Howard Frank Mosher.

Grand Prize is $1,000 (one prize awarded for each category) and an opportunity to read the winning selection at the LVW’s Summer Conference, as well as publication in the Leagues 2012 Journal!

For more information about the contest and guidelines, visit the LVW website.

Moving Day February 16, 2012

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It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in our new space for a month already! So far, things are going very well. We continue to move and add things throughout the store, so keep coming by to see what’s new since your last visit!

We had such an amazing show of support from our customers and neighbors in Hardwick throughout our moving process. Sadly, some of the photos taken during our move were lost in the bowels of a computer, but here are some wonderful images from the weekend before and day of the move to Main Street. Photos are by Diane Grenkow and Elena Gustavson.

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