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Shades of Brown Newsletter

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June Book Review

cover of up to heaven and down to hell by Colin Jerolmack

Friends of the Library Host June Book Review Talk

Barb Jarmoska will review Up to Heaven and Down to Hell by Colin Jerolmack at the Friends’ Book Review event on June 3, 2022.

In 2013, Colin Jerolmack, a sociology and environmental studies professor from NYU, packed up his belongings, drove to Williamsport, and rented an apartment on Fourth Street.

So began a journey that would culminate in the publication of Up to Heaven and Down to Hell, the story of Lycoming County and the methane extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing. The book’s subtitle, Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town sums up the focus of the story in the American town we think we know so well. But do we? Jerolmack’s book offers us an opportunity to see ourselves and our community through the eyes of a brilliant observer of human social behavior and to understand how the beliefs of individuals come to shape the culture.

Up to Heaven and Down to Hell is a community story, a deeply personal and intimate look at past and present resource extraction in Lycoming County and the wealth and freedom, anger and heartbreak, resolve and surrender that accompany it.

Barb Jarmoska was among the many local residents who spent time with Jerolmack during his stay here. As the founder and former owner of Freshlife, Barb now works as a volunteer with multiple non-profit organizations, each with the same overarching goal: to create a healthier future for present and future generations of Pennsylvania citizens.

The review begins at 12:15 p.m. in the Lowry Room of the Welch Family Wing of the James V. Brown Library with a Q&A from 12:45p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Reservations are required due to space considerations.  Please call the library at 570-326-0536 or use the library’s online reservation calendar ( before 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1. Parking is available in the public lot off Market Street, adjacent to the Welch Wing.