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More than Text to Read

Once upon a time someone said, “Welcome to the wonderful world of graphic novels!” Okay, so that isn’t exactly how I was introduced to the world of graphic novels, but close. I, like many, was under the impression that “graphic novels” where just another form of “comic books.” While they have similarities, they are radically different too. Therefore, I picked up my first one, not knowing what to expect. The name has since escaped me, but not the results of what happened.

Sure there are a lot of illustrations, but there is a lot of text. Okay, maybe not a lot but there is important text. Due to limited space, all text has to have punch. The potential of these reads was not lost on me. Many a reluctant reader has used them as a gateway to longer, more traditional novels. Yet, I hope they do not totally abandon the glory of the Graphic Novel, such as Smile by Raina Telgemeier. (READ MORE)

Life after Rita Hayworth

He was some kind of a man. What does it matter what you say about people. -- Marlene Dietrich, Touch of Evil

Orson Welles was only 26-years-old when he made his first movie. He spent the rest of his life basking in the admiration that Citizen Kane inspired and engulfed in the shadow it cast over the rest of his career. Welles had already made an impression upon the nation with a vivid and, as it turned out, notorious radio broadcast of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. It was done so convincingly that thousands of listeners believed the country was under attack by aliens from outer space. It was inevitable that Welles would be asked to apply his skill for evoking such visceral reactions from mass audiences to the big screen, but an aspiring young filmmaker is throwing down a mighty gauntlet when he writes, directs, and stars in what is generally regarded as the greatest American movie ever made his first time out.

Simon Callow has authored two previous books on Welles. The third volume, One Man Band, traces the years beginning in 1947 until 1964. Welles’ life was always tumultuous, but a more fitting adjective for this part of it might be chaotic; a frantic quest, not unlike that of the figure he most wanted to immortalize on film, Don Quixote...(READ MORE)

Staff Pick Logo
Orson Welles, Volume 3: One-Man Band Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780670024919
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Viking - April 5th, 2016

Interview with Kent Nerburn, Author of The Girl who Sang To The Buffalo

Nerburn is the author of 16 books on spirituality and Native American themes that are deeply personal and sensitive to both native and non native peoples. A sculptor, teacher and a true Storyteller, Kent's voice in his writing is clear and resolute, seeking to find a common link between cultures & individuals without losing sight of the grace and humor that occurs to us all in our daily lives. Kent Nerburn's work has been featured on the History Channel and the books "Neither Wolf Nor Dog; On forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder "and "The Wolf at Twilight; An Indian Elder's Journey Through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows won the Minnesota Book Award.

This online interview with Kent Nerburn was the result of our Reading Group, Truth & Tales, at Northshire Saratoga Springs having read The Girl Who Sang To the Buffalo. We then back tracked to read the other 2 books in the series; Neither Wolf Nor Dog, and The Wolf at Twilight (Book 3 being "The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo" ). The group was so taken with the subject matter that the following month we read Kent's biography, Chief Joseph and The Flight of the Nez Perce. We especially enjoyed the way in which Kent Nerburn combines historical narrative within a storytelling format, weaving humor and sensitivity throughout. The interview spurred several people in the group to continue reading other books regarding Native American History and fiction including Louise Erdrich, Joe Bruchac, Sherman Alexie and others.
The interview took place on Jan.21st at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs: (READ MORE)

Staff Pick Logo
The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781608680153
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: New World Library - November 5th, 2013

Cyber-punk

While talking to a friend about books he mentioned he enjoys cyber-punk. Two authors he thought I should try were Neal Stephenson and William Gibson.

First, I had to figure out what cyberpunk was. Wikipedia’s definition: "cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a future setting, noted for its focus on "high tech and low life" aspects of society. It features advanced technology and science, such as information technology and cybernetics, coupled with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order."

What was I going to get myself into? When "technology" comes into the picture, I usually get confused by the technical details of it. However, I quickly realized that even though both Stephenson and Gibson are describing the "high tech" both write in accessible language for most readers. Their stories relate to the human condition. While we might not live in a space colony or in virtual reality, we understand the subjects described. Both talk about a dystopian future, but sometimes with a glimmer of hope as the human characters fall in and out of love, deal with issues of image, money, power, politics, what it means to be human and so much more. (READ MORE)

Snow Crash Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553380958
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Del Rey Books - May 2nd, 2000

Taking the Critical Path: An Interview with Videogame Journalist Dan Amrich

One of the greatest things about visiting your local independent bookstore is that you never know what you’re going to find. Sometimes a hidden gem might jump off the shelf at you, sometimes you can be drawn in by a staff recommendation. One example of this phenomenon might be Critical Path: How to Review Videogames for a Living by Dan Amrich. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of getting paid to play their favorite games?

Chris recently spoke with Dan about Critical Path, the writing process, and the long journey to book took from idea to publication.

Q: You've been a part of some major gaming publications in your career. In a few sentences, could you give a bit of your professional background?

Sure. I started as a freelance writer in 1993, tackling game reviews for a mix of computer, sports, entertainment, and lifestyle magazines, plus the then-novel realm of America Online. I got a good reputation by sending copies of my reviews back to the companies that had supplied me with games, so by the time I got a staff position at GamePro magazine in 1997, I had a good industry reputation. I stayed there and wrote under the pen name of Dan Elektro for seven years, then branched out to Official Xbox Magazine, GamesRadar, PC Gamer, and any other publication that would have me! All told I put in 15 years as a game reviewer and magazine editor before writing Critical Path.

Q: You live on the West Coast now, but you spent a bit of time here in Upstate NY, not far from our store here in Saratoga Springs. Can you talk a bit about your time on the East Coast?

I grew up in the Philadelphia area, which is a euphemism for Trenton, New Jersey -- but I went to college at Ithaca, married my wife outside Rochester, and I love every trip I've taken upstate.

Q: What was the inspiration to write Critical Path? Is it something you were always thinking about doing, or did you decide one day "I should really write this stuff down!"?

It was largely driven by the letters we got from magazine readers. I was in charge of the reader mail at GamePro, and every month, we'd get letters asking the same question -- "How do I get your job?" Usually it was from teenagers whose parents were telling them they had to figure out what they wanted to do with their lives, so they were curious about what career surrounded by something they loved -- videogames -- might look like. The more I got these letters, the more I wanted to answer them, but the more I realized that the answer was potentially very detailed. Some people who wrote in were really just looking for a way to get free games, but there were enough serious letters asking for real-world advice that I was convinced it was something I could definitively answer for the hopefuls who really didn't know where else to start.(READ MORE)

Staff Pick Logo
Critical Path: How to Review Videogames for a Living Cover Image
By Dan Amrich, Cliff Bleszinski (Introduction by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780985143725
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Tripletorch - February 15th, 2012

Reading People

I enjoy “people watching” and “people reading.” Or at least their autobiographies and biographies.

Starting with an oldie but goodie, Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos. In the summer of 1971, Jack loads a yacht with a ton of hashish. What happens next is a raw and honest look at what transpires when Gantos is arrested and sent to prison. A powerful coming of age story of a man’s journey to survive and how his dream of becoming a writer came about. Now, as a companion, Gantos has The Trouble in Me. Where we see a younger Jack and more of what shaped him into becoming one of today’s most beloved children’s and young adult authors. (Both for ages 13 up.) (READ MORE)

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Northshire Manchester Store

Northshire Manchester
4869 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
ph. 802.362.2200
ph. (toll free) 800.437.3700
Sun-Thu 10am-7pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
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Northshire Saratoga Store

Northshire Saratoga
424 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
ph. 518.682.4200
ph. (toll free) 855.339.5990
Sun-Thu 10am-7pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Directions to Saratoga Springs