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.

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781538746837
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 10th, 2020

Becky Cooper was haunted by a murder. In the tumultuous year of 1969, while social unrest enveloped the Harvard campus, a 23-year-old graduate student was found beaten to death in her Cambridge apartment. No one saw anything. No one heard anything. But the presence of red ochre sprinkled on the young woman's body was an intriguing clue and rumors began to swirl around members of the anthropology department. Forty years later, the author embarked on a personal crusade to uncover the identity of Jane Britton's killer, but what bobbed to the surface of the troubled waters of her investigation was the storied university's historic, sustained, and sometimes vicious pattern of prejudice directed towards women. This is an impeccably researched, mesmerizing journey that unearths all the cracks in the foundation of one of America's most hallowed schools. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Snow by John Banville - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781335230003
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - October 6th, 2020

Things haven't been going well at Ballyglass House for some time. Colonel Osborne puts up a good front, but the estate is badly in need of repairs. His second wife wanders the place at night like a restless ghost. His rebellious daughter is carrying on with the brutish hired man and his son is about to abandon medical school to pursue a life of beachcombing. The last thing the colonel needs is a murdered priest in the library, something that is especially frowned upon in Ireland. John Banville introduces readers to Detective Inspector St. John Strafford in this literate, hugely entertaining mystery set in snow-shrouded County Wexford, where the author manages to travel down some errant theological paths that have been slashed into the brilliant white landscape. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781982141462
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 14th, 2020

This book may provide people who harbor guilt feelings about judging Donald Trump too harshly with a great deal of reassurance in their judgment. Mary Trump's unflinching look at her epically dysfunctional family is more focused upon Fred Trump, her grandfather, than on the president himself, who was both the major beneficiary of his father's business acumen and the most consequential victim of his psychological abuse. The surprising aspect of Ms. Trump's book is how little of it is truly surprising. You may want to file it between Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King where it should be right at home. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Jack: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780374279301
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 29th, 2020

If Jack Boughton imagined himself as a pebble, it would be one that caused no ripple when tossed into a pond; if he was a breeze, not a single leaf would stir. His waking moments are spent wondering how his life has gotten so far off track. Harmlessness is his objective and acquiescence is the only way he responds to life's cruelties. Then Jack, a white man, falls in love with Della, a young black woman, in a society still rampant with racial animosity. This is the author's fourth book set in and around the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa. With her masterful prose, she lifts what might have been a fairly conventional narrative into a timeless story about the redemptive power of love. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

The Cold Millions: A Novel by Jess Walter - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062868084
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - October 27th, 2020

Labor unrest, peaceful and deadly, provides the backdrop for this engrossing novel about two brothers, both drifters anchored only to each other, and a feisty young Irish woman on a crusade. Although Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is only 19-years-old, her name strikes fear into the hearts of the millionaires who live in splendor off the bone-grinding labor of the men who work the mines in Washington State at the turn of the 20th century. She faces formidable odds: Hired thugs and killers, corrupt police officers, and betrayals within her own organization. Walter's vivid descriptions of Spokane, a growing city unable to completely shed the trappings of a roughshod frontier town, emerge to the reader like literary photographs. His assorted characters, all toting their own flaws and weaknesses, are powerfully drawn and believable. This is a wonderfully entertaining novel by the author of Beautiful Ruins and the social issues it examines are still relevant in today's world. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


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