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New Books Spotlight: Vermont Book Award Winners 2022 and 2023

Happy New Year from UVM Libraries! Did you know our collection features winners and finalists of the “Vermont Book Awards”? Check out the latest winners from 2022 and 2023 and be ready for the May 2024 award announcement. Come see our display in the Howe Library Lobby and check one out! 

Read more about the Vermont Book Awards on the Vermont Department of Libraries website.

Aurelia, Aurélia : a memoir by Kathryn Davis

“Kathryn Davis's hypnotic new book is a meditation on the way imagination shapes life, and how life, as it moves forward, shapes imagination. At its center is the death of her husband, Eric. The book unfolds as a study of their marriage, its deep joys and stinging frustrations; it is also a book about time, the inexorable events that determine beginnings and endings.”

Revenge of the scapegoat by Caren Beilin

"'Revenge of the Scapegoat' is an original satirical novel by contemporary American author Caren Beilin. A summary description: One day Iris, an adjunct at a city arts college, receives a terrible package: recently unearthed letters that her father had sent in her teens, in which he blames her for their family's crises. Driven by the raw fact of receiving these devastating letters not once but twice in a lifetime, Iris escapes to the countryside-or some absurdist version of it. Nazi cows, Picassos used as tampons, and a pair of arthritic feet that speak in the voices of Flaubert's Bouvard and Pecuchet are standard fare in this beguiling novel, a work of high comedy that is also a biting investigation of familial trauma, chronic illness, academic labor, and art."

The memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller

“In 1916, Sven Ormson leaves a restless life in Stockholm to seek adventure in Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago where darkness reigns four months of the year and he might witness the splendor of the Northern Lights one night and be attacked by a polar bear the next. But his time in a mining camp ends when an avalanche nearly kills him, leaving him disfigured, after which Sven flees even farther, to an uninhabited fjord. There, with the company of a loyal dog, he builds a hut and lives alone, testing himself against the elements. The teachings of a Finnish fur trapper, along with encouraging letters from his family and a Scottish geologist who befriended him in the mining camp, get him through his first winter. Years into his routine isolation, the arrival of an unlikely visitor salves his loneliness, sparking a chain of surprising events that will bring Sven into a family of fellow castoffs that determine the course of the rest of his life. Written with wry humor and in prose as breathtaking as the stark landscape it evokes, The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven is a testament to the strength of our human bonds, reminding us that even in the most inhospitable conditions on the planet, we are not beyond the reach of love.”

The hare : a novel by Melanie Finn

“Raised to be obedient by a stern grandmother in a blue-collar town in Massachusetts, Rosie accepts a scholarship to art school in New York City in the 1980s. One morning at a museum, she meets a worldly man twenty years her senior, with access to the upper crust of New England society. Bennett is dashing, knows that 'polo' refers only to ponies, teaches her which direction to spoon soup, and tells of exotic escapades with Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson. Soon, Rosie is living with him on a swanky estate on Connecticut's Gold Coast, naively in sway to his moral ambivalence. A daughter -- Miranda -- is born, just as his current con goes awry forcing them to abscond in the middle of the night to the untamed wilderness of northern Vermont. Almost immediately, Bennett abandons them in an uninsulated cabin without a car or cash for weeks at a time, so he can tend a teaching job that may or may not exist at an elite college. Rosie is forced to care for her young daughter alone, and to tackle the stubborn intricacies of the wood stove, snowshoe into town, hunt for wild game, and forage in the forest. As Rosie and Miranda's life gradually begins to normalize, Bennett's schemes turn malevolent, and Rosie must at last confront his twisted deceptions. Her actions have far-reaching and perilous consequences.”

The night wild by Zoë Tilley Poster

“Dog goes on a moon-light adventure with Wolf who helps Dog find her inner wild.”

North : a novel by Brad Kessler (eBook)

“As a late spring blizzard brews, Brother Christopher, a cloistered monk at Blue Mountain Monastery in Vermont, rushes to tend to his Ida Red and Northern Spy apple trees in advance of the unseasonal snowstorm. When the storm lands a young Somali refugee, Sahro Abdi Muse, at the monastery, Christopher is pulled back into the world as his life intersects with Sahro's and that of an Afghan war veteran in surprising and revealing ways.”

Ghettoclaustrophobia : dreamin of Mama while trying to speak woman in woke tongues by Shanta Lee Gander

"What does it mean to move away from the shadow of one’s mother, parents, or family in order to come into being within this world? As collective memory within the Black diaspora has been ruptured, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA time travels by creating and recapturing memory from a fractured past to survive in the present and envision a future. In her first full-length collection GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, Shanta Lee Gander navigates between formal and vernacular styles to introduce the reader to a myriad of subjects such as scientific facts that link butterflies to female sexuality and vulnerability; whispers of classical Greek myth; H.P. Lovecraft’s fantastical creature, Cthulhu; and the traces of African mythmaking and telling. Beneath the intensity, longing, seeking, wondering, and the ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ voice that sometimes tussles with sadness, there is a movement of sass and a will that refuses to say that it has been broken. Gander leaves a door ajar in this ongoing conversation of the Black female body that walks the spaces of the individual within a collective; the tensions between inherited and hidden narratives; and the present within a history and future that is still being imagined."

The secret to superhuman strength by Alison Bechdel ; with the extremely extensive coloring collaboration of Holly Rae Taylor

“From the author of Fun Home, a profoundly affecting graphic memoir of Bechdel's lifelong love affair with exercise, set against a hilarious chronicle of fitness fads in our times. Comics and cultural superstar Alison Bechdel delivers a deeply layered story of her fascination, from childhood to adulthood, with every fitness craze to come down the pike: from Jack LaLanne in the 60s ("Outlandish jumpsuit! Cantaloupe-sized guns!") to the existential oddness of present-day spin class. Readers will see their athletic or semi-active pasts flash before their eyes through an ever-evolving panoply of running shoes, bicycles, skis, and sundry other gear. But the more Bechdel tries to improve herself, the more her self appears to be the thing in her way. She turns for enlightenment to Eastern philosophers and literary figures, including Beat writer Jack Kerouac, whose search for self-transcendence in the great outdoors appears in moving conversation with the author's own. This gifted artist and not-getting-any-younger exerciser comes to a soulful conclusion. The secret to superhuman strength lies not in six-pack abs, but in something much less clearly defined: facing her own non-transcendent but all-important interdependence with others. A heartrendingly comic chronicle for our times.”

Revolution in our time : the Black Panther Party's promise to the people by Kekla Magoon

“In this comprehensive, inspiring, and all-too-relevant history of the Black Panther Party, Kekla Magoon introduces readers to the Panthers' community activism, grounded in the concept of self-defense, which taught Black Americans how to protect and support themselves in a country that treated them like second-class citizens. For too long the Panthers' story has been a footnote to the civil rights movement rather than what it was: a revolutionary socialist movement that drew thousands of members--mostly women--and became the target of one of the most sustained repression efforts ever made by the U.S. government against its own citizens. Revolution in Our Time puts the Panthers in the proper context of Black American history, from the first arrival of enslaved people to the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Kekla Magoon's eye-opening work invites a new generation of readers grappling with injustices in the United States to learn from the Panthers' history and courage, inspiring them to take their own place in the ongoing fight for justice.”

Endpapers : a family story of books, war, escape, and home by Alexander Wolff 

"A literary gem researched over a year the author spent living in Berlin, Endpapers excavates the extraordinary histories of the author's grandfather and father: the renowned publisher Kurt Wolff, dubbed "perhaps the twentieth century's most discriminating publisher" by the New York Times Book Review, and his son Niko, who fought in the Wehrmacht during World War II before coming to America. Kurt Wolff was born in Bonn into a highly cultured German-Jewish family, whose ancestors included converts to Christianity, among them Baron Moritz von Haber, who became famous for participating in a duel that led to bloody antisemitic riots. Always bookish, Kurt became a publisher at twenty-three, setting up his own firm and publishing Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth, Karl Kraus, and many other authors whose books would soon be burned by the Nazis. Fleeing Germany in 1933, a day after the Reichstag fire, Kurt and his second wife, Helen, sought refuge in France, Italy, and ultimately New York, where in a small Greenwich Village apartment they founded Pantheon Books. Pantheon would soon take its own place in literary history with the publication of Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago, and as the conduit that brought major European works to the States. But Kurt's taciturn son Niko, offspring of his first marriage to Elisabeth Merck, was left behind in Germany, where despite his Jewish heritage he served the Nazis on two fronts. As Alexander Wolff visits dusty archives and meets distant relatives, he discovers secrets that never made it to the land of fresh starts, including the connection between Hitler and the family pharmaceutical firm E. Merck, and the story of a half-brother Niko never knew. With surprising revelations from never-before-published family letters, diaries, and photographs, Endpapers is a moving and intimate family story, weaving a literary tapestry of the perils, triumphs, and secrets of history and exile"

Looking for the hidden folk : how Iceland's elves can help save the earth by Nancy Marie Brown

“Icelanders believe in elves. Why does that make you laugh?, asks Nancy Marie Brown, in this wonderfully quirky exploration of our interaction with nature. Looking for answers in history, science, religion, and art--from ancient times to today--Brown finds that each discipline defines what is real and unreal, natural and supernatural, demonstrated and theoretical, alive and inert. Each has its own way of perceiving and valuing the world around us. And each discipline defines what an Icelander might call an elf. Illuminated by her own encounters with Iceland's Otherworld--in ancient lava fields, on a holy mountain, beside a glacier or an erupting volcano, crossing the cold desert at the island's heart on horseback--Looking for the Hidden Folk offers an intimate conversation about how we look at and find value in nature. It reveals how the words we use and the stories we tell shape the world we see. It argues that our beliefs about the Earth will preserve--or destroy it. Scientists name our time the Anthropocene: the Human Age. Climate change will lead to the mass extinction of numerous animal species unless we humans change our course. Iceland suggests a different way of thinking about the Earth, one that offers hope. Icelanders believe in elves--and you should, too.”

What is otherwise infinite : poems by Bianca Stone

"Written in four sections with incisive and vivid lyrical language, Bianca Stone's What is Otherwise Infinite considers how we find our place in the world through themes of philosophy, religion, environment, myth, and psychology. "I deal only in the hardest pain-revivers, symbols / and tongues," writes Stone. "I want to tell you only / in the intimacy of our discomfort." Populated by archangels, limping in paradise; by allergies of the soul; the revelation and danger of motherhood; psychic wounds; and dirty, dirty chocolate layer cake, What is Otherwise Infinite deftly examines our inherent and inherited ideas of how to live, and the experience of the self-which on one hand is intensely personal, and on the other, universal"