Resurrecting a theatrical warhorse

After a rocky try-out period in Detroit and Washington, no one was prepared for the rave reviews and the lines-around-the-block business that “Hello, Dolly!” received when it opened at the St. James Theatre in New York in January of 1964. The show won a record 10 Tony Awards and became the longest running musical in Broadway history until it was surpassed by “Fiddler on the Roof.” Carol Channing’s performance even eclipsed her memorable turn as Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” She would play Dolly Levi more than 5,000 times, winning a Tony over a formidable new star on Broadway -- Barbra Streisand, who would exact a sort of unintentional revenge five years later when she was cast over Channing as Dolly in an expensive and ill-fated movie adaptation. (Read more...)

Three Tips For Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Selecting a book is easy when it's something you're interested in. We gravitate toward that which appeals to us, and avoid that which does not. Sadly, this approach does not lend itself to a well-rounded perspective. Here are three tips for selecting something beyond your usual bibliographic fare. (Read more)

How to Read a Book By Mortimer J. Adler, Charles Van Doren Cover Image
ISBN: 9780671212094
Availability: IN WAREHOUSE - Usually Ships in 3-7 Business Days
Published: Touchstone - August 15th, 1972

Banned Book Week

What do Harry Potter, Captain Underpants. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Anne Frank and Catcher in the Rye all have in common? They have all been a Banned or Challenged Book.

Many are personal favorites: Feed by M.T. Anderson; The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (on the Top 10 Banned/Challenged of 2014), Totally Joe by James Howe and And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson. Authors include Chris Lynch, Laurie Halse Anderson and Laura Ingles Wilder.

While we all pretty much know Go Ask Alice (another favorite) and To Kill a Mockingbird did you know Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle; Drama by Raina Telgemeier; The Amazing Bone by William Steig and a bookstore favorite, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell were too? Not to mention even Dr. Suess and Hop on Pop?

Many have also been made into popular movies such as Paper Towns by John Green. A number of required reading lists have had one or two titles challenged/banned: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

Reasons for banning a book range from language, sexuality, sexual situations, race issues, violence, or even “I have not read it, but I have heard….” Every book is not for every reader (or perhaps, every reader is not for every book) but there is a colorful selection out there and hopes that you will someday find it and put it on your “Must Read” and not a “This Book has Been Banned/Challenged” list.

To celebrate this years Banned Books Week (September 26 to October 3, 2015) you can find these, other banned/challenged books and just old-fashion good reading on the shelves of the Northshire Bookstore (conveniently located in Manchester Center, VT or Saratoga Springs, NY) or here on our delightful website!

Writers' Support Group

Both before and during my many years of full time employment here at the Northshire Bookstore, I have been what one might call an “aspiring writer”. As those of you who partake of the craft of writing can attest, it is not a simple thing to do any serious level of writing on a part-time basis. Yet we write on, as time, energy, inspiration and faith allows, writing what we can, when we can. Some may dream of bestseller lists, some write for the sheer love of the creative process, some may just wish they had more time to pursue their writing- be it children's stories, sci-fi fantasy, memoirs, the world's greatest novel or another genre. All face the simple yet daunting task of “keeping the faith” as they face the challenges of finding sufficient and consistent time to practice their craft, of not being fatally discouraged at the inevitable rejection letters, and of finding, in their daily lives, the essential emotional support needed to keep them “on the path”.

The Northshire Writers' Support Group meets monthly here in our conference room at the store. This is an opportunity for writers of all ages, experience levels and writing interests to make connections with fellow writers, to find an interested and supportive audience for their works, and to commiserate over the challenges- and share the joys- inherent to being a writer.

If you would like to join our group, or have any questions please send a note of interest to me at All are welcome!

The stain that won’t wash away

“Murder begins in the heart and its first weapon is a vicious tongue.” – Henry Farrell

There are a number of new examinations of John Kennedy's murder 50 years ago, but Dallas 1963 by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis pays special attention to those who contributed so much to JFK's death without ever hoisting a rifle. The book sheds a merciless light on a city that had become a viper’s nest where hatred was incubated, hatched, and set free to spread its poison.

If an ex-Marine turned nomadic malcontent named Lee Harvey Oswald fired the bullets that ended the president’s life, Oswald had found the perfect ground for bringing his simmering rage to a boil in Dallas. Through perceptions distorted by greed, prejudice, and sanctimony, some the city’s most prominent citizens constantly inflamed and exploited the right wing extremism. (READ MORE)

Staff Pick Badge
Dallas 1963 By Bill Minutaglio, Steven L. Davis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455522101
Availability: Special Order
Published: Twelve - October 21st, 2014

Another not-so-Great Gatsby

Hollywood never has had much luck with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald never had much luck in Hollywood. The only film he ever got screen credit for script writing was Frank Borzage’s 1938 wartime romance, Three Comrades. And, as if the injury done to Tender Is the Night and The Last Tycoon wasn't bad enough, the author was played by Gregory Peck in a booze-soaked treatment of his affair with a gossip columnist that was so awful that even Deborah Kerr couldn't make it respectable.

Baz Luhmann’s The Great Gatsby, which has recently been released on Blu ray and DVD, is the fourth attempt at adapting Fitzgerald’s economically rich novel about a hopeless romantic and the vapid object of his adoration. As played by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay Gatsby inspires both fear and pity. He demonstrates explosive outbursts of emotion that are counterpointed with a faith in the power of true love to transcend obstacles that would put Cyrano to shame. The performance is a step forward. Robert Redford, in an equally lavish 1974 version, was just a well-dressed bore. (READ MORE)


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