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That's what we offer at the Snapdragon Inn. Join us for a  relaxing getaway and explore the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. 

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Snapdragon Inn blog

Filtering by Category: "Snapdragon Literary Club"

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!

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.

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 

October Literary club meet-up: "Double Bind"

Chris




Last night we met to discuss, "The Call" by Yannick Murphy who actually lives one town over from us here in Windsor. It was unanimous; we all really liked it. As a novel, it has a very different tempo and structure but you get used to it quite quickly. We noticed that our discussion was a bit random but the book itself is a novel of extemporaneous thought (how most of us think). Rather than being confused and totally random, Murphy wove the free-flow thoughts of her protagonist veterinary, into a heavy story of pain, anger, patience, and empathy. It was especially fun when she mentioned things that were particularly local (like the zebra). 

So we are carrying on with our Vermont kick and reading, "The Double Bind" by Chris Bohjalian. He is another Vermont author and the book takes place here too. 

When Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont’s back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography, spending all her free time at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won’t let anyone see. When Bobbie dies, Laurel discovers a deeply hidden secret–a story that leads her far from her old life, and into a cat-and-mouse game with pursuers who claim they want to save her. In a tale that travels between the Roaring Twenties and the twenty-first century, between Jay Gatsby’s Long Island and rural New England, bestselling author Chris Bohjalian has written his most extraordinary novel yet.

We were also intrigued by the connections to, "The Great Gatsby" edited by our very own Maxwell Perkins. We will meet on October 25th at 7:30PM in the Maxwell Perkins library. Join the Snapdragon Literary Club on facebook for any updates. All our welcome to join in on the discussion.

Speaking of Vermont authors...Archer Mayor will be reading from his new novel at the Inn on October 12th at 4PM. This event is being hosted by the Friends of the Windsor Library. You can even buy a raffle ticket that puts you in the running to name a character from his next novel...sweet!

September Literary club meet-up: September 27th

Chris




For the month of September we are going local and reading a book by an author just a few towns over. We've heard excellent reviews and would love to have a read. It's "The Call" by Yannick Murphy.


The daily rhythm of a veterinarian’s family in rural New England is shaken when a hunting accident leaves their eldest son in a coma. With the lives of his loved ones unhinged, the veterinarian struggles to maintain stability while searching for the man responsible. But in the midst of their great trial an unexpected visitor arrives, requesting a favor that will have profound consequences—testing a loving father’s patience, humor, and resolve and forcing husband and wife to come to terms with what “family” truly means.

The Call is a gift from one of the most talented and extraordinary voices in contemporary fiction—a unique and heartfelt portrait of a family, poignant and rich in humor and imagination.


We hope everyone has had a smashing summer and beginning to settle into their new fall schedules. We'd love to have you out to our literary club meet-up or if you follow us from afar, send us a question or thought and we'll discuss it at our get together on Thursday September 27th.

You can also join our group here on facebook and check out the events tab for any updates.






August Literary club meet-up: August 30th

Chris



Thanks to everyone who made it out to our meet-up last week to discuss "Pastwatch". We really enjoyed our adventure into science fiction last month but our delving back into our love of true stories as we read "Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project" by Jack Mayer. 

During World War II, Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, organized a rescue network of fellow social workers to save 2,500 Jewish children from certain death in the Warsaw ghetto. Incredibly, after the war her heroism, like that of many others, was suppressed by communist Poland and remained virtually unknown for 60 years. Unknown, that is, until three high school girls from an economically depressed, rural school district in southeast Kansas stumbled upon a tantalizing reference to Sendler's rescues, which they fashioned into a history project, a play they called Life in a Jar. Their innocent drama was first seen in Kansas, then the Midwest, then New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, and finally Poland, where they elevated Irena Sendler to a national hero, championing her legacy of tolerance and respect for all people. Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project is a Holocaust history and more. It is the inspirational story of Protestant students from Kansas, each carrying her own painful burden, each called in her own complex way to the history of a Catholic woman who knocked on Jewish doors in the Warsaw ghetto and, in Sendler's own words, "tried to talk the mothers out of their children." 


You can read more about the Irena Sendler Project here. It sounds like an inspirational read. Join us!


We will meet on August 30th at 7:30PM in the Maxwell Perkins Library at Snapdragon Inn. Everyone is welcome to join in. You can also join the event here or the group on facebook to hear about updates. 

July Literary Club Meet-up: July 26th

Chris




Last night we had our Literary club meet-up to discuss the adventurous spirits of Ros and Dot from "Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected education of two society girls in the West" by Dorothy Wickendon. If you like autobiographical fare or stories of the ole West in the early 1900's, this book is for you! It felt so real and for good reason, it is. It recounts the life histories of two friends from Auburn, NY who attend Smith college and upon graduating and taking a year in Europe to travel (and perfect their German and French) and not willing to settle down with just any suitor, take a job as school teachers in a tiny homesteading mountain town in Colorado. These women were strong, smart, adventurous, and remarkable.

This month, we are switching it a bit and moving away from our historical fiction of early America and going Sci-Fi with Orson Scott Card's "Pastwatch". This book has come up a couple times as a possible read and we thought a little summer sci-fi adventure would be cool. We read that it was "perhaps the finest alternate time travel novel yet written" could be exciting and different. If you haven't read anything by Scott Card, he is a true story crafter and we are excited to dig in. This will be the fifth time reading "Pastwatch" for one of our club members. Here is a review from Publisher's Weekly.

Playing with the time stream isn't new to science fiction, but Card (Ender's Game), who's won both a Hugo and a Nebula, gives the concept a new twist here-with mixed results. His angle is to make the temporal interference not accidental but intentional, as a group of scientists go back in time to alter Columbus's journey. Sponsored by the organization Pastwatch, which uses a machine called TruSite II to view the past in remarkable detail, the "Columbus Project" is headed by Tagiri, whose TruSite viewing of the horrors of slavery has prompted her to revise the famed explorer's agenda. Tagiri sends into the past her daughter, Diko, a Mayan descendent named Hunahpu and a man named Kemal, a prickly sort whose initial skepticism is transformed into a fierce commitment to change the past. Armed with devices from the future, the three return to 1492, determined to transform Columbus from a gold-seeking pirate into a proponent of world peace and global unity. Uniformly well-meaning, the trio is just too sanctified to believe, and in their hands, the complexities of temporal mechanics are boiled down to simplistic cause and effect. Some sparks are generated when the Pastwatchers finally meet Columbus, but even that encounter produces fewer surprises than you'd expect from a master like Card. 

We will meet on July 26th ay 7:30PM in the Maxwell Perkins Library at Snapdragon Inn. All are welcome to join in. You can also join the event here or the group on facebook and hear about updates. 




Literary Package

Innkeeper






We love the literary heritage at Snapdragon Inn and want to find as many ways to tie into it as possible. We have even launched a special New York Times Best Seller Package which would be a perfect gift for any book lover close to your heart.
Treat your mind and body. Sit on the back porch, find a shady spot in Paradise Park, or stay tucked in bed and enjoy a great book. This package is perfect for those looking for a literary and relaxation escape. When you book your package, choose from any current New York Times Bestseller and it will be waiting for you in your room on arrival. Along with a great book, you’ll also enjoy your choice of a relaxation massage or cleansing facial at Snapdragon Inn Spa.

Tomorrow night will be the Snapdragon Literary club's fourteenth meeting! You can check out past books on our pinterest board. Doesn't it looks colorful?If you haven't had a chance to read "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein, you have 24 more hours before we meet-up tomorrow night at 7:30PM at the Inn to discuss. One of our attendees read the whole thing last night--sure, she was up until 2AM but it's a great read.


May Literary Club Meet-up: May 31st

The Snapdragon Inn




Hi everyone!

We are a wee bit late to post this but our book for May is "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. This novel has popped up on reading lists for several months so we thought it was time we check it off the list. We have seen the world from various viewpoints and time periods but never from the perspective of a dog. We hear it is excellent. Have you read it?

“I savored Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain for many reasons: a dog who speaks, the thrill of competitive racing, a heart-tugging storyline, and--best of all--the fact that it is a meditation on humility and hope in the face of despair. Since finishing this engagingly unique novel, I’ve found myself staring at my own dog, thinking, Hmm, I wonder ...” -- Wally Lamb, Author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True

Join the facebook group here.  May's event is here. Come join us!