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These events all took place in our Essex store.

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: Not in Stock. Backordered at the Warehouse.
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
Published: Mariner Books - September 18th, 2012

The Hobbit Cover Image
ISBN: 9780395177112
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days.
Published: Clarion Books - October 24th, 1973

The Hobbit Cover Image
By Peter Sis (Illustrator), J.R.R. Tolkien
ISBN: 9780618150823
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days.
Published: Clarion Books - September 25th, 2001

The Hobbit Cover Image
ISBN: 9780395071229
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Clarion Books -

The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780618002214
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 #1) Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781464200793
Published: Poisoned Pen Press - August 7th, 2012

Garret Keizer: Privacy (Essex)

“Acclaimed essayist and Harper’s contributor Keizer conducts a philosophical meditation on the nature of privacy and finds that the ‘right to be let alone’ is a lot more complex than many may think…. With unyielding analytical scrutiny, Keizer raises plenty of doubt about the primacy of so-called private lives…. The consequences of such revelations are vast, and readers will be left considering the implications long after the last page is turned. A provocative and unsettling look at something most take for granted—but shouldn’t.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Keizer ably describes the disturbing and ever-diminishing expectations of privacy…and makes a cogent analysis of the threats to privacy that accompany smartphones and other digital devices. Keizer’s commentary reaches deeply into the fabric of post 9/11 America and finds a landscape that has compromised the fundamental human need for privacy, and argues passionately for the value of privacy in a democratic society” —Publishers Weekly

“[A] thoughtful examination of the concept of privacy… Though debates over privacy tend to be driven by technological developments—Facebook and the like—Keizer reminds us that our personal and cultural “privacy settings” or lack of them have political, environmental, and even spiritual valences that are ignored at the expense of democracy and social justice…. Keizer’s cautionary wisdom is informed by a deeply felt humanism and presented with eloquence and wit.” — Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

“Very few writers combine thoughtfulness and rage as satisfyingly as Garret Keizer.” —Naomi Klein

“Without a decent regard for privacy,” writes Garret Keizer, “the drive to achieve justice rushes us to the brink of totalitarianism. Without privacy, liberty becomes the license to pry, exploit, and oppress. Privacy is the missing word in the Pledge of Allegiance. Privacy is the chivalry of the citizen. Privacy is the modesty of the state.”

Here, in eighteen short chapters, Garret Keizer considers the moral dimensions of privacy in relation to issues of social justice, economic inequality, and the increasing commoditization of the global marketplace. Though acutely aware of the “digital threat” to privacy rights, Keizer chooses not to view the issue in purely technological terms or as an essentially legalistic value. Instead, he asks: What happens to our private selves when we cannot escape surveillance? What happens to our public personas when they pass from our control? Keizer’s questions are compelling—his answers often startling—as he makes us see anew the essential role of privacy in a functioning democracy.

Garret Keizer is the author of six books, including The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want. His September 2011 Harper’s essay “Getting Schooled” will be included in Best American Essays 2012. He is available for interviews. For more information about Garret, please visit

Privacy (BIG IDEAS//small books) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312554842
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Picador - August 7th, 2012

The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise Cover Image
ISBN: 9781610391108
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days.
Published: PublicAffairs - March 13th, 2012

Help: The Original Human Dilemma Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060816148
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days.
Published: HarperOne - August 23rd, 2005

Bernd Heinrich (Essex)

Explore the concept that “we come from life, and we are a conduit into other life,” with Bernd Heinrich - UVM Professor Emeritus of Biology and the author of Winter World, Summer World, and other popular nature books.

When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his "green burial" at Bernd Heinrich's hunting camp in Maine, it set the acclaimed biologist/author on a path that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, raised by a close look at how the animal world renews itself? Heinrich lends his wholly original gaze to the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from --carrion beetles burying a field mouse; the communication strategies ravens, "the premier northern undertakers," use to do their work; and the "inadvertent teamwork" among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of killed prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning--not dust to dust--but life to life.

Bernd Heinrich is an acclaimed scientist and the author of numerous award-winning books, including the bestselling Winter World, Mind of the Raven, and Why We Run. He also writes for Scientific American, Outside, American Scientist, and Audubon, and has published book reviews and op-eds for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He studied at the University of Maine and UCLA, and is professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont. Heinrich divides his time between Vermont and the forests of western Maine.

Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780547752662
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - June 19th, 2012

Summer World: A Season of Bounty Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780060742188
Published: Ecco - April 6th, 2010

Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061129070
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Ecco - April 7th, 2009

Discoveries in Wine: Argentina (Essex)

Red Wine GlasOur wine guide, Kelly, will reveal to us the magical vineyards of Mendoza, the dazzling wines of female winemaker, Susana Balbo, and a few surprises too. Come and experience Argentine Malbec at its best. We will also sample local foods that pair well with each wine. Kelly has worked extensively with Argentine wineries and is excited to share her favorites with you!

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 new 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 $30 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.


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