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The White Cascade

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The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche By Gary Krist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805083293
Availability: IN WAREHOUSE - Usually Ships in 3-7 Business Days
Published: Holt Paperbacks - January 22nd, 2008

In February of 1910, two Great Northern Railroad trains, a passenger express and a fast mail, became stranded high in the Cascade Mountains near the little town of Wellington as fierce winter storms began to pummel the area. They were eventually moved to parallel tracks directly beneath a slope that had been ravaged by a forest fire. Blocked from both the east and west by snow slides that crews were desperately trying to clear, the two trains finally became victims of the most destructive avalanche in American history. Krist painstakingly recreates the days leading up to the disaster, the horror of the tragedy itself, the valiant effort to find survivors and the legal repercussions. There are no real villains, only a series of decisions that seem, in retrospect, to have been misguided during a determined and even heroic effort to battle an enemy that was capable of ultimately humbling even the titans of the industrial age. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Blood Meridian

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Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (Vintage International) By Cormac McCarthy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679728757
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Published: Vintage - May 5th, 1992

Blood Meridian is a grueling, unrelenting assault on the senses written by a master at evoking terrible -- and oftentimes breathtaking -- imagery. It is not an easy book to read, but it is difficult not to be caught up in its kinetic energy or to be impressed by McCarthy's sweeping command of the English language. This tale of a misbegotten group of American mercenaries, who travel into Mexico to collect bounties on scalps, is, by turns, horrifying, brutal, and awe-inspiring. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Amy and Isabelle

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Amy and Isabelle: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) By Elizabeth Strout Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375705199
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Published: Vintage - February 1st, 2000

Elizabeth Strout's first novel, like Olive Kitteridge, is set in a small town where a woman and her daughter lead a tenuous existence, both with the world around them and with each other. Isabelle works as a secretary in a local mill. Amy, withering under the close and judgmental scrutiny of her parent, has become infatuated with her high school math teacher, who begins to reciprocate the affection and manipulate the girl. Although she doesn't realize it, Amy is setting the stage to repeat the tragedy of her mother's life. This is a moving examination of both the painful constrictions and the comforting rewards of ordinariness: of dreams devoutly wished and never realized. There is a touch of Amanda Wingfield in Isabelle, but, unlike Tennessee Williams' doomed character in The Glass Menagerie, her journey here is towards a final acceptance of things as they are. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Olive Kitteridge

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Olive Kitteridge: Fiction By Elizabeth Strout Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812971835
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - September 30th, 2008

Vignettes of life in a small coastal town in Maine. The title character, a middle-aged former teacher, provides the central thread that weaves its way through various stories that share a common time and place. Olive is the protagonist in some of the chapters and only briefly mentioned in others. This is a wonderfully unvarnished look at ordinary people, their trials and small triumphs told by an author who obviously has a great deal of admiration for their perseverance. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves

Lincoln's Men

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Lincoln's Men: The President and His Private Secretaries By Daniel Mark Epstein Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061565496
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Published: Harper Perennial - January 19th, 2010

Abraham Lincoln was probably as close to his three secretaries as he was to anyone in Washington. Epstein recounts the little known personal relationships between the president and John Hay, John Nicolay and William Stoddard. The men not only had to deal with a country embroiled in war and a president trying desperately to keep a nation together, they had to cope with Mary Lincoln's quixotic moods and underhanded tactics. A memorably warm and humanizing portrait emerges of Lincoln himself. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves


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