Must-Read Shires Authors This Winter!


There’s nothing like curling up by a fire on a snowy day in The Shires.  What makes that better is if you’re reading some of our favorite, world-renowned authors from the region!  A special thank you to The Bennington Bookshop for helping us collect some of these great reads!  Pick up a copy today at the Bookshop!

The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged
Frost was an American poet whose work was initially published in England before it was published in America. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech, Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.  His most notable work includes The Road Not Taken and Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening.

The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
Perhaps surprising to many, Shirley Jackson wrote her dark, renowned short story ”The Lottery” while living on Prospect Street in North Bennington, Vermont.  Set in a small village of about 300 residents, the locals are in an excited yet nervous mood. Children gather stones as the adult townsfolk assemble for their annual event, which in the local tradition is practiced to ensure a good harvest. What starts out as a well-assuming tradition to the reader, quickly becomes a rather sick and twisted tradition. It’s a story with overtones of how far as a society we will go with our traditions and how as a naive audience we are easily swept into blindly accepting this ritual as the story slowly drips in the carnage.

Mud Season: How One Woman's Dream of Moving to Vermont, Raising Children, Chickens and Sheep, and Running the Old Country Store Pretty Much Led to One Calamity After Another  - Ellen Stimson

In self-deprecating and hilarious fashion, Mud Season chronicles Stimson’s transition from city life to rickety Vermont farmhouse. When she decides she wants to own and operate the old-fashioned village store in idyllic Dorset, pop. 2,036, one of the oldest continually operating country stores in the country, she learns the hard way that “improvements” are not always welcomed warmly by folks who like things just fine the way they’d always been. She dreams of patrons streaming in for fresh-made sandwiches and an old-timey candy counter, but she learns they’re boycotting the store. Why? “The bread,” they tell her, “you moved the bread from where it used to be.” Can the citified newcomer turn the tide of mistrust before she ruins the business altogether?

A Guide to the Battle of Bennington & the Bennington Monument - Phil Holland

This is the story of the Battle of Bennington and the iconic Monument that commemorates the Patriot victory on August 16, 1777. On that day American militiamen from New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, aided at a critical moment by the Green Mountain Continental Rangers, defeated a combined British, German, and Loyalist force and helped change the course of the Revolutionary War.

Eric Rickstad -- New York Times Bestselling Author of mystery novels.  He lives in Arlington and his books are set in the Northeast Kingdom.

Joe Hall -- local historian and radio personality.  Bygone Bennington is a collection of his radio broadcasts that explore Bennington's history.

The Shires of Bennington and Bennington Souvenir -- books produced by the Bennington Historical Society on local history.

Anne Hunter -- popular children's book author.  She lives in Shaftsbury.

Tangerine by Christine Mangan -- the novel is partially set at Bennington College and in Bennington.  Mangan is a Bennington College alumna.

Shay's Settlement in Vermont by Stephen Butz -- a book about the archaeological investigation of a fortified 18th Century settlement hidden in the mountains of Southwestern Vermont.

Going Up the Country by Yvonne Daley -- oral history and narrative of the counterculture and back-to-the-land movements in Vermont.  Experiences in Bennington County are mentioned.

Matthew Harrington