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26 Main St.
Windsor, VT 05089
USA

802 227 0008

Pure. Fresh. Vermont

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Snapdragon Inn blog

Filtering by Author: Chris

Happy 88th year to "The Great Gatsby"!

Chris



Today is the 88th year since "The Great Gatsby" was published on April 10th, 1925. We, of course, have a special interest in anything Fitzgerald because his editor, Max Perkins, lived at 26 Main Street (now the Inn). There is even greater interest in The GG this year because the Baz Luhrman film comes out next month and we are very very interested to see how that goes (it looks Bazrageous!). Our Snapdragon literary club read it a few months back so it is fresh in our minds for film viewing.



This is from a letter Fitzgerald sent to Perkins on October 27th, 1924 with his first draft of the novel,
(I think that at last I've done something really my own), but how good "my own" is remains to be seen.

Then on November 18th, 1924 Perkins responded with this articulate and beautifully crafted response,
I think the novel is a wonder. I'm taking it home to read again and shall then write my impressions in full;—but it has vitality to an extraordinary degree, and glamour, and a great deal of underlying thought of unusual quality. It has a kind of mystic atmosphere at times that you infused into parts of "Paradise" and have not since used. It is a marvelous fusion, into a unity of presentation, of the extraordinary incongruities of life today. And as for sheer writing, it's astonishing.
You can read more of their correspondence on the site, "Letters of Note" that posts fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams and will be publishing a book next month. Did you know that the title Fitzgerald was keen to go for was actually, "Trimalchio in West Egg"? Perkins didn't quite think that was a fit and  guided him back towards his original title, "The Great Gatsby".


So, have you read it lately? If you need a refresher, this clever infographic (found on pinterest, of course) below is a help or go check out this fancy site.


We'll chat again once the movie is out!

Snapdragon DIY: fortune eggs for Easter

Chris

Here's a fun little DIYer that we worked up for our guests over Easter weekend. We wanted more subtle colors so we sprayed the plastic eggs gold (taping some off for cool patterning). Then we filled them with chocolate and typed up some special wee notes for each. Then we hid them in the guest rooms. Egg hunts shouldn't just be for kids! We are already thinking on how to expand for next year.

March literary club meet-up: "Bandanas & October Supplies"

Chris



For March we will be reading, "Bandanas & October Supplies" by M. Dylan Raskin. We will also be hosting Raskin next month for a reading from the author. Read his book this month and come to the Inn next month to meet the author.
M. Dylan Raskin (MDR to friends) is back with the most unexpected of books—an offbeat love song to his ailing mother—that reads like a punk-rock version of The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Of course, there's a twist. As always, young Mr. Raskin has a lot on his mind. His generation is still stocked to the gills with morons and "walking clichés," and MDR's favorite things—blanket forts, fleece pants, cozy trees, and the month of October, to name just a few—are still in woefully short supply. But when his mother is diagnosed with cancer, MDR's usual troubles are forced to the backseat. Together, mother and son hit the road in their little Honda del Sol and scour America for peace and quiet and the "October supplies" they need to keep going. Equal parts road story, elegy, and hallucinatory bildungsroman, Bandanas and October Supplies is a bittersweet love story that is like no other book ever written about death, life, and the complex devotion between a mother and a son.
All are welcome. See you in a few weeks!

February literary club meet-up: "Peace Like a River"

Chris



As we gear up for Nor'easter Nemo, we thought it was about time we get the book announced for the month since there could be some quality time to read over the weekend with all this predicted snow (but will it really happen?).

Some of the general thoughts from the discussion of last month's, "Gone Girl" were that  it was a real page turner with an intricate twisting plot but we felt there wasn't much character development. It felt shallow. We didn't really care about who they were and, in turn, why they were acting as they were. Yes, there were moments that were funny and interesting  but overall, it felt sort of flat. How about you, have you read it? What was your takeaway? 

This month we are zooming back a few years to a book recommended from some women that have never led us astray in their book suggestions. "Peace like a River" by Lief Enger was written just after 9/11.

Hailed as one of the year's top five novels by Time, and selected as one of the best books of the year by nearly all major newspapers, national bestseller Peace Like a River captured the hearts of a nation in need of comfort. "A rich mixture of adventure, tragedy, and healing, " Peace Like a River is "a collage of legends from sources sacred and profane -- from the Old Testament to the Old West, from the Gospels to police dramas" (Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor). In "lyrical, openhearted prose" (Michael Glitz, The New York Post), Enger tells the story of eleven-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy who has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been controversially charged with murder. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers, and its remarkable conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates. Leif Enger's "miraculous" (Valerie Ryan, The Seattle Times) novel is a "perfect book for an anxious time ... of great literary merit that nonetheless restores readers' faith in the kindness of stories" (Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press).

Did you read this back when it came out? We are excited to delve in.  Please join us on February 28th at 7:30PM in the Maxwell Perkins library to discuss. All are welcome to attend, even if you aren't able to read it but want to come listen and enjoy some discussion.

You can also join the facebook group here.

See you then!

Recent Review: Room 3

Chris




It's February! Yesterday was warm & windy but the temperature is much more February today. Enjoy your first weekend of the month. We are gearing up for a full few days with our wonderful guests. Here's a recent review from one of our past guests. 
Always am a bit hesitant to head to B&B's as I feel they can be on the musty side and so on. This place was a winner though. Completely renovated in 2010 it has beautiful pine floors, good wifi/TV, etc, excellent bathroom with heated floors and a bed that was so good, we slept through breakfast. Well sized, immaculate with modern/cheerful rooms. Very quiet as well & with helpful staff. Located in the pretty locale of Windsor and near 89/91 so easy on/off. Close to Quechee/Woodstock areas. Head to Simon Pearce for a great dinner by the water.
Room Tip: We stayed in Room 3. Up one floor. Faces street and parking but was still very quiet with lots of light.

Year in review: 2012

Chris



Live @ Snapdragon with Chris Velan
Announcement that Colin Firth will be playing Maxwell Perkins in upcoming film
Beautiful Simon Pearce glass trees on our mantels
Our DIY pumpkins
A summer of beautiful weddings
Recipient of 2012 Certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor
Our week with Gordon Ramsay 
Making lip balms with our very own beeswax
Having the most wonderful guests (and their notes)
More weddings
A new swing
Jen, our amazing event/wedding planner 
and of course our 2012 Holiday Video

What a wonderful year. Thank you to all of our amazing guests. 
Here's to another great one in 2013!

January literary club meet-up: "Gone Girl"

Chris




Happy New Year folks! Our literary club took a break for the holidays after reading "The Great Gatsby" in November. We had an excellent discussion that evening on the excellence of Fitzgerald's prose and his biting social commentary of his time. We are ready to start the new year off with a book that topped many of the reading lists for 2012. Perhaps you have already read it?

On January 31st at 7:30PM will meet to discuss, "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.  We haven't read a good thriller since " The Devil in the White City" earlier last year so we thought this would be a good change of pace for us. 

From the author,
You might say I specialize in difficult characters. Damaged, disturbed, or downright nasty. Personally, I love each and every one of the misfits, losers, and outcasts in my three novels. My supporting characters are meth tweakers, truck-stop strippers, backwoods grifters ... 
With Gone Girl, I wanted to go the opposite direction: what happens when two people intertwine their lives completely.I wanted to explore the geography of intimacy--and the devastation it can lead to. Marriage gone toxic.
Gone Girl opens on the occasion of Amy and Nick Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. (How romantic.) Amy disappears under very disturbing circumstances. (Less romantic.) Nick and Amy Dunne were the golden couple when they first began their courtship. Soul mates. They could complete each other's sentences, guess each other's reactions. They could push each other's buttons. They are smart, charming, gorgeous, and also narcissistic, selfish, and cruel.
Are you ready to dive in? Luckily there is an extra week this month so you have 4 weeks to read and join us to discuss. All are welcome!

You can join our facebook group here to check out any updates.

Fassbender + Firth = Movie Magic

Chris


Can this really be true? Will the Mr. Darcy be playing literary giant Maxwell Perkins? It is! And if that isn't enough, Michael Fassbender will be playing the role of Thomas Wolfe, one of the authors Perkins discovered and mentored.  The two had a creatively fruitful yet strained relationship, which we expect to be the focus of the film.

You heard it right. Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender.


Perkins & Wolfe

Firth & Fassbender

There is some serious excitement around the project. The official synopsis: "Finding fame and critical success at a young age, Wolfe is a blazing talent with a larger-than-life personality to match. Perkins is one of the most respected and well-known literary editors of all time, discovering such iconic novelists as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Wolfe and Perkins develop a tender, complex friendship. Transformative and irrepressible, this friendship will change the lives of these brilliant, but very different men forever." Read in full here.

The script will be adapted by John Logan from the National Bestseller, "Max Perkins, Editor of Genius" by Scott A. Berg.  Logan will add this project to a long  list of screenplays, including Gladiator, Aviator, Hugo, and the new James Bond film, Skyfall.  London stage director, Michael Grandage, is the director behind the project.

We would love to be of any assistance during the research or filming process. Perhaps Colin needs a place to stay while he walks in Perkins' beloved Paradise Park and gets all zen with the history of this wonderful place. We'd be more than happy to assist--the inn is very private and quiet and he can sit in the Maxwell Perkins library and meditate.  ;) Give us a shout Colin! 

Shooting is meant to begin in early 2014.

In case you want to read more about the buzz:

Telegraph
Book Buzz
Indie wire
Filming in Asheville
Hitflix
Filmolfia


November literary club meet-up: "The Great Gatsby"

Chris





Last week, we had a great discussion of the "The Double Bind" by Chris Bohjalian. It is definitely a book that could be read again to uncover more depth but we had a great discussion about the many layers and the unique context of the book. It was also a fun comparison to the world we had read in "The Call" during October. Both had strong elements of the conscious  subconscious  the brain, and mental health. The characters of the "The Great Gatsby" do, indeed, play an important pull of the narrative and not all had read it, and if we had, it was in high school, so we have chosen that for our November title.

Perhaps we will see it differently with a fresh reading. This is also the first book that our own, Max Perkins (former owner), edited. We are excited to spend a little time discussing the relationship of Fitzgerald and Perkins as author and editor. Interestingly enough, Fitzgerald was unsure of what to name the novel. On November 7, 1924, Fitzgerald wrote to Perkins. — 
"I have now decided to stick to the title I put on the book [...] Trimalchio in West Egg" but was eventually persuaded that the reference was too obscure and that people would not be able to pronounce it. His wife and Perkins both expressed their preference for The Great Gatsby and the next month Fitzgerald agreed.[12] A month before publication, after a final review of the proofs, he asked if it would be possible to re-title itTrimalchio or Gold-Hatted Gatsby but Perkins advised against it. On March 19, Fitzgerald asked if the book could be renamed Under the Red, White and Blue but it was at that stage too late to change. The Great Gatsby was published on April 10, 1925. Fitzgerald remarked that "the title is only fair, rather bad than good".*

We will meet up on November 29th at 7:30PM in the Maxwell Perkins library. All are welcome! Even if you did read it a long time ago but would be interested in joining in, come on down. You can check for updates on our facebook page here. 

*Bruccoli, Matthew Joseph (2002). Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald (2nd rev. ed.). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1-57003-455-9