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These events all took place in our Essex store.

Discoveries in Wine: Tuscany (Essex)

"As we slip into my favorite season of Autumn," Kelly says, "my thoughts turn to the wine harvests and what to serve with my turkey." A taste of Tuscany will take us to Italy and reveal the secrets of Chianti Classico and highlight a few treasures Kelly discovered on her last trip to those golden hills. As always we will pair local cheeses and fresh baked bread with our wine selections.

This is a wonderful opportunity to explore Phoenix's new wine selection, which we'll be offering by the glass from our new Vino-temp cuvinee.

Kelly is Phoenix's cafe manager. Her not so meager beginnings here in Vermont landed her in beautiful San Francisco in 1990 where she fell into an amazing serving position at a restaurant called Fleur De Lys. It was there that she learned about and tasted some of the finest wines produced in the world. Three years later, she moved to sunny Los Angeles and became the first female server at Patina and Melisse, two of the top French restaurants in the city. She waited on movie stars, wrote wine lists, and finally became a wine distributor calling on A-list restaurants, fine shops, and even the Playboy Mansion! She traveled back and forth to wine country in Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Maria and even got the chance to fly over Napa in a cessna with Tim Mondavi while sipping his Cabernet! It was a fun ride.... Kelly returned to Vermont in the fall of 2004, wanting to raise her children in the beautiful setting where she grew up. Wine is still her passion, and, now that her kids are both in school, she has time to reflect back on the last 20 years of food and wine. She looks forward to sharing her discoveries with you!

The cost for this event is $25 plus tax, and registration is required. You can register here via the link below or in person at Phoenix Books Essex. This event is for adults aged 21 or older only, and all attendees MUST present an acceptable photo ID with their ticket receipt when they arrive for the event.

Snoozapalooza (Essex)

Calling all kids! Phoenix is hosting Snoozapalooza, a Dr. Seuss Sleep Book PJ Party.  Come join us for fun activities, giveaways, story time, and more! Attendees are invited to wear pjs, bring a blanket, pillow, and your favorite bedtime stuffed animal for cuddling.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book (Classic Seuss) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780394800912
Availability: Usually Ships in 3-7 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers -

Stewart McHenry on Photography - an Open Studio Demo (Essex)

Learn about photography with Stewart McHenry!

Stewart was born and raised in Chicago where he received an undergraduate education in art history at the University of Chicago. Studio art classes, at the U. of C. were with teachers from the Art Institute of Chicago. His life did not follow a straight line from childhood to the present day as a photographer and artist. He made several digressions along the way. Traveling and attending schools in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa proved inspirational and very stimulating and the source of many of his photographs. The medium primarily used and enjoyed by Stewart is collage, sculptured 3D photography. His works inevitably come from a feeling of fun, joy and playfulness. Working with patterns of space, depth and design he smiles with the creation and feeling of movement. Playing with empty space is another great delight for him. His works often play with simple curves or liner geometry but on other occasions they are flamboyant, curvy luxuriant and complex.

Vermont Fall Open Studio Weekend is a statewide celebration of the visual arts and the creative process in which Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public to visit them in their studios. The Vermont Crafts Council launched Open Studio Weekend in 1993 as a way to increase the visibility of artists and craftspeople in Vermont. The event's goal is to foster an appreciation for the creative process and the role that artists and craftspeople play in the vitality of Vermont's communities.

The photo pictured is "Greek Village Off the Peloponnesus," by Stewart McHenry.

Archer Mayor - Paradise City: A Joe Gunther Novel (Essex)

Mystery fans have a treat in store when Archer Mayor, author of the highly acclaimed, Vermont-based mystery series featuring detective Joe Gunther, returns to Phoenix Books Essex. Mayor will be reading from and autographing his new novel, Paradise City.

Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series has been described by the Chicago Tribune as "the best police procedurals being written in America." Mayor is also the 2004 winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association Award for Best Fiction-the first time a writer of crime literature has been so honored. In addition, Mayor is a death investigator for Vermont's Chief Medical Examiner, and a Deputy Sheriff for Windham County, VT.

Paradise City Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780312681951
Availability: Hard to Find - Unlikely to be Available
Published: Minotaur Books - October 2nd, 2012

Elizabeth Llewellyn on Layering with Colored Pencils - an Open Studio Demo (Essex)

Learn about the layering of color to build up a colored pencil painting with Elizabeth Llewellyn!

Elizabeth Llewellyn is a lifelong artist who has been making art since she was old enough to hold a crayon. She has a BA degree in Fine Art. Her favourite mediums are graphite, colored pencil and oil and her favourite subjects are horses and cats. Her fine art pet portraits have sold in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, and the US. Elizabeth Llewellyn's art is realistic and detailed in style. She loves teaching art to all ages.

Vermont Fall Open Studio Weekend is a statewide celebration of the visual arts and the creative process in which Vermont artists and craftspeople invite the public to visit them in their studios. The Vermont Crafts Council launched Open Studio Weekend in 1993 as a way to increase the visibility of artists and craftspeople in Vermont. The event's goal is to foster an appreciation for the creative process and the role that artists and craftspeople play in the vitality of Vermont's communities. 

Fall Open Studio Weekend Reception (Essex)

Come meet the artists at our reception to celebrate the Vermont Crafts Council's Fall Open Studio Weekend at The Gallery at Phoenix books. Light fare provided. Reception is open to the public. Join us for a fun evening and check out some local talent.

We'll be featuring work by:


Donna Kunkel's realistic art relates to her surroundings - mountains, animals, flowers, and visual landscapes.  Her paintings are mixed media - watercolor, pastel, ink and acrylic.  Her paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibits and have been selected in juries regional shows where she received a blue ribbon for her pastel of "Mt. Mansfield" at the Champlain Valley Fair, first place for her watercolor "My Summer Refuge," and many other awards. Donna is a member of the Essex Art League (past president, treasurer).

David Scrase was born in England, where he developed wood-working skills at an early age. Growing up in a house with no electricity and, as a boy of about twelve, with no money, he built his first lathe from an old treadle sewing machine. Finding it well nigh impossible to treadle and turn at the same time, he enlisted the aid of his poor mother who treadled, while he attempted to turn, albeit not very successfully. But he was hooked and much later, after emigrating to the US, he acquired a cheap Delta lathe and began to turn seriously about twenty years ago. He produces vessels of all shapes and sizes, as well as cutting boards, napkin rings, bud vases, bracelets, rings, cake stands, and funeral urns.

Cindy Gage Stotz is a self-taught watercolor artist who was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by creative people, especially her mom. She began painting in her mid twenties while traveling the country in a motorhome. When she and her husband came home after a year of traveling she started Studio C, a small greeting card company. Cindy lives in Underhill with her husband, two daughters and an assortment of creatures.

Ashley Barbeau describes herself as a country girl, and that is where she started taking photos of all her farm animals. "I have a love for all animals, but most of all horses," she says, "and I love taking photos of every single one them. I love to bring out the different personalities of each and every animal I take pictures of, and the action that they give. Horses have always given a sense of calmness, love, and true character - not only of themselves but of their riders as well - in great detail throughout their pictures. I enjoy the versatility that each animal gives to me when I take their photos."

Read for the Record (Essex)

On October 4th, children and adults will attempt to break a world record by reading Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis, in homes and communities around the globe. Phoenix is excited to be a part of this - and we hope you are too! Learn more about the national event at (Suggested age range is from 3-7 years old, but all are welcome!)

Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad Cover Image
By David Soman (Illustrator), Jacky Davis
ISBN: 9780803734197
Availability: Usually Ships in 3-7 Days
Published: Dial Books - March 22nd, 2011

An Unexpected Party: A Birthday Party for Bilbo Baggins in Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of The Hobbit (Essex)

In honor of the upcoming movie release and the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, Phoenix Books is proud to host a birthday party for Bilbo Baggins on September 22, 2012. Join us for food, games, prizes, readings from The Hobbit, and special appearances by some of your favorite characters! Costumes are welcomed and encouraged.

Houghton Mifflin and Warner Brothers have teamed with us to put on the event. There will be a movie preview and a reading from a section of The Hobbit. For the week prior to the party, the cafe will feature hobbit-related food for sale. We'll also have light fare at the party, including a birthday cake. We are planning games and giveaways, and several of the staff are dressing up for the event - and that's just the beginning!

Pictured below: A felted-wool Smaug sculpture created by Donna McDermid will be a prize at the party!  We're also selling hobbit door cookies - yum!

The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780547844978
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available
Published: Mariner Books - September 18th, 2012

The Hobbit Cover Image
ISBN: 9780395177112
Availability: Usually Ships in 3-7 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - October 24th, 1973

The Hobbit Cover Image
By Peter Sis (Illustrator), J.R.R. Tolkien
ISBN: 9780618150823
Availability: Usually Ships in 3-7 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - September 25th, 2001

The Hobbit Cover Image
ISBN: 9780395071229
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers -

The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780618002214
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Mariner Books - September 1st, 1999

Janet Hubbard - Champagne: The Farewell (Essex)

A taste of the good life, good life meaning champagne of course!  Come join Janet Hubbard for an evening of mystery, murder and intrigue set in the most beautiful place on earth...Champagne, France.  To compliment your evening with Author Janet Hubbard, we are offering in our cafe a cheese plate of local cheeses to pair with a French champagne, an Italian prosecco and Gruet, a domestic sparkler from New Mexico.

Janet Hubbard works as a writer and editor in Fayston, Vermont, and teaches fiction writing at the University of Vermont. This series is the result of annual trips to France over a twenty-year span to visit French friends, and a love of wine and the wine culture that led to extensive stays in some of the wine districts, including Champagne and Bordeaux. Her new mystery novel, Champagne, is the first of a mystery series set in the vineyards of France.

About the book:

Who can resist a mystery in which the investigators and the suspect keep up their energy by sipping fine champagne and sampling delicious food from the legendary regions of France?

For her first novel, wine enthusiast Janet Hubbard selects the beautiful Valley of the Marne in Champagne. Dynasties such as the Saint-Pern Family rule the vineyards and the caves. Saint-Pern is headed by the widowed Lea. She just turned forty, has taken an American lover, and is now considering sellig her profitable, successful firm.

Lea's niece Chloe is getting married and so invites her college friend Max (short for Maxine) Maguire (who has grown up to be a not wholly committed detective in the NYPD) to attend.

She arrives, meet the Saint-Perns, their circle, and Olivier Chaumont, an examining magistrate who's finding the wedding stressful--his ex-wife and her new lover will attend. He and Max are wildly attracted but the news that Lea has been murdered in the early hours after the wedding dinner switchs their attention from sex to sleuthing.  As magistrate, Olivier doesn't play well with others, while Max is highly motivated to protect Chloe, and extends her visit. 

What we have is a kind of English country house murder set in champagne country with a cast of French, German, and American players. 



Champagne: The Farewell (Vengeance in the Vineyard Mysteries) Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781464200793
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Poisoned Pen Press - July 24th, 2012


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