Norwich Bookstore’s Fall Slate Is A Busy One

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/9/2016 11:13:21 AM
Modified: 9/9/2016 11:13:23 AM

Print is thought to be a beleaguered medium, but after centuries of success, and at least a decade of efforts to replace it with scrolling text on smartphones, it appears to be here to stay.

That’s not the typical preamble for a piece of writing about an independent bookstore. Where they exist, such establishments tend to be greeted with a mix of awe and consternation: “How do they do it?” The Upper Valley has several great independent bookstores, and people support those stores because they’re great, not out of nostalgia or, worse still, pity.

So it’s nice to see one of those stores get some recognition from within the industry. Norwich Bookstore last month received the 2016 Independent Spirit Award from the Book Publishers Representatives of New England, a trade group.

The member of the BPRNE who nominated the Norwich Bookstore wrote: “Fiercely Independent, Liza Bernard and staff are passionate guardians of our books and authors. They work with reps to curate a selection of books that appeal to their surrounding communities, and are always willing to try something new to broaden horizons — Liza trusts us to help guide her selections and the staff reads what we put in their hands. Working with their local library, schools, and other independent businesses, they have shown what shopping local truly means. It means community and home, and Norwich Bookstore displays that in spades.”

The next few weeks are a good example of the shop’s commitment to “community and home.” Norwich Bookstore’s events calendar is stacked with events for readers young and old, starting Saturday afternoon at 1 with an event cosponsored with the Norwich Public Library celebrating Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday. Events with Hanover native and longtime New York Times writer Virginia Heffernan, Etna novelist Jodi Picoult and Norwich resident and revered children’s book author David Macaulay are scheduled for October.

Lyme Author Reads Next Week

Lyme resident David Mather has published his third novel through Peace Corps Writers, and imprint for former Peace Corps members.

Crescent Beach is set in Florida, where Mather grew up before coming to New England for prep school and college. It follows an undercover state trooper who is sent to break up a marijuana smuggling ring nestled into a working class seaside community of shrimpers, crabbers and fishermen. When it comes time to make an arrest, his loyalties are divided between the law, and the good people with whom he’s been living, working and drinking.

Mather might be best known in the Upper Valley as the operator of Tuckaway Timber, once a sprawling specialty wood operation in Lyme. He now divides his time between writing and running a slimmed down version of his business, dealing mainly in one of a kind pieces of live-edge wood suitable for coffeetables and countertops, including some ancient cypress from Florida.

Mather will read from Crescent Beach on Sept. 15, at 7 p.m., in Lyme’s Converse Free Library.

Nature Writing Conference

Northern Woodlands magazine is hosting its third annual conference for writers, teachers and other people interested in writing about the natural world.

The conference is scheduled for Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 at the Hulburt Outdoor Center in Fairlee and will feature workshops with the writers Rick Bass and Jeffrey Lent, as well as nature workshops geared for teachers.

For more information, go to or call 802-539-6292.

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