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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.

In the Woods: A Novel by Tana French - Book Review

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In the Woods: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143113492
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2008

Stephen Sondheim reminded us that "the woods are just trees and the trees are just wood," but there is still something vaguely ominous about them. In 1984, three local children went into the woods around Knocknaree, Ireland and disappeared. Searchers found one boy in blood-soaked sneakers who had no recollection of what had happened to his two friends. Twenty years later, he was assigned to lead a police investigation into the brutal murder of another child in the same vicinity and unsettling shafts of recall began to illuminate the dark corners of his memory. The first of the popular author's Dublin Murder Squad mysteries is a complex psychological thriller that lures the reader into a world of shadows and deception. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Barker House by David Moloney - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781635574166
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Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - April 7th, 2020

A story of contemporary prison life told from the perspective of both the employees and the prisoners, all of whom are held captive in their own way. Barker House eventually takes its toll on everyone who passes through its gates, chipping away at hope and draining the humanity out of them. Compassion can prove to be dangerous and sentimentality is completely banished. The author's prose is as solid and unforgiving as the stone and concrete that surrounds his characters. I occasionally looked up to make sure that there were no bars on the window and that I could catch a glimpse of blue sky. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Vera: A Novel by Carol Edgarian - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781501157523
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Scribner - March 2nd, 2021

In the early morning hours of April18,1906, the earth began to shake in San Francisco. Buildings collapsed into rubble, gas mains ruptured and massive fires began to consume the city. For many survivors, however, the real ordeal began after the tremors had stopped and the smoke began to clear. Drinkable water became more precious than the diamonds that had adorned the ladies who, the evening before the quake, had listened to Enrico Caruso sing at the Grand Opera House. Fifteen-year-old Vera Johnson was determined to find her mother, the proprietress of a brothel that catered to the city's elite, and nurse the grievously injured woman back to health. This is a colorful recreation of a raucous era, reminiscent of "Ragtime," in which fiction mingles smoothly with history. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

What Are You Going Through: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez - Book Review

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What Are You Going Through: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593191415
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Published: Riverhead Books - September 8th, 2020

An accomplished woman is asked by an acquaintance, who is suffering from terminal cancer, to accompany her to a house in New England where she plans to end her life. A bond begins to develop between the two as the dying woman recounts the regrets she has experienced during her troubled life and her friend begins to examine her own disappointments. This is a touching story of two lives drawn together by the finality of death and a growing awareness, despite the inevitable sorrows that precede it, that no one should have to meet it alone. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781250224354
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Celadon Books - March 9th, 2021

A particularly vicious serial killer was preying upon gay men in New York. Body parts were found stuffed in trash bags in areas around the city. The victims frequented various bars that catered to Manhattan's gay community and the consensus was that the killer was very likely a patron, too. The police placed a low priority on the investigation into the grisly crimes and, during the years when AIDS was cutting its own swath of death across the city, there was little outcry from the public. This painstakingly researched book about the hunt for a monster is also a concise, fascinating history of the period when gay people cast off the shadows of secrecy and denial and found the voice, the courage, and the political power to demand equality. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


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