Author Feature: Howard Frank Mosher

Howard_Frank_Mosher.jpgHoward Frank Mosher was an American author of thirteen books: eleven fiction and two non-fiction. Much of his fiction takes place in the mid-20th century and all follows quirky characters, many based on his own family, through everyday life in rural Vermont.

Mosher won many awards for his fiction, including the 2011 New England Independent Booksellers Association’s President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

We have nearly all of his works at our library.

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Librarians Recommend: First Test

Katie Recommends: First Test by Tamora Pierce
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(Why two covers? Because we have gloomy, scary looking one at the library, but it is a horrible cover, so have the original as well.)

Ten years after knighthood training was opened to both males and females, no girl has been brave enough to try. But knighthood is Keladry’s one true desire, and so she steps forward to put herself to the test.


Up against the traditional hazing of pages and a grueling schedule, Kel faces one roadblock that seems insurmountable: Lord Wyldon, the training master of pages and squires. He is absolutely against girls becoming knights. So while he is forced to train her, Wyldon puts her on a probationary trial period that no male page has ever had to endure. Further set apart from her fellow trainees, Kel’s path to knighthood is now that much harder. But she is determined to try, and she’s making friends in the most unlikely places.
This book was published in 1999, but it is as relevant today as it was then. Kel’s a girl just trying to do what she loves, even though everyone keeps telling her she’s not suited for it. She has allies who support her from the start, but they are few and far between and often tend to exhibit bigotry of their own, even without being aware of it. It’s the microagressions that Pierce really nails, with people unconsciously treating Kel differently, even without trying. And Kel often not knowing if she should be mad about special treatment she’s given, or grateful.

Then there’s Kel as a character. She’s stubborn and selfless and so innocent. When Lord Wyldon speaks of her distracting the male students with her presence, she has no idea what he means. Her general lack emotional awareness is coupled with a ridiculous command of physical arts, often something she uses to protect people smaller and/or weaker than her considerable height and stature. She’s a hero in the quietest, truest sense of the term. Her series, starting with First Test, is a pleasure to read.

Tamora Pierce, for those who don’t know her, is a titan of the Fantasy YA world. Many of her books are available through our Overdrive.

Kel’s Story (aka The Protector of the Small Quartet) is all available in audio format on our Overdrive:

First Test



Lady Knight

The first book is also in our collection at the library.

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Vermont Reads

You may have noticed the little logo below around town, or on the door of our library:


This logo indicates participation in the state-wide reading program Vermont Reads. This year, Monkton is also participating! The East Monkton Church is organizing events around this year’s book, and inviting anyone who can to join in.

This year’s book is:

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Bread and Roses, Too
by Katherine Paterson

Rosa’s mother is singing again, for the first time since Papa died in an accident in the mills. But instead of filling their cramped tenement apartment with Italian lullabies, Mamma is out on the streets singing union songs, and Rosa is terrified that her mother and older sister, Anna, are endangering their lives by marching against the corrupt mill owners. After all, didn’t Miss Finch tell the class that the strikers are nothing but rabble-rousers—an uneducated, violent mob? Suppose Mamma and Anna are jailed or, worse, killed? What will happen to Rosa and little Ricci?


You can find paperback copies of the book at the Russell Memorial Library, to the left of the front door. There are also several ebook and audiobook copies available through our GMLC Overdrive. If all of those copies run out, let the librarian at the front desk know and she will be happy to find you a copy through Interlibrary Loan.


Local Events:

September 3rd
1 pm
The Old Labor Hall in Barre is where, as described in Bread and Roses, Too, children were first welcomed to Barre after leaving their homes during the textile mills strikes. A carpool for the trip will leave the East Monkton Church at 1:00 pm.
Sunday, September 9th
2 pm
Join the East Monkton Church Association for a book discussion to explore some of the themes of the Vermont Reads book Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson.
Film Screening
Sunday, September 23rd
1 pm
Film screening of Made in L.A. at the East Monkton Church
Co-sponsored by the library
Find out about other sponsored events around the state at the Vermont Reads Website.

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Bookish Podcast 3: Harry Potter Edition

Looking for a bit of a nostalgia kick? Fan of Harry Potter? I have SO MANY podcasts for you.


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The original podcast of everything related to Harry Potter from the books to the movies to the games to the fandom at large. This show has been going strong for over a decade and shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re interested about discussions of the upcoming Magical Beasts movie, they have those. Want to know more about the Cursed Child play? They have that too. And you could always go back and explore the old predictions the show used to make before the last of the books were published.

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Upcoming Events: Teen/Adult Programming & Saturday Stories

We now have not only have kids programming, but also fun events for adults !

(Find out more on our Programming page.)

Adult Programming is generally aimed at ages 13 and up, not because we’re dealing with cussing or naughtiness, but because there’s not enough for adults to do in this town and we want to change that.

Tabletop Gaming Night

37568763_10156551244994532_5149354956825821184_o.jpgFirst Tuesday of every month
Anytime between 4 and 7 pm

Newcomers and experienced veterans welcome. Bring your friends or come alone–either way, we will make sure you can play something.

There will be snacks and beverages provided. The librarian on duty will be available to teach rules and settle scoring disputes.

Our next game night will be Tues, September 4th.

(Due to a scheduling conflict, the October Game Night will be on 10/9, NOT 10/2.)


Last Tuesday of every month
Anytime between 4 and 7 pm

Announcing our very own monthly fiber art night – Yarns! On the Third Tuesday of every month, between 4 and 7 pm, come work with yarn, spin yarn, tell yarns–whatever you’d like.

Beginners and experienced crafters welcome!

Snacks and beverages will be provided. If you want to learn to knit or crochet, bring needles and yarn and we’ll teach you the basics! Or bring whatever project you currently have for good company and fun yarns.

We even have a Yarns group on Ravelry!

Our next Yarns will be Tuesday, August 28th!

Also, our Saturday Stories are starting back up!

Saturday, August 25th from 10 – 11am with a program on classic folk tales.  Each of these monthly programs features a story, song, and simple craft. All ages welcome!

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The Great American Read

Have you heard of The Great American Read?


THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey).  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.

The television series features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.

The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.

How many of the books have you read?

Here are some of the videos developed by PBS featuring stars like Venus Williams, James Patterson, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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PBS Digital has also started posting animated essays by Lindsay Ellis on different types of literature and why we love them so much.

And there’s a massive online book group for any who want to read through the whole list.

Curious how to help vote for your favorite book? The details are here.

There are lots of resources available for teachers and parents who want to read with their families too!

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Author Feature: Erik Larson

Erik Larson writes Narrative Non-fiction, which is to say he writes non-fiction that sounds like fiction, not like a textbook. His books are meticulously researched and incredibly fascinating, telling all the details possible in a fluid, readable manner.

His research has taken him to far-flung locales, and down innumerable strange alleys. For his 2006 bestseller, Thunderstruck, Erik traveled to London, Munich, Rome, Nova Scotia, and Cape Cod, as he sought to chronicle the strange intersection in the careers of Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of wireless, and Hawley Harvey Crippen, England’s second most-famous murderer (after Jack the Ripper). To broaden his understanding of Marconi and his roots, Erik studied Italian; he achieved an elementary grasp of the language while developing an advanced appreciation for Italian red wines.

Here are some of his books that we have here at the library:

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America


Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. Daniel Hudson Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Henry H. Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths.

Available in hard copy at our library, and online as an ebook and audiobook.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin


The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.

Available in hard copy at our library, and online as an ebook and audiobook.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania


On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds” and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small – hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more–all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

Available in hard copy at our library, and online as an ebook and audiobook.


Larson also has some more titles over at GMLC Overdrive. Not sure what the heck Overdrive is? Read more here.

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