By John Mathews, Special To The Standard
From biographers and historians to childhood specialists and distinguished humanities professors; from a puppeteer and cartoonist to a naturalist and physicist, Bookstock 2014 offers a diverse menu of non-fiction writers and experts.
The sixth annual edition of the literary festival on July 25, 26, and 27 in Woodstock also presents a rich array of panels, workshops and presentations by novelists, poets and other authors.
In addition, Bookstock includes the UnBound art show at ArtisTree gallery, a huge used book sale and quality rare and vintage book sale, a market place for publishers and writers, activities for children, plus music and food.
It’s all free and open to all. And Yankee Bookshop will be on hand at every author and poet session to sell books that the presenters will sign for you.
For parents, teachers, and others who deal with children, best-selling author Jennifer Senior will discuss her latest book, “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood.” Senior turns around the usual question of the effect of parents on their children, and asks: What is the effect of children on their parents, on their marriages, careers and sense of self?
A radical view on the well being of children is presented by Ben Hewitt, who proposes an antidote to what he describes as “childhood deficit disorder.” Hewitt calls his approach “unschooling,” home schooling with much unstructured time and a strong connection with the natural world. His new book, “Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting Off the Beaten Track, Unschooling and Reconnecting with Nature” is scheduled for September publication.
Widely known as a New Yorker and syndicated cartoonist, and for his children’s books, several featuring the dog Bailey, Harry Bliss will present a new picture book, actually written by his mother-in-law — “Anna & Solomon.” Illustrated by Bliss, the book is a family story of flight from a pogrom in Russia and resettlement in America.
A special Bookstock feature for children is Ria Blaas and her Upper Loveland Puppets, a show created by children, scheduled for the final day of the festival, Sunday, July 27.
Of interest to all ages, Ben Kilham’s illustrated lecture demonstrates the social behavior of bears that parallel some human behaviors. The wildlife biologist and bear expert has spent 20 years observing our native black bears, and even adopting several with his wife, Debra.
On the literary side of the schedule, Bookstock presents James Heffernan, retired Dartmouth English professor and popular Teaching Company lecturer. Heffernan’s latest book, “Hospitality and Treachery in Western Literature,” will be the basis of his talk on the classical theme that can be traced even to local crime.
Two biographers have recently published books, Ida E. Jones of Howard University on the African American educator Mary McLeod Bethune, and Randall Balmer of Dartmouth on former President Jimmy Carter.
Dr. Jones’ book, “Mary McLeod Bethune in Washington, D.C.” describes the career of the civil rights activist, known as the “First Lady of the Struggle,” who fought for desegregation in the capital and worked closely on such issues with Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR.
Balmer’s book, “Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter,” concentrates on the former President’s religious faith as a guide to understanding his career and the religious context of his life.
A biography of a unique type is Greg Flemming’s “At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton.” The title summarizes the remarkable odyssey of an American Robinson Crusoe, based on Ashton’s 1725 manuscript. A highlight of Sunday, July 27, the final day of Bookstock, is a talk by world-renowned theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser at the Unitarian Universalist Church. His new book, “The Island of Knowledge,” addresses some of humanity’s fundamental questions of existence.
Writers and readers are sure to be interested in an increasingly popular blog, Live to Write – Write to Live, written by eight professional New Hampshire writers. Three of the bloggers, journalists Wendy E.N. Thomas and Lisa J. Jackson, and novelist Deborah Lee Luskin, will describe the wide spectrum of genres and topics encompassed by their blog.
For complete information on BOOKSTOCK-2014 go to www.bookstockvt.org. Click on 2014 Events for full descriptions of each presentation.
The complete schedule of events also can be accessed from the home page.
Please note that ALL tickets for the Billy Collins reading on Friday night have been taken.