agraves's blog

Alden Graves - Bookseller, Movie & Music Buyer in Manchester

A native Vermonter, Alden works in the music department at the Northshire. He is also in charge of the DVDs and tries very hard to have titles that customers might not readily find elsewhere. He loves film, especially ones that have either trains or Elizabeth Taylor in them. Alden contributes a weekly column on the movies to the Bennington Banner. His other interests include shipwrecks, Jack the Ripper, Peggy Lee, and real country music. Other staff members at the Northshire are very tolerant as he rambles on about the Andrea Doria and they probably know a lot more about the Ripper than they ever thought they would.

Ridgeline: A Novel by Michael Punke - Book Review

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Ridgeline: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250310460
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - June 1st, 2021

This novel, based on an incident in 1866, is historical fiction on an epic scale! In the shadow of the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming territory, Colonel Henry Corrington is overseeing the construction of a large fort to help safeguard travelers during the country's westward expansion. The influx of white soldiers and their families is regarded by the Native American tribes as an intrusion upon lands that have been home for them for generations. The uneasy coexistence, potentially as volatile as dry prairie grass, is threatened by a brash young lieutenant whose taste for bloodshed was honed on the killing fields of the Civil War. The climactic battle is one of the most visceral and vivid accounts of a tragically inevitable confrontation between two disparate cultures--each convinced of the nobility of its cause--that I have ever read. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


A Crooked Tree: A Novel by Una Mannion - Book Review

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A Crooked Tree: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063049840
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Harper - January 5th, 2021

After her frustration reaches the boiling point, a woman orders her 12-year-old daughter out of the car, telling her to walk the five miles home as darkness is beginning to fall. The terribly misguided decision ultimately impacts the lives of the rest of her children. A sense of dread settles over them like mist that weaves its way through the woods surrounding their mountain home. This is an astute exploration of the fears--both real and imagined--that can linger in young minds and their limitless capacity to persevere and forgive. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


Dust Off the Bones: A Novel by Paul Howarth - Book Review

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Dust Off the Bones: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063076006
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - June 8th, 2021

A continuation of the story of Billy and Tommy McBride, who began their trek down the dusty, bloody trail of their lives in the author's superlative Only Killers and Thieves. The brothers have gone their separate ways, both trying to forget the massacre of a tribe of Aborigines they witnessed as boys. Billy is forced to relive the nightmare with the appearance of an ambitious young lawyer, who is determined to see that Native Police Inspector Noone, an arrogant villain of epic proportions, is brought to justice for ordering the mass killings. The new novel, like its predecessor, vividly recalls an era in Australia when it mirrored the lightning bolt violence that was prevalent in the Old West in America. The prose is, by turns, beautiful and brutal. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb - Book Review

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The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781616206895
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - July 13th, 2021

When Jack the Ripper put away his scalpel in November of 1888 and vanished into the London fog, authorities were becoming aware that they had a far more ruthless serial killer to contend with. The Ripper confined his atrocities to a particular area of London and his prey were all destitute women. Dr. Thomas Neill Cream's crimes extended over three countries on two continents. His victims hailed from all walks of life. Strychnine was his weapon-of-choice and, as a doctor with impressive credentials, he had easy access to the deadly poison that induces an agonizing death. This is a meticulously researched, true-life horror story that details the appalling crimes of a mercilessly evil man. Dr. Cream emerges from his sordid history as a person so thoroughly demented that even the Ripper might shudder at the mention of his name. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


Whereabouts: A novel by Jhumpa Lahiri - Book Review

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Whereabouts: A novel Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593318317
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf - April 27th, 2021

Experiencing this novel is a little like picking up a stranger's diary and reading random passages from it. While it may not seem the most admirable thing to do, the rewards in this instance are boundless. Whereabouts is filled with bittersweet observations and regrets that are occasionally eclipsed by shards of hope that temper memories of an unhappy childhood and the solitary life that followed. As it is with all of this author's work, the introspective prose often inspires the reader to look up from the pages and nod either in remembrance or in silent agreement. Any writer with the literary courage to compare a discarded umbrella to a "tortured heron" is totally irresistible. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


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