Peter Heller

Summer Reading Lists - Allie Levy

Hanover is so lucky to have Allie Levy in town. Allie gave us a little behind-the-scenes tour at Still North Books & Bar, and we can assure you, it’s going to be a fabulous space to gather this fall. In the meantime, we have Allie’s summer reading list for you. We love how Allie gives a nod to rereading old favorites. Don’t forget: you can still play Summer Reading Bingo to win a Still North tote! Thank you, Allie!


I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump this summer. Despite the popularly held opinion that summers are for relaxing by a body of water, it often feels like the least relaxing time of year up here. The extra daylight hours and warm weather create a kind of mania—squeeze as much work and play into the summer months or risk devastating regret come September. With so much to do, my reading time and brainpower have been limited, and I’ve gained a new appreciation for rereading. As such, I give you my favorite books of the summer—a few new or new to me, and some I’ve been happy to revisit.

The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller

A gorgeously written, contemplative post-apocalyptic adventure story. Peter Heller began his career as an outdoor journalist, and his background shines through in his depictions of the natural world. Dog Stars is the first of Heller’s now four novels. Think Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but more hopeful in its devastation.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb

It says a lot that Maybe You Should Talk to Someone was published in April and I’ve already begun a second reading. In it, therapist/writer Lori Gottlieb demystifies the therapeutic process by sharing the journeys of several of her patients (fictionalized to protect patient confidentiality), as well as her own experience on both sides of the couch. Part memoir, part self-help, part exploration of the mechanisms through which therapy works, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a book for anyone who is currently in therapy, has thought about therapy, or would never even consider going to therapy.

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler

Originally published 25 years ago, Octavia Butler’s story about a teenage girl who physically feels the pain of others is set in a near-future dystopia. Society has fallen into utter chaos, and the preceding circumstances have many uncomfortable similarities to our current predicament. Tackling climate change, racial violence, retrograde politics, and religion in one fell swoop, Parable of the Sower is the kind of novel that proves the importance of fiction.

Normal People, by Sally Rooney

Reading Normal People, in some ways, felt to me like re-reading Irish author Sally Rooney’s first, excellent novel Conversations with Friends—in a good way. Once again, Rooney deftly deals with the emotional landscapes of a young couple and the concentric circles of relationships surrounding them. Rooney has an uncanny ability to distill complex emotions and self-contradictory behaviors into crystalline sentences. In Normal People, she follows one couple from their high school almost-romance through their days at Trinity College. An unputdownable romance with substance.

The Body Artist, by Don DeLillo

When it comes to the number of times I’ve read a book, The Body Artist may be second only to the third Harry Potter. An intimate portrait of the ways in which we grieve, DeLillo’s novella tells the story of a performance artist coping with her husband’s suicide. As the grief sets in, her reality begins to fragment. The Body Artist is short and strange, alienating yet familiar.

The Dipper - May 2017

"The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know

May News

                    "Pie" by Hyla Maddalena

                    "Pie" by Hyla Maddalena

Mark your calendars for our very own Poetry & Pie event, which will be held at Sweetland Farm in Norwich, Vermont, on Saturday, July 29 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Our lineup of poets includes James Crews, Dede Cummings and Mary Kane. We're also planning an open mic portion of the afternoon. More information coming soon.


We are very happy to announce Bloodroot Literary Magazine's second digital issue launch at Left Bank Books in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Thursday, May 11 at 7:00 pm. It should be a great night! We hope to see you there. In the meantime, you can download Volume 8 and make your own chapbook.





May Highlights

  • Dartmouth College is hosting Poetry and Politics - Politics of Poetics, a series of readings from Monday. May 1 to Friday, May 5, featuring Cleopatra Mathis, Jose Kozer, Enrique Celaya Martinez, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gary Lenhart, Woon-Ping Chin, and Cynthia Huntington.
  • On Wednesday, May 3, Peter Heller will be reading from his newest book, Celine, at the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont, at 7:00 pm.
  • Natasha Trethewey will be reading at Bennington College on Wednesday, May 10 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.
  • The 2017 Hyla Brook Reading Series at Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, opens on Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 pm with a reading by poet Daniel Brown.


We're looking forward to these May releases:




For Young Readers


Naturalist and photographer Mary Holland will be at the Rutland location of Phoenix Books on Saturday, May 6 at 11:00 am. She will talk about how she became a naturalist, writer, and photographer and will share some large photos and animal artifacts. She'll also read Otis the Owl and take questions from the audience. This looks like a fabulous event for the young readers in your life.


Worth a Drive

Dennis Lehane will be at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on Friday, May 19 at 7:00 pm reading from his new novel, Since We Fell.



Calls for Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The New Hampshire Poetry Festival (Saturday, September 23) is accepting proposals for group readings and panel discussions based around a particular aspect of poetry in New Hampshire and beyond. The proposal submission deadline is Monday, May 15. For more information, please visit their Call for Proposals page

The Poetry Society of New Hampshire sponsors several poetry contests each year. The deadline for the next National Contest is Monday, May 15. The deadline for the next Members Only Contest is also Monday, May 15. For more information, please visit their Contest page.

The Green Mountain Writers Conference (July 24 to July 28, in Chittenden, Vermont) has discounted registration rates if you register before May 15 (lesser discounts are also available if you register before June 15 or July 15). For more information, please visit their Registration page.

Bahuan Publishing is accepting submissions for the 2017 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. The submission deadline is Friday, June 30. For more information, please visit their submission page.

The Hopper, a literary magazine from Green Writers Press, is accepting submissions of full-length manuscripts to its 2017 Hopper Poetry Prize. This contest is open to poets with an identified interest in the natural world and whose work explores issues tied to our ever-changing environment. There is an entry fee of $25. The submission deadline is Saturday, July 1. For more information, please visit their Contests page.

Applications for The Frost Place summer programs are now open, including the Conference on Poetry and Teaching, the Conference on Poetry, and the Poetry Seminar. For application deadlines and more information, please visit their Application page.


May Workshops and Classes

Jessica Hendry Nelson will be teaching a six-week memoir writing workshop beginning on May 10. To participate, register by May 5. The fee is $375. For more information and to register, please visit the Sign Up page.

Osher at Dartmouth summer term registration opens May 10. Courses include several for readers and writers, including Fiction Writer's Workshop, Summertime Book Group, and The Sonnet Tradition.

Register now for Poetry & Food, June 3 to 4 at Fiedler Farm in Huntington, Vermont.

AVA Gallery's next Mudroom theme is "It seemed like a good idea at the time..." Story submission deadline is May 25 (for June 15 event). They would like to hear from storytellers of all ages and from all towns in the Upper Valley and beyond. Stories are limited to seven minutes, must be true and autobiographical, and must be told live (not read). To submit a two-to-three sentence summary of your story and a short bio (no more than 150 words).

Registration for The Center for Cartoon Studies 2017 Summer Workshops is now open. In addition to workshops for drawing and writing cartoons and comics, this summer's schedule includes three graphic novel workshops led by journalists, writers and cartoonists Josh Kramer, Em DeMarco, Paul Karasik, Jo Knowles, Tillie Walden, and Melanie Gillman. For more information and to register, please visit their Summer Workshops page.

The Burlington Writers Workshop hosts writing workshops and events on an ongoing basis in Burlington, Montpelier, and Middlebury, Vermont. For their current schedule, please visit their website.

The Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont, hosts writing workshops and events on an ongoing basis. For their current schedule, please visit their Workshops page.