Shame and glory
"Shame has a proximal link to desire," writes Leslie Daniels in her introduction to Volume XXI, No. 2 of Green Mountains Review. "Think of blushing, of how close it is to arousal Ė indistinguishable."
This new volume of the venerable literary review published by Johnson State College features 12 works of fiction illuminating the notion of shame and its natural pairing, glory. There's infidelity, a sham marriage, a drowning, a "what-if" moment involving Bobby Kennedy.
The contributors include novelist Mark Childress and playwright Kermit Frazier.
The review is published twice yearly and is in its 21st year. For information and subscriptions, visit http://greenmountainsreview.jsc.vsc.edu/.
Vermonter Sharon Zecchinelli tells a fictional version of a real-life David-and-Goliath story in her new book, "First They Came for the Cows."
It follows a middle-aged Vermont homesteader as she becomes an activist against the National Animal Identification System, a program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to tag and track every livestock animal in the country.
Zecchinelli based the book on her own efforts to halt the program, which she describes as "the biggest threat to food safety, property rights and rural living anyone could imagine."
She worked on the book during National Novel Writing Month in 2007, an Internet-based challenge in which would-be authors all over the world try to churn out a 50,000-word manuscript in a month. Zecchinelli is a retired chef who lives on a 12-acre homestead in Enosburg Falls, where she and her husband keep hens, turkeys, a horse and other animals.
ListenUp! Vermont, a Web site that offers free audiobook downloads to Vermont library patrons, recently passed a milestone: its 10,000th checkout.
The person's name is a mystery, but the 10,000th download was done Jan. 16 by a patron at the Baldwin Memorial Library in Wells River.
The library gets an mp3 player for its part.
At http://www.listenupvermont.org, members of most of the state's libraries can use the ID number on their card to check out audiobooks for all ages and in a range of genres. The files can be transferred to a digital media player (now including iPods), and some can be burned to CD.
The reading light: spotlight on events
Book lovers are generally lovers of language, and two upcoming events offer a chance to show off or brush up on your English skills.
Misty Valley Books on Main Street in Chester is hosting a spelling bee for adults this afternoon at 3 p.m. It doubles as a preview of the Weston Playhouse Theater Company's summer production of the musical comedy "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."
Ace spellers don't need to register Ė just show up, on your own or with a team. The vocabulary list is drawn from the toughest words used in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Refreshments are planned, and the winner gets two tickets to the Weston show in July, in which four audience volunteers are recruited to come on stage as guest spellers.
For more information on the bee, try calling the bookstore at 875-3400.
If a grammar challenge is more your thing, you can try your hand at diagramming a sentence by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
That will be the grand finale of a "How to Diagram a Sentence" seminar at Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury on Sunday, Feb. 22. The library says diagramming is "a cool exercise, called play by many folks."
Wonder how Tina Fey does at it?
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