Page 32: Brief Glimpses of Five Vermont Books | Books | Seven days

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Seven days writers can’t read, let alone review, all the books that come streaming in through the mail, email, and, in one memorable case, a bunch of foxes. So this monthly feature is our way of bringing you a handful of books by Vermont authors. To do this, we contextualize each book a bit and quote a single representative sentence from, yes, page 32.

home movie

Charles Barasch, Finishing Line Press, 70 pages. $19.99.

Why, when Carlton Fisk / hit the home run, / the man from Section 22, / … threw up his hands in joy …

A gifted poet can find immeasurable beauty in the darkness of life. For 50 years, Charles Barasch of Plainfield has published poems that reveal tenderness and joy as they relate human loss and frailty. A retired speech therapist who worked with young children, Barasch filled this retrospective with poems on a wide range of topics, including relationships, nature, life in Vermont and baseball.

“A Man and a Woman Are Lying in Bed” traces a myriad of events and decisions that brought a couple to an intimate moment. The little dead quadrupeds face their fate with aplomb in “Elegy for Mice”. The neighbors aren’t too friendly or too hostile in “On Our Dirt Road.” And the 13 short lines of “World Series,” which are excerpted above, take the reader from the thrill of a famous 1975 game to the heartache of a marriage mismatch.

While reading home movie it’s like entering the mind of a very observant, imaginative and sensitive soul.


Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition and the Idea of ​​a National Park

Rolf Diamant and Ethan Carr, Library of American Landscape History, 186 pages. $28.

Yosemite, despite the claims of its promoters, was not a desert.

In this account of the influential work of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, co-authors Rolf Diamant and Ethan Carr focus on the Civil War era. Linking nation-building to the emergence of national parks, the authors examine Olmsted’s role in the latter phenomenon.

Best known as the designer of Central Park, Olmsted was the landscape architect of Shelburne Farms in the 1880s. This volume, animated by primary sources, examines (and reprints) his 1865 work “The Yosemite Report”, in which Olmsted presents his “vision of a rebuilt post-war nation where large public parks were the key institutions of a liberal democracy”, the authors write. The major parks discussed in the book are bound by Olmsted’s assertion that access to the natural world should be as equitable as it is beneficial.

Diamant, who teaches at the University of Vermont, is a former superintendent of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont’s only national park.


Alzheimer’s Canyon: A couple’s thoughts on living with dementia

Jane Dwinell and Sky Yardley, Rootstock Publishing, 272 pages. $18.99.

Some [posts] might even begin to rhyme / others slipped their anchors in time / WELCOME TO MY WORLD!

In 2016, at age 66, Sky Yardley was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. In response, he and his wife of 30 years, Jane Dwinell, started the Alzheimer’s Canyon blog “as a way to erase the stigma attached to dementia and improve understanding of how it affects people on a daily basis”. . they wrote.

The excerpt above is taken from Yardley’s first entry in this collection, which spans five years: from the first year after his diagnosis until the year of his death in 2021. Yardley writes about everything, from having trouble sleeping and feeling stupid in the first year to his hallucinations. and poor balance in the third, last year he blogged. Dwinell’s messages are sporadic towards the start and become the only ones during the fourth and fifth years, when the disease has taken its greatest toll. In accessible and honest prose, the couple reveal how learning, creativity, flexibility and love helped them navigate a path neither wanted.



Estela González, Cennan Books from Cynren Press, 234 pages. $30.

My mother begged the Virgin to protect me; she promised that i would never cut my hair in all my life.

For children, a beach is a playground. For developers, an opportunity to get rich. And for the sea turtles that nest on the perfect stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast in the new novel by Middlebury College professor Estela González, a beach is the difference between survival and extinction.

All of these factions and many more are converging on arrived – or “arrival”, a term also commonly used to refer to the synchronized nesting of sea turtles. In 1990, concert pianist Mariana returns to her coastal hometown, where her beloved uncle has disappeared and her mother has suffered a stroke. Following in her uncle’s footsteps, she reconnects with an Indigenous friend who opens her eyes to the damage that decades of development – spearheaded by Mariana’s late father – has done to the landscape they both love.

González’s incantatory prose drifts freely between various perspectives and eras, its fluidity evoking the continuity of family tradition even as Mariana makes discoveries that redefine her home. This allows for powerful and immersive playback.


Not alone

Frédéric Martin, NthSense Books, 302 pages. paperback $12.99; $2.99 ​​e-book.

Drawing was about the only positive thing that came out of all his otherwise useless therapy sessions.

Misfit teenagers with superpowers aren’t exactly new to young adult fiction. But Richmond author Frederic Martin inventively rewrites that formula with his self-published book. Vox Oculis series, which opens with Not alone. Blue, a fourteen-year-old foster child, can hear people’s thoughts. Fiercely protective of her secret, she thinks she’s the only one of her kind until she moves to a small town in Vermont and meets Will and his family, who can communicate using the same silent method as her. . Will’s scientist dad researched their unusual trait – which he calls eye vox (voice to eyes) – and discovered that it’s not as supernatural as it sounds.

Martin, who won the 2018 Vermont Writers Award, tells an effective tale that harkens back to an earlier era of YA fiction. Will’s supportive, science-minded family may remind readers of Madeleine L’Engle’s Murrys. A shortcut in time, and Martin weaves facts about bioluminescence and other real-life phenomena into his gripping plot. Two suites are also available.


About Herbert L. Leonard

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