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.

A Summons to Memphis (Vintage International) by Peter Taylor - Book Review

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A Summons to Memphis (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780375701177
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Vintage - June 29th, 1999

George Carver's family never quite got over his decision to move them from Nashville to the less comfortable environs of Memphis. His wife withdrew into her own world, his two daughters, Betsy and Josephine, resigned themselves to lives of affluent spinsterhood, and his son, Phillip, eventually fled to New York. After their mother's death, Betsy and Jo regard their father's flirtations with various ladies with amusement until he becomes enamored of a school teacher whom he intends to marry. The hundreds of miles that have acted as a buffer between Phillip and the tribulations of his family are breached by a phone line. He receives two calls from his mortified sisters imploring him to come home and help them derail the engagement. This is a beautifully written novel of southern manners and mores by a master of the genre. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel by S. A. Cosby - Book Review

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Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250252685
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Flatiron Books - July 14th, 2020

Problems were piling up for Bug Montage as fast as the past due bills. His daughter needed money to go to college, his mother was about to be ejected from the nursing home where she unhappily resides, and a new business in town had siphoned customers away from his mechanic's shop. Bug had a checkered past that he did not want to return to, but his legendary experience and skill behind the wheel made him the perfect guy to drive the getaway car after a jewel robbery. He calculated everything beforehand, figuring nothing could go wrong if his three partners-in-crime followed the plan. Everything went wrong. Totally enjoyable escapist fare with a sympathetically damaged protagonist, an intriguingly complex plot, and propulsive action sequences. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice That Held It Together by Jon Mooallem - Book Review

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This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice That Held It Together Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525509912
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Random House - March 24th, 2020

Genie Chance was on a last-minute errand with her young son in downtown Anchorage, Alaska on Good Friday in 1964 when her car began to shake. She thought she must have a flat tire, another headache that Genie didn't need. The flat tire proved to be wishful thinking. The first tremors of the most powerful earthquake in American history had begun. In the hours and days to come, Genie Chance would utilize her training and skill as a radio reporter to relay vital information to the shocked, demoralized, and frightened victims of the quake. This meticulously researched account of a little known natural disaster is also a well-deserved tribute to the courage and tenacity of one woman, who was able to project a reassuring voice over the airwaves and, in doing so, shine a beam of hope at a time when the world seemed to be plunged in darkness. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


A Burning: A novel by Megha Majumdar - Book Reveiw

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A Burning: A novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525658696
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Knopf - June 2nd, 2020

This remarkable debut novel follows the lives of three people in Bengal. Jivan is a young Muslim who is imprisoned for the firebombing of a crowded train. Lovely is an aspiring actress whose dreams of stardom in the movies are threatened by her public insistence that Jivan is innocent of the terrible crime. PT Sir, a morally pliable gym teacher, also understands that his ambitions to ascend the political ladder will be compromised if he doesn't accede to the government's demand that someone be punished for the terrorist attack. Beautifully written, A Burning is a powerful and ultimately moving look at the politics, the religions, the customs, and the social disparity between the rich and the poor in a culturally vibrant, but little known part of the world. Easily one of the year's most impressive works of fiction. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


Valentine: A Novel by Elizabeth Wetmore - Book Review

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Valentine: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062913265
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Harper - March 31st, 2020

The rape and near-fatal beating of a 14-year-old girl by a worker in the oil fields adjoining the town of Odessa, Texas sends tremors throughout the community. It sets off warning signals to many local women, who have been wary of the hundreds of men recently drawn to the area by the prospect of good paying jobs with the oil company. The brutal attack is largely minimized or dismissed by others who view the Mexican child as the instigator and the prosecution of the crime as a potential threat to their livelihoods. Although this story is set in 1976, the potent themes that pervade and propel it, both social and economic, still reverberate today. This is a very impressive first novel. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


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