Claire Benedict is the Co-Owner of Bear Pond Books, along with her husband Rob Kasow. She is the Buyer for the adult titles along with numerous other jobs in the store. Claire reads a lot of contemporary fiction and occasionally thinks about branching out but never really gets too far, although she does facilitate the Not-Just-Fiction Book Club. She lives in Montpelier with her family and can often be seen walking around town with her dog or with her yoga mat. Email: claire @ 
View Claire's Top Ten Books of 2021.


Rob Kasow, Co-Owner, was born many years ago in a much warmer locale but has been steadily migrating north. Recently, Rob migrated once again across Main Street from Rivendell Books to Bear Pond Books where he is happily settling in and enjoying all the modern amenities of his new digs. Rob likes to read books about history, business, sports, political science and an occasional Scandinavian mystery. Email: rob @
View Rob's Top Three Books of 2021.

Jane Knight is the Children's Room Manager and Educator Series Event Coordinator. Once upon a time, Jane started working at Bear Pond. That was quite a long time ago. Long before emails and Ama%on, but after the wheel was invented. Today she is the head honcho in the Children's Room, doing all the buying and a whole lot of recommending. If you ask her for a copy of The Goldfinch, she will likely hand you a copy of The Stinky Cheese Man or The Story of Ferdinand, and tell you to share it with your buddy. Jane pretty much stays upstairs with Veruca. They both eat a lot and talk about children's books all day. Email: Jane @
View Jane's Top Ten Books of 2021.

Cora Kelly, Manager, has been working on and off at Bear Pond since 2001. She can't stay away, obviously. This is because she has a deep love of books, of course, but also because of the kind of people Bear Pond attracts as staff and customers. Her favorite things to read are mysteries, historical fiction, non-fiction about food and wine, romances, and young adult novels. When she's not at Bear Pond, you can usually find her at home with her husband and daughter, cooking, knitting, or reading aloud kid's chapter books.
View Cora's Top Ten Books of 2021.

Amanda Menard, Backlist Buyer, Special Orders. Amanda has been coming to Bear Pond Books for years–she grew up in Montpelier–and is happy to be on staff. When she’s not sitting at her desk ordering books or buzzing around the store, she assists with running the author events. Amanda mainly likes to read fiction, history, and some science. Email: amanda @
View Amanda's Top Five Books of 2021.

Emma Dale, Assistant Manager, is at Bear Pond Books full-time now, so chances are, if you've been shopping here recently, you've seen Emma. She enjoys reading, trivia nights, and traveling.
View Emma's Top Ten Books of 2021.


Patty Carstensen, Bookseller. Born and grown in Iowa, Patty was transplanted to Montpelier by a chance meeting with a friendly stranger in the original Horn of the Moon Café on East State Street. She started working at Bear Pond Books in 1991 on the corner of Main St. and Langdon St., which used to be Rivendell Books. In the past a staunch supporter of things always remaining the same she is embracing the flow of change in the bookstore and community with warm, open arms.

Sarah, Bookseller. One of the newest Bear Ponders, she’s a reader in many forms. Currently listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming and reading Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel, she generally enjoys Sci Fi/Fantasy with a strong female protagonist.