It is often where two natural ecosystems meet, a forest and a field for example, that we will find the greatest biodiversity. In this “edge community” plants and animals from both forest and field exist, along with some that are unique to the overlap. And generally, the more variety of species and habitats, the more resilient an area is to disturbance. Likewise, we need many different organizations, businesses, views and ultimately people to make our place strong and able to weather uncertainty at the national level. Now more than ever is the time to embrace and enhance our diversity and come together rooted in community.
Fortunately the many genres of books allows different perspectives and can often be good conversation starters with friends and neighbors. From “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, to “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline or the recent and highly acclaimed “Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead, historical fiction brings us back to important times and pivotal moments that shaped where we stand now. Memoirs like “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls, this year’s VT Reads book “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson, or the most in demand at the moment “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance allow us to step into others’ shoes and gain important perspective we didn’t have before. And, it is no surprise that George Orwell’s “1984” has become a bestseller once again with its prescient plot line. Dystopian novels like this, the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins or this year’s “Underground Airlines” by Ben H. Winters can bring strange comfort in uncertain times. No matter what genre or particular book, all have great power to foster empathy and broaden our worldview.
Our upcoming programs are good opportunities for coming together to learn and enjoy different company as well. On Friday, February 10th we will host the first of a monthly Open Mic and Poetry Slam at the Town Hall from 7-9pm. Bring your voice, instrument or appreciation and enjoy a night of music with friends and neighbors. On Saturday, February 11th during regular hours, we will be hosting a coloring and card-making open house in celebration of Valentine’s day. Stop in and let your inner artist shine with our coloring pages and supplies, or bring your own to work on and finish. Light snacks will be provided. Later in the month, we welcome back Vermont Fermentation Adventures to learn the art of making Kombucha, Kefir and other fermented beverages. This event on Sunday, February 19th at 4pm is free, however you must register to attend by calling 496-9728 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you at the one of these events or at the library soon!