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Sorry for Your Trouble: Stories by Richard Ford - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780062969804
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Published: Ecco - May 12th, 2020

A collection of short stories and two novellas from one of America's finest writers. The locations range from Louisiana to the coast of Maine to Ireland, but the themes are both universal and timeless: loss and loneliness, faithfulness and infidelity, regret and redemption. Ford is a master at creating psychologically fragile characters and placing them in situations that demand they draw from the wellsprings of strength that is equally a part of being human. By turns the stories are unaffectedly candid, funny, and always hopeful. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Morningside Heights: A Novel by Joshua Henkin - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781524748357
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Pantheon - June 15th, 2021

Despite his eccentricities, Pru Steiner's marriage to Spence Robin, once her professor at Columbia, is a stable and loving one. Robin is an academic rock star, admired for his ability to relate to students in the classroom and to scholars of Shakespeare on the printed page. His ability to convey more intimate feelings within his family, however, was not so sharply honed, especially with the resentful son of his first marriage. Pru's devotion faces the ultimate test when she realizes that her brilliant husband has begun the descent into the twilight world of Alzheimer's. This is a moving, involving story of a remarkable woman's determination to retain a semblance of order and dignity in a world that is falling apart. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

The Vapors: A Southern Family, the New York Mob, and the Rise and Fall of Hot Springs, America's Forgotten Capital of Vice by David Hill - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781250086112
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - July 7th, 2020

The rejuvenating mineral water from Sugar Loaf Mountain wasn't the only thing bubbling in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Before anyone had ever heard of Las Vegas, it was the place to go for gambling, booze, and prostitution, none of it legal in the buckle of the Bible Belt. That didn't stop organized crime from joining forces with the police and politicians to make the town a veritable Disneyland of vice. Al Capone relaxed there. Sophie Tucker sang in one of the clubs along Central Avenue. Babe Ruth spent spring training months there. J. Edgar Hoover didn't have much good to say about it. This is a fascinating history of the tumultuous years between the beginning of the Great Depression and the end of the 1960s, chronicling the rise and inevitable decline of a notorious city that, in its unashamed boisterousness, seemed uniquely American. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780802130303
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Published: Grove Press - February 1st, 1994

This is a collection of short stories by one of the great literary figures of the last century. Ranging from metaphysical ruminations about the origins of the universe and man's place in it to tales of espionage and bloody revenge, Borges' dazzling skill as a wordsmith without peer is apparent on every page. You may find yourself departing from the narrative from time to time just to ponder a passage that has touched an essential part of your own perception of life. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Apeirogon: A Novel by Colum McCann - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781400069606
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Published: Random House - February 25th, 2020

Instead of vowing vengeance after their beloved daughters are killed, two men, one an Israeli and the other a Palestinian, work to bring their wounded nations together. This is a powerful examination of a seemingly unquenchable conflagration, fueled by mistrust and hatred, that has consumed the peace and wellbeing of the people who live in its path. Unsparing in its commitment to bring the carnage into vivid relief for the reader, this novel is also an eloquent plea for the immeasurable value of simply putting the weapons aside and talking to one another. McCann has utilized a strikingly original concept, enriching his book with historical tributaries that give the central story a sad, tragic,and ultimately uplifting ring of truth. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Night Boat to Tangier: A Novel by Kevin Barry - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780385540315
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - September 17th, 2019

Charlie and Maurice, two aging criminals whose friendship has managed to survive interludes of mutual betrayal and physical assaults, recall their tumultuous lives while they wait for Maurice's estranged daughter to either arrive at or depart from a ferry terminal in Algeciras, Spain. The dingy surroundings are fitting for the prevalent mood of sadness and regret for lives not so much dangerously lived as ultimately squandered. A startlingly original concept that succeeds on every level, allowing the reader access into the souls of two lost people. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


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