Life & Times

Every year, Shawn Rogers, of Meriden, N.H., enlists several friends to help him drag a 25 foot balsam fir cut from his parents tree farm in Chelsea, Vt. and load it on a trailer. The tree comes from a crop planted by the Rogers family in the mid-1980's for their cut-your-own Christmas tree business and is destined for the Meriden Congregational Church. "It's an ordeal," said Dick Rogers, Shawn's father. "I'm not quite sure he knows what he's doing." Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014.
(Valley News - James M. Patterson)

‘Oh, the Wonder’: In Meriden Church, a Christmas Tree Reaches to the Heavens

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Meriden — About five years ago, as an appreciative new member of the Meriden Congregational Church, Shawn Rogers wanted to pitch in somehow. It wasn’t …

A Legacy In Letters and on the Land

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It’s Nov. 21, 2014, about 10 a.m., and I’m heading up the Bill Hill trail in Thetford Center. The morning has been cold and squally, …

‘Interview’ Deserves To Be Seen

Saturday, December 20, 2014

That I was one of the relative few to see The Interview is not a boast I take any pleasure in. It’s with heavy sadness, …

Movie Review: ‘Secret of the Tomb?’ It’s Full of Dead Jokes

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The aptly-subtitled Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is a blast of dead air and mummified humor. Suitable only for children too young to remember the first two movies or too undiscerning to care about the level of wit represented by a urinating monkey, this tepid …

Movie Review: Lots of Battles, not Much Hobbit

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Hobbit is everywhere. In the run-up to the release of The Battle of the Five Armies, the final, Armageddon-like installment of Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s comparatively lean fantasy novel, Bilbo Baggins and Co. …

Movie Review: ‘Wild’ Heroine Is Hard to Approach

Saturday, December 20, 2014

In Wild, the stirring adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 memoir, Reese Witherspoon delivers an admirably restrained, un-glamorous performance as the author, who at age 26 hiked 1,110 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Oregon in a ritual of physical endurance, philosophical reflection and spiritual cleansing. …

Stephen Colbert Retires His ‘Report’ and the Host He Played

Saturday, December 20, 2014

New York — Stephen Colbert is dead. Stephen Colbert is immortal? Long live Stephen Colbert! Nine years of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report came to an end Thursday night along with its mythical presiding pundit, as the real-life Stephen Colbert bade the audience farewell. He was last seen …

Truth Was an Uncertain Territory in Memoir Long Before Lena Dunham

Friday, December 19, 2014

Best-selling author and Girls creator Lena Dunham is, by her own admission, “an unreliable narrator.” With her best-selling essay collection, Not That Kind of Girl, published this fall, she waded into memoir territory, where writers are held to …

On Prose: For a Writer, What Isn’t in a Name?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is the first “On Prose” column from Lyme novelist, essayist and story writer W.D. Wetherell. Intended as a companion to Sydney Lea’s “On Poetry” columns, “On Prose” will appear semi-regularly on the Valley News Books page.  Let’s start things off with a surprise quiz. …

‘Culture’ Was Big in 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

A nation, a workplace, an ethnicity, a passion, an outsized personality. The people who comprise these things, who fawn or rail against them, are behind Merriam-Webster’s 2014 word of the year: culture. The word joins Oxford Dictionaries’ “vape,” …

Top Words From 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Culture Nostalgia Insidious Legacy Feminism Je ne sais quoi Innovation Surreptitious Autonomy Morbidity — Merriam-Webster …

Craig Ferguson Ends 10 Years as Host of ‘Late Late Show’

Friday, December 19, 2014

New York — It’s not such a great day, America — not for fans of Craig Ferguson. Ferguson, television’s kinetic Scottish cutup, on Friday brings to a close his decade-long run as host of CBS’ The Late Late …

Upper Valley Scrabblers

Friday, December 19, 2014

Maureen Bogosian, of Weathersfield, makes a move while playing a game of Scrabble against BJ Premore, of Lebanon, at the weekly meeting of the Upper Valley Scrabble Club at Tip Top Pottery in White River Junction on Monday. …