Book of the Week (9/28/20)

Crown of Wild by Erica Bodwell (Kingston, WA: Two Sylvias Press, 2020).
What is the sound of in ruins, broken?" In Erica Bodwell's striking debut, brokenness is inflected with pain and also with beauty. Bodwell knows how humans get damaged and do damage, and sticks close to the stressed and womanly body: its sensations, its pressures, what impinges on it, how it breaks free--or how it can't. Her sounds are dense andvivid, her characters in these formally-varied lyric narratives are as real as characters in short stories.This is a book I'll keep coming back to. -- Daisy Fried
NH Poet Erica Bodwell returns to Gibson's Bookstore for this virtual event, where she will be presenting her first full-length poetry collection. Online only via Zoom, on Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at 7 pm EST. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/poet-erica-bodwell-crown-of-wild-tickets-119288241341


Book of the Week (9/21/2020)

The Wrong Kind of Woman by Sarah McCraw Crow (Toronto: Mira Books 2020).

NH author Sarah McCraw Crow has published her first full length novel.

"In late 1970, Oliver Desmarais drops dead in his front yard while hanging Christmas lights. In the year that follows, his widow, Virginia, struggles to find her place on the campus of Clarendon College, the elite men’s college where Oliver was a professor. While Virginia had always shared her husband’s prejudices against the four outspoken, never-married women on the faculty—dubbed The Gang of Four by their male counterparts—she now finds herself depending on them, even joining their work to bring the women’s movement to Clarendon.

Meanwhile, Virginia’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Rebecca, is adrift in a world without her dad and hates the woman her mother is becoming. And junior Sam Waxman, reeling from the death of his favorite professor, falls in love with a magnetic activist bent on effecting change by any means necessary.

Soon, reports of violent protests across the country reach this sleepy New England town, stirring tensions between the fraternal establishment of Clarendon and those calling for change. As authorities attempt to tamp down “radical elements,” Virginia must decide whether she’s willing to put herself and her family at risk for a cause that had never felt like her own.

Told through alternating perspectives, The Wrong Kind of Woman is an engrossing story of grief and renewal, of shedding old identities and finding new ways to belong, beautifully woven against the backdrop of the rapid changes of the early Seventies." --Author's website

Gibson's Bookstore will be hosting an online event where Sarah McCraw Crow will be joined in conversation by novelist Amy Meyerson (The Imperfects) on Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 at 7pm. Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/120432457723/


COVID Spring Reading on Monday, 9/21

On Monday, September 21, 2020, at 7 PM, join writers from across New Hampshire as they read from COVID Spring: Granite State Pandemic Poems, the anthology edited by New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary, published by Concord's own Hobblebush Books. 

This event is sponsored by the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library. Mary Russell, Director of the Center for the Book, will give opening remarks, joined by Kirsty Walker, publisher of Hobblebush Books, and Alexandria Peary. Plus a possible surprise guest appearance! Our readers for the evening are Marie Harris, Mark Decarteret, Dianalee Velie, S. Stephanie, Amber Rose Crowtree, Ala Khaki, Katrina Grella, Marjorie Moorhead, Andrew Periale, Melanie Chicoine, John Lindberg, Jody Wells, and Carol Westberg. 

 This reading will be held on Zoom.  

Space is limited to 300 audience members. Save your spot early!

There are specific steps to follow to RSVP 

 The meeting link will be sent out to the first 300 people to RSVP.


Book of the Week (9/14/2020)

A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears) by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling (NY: PublicAffairs, 2020).
Once upon a time, a group of libertarians got together and hatched one of the most ambitious social experiments in modern American history—the so-called Free Town Project: a plan to take over an American town and completely eliminate its government. In 2004, they set their sights on Grafton, NH, a flyspeck town with only one paved road, buried in the woods of New Hampshire’s western fringe. When freedom-focused libertarians across the US—from as far as California to as near as Massachusetts—descended on Grafton, state and federal laws became meek suggestions. Soon the wilderness-thick town lost public funding for pretty much everything: fire department, the schoolhouse, library, and perhaps most importantly wildlife services. As the people were ignoring laws and regulations on hunting and food disposal, their newly formed off-the-grid tent city caught the attention of some unruly neighbors: the bears. Armed with a pen and journalist’s notebook, Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling—a seasoned journalist who has covered everything from Maine's stately Governor's Mansion to the mud hut of a witch doctor in Sierra Leone—was drawn to Grafton in hopes of uncovering the truth behind this fantastical tale of bear vs. libertarian. Hongoltz-Hetling details how this tiny town became a radical social experiment—until the bear attacks started. Along the way he meets a band of interesting characters: Jessica Soule, a Vietnam-era veteran who became an acolyte of the controversial Reverend Sun Myung Moon; Adam Franz, a poker-playing communist who dreamed of founding a survivalist community; John Connell, a Massachusetts factory worker on a mission from God; and, of course, John Babiarz, the firefighter libertarian who opened Grafton’s doors to the Free Town Project and then spent the next decade trying to explain it to his nonlibertarian neighbors. This book is a sometimes funny, sometimes frightening tale of what happens when a government disappears into the woods. Complete with gunplay, adventure, and backstabbing politicians, this is a quintessentially American story, a bearing of our national soul. -- Publisher's Blurb.
Journalist and author Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling visits Gibson's Bookstore virtually to present his new book, A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear on Wednesday, September 16th, 2020, at 7pm EST. Online only via Zoom. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/119111458579/


Book of the Week (9/7/2020)

Beneficence by Meredith Hall (Boston.: David R. Godine Publisher, 2020).

NH author Meredith Hall returns with a novel centered around family, love and loss.

"When they meet in the 1930s, Doris and Tup’s love is immediate. They marry quickly and Doris commits to the only life Tup ever wanted: working the Senter family farm, where his parents and grandparents and great-grandparents are buried under the old pines. Their lives follow the calming rhythms of the land—chores in the cow barn, haying the fields, tending their gardens—and in this they find immeasurable joy.

Soon their first child, Sonny, is born and Doris and Tup understand they are blessed. More children arrive—precocious, large-hearted Dodie and quiet, devoted Beston—but Doris and Tup take nothing for granted. They are grateful every day for the grace of their deep bonds to each other, to their family, and to their bountiful land. As they hold fast to this contentment, Doris is uneasy, and confesses, “We can’t ever know what will come."

When an unimaginable tragedy turns the family of five into a family of four, everything the Senters held faith in is shattered. The family is consumed by a dark shadow of grief and guilt. Slowly, the surviving Senters must find their way to forgiveness—of themselves and of each other."-- Author's website

Join Meredith at an online book discussion hosted by Gibson's Bookstore on Monday, September 14th, 2020 at 7:15pm, via Zoom. Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/118221921951/