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Betsy Kepes share her homemade house in Pierrepont, New York with her husband, Tom VandeWater, and her sons Lee, age 15, and Jay, age 7. She teaches piano to children and adults and performs with the Little River Trio. In the summer, she works for the United States Forest Service in Idaho as a forest fire lookout and contract trail crew. In her spare moments she is an amateur historian, a gardener, a runner and a writer of women's history, poetry and short stories.

Book review: "New York Amish" by Karen M. Johnson-Weiner

New York State now includes more than 10,000 Amish people in 25 settlements, many of them in the North Country. In her book New York Amish, Karen Johnson-Weiner explains some of the history and customs of the Plain people. Betsy Kepes has this review.  Go to full article

Book review: "Triangle, The Fire That Changed America" by David Von Drehle

One hundred years ago, on March 25, 1911, a fire raced through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City. 146 workers died, almost all of them women. Betsy Kepes has this review of Triangle, The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle. (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003)  Go to full article

Book review: "Goat Song"

Our book reviewer, Betsy Kepes, can't stand the taste of most goat cheese. But, she thoroughly enjoyed Brad Kessler's new book Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese. It's part memoir, part how-to and part history.  Go to full article

Book review: "Remembering the Bones"

In Remembering the Bones, Ottawa writer Frances Itani imagines the long life of a woman in a fictional Ontario town, a village somewhere between Kingston and...  Go to full article

An Adirondack hermit's journals, decoded

In 1946, the Adirondack hermit, Noah John Rondeau, wrote entries in his annual journal in a complicated code. Fifty years later a young man and an old man deciphered the...  Go to full article

Book review: "Goldengrove" by Francine Prose

Francine Prose begins her novel, Goldengrove, with a drowning in Mirror Lake, a fictional lake somewhere in the mountains near Albany. Betsy Kepes has this review.  Go to full article

Book review: "The Lamoille Stories"

The characters in Bill Schubart's The Lamoille Stories are rural Vermonters with bottles of blackberry brandy in the pockets of their wool shirts and rusting "parts...  Go to full article

Book review: "At the Mercy of the Mountains"

Survival stories are best read in the comfort of your own home, definitely not while you're in the arctic, or drifting at sea in a tiny life raft, or scaling a mountain in a...  Go to full article

Book review: "Winter with Crows"

In winter, northern peoples gathered around a fire to exchange stories and experiences. Mohawk poet, Peter Blue Cloud, shares his voice on paper, in a new collection of...  Go to full article

Book review: "On Kingdom Mountain"

Betsy Kepes found lots of books by western authors in a crowded bookstore in northern Idaho last summer, and one with a more familiar name. On Kingdom Mountain by...  Go to full article

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