May 2020
Apparently, it is May already. This crazy existence has approached becoming a new normal but, like a beaten dog coming back to its owner for affection, the situation just ain’t right. Sleep is less reliable and not as restful, the commute on empty roads is smooth but eerie, the mountain of unknowns continues to grow faster than the national debt. So it has been refreshing to see people start to think about the world created anew post-COVID. What are the opportunities for using this long period of disintegration to birth a better future?

I have been thinking a lot about Localism again lately. Since helping to found Local First Vermont 16 years ago, my energy and interest for these issues has waxed and waned. But there is nothing like a good disaster to point out the weaknesses in an over-extended system--whether it is your own business, the country, or even the globe. What happens when a business can’t get merchandise? Or a country can’t produce tests? Or the supply chain of the globe breaks down?

The original vision of Local First Vermont was “a robust and sustainable economy fueling vibrant communities, built on the cornerstone value and practice of thinking ‘Local First’.” There really is value in keeping money circulating in our local and regional economies, in supporting local jobs, in building our local tax base, and in generally creating a virtuous cycle with our money. Your friends and neighbors who own farms and kitchen stores and hardware stores and cafes and bookstores are the same people donating time and money to all the local nonprofits and schools. Social as well as economic connections are made when we make the effort to support neighborhood enterprises - and this is the stuff of a meaningful life. 

I worry we will come out of this as a nation with a much diminished landscape of enriching opportunities in our local communities. Will the homogenization of America accelerate? With national banks, pharmacies and dollar stores dominating along with the ever bigger Amazon, Wal-mart, and Target. I am hopeful that Saratoga Springs and Manchester Center can resist these trends and maintain and grow our uniqueness, our vitality, and our connections.

“A good community insures itself by trust, by good faith and good will, by mutual help. A good community, in other words, is a good local economy.” -  Wendell Berry

Chris Morrow
Every Thursday at 5 pm, Northshire event managers Rachel Person & Dafydd Wood host a wide ranging conversation about books from their respective homes with a special guest author who will read from and discuss a recent or forthcoming book.

Northshire Live events require a password.  We send out the password on Mondays in our weekly events newsletters with reminders the day of each event. If you want to sign up for the weekly newsletter, select either of the links below:

The password for virtual events the first week of May is:


Join our booksellers for a special bookseller happy hour and bookchat on Tuesday, May 5 at 5. Booksellers from both Northshire locations will host a friendly meetup & tell you about their recent favorite books. This is a great event to find new reads for yourself (or your book group) - and catch up with your friendly neighborhood book community!

On Thursday, May 7th a 5pm, we are excited to be joined by acclaimed debut novelist Michael Zapata discussing our staff favorite  The Lost Book of Adana Moreau  which mixes Hurricane Katrina, immigration, pterodactyls, Borges, theoretical physics, and the (tragically fictional) grandmother of Latina Sci-Fi.  

On Thursday, May 14th a 5pm, we are thrilled to welcome none other than the  New Yorker 's comma queen herself (and Booktopia 2020 refugee) Mary Norris presenting her book  Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen , a delightful paean to the art of self-expression through accounts of her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo.

On Thursday, May 21st a 5pm, we are thrilled to welcome our dear friend Vermont's own Stephen Kiernan to present  Universe of Two , a novel of conscience, love, and redemption—a fascinating fictionalized account of the life of Charlie Fisk, a gifted mathematician who was drafted into the Manhattan Project and ordered against his morals to build the detonator for the atomic bomb. With his musician wife, he spends his postwar life seeking redemption—and they find it together. 

On Thursday, May 28th at 5pm, Jessica Anthony will join Northshire Live to present her latest novel and a Northshire staff favorite  Enter the Aardvark , in which a young congressman discovers a mysterious stuffed aardvark on his doorstep and sets out on a journey to find out what it means in this "weird, wonderful" novel about the secrets we keep from ourselves and their history-shaping consequences.
Featured Book of the Month

From the highly acclaimed author of  Schroder , a smart, sophisticated literary page-turner about a young family who escape suburbia for a yearlong sailing trip that upends all of their lives.

"I was taken completely by surprise by this deeply intelligent, page-turning novel about a family at sea. Underlying the joy of island hopping is a sense of dread the reader perceives from the first page. The well-paced story and the need to find out "what the hell happened out there" is somehow outshone by Gaige's prose. Her perfectly selected words in the service of impossibly perfect sentences was a marvel throughout." ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds

May Pre-order Highlight

From the  New York Times  bestselling author of  American Wife  and  Eligible,  a novel that imagines a deeply compelling what-might-have-been: What if Hillary Rodham  hadn’t  married Bill Clinton?

In Curtis Sittenfeld’s powerfully imagined tour-de-force of fiction, Hillary takes a different road. Feeling doubt about her prospective marriage, she endures their devastating breakup and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail—one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that involves crossing paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the tradeoffs all of us must make in building a life.
Brilliantly weaving a riveting fictional tale into actual historical events, Curtis Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute and witty story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still run mostly by men,  Rodham  is a singular and unforgettable novel.

New Fiction on our Shelves
New Nonfiction on our Shelves
New Paperbacks on our Shelves
From our own Shires Press

Over the course of nearly 50 years in the music business, Billy has become a personal friend and respected repairman to some of the top musicians in the industry.

From Woodstock, New York City and beyond, come with the band, as you're transported to sound stages, studios and shows that tell the story of just another day with the music technician. Musical emergencies come in the form of a young student anticipating the repair of their trumpet before their school concert to a backstage repair with thousands of fans waiting. Each one has a story and is told through the eyes of Billy with the band as you are taken on a musical adventure transcending age and background.

With The Band not only tells the story of a music man, it also chronicles the balancing act that comes with being a business owner, father and husband, and how to appreciate the extraordinary in an ordinary day.

New Releases from our Children's Department
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