Category Archives: Content

Bookish Podcasts

These days there’s a podcast for everything, from true crime to ghost stories to parodies of old timey radio. But have you heard of any of these spectacular bookish podcasts?


Annotated is Book Riot’s new audio documentary series about books, reading, and language.

Fan of the classics? Love history? This podcast is This American Life for books, covering topics from the 17-year-old that invented Science Fiction to The World’s Most Glamourous Librarian.

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Librarian’s Recommend: Wendy Webb’s Novels

Deb Recommends: The Vanishing, The Fate of Mercy Alban, and The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Web

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Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired…and who the world believes is dead.


Grace Alban has spent twenty years away from her childhood home, the stately Alban House, for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother’s unexpected death brings Grace and her teen-age daughter home, she finds more haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House than her own personal demons.


A young woman travels to uncover a past she never knew was hers in this thrilling, modern, ghost story. A letter upends Hallie’s life. She was raised by her loving father, having been told her mother died in a fire. Her mother, Madlyn, was alive until very recently. Why would Hallie’s father have taken her away? What happened to her family thirty years ago?

These moody and atmospheric gothic dramas feature so many family secrets, twists and turns that they’re a joy to read, especially on a dark, stormy weekend. The endings are so satisfying, despite the twists and turns. A recommendation for any fan of dramas, mystery, and plot twists.



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Meet RML: Lesser Known Locations

Most patrons visit either our picture book section or our adult fiction section. But did you know that we have all of these other collections available for checkout as well?

Activity Books


Looking for something to do with your kids? Maybe a rainy day activity? Or something to keep them entertained over the summer vacation? We have a sizeable collection of books on anything from science experiments to crafts available for check out.

You can find this section in the Children’s room, on the top shelf above the poetry and parenting books.

Picture Book Display


We are proud to announce a new rotating picture book display! All books on display are available for check out, so don’t hesitate to grab them!

You can find this section in the Children’s room.



Our newest addition to the collection is the Oversize section, where all of our biggest and most beautiful books are kept. Our collection ranges from illustrated classics to detailed non-fiction books, to massive art books.

You can find this section next to our rear window, below the graphic novels.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Display

30724347_10216175034349408_3778163897136054272_n.jpgThe Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award was created to honor excellence in children’s literature. Each year since 1957, Vermont students in grades four through eight have selected their favorite book from a list of 30 nominees. It is recommended that students read at least five of the year’s nominated titles before voting. Voting takes place in the spring, generally beginning in April.

Since this is the one book award that children get to decide, we like to make the nominated books as available as possible. This display provides a list of all the nominated books, while also collecting all of the hard copies we have available.

(See the full list of books for this contest, all available through our digital services here.)

You can find this section in our YA section, next to the rear window.

The Doctor Russell Collection


Our library is named for Dr George Russell, a Vermonter best known for his appearances in Norman Rockwell’s work. His nephews collected George Russell’s personal collection of Vermont History books and used them to create our little Monkton Library. These rare and fragile books are kept behind our circulation desk in a special cabinet. While they do not leave the building, interested patrons are welcome to arrange an appointment to come in and explore the collection.


Dr Russell was the model for the doctor pictured above – from the painting Visiting the Family Doctor by Norman Rockwell


Any little sections that surprised you? Curious about a section not mentioned above? Come in and poke around during our open hours:

Tuesday 3:00 – 7:00
Thursday 3:00 – 7:00
Friday 9:00 – 1:00
Saturday 9:00 – 1:00

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Author Feature: Ronald Rood

Ronald Rood (July 7, 1920- July 16, 2001) a delightfully fun Vermont author, naturalist and Vermont Public Radio commentator wrote over thirty books, many of which we have in our Vermont Collection.

Rod’s delightful sense of humor comes through just in the titles of books like May I keep the Clam, mother? It followed me home, The Loon in the Bathtub, or Animals Nobody Loves: The Fascinating Story of “Varmints.” His naturalist stories about all manner of critters, are always hilarious and often educational. Come check out any of the previous titles, or the ones listed below, from our collection!

How do you Spank a Porcupine?


Rood and his family’s adventures with their adopted porcupine. Expect much hilarity.

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Genre Feature: After the Apocalypse

For a library that’s very fond of Mysteries, you’d be surprised at how much post-apocalyptic fiction we have. Sometimes it’s nice to see that humanity will keep on pushing through, even after everything ends. And sometimes, it’s just a relief to read about someone whose life is in a much worse place than yours. Whatever your reasons, we’ve got a book for you.


Zone One by Colson Whitehead


Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One—but pockets of plague-ridden squatters remain. While the army has eliminated the most dangerous of the infected, teams of civilian volunteers are tasked with clearing out a more innocuous variety—the “malfunctioning” stragglers, who exist in a catatonic state, transfixed by their former lives.

Mark Spitz is a member of one of the civilian teams work­ing in lower Manhattan. Alternating between flashbacks of Spitz’s desperate fight for survival during the worst of the outbreak and his present narrative, the novel unfolds over three surreal days, as it depicts the mundane mission of straggler removal, the rigors of Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder, and the impossible job of coming to grips with the fallen world. Continue reading

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Give YA Books a Chance

Young Adult Literature (abbreviated YA) is technically literature aimed at teens, usually from about middle school up through high school. Some famous titles of the genre have been turned into movies you may have heard of, like the Hunger Games, the Maze Runner, and the Harry Potter series.

But YA as a genre consists of much more than dystopias and magic schools. There are plenty of fantastical and science fiction-based stories, yes, but there is also historical fiction, romance, and just plain fiction. In fact, the book often credited with creating the idea of “young adult” fiction, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, has no fantastical elements whatsoever:

The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider.


Fun fact: this was also made into a movie. With Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise.

Ponyboy’s story deals with issues of class and poverty, of gang violence, and even of what it means to be a man. These are not the simple ideas outlined in classic fairy tales, or even earlier fiction aimed at children, but complex concepts that are just as relevant to adults.

Such universal themes continue in YA today. Take Maggie Stiefvater‘s The Raven Boys, an often humorous book delving into the mystery of a long dead king that also tackles problems of economic class, privilege, and abuse. Or Patrick Ness‘s A Monster Calls, which explores all the stages of grief. These books speak to more than just the age group they’re meant for. And they do so in the easily accessible, often incredibly lyrical language of a book ostensibly meant for younger readers.

YA also has the advantage of being one of the most diverse genres around in terms of not only characters, but also authors. For instance, it is one of the very few genres where more women submit manuscripts to publishers than men.  Massive online communities drawn to the genre have also supported movements like We Need Diverse Books and Disability in Kidlit, bringing visibility and support to diverse stories within the genre. There’s so much to explore, that a person can spend years just beginning to get into YA.

And in an increasingly busy world, these complex yet accessible stories are often a ready escape from the tyranny we face every day in America. Sometimes you need a story about a guy who can read characters out of books into the real world or a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a pirate crew or a bunch of troubled teens who set out to pull off an impossible heist. Maybe you just want a sappy romance or a family drama or a lyrical mystery with a twist. Whatever you want, there’s probably a YA for it. And chances are it will be an engaging read that will take you much less time to get through than the average adult fare.

At RML, we are currently working to expand our YA collection to include more newer works. If you’re curious, come in and try one of the many titles hyperlinked in this piece (we own all of those titles in hard copy), or talk to one of our librarians for a recommendation. You never know, you may find a new favorite book among the YA stacks.

YA is worth your time. But don’t just take my word for it:

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers: In Defense of YA (video)

In Defense of Reading Young Adult Literature as a Grown Up (article)

Why I read YA (article)

9 Reasons Why Reading YA is Books is Good for Adults too (article)

Grownups: You Can Read YA, and Why not read it with your kids? (article)

Look Homeward, Reader: A Not-So-Young Audience for Young Adult Books (article)

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RML Resources: Internet Archive

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Internet Archive  is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. This can mean anything from music to software to books and old webpages. Everything on this website is free (and legal) to access and download, as it is out of copyright.

Some collections that may interest you:

LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection: LibriVox – founded in 2005 – is a community of volunteers from all over the world who record public domain texts: poetry, short stories, whole books, even dramatic works, in many different languages. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain in the USA and available as free downloads on the internet.


Live Music Archive: enjoy live concerts, without the hassle or cost of going to the venue. Offerings include anything from Blues Traveler to The Grateful Dead to John Mayer.

Internet Arcade: play classic video games from 1970s to the 1990s right in your web browser!


Free Feature Films: watch any of these classic titles right from your computer!

Sci-fi / Horror

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