Radio Free Vermont – Bill McKibben

It’s one of the books I bought during Christmas period, this one was recommended by Liz at Adventures in reading, writing and working from home. As I was getting ready for the two worst months of the year for me (lack of sun is killing me) I decided I need something uplifting to read.

I won’t go through the plot of the book, as I think Liz summarized it in great way, so no need to repeat. Let me start with mentioning that this is a fairy tale, not the witch-black-cat-magic kind, but nonetheless it is a fairy tale about good people, who stand up for what they believe in. Vern, a 72 years old radio veteran and Perry, a young IT whiz, have to go into hiding after flooding newly opened Wal-Mart with sewage. But what they did is only the beginning, they start a movement for free Vermont, arguing that the state would be better off if it seceded. Interestingly it is not a political book, it’s a book that asks the question when is big too big, when the benefit of the scale gets lost, because ‘the scale’ only cares about the biggest, ignoring smaller participants. The book is really funny and the ways citizens of Vermont invent to rebel in a peaceful way are great fun. But what was important for me is how Vern makes them realize that sometimes it may make sense to downsize, to go back to smaller, but more carefull way of living. To know your neighbours and care about what’s around us. I know it is all in line with the mindfulness trend and decluttering and all other healthy trends now, and even as I find this a bit annoying, my brain quietly says that maybe, just maybe there is something to it, maybe if we stop running and start walking again, we can find many things we need right next to us.

It was a wonderfully positive read, something I definitely needed this January, also well suited, because it is set in the winter in Vermont, so there is some snow (though much less as it seems due to global warming) and cross-country skiing, which I do think is a very underappreciated sport, it may not be a great fun to watch, but it is lots of fun to go and do, one of the best ways to get warm in winter.

If you need a pick me up, get this book, it’ll leave you with smile on your face and a warm feeling inside. When I bought it in December I got the last copy on UK Amazon, but I see they stocked up and now have another 3 copies, so grab your chance 🙂

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska @vkphotospace.com

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6 thoughts on “Radio Free Vermont – Bill McKibben

      1. He didn’t LOVE LOVE LOVE it as much as I did, but he hadn’t realised it was a fable so was reading it “straight” for a while; also the narrator on the audio book didn’t differentiate the voices and he’s picky about his narrators, being a big audiobook fan. But he still enjoyed it!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: January round-up – bookskeptic.com

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