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What Killed Downtown? Norristown, Pennsylvania, From Main Street to the Malls

In 1950, the classic American downtown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, built around the six core blocks of Main Street, was the bustling commercial heart of central Montgomery County — and had been for over a century. Downtown merchants looked forward to an extended period of prosperity.  It was not to be.

By 1975, Main Street's core stood largely shuttered and deteriorating, with 99 storefronts vacant, and countless others lost to the wrecking ball, as first shoppers and then the merchants fled the inner city.

What Killed Downtown?  Historian Michael E. Tolle's extensive research into the collapse of downtown Norristown reveals not only the many answers to this question, but also recreates the classic American downtown shopping experience, long an American characteristic, but now largely foreign to anyone below middle age.

In so doing, Tolle lays bare the fundamental incompatibility between the urban grid and the automobile, as he recounts how a middle-sized American city struggled — and failed — to solve the issues of traffic flow and parking, issues that are no closer to solution today, regardless of the size of the city.

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Grandma's Bag of Stories
Memories of a grandparent spinning tales around animals and mysterious characters have kept many of us rapt till date. Sudha Murty's Grandma's Bag of Stories is simply delightful. The story starts with Anand, Krishna, Raghu and Meena arriving at their grandparents' house in Shiggaon. Overjoyed Ajji and Ajja(Grandmother and grandfather in Kannada) get the house ready, while Ajji prepares delicious snacks for children. Finally, times comes when everyone gathers around Ajji, as she opens her big bag 
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The Old Man and the Sea
Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway's magnificent fable is the story of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. It was The Old Man and the Sea that won for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature. Here, in a perfectly crafted story, is a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man's challenge to the elements in which he lives. Not a single word is superflous in this widely admired masterpiece, which once and for all established his place as one of the giants of modern literature.
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The Secret Of The Nagas (Shiva Trilogy-2)

The Shiva Trilogy, written by Amish Tripathi, has become a nation-wide bestseller in a short time. This is due to the refreshing new plot that it explores and the unique writing style of the author. The Secret of The Nagas is the second novel in the saga. Amish has penned down the contents of this book in such a way that it manages to shine as a stand-alone book in itself.

The Plot and The Characterisations

In this book, Amish describes how Shiva sets forth on a quest to destroy the Naga clan in order to avenge the death of his brother; since the common belief he has been presented with is that the Nagas are the root of all evil. The author takes us through a virtual tour of India as Shiva travels different lands and gathers a vast number of generic and non-generic experiences, all in the quest of saving a plagued kingdom. As he travels, he garners more friends and family and leaves a mark. Slowly, events start unfolding in such a manner that whatever beliefs the readers and Shiva too held in the previous book are tarnished. Revelations occur as the evil-doers have been showcased in a new light and the grey shades of the positive protagonists in the earlier book are exposed. The book is filled with nuanced wisdom and Shiva leaves the readers with the message that good and evil are two sides of the same coin; which is why we shouldn't judge people. As suspense builds, the climax ends with Shiva finally entering the Naga territory making for a nail-biting finish.

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