Page 32: Brief Glimpses of Five Vermont Books | Books | Seven days

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Seven days writers can’t read, let alone review, all the books that come streaming in the mail, email and, in one memorable case, a sloth hug. So this monthly feature is our way of bringing you a handful of books by Vermont authors. To do this, we contextualize each book a bit and quote a single representative sentence from, yes, page 32.

During your stay at the Cecilin Alexandria

Dave Donohue, Ra Press, 102 pages. $12.

Whitmore noticed the man sitting around for a bit, listening to the literary references.

The world of Alexandria, Egypt in the 1970s is brought to life in South Burlington author Dave Donohue’s short novel During your stay at the Cecil in Alexandria. Reworked from an old travelogue the author wrote about his experiences in the area, the story centers on several visitors staying at the Grand Hotel Cecil. A tribute to Lawrence Durrell’s tetralogy The Alexandria Quartet, Donohue’s novel similarly weaves the story of four expatriates whose paths cross during a stay in the ancient city. Their intersections gradually reveal their true nature.

Although the book is primarily a character study, the environment Donohue creates has as much personality as the story’s quartet. Alexandria bustles with activity, its streets full of captivating subjects. A peasant trains a baboon to shake tourists for change. The port is teeming with ships of all kinds. Sidecar motorcycles hurtle down the dusty avenues. And the central location, the Cecil, is an oasis of old-fashioned hospitality, classic aesthetics, and sumptuous food and drink.

— Y.A.

Restless Minds and Grassroots Movements: A History of Vermont

Greg Guma, White River Press, 306 pages. $22.

The Green Mountain Boys have used many types of force to enforce their will…

Vermont’s independent streak goes way back. In the fourth chapter of his state history, author Greg Guma details how a “struggle for sovereignty and self-government” drove the rebellious behavior of Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, leading to the passage of Vermont as an independent republic.

Guma has been writing about the state and its politics for more than 50 years, first for the Bennington Banner and later as editor of avant-garde press. He uses this experience to investigate the values ​​of the state – what he calls “the Vermont way” – through the actions of its indigenous peoples, its revolutionary leaders, its feminist pioneers, its presidents born in the Vermont and modern political figures.

The book is an expanded version of Guma’s “Green Mountain Politics: Restless Spirits, Popular Movements”, published online in 2017, and includes a chapter dedicated to Bernie Sanders that recaps and updates information from his 1989 book, The People’s Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution.

With detailed archival research—and Guma’s own reporting—it’s an engaging read that helps explain what makes Vermont Vermont.


Talk: How to Overcome Chronic Back Pain and Rebuild Your Life

Rowland G. Hazard, Rowman & Littlefield, 150 pages. $32.

There is no generic answer as to the “right” amount of physical activity for everyone.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Rowland G. Hazard has helped patients with chronic back pain. Emeritus Professor of Orthopedics at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, he pioneered a goal-oriented model of rehabilitation, where patients take ownership of their health and their goals.

The first chapter engages readers on topics such as assessing what they should be physically able to do, confidence in their own knowledge of their bodies, and fear of pain. The second helps them identify what they want to achieve and map out a plan. The following chapters deal with visits to the doctor’s office, medications, relaxation techniques, types of pain and well-being.

Throughout the book, Hazard shares the experiences of the more than 3,000 people who attended his programs at the University of Vermont and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center between 1986 and 2018. In the preface, he writes, “I hope their collective voice will help you on your way to wellness.”


The Alphabetical and Illustrated Children’s Guide to Devils and Demons

André Prendimano, Lulu, 36 pages. $11.56.

Everyone, even you, makes a choice to do something right or wrong.

In The Alphabetical and Illustrated Children’s Guide to Devils and Demons, Burlington-based author-illustrator Andrew Prendimano personifies poor hygiene, rudeness and impatience as literal monsters. By creating a compendium of devils and demons, he hopes children will be able to recognize the real misbehavior of these fictional beings.

Many similar children’s books feature taxonomies of mythical creatures. But Prendimano conjures up new beasts in this rogue gallery rather than brooding over sirens and dragons for the umpteenth time.

With gnashing teeth, forked tongues, serrated claws, and bodies covered in glistening pustules, Prendimano’s monsters are perfectly crafted and cleverly named for the heinous traits they embody. The apathetic blue “Ennuixxicuz” causes boredom and laziness “even though there are many wonderful, creative and fun things you could do”. The speckled green “Hummorousiqul” is the patron sinner of smart clever ones. And the 10-armed purple worm-dragon “Wagglewagalyx” is the horned king of impulsiveness.

— Y.A.

Loserville: How Pro Sports Remade Atlanta and How Atlanta Remade Pro Sports

Clayton Trutor, University of Nebraska Press, 504 pages. $34.95.

MLB’s unquestionably progressive stance on desegregation effectively led to the demise of the Southern Association.

In 1965, there were no major professional sports teams in Atlanta; in 1972 there were four. The arrival of the latest, the Atlanta Flames of the National Hockey League, was the culmination of a decade-long effort by city leaders to raise the city’s national profile through professional sports.

But amid social and political unrest, enthusiasm for the teams died out in Atlanta about as quickly as the Flames, who were sold and relocated to Calgary, Alberta, in 1980. The move marked a another dip in the sporting futility that led Atlanta Constitution writer Lewis Grizzard to nickname the city “Loserville, USA” in 1975.

In his new book, historian Clayton Trutor weaves together sports, politics, business and racing to detail how Atlanta grew from a sports wasteland to the South’s premier city with teams representing all four major American sports leagues – and how it paved the way for today’s malaise. marriage between sports franchises and municipalities.

— Comics

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