The Blind Assassin

This website is starting a prize winners page, with commentary by Classics customers–

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood won the Booker Prize in 2000 and is included in Time’s list of the 100 best English language novels since 1923.

Commentary from Classics customers: 

Elizabeth Lindsey:  “I just finished reading it a couple days ago.  It was pretty good – definitely not my favorite book.  I found it to be pretty slow, but not in a good way.  I actually skipped some parts.”

Sarah Ohls:  “I read it, and remember enjoying it (and everything else she’s written).”

Classics customer Monica Williams reviewed Blind Assassin for the Boston Globe.  Here is the link to her review.

A Death in the Family

We are (slowly) starting a prize winners page, with commentary by Classics customers.

The first is Pulitzer Prize Winner Death in the Family by James Agee, that won the Pultizer Prize in 1958 and made the Time magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels  written since 1923.

Carolyn Stetson: “It was a very powerful work about family, belief and loss….I would recommend it.”

Marcia Wood: “I would say that there are a few books I have read which I had to begin again immediately after finishing the last page. This was one. It is a powerful, autobiographical story about family and grief, but I read it a second time not because I thought I had missed something in the plot but to find out “How did he do that?” How did he find that voice and that language? No wonder it’s a Pulitzer Prize winner, as was the play that was later based on the book. Sadly, author James Agee died in poverty before the book was even published, and never knew how influential it would be.”

Thank you!

The Trenton Books at Home program has received support from Black Rock Financial, Content Trenton, Home Rubber, Hutchinson, Councilwoman Marge-Caldwell Wilson and Thomas Edison State College.

If you get a moment, drop them a thank you and let them know how important it is to getting FREE books to Trenton kids. I would really appreciate it!

If you bring your thank you cards down to Classics, I will pay for the postage!


Kyla Mostello, Black Rock, 800 Scudders Mill Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536

Home Rubber, PO Box 878, Trenton NJ 08605

Hutchinson, 460 Southard Street, Trenton NJ 08638

Marge Caldwell Wilson, 319 East State Street, Trenton NJ 08608

Thomas Edison State College, c/o John Thurber, 101 West State, Trenton New Jersey 08608

The Trenton Books at Home Program 2010 Annual Report

The Trenton Books at Home Program distributed over $4,000 worth of books to Trenton kids in 2010.  Please help us get books into the home libraries of Trenton kids.

Studies show that when kids have more books in their home libraries, they do better in school. Classics Used and Rare Books, 117 South Warren Street, raises store credit and money to make books available for all Trenton kids.  Ina struggling school district, this is one thing everybody can do to help kids succeed.

Through a partnership with local groups, Classics distributed $4,668 worth of books to Trenton students in 2010.  Distribution partners include the NAACP Education Committee, Hedgepeth Williams School, the Classics Kids Book Club, Alexander’s Run, the Boys and Girls Club, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary, the Passage Theatre after-school program, and Greater Emmanuel Church.

With sponsorship from Children’s Futures, monetary support in 2010 came from Black Rock Financial, Capital Health Systems, Hutchinson, Weidel Insurance and individual donors.

If you would like to help

  • Book donations, which will be converted to store credit (kids and adults books), can be made by bringing books down to Classics Used and Rare Books, 117 South Warren and identifying them as books for the Books at Home Program. 
  • Monetary donations can be made by bringing checks or money orders to Classics, made out to our partners at Children’s Futures. Inc, with “Classics Books at Home Program” in the subject line. 
  • Credit card donations can be made through “Donate Now using Just Give” located at  The section marked “Enter a description below of how you would like your donation to be used” should read “Classics Books at Home Program.”
  • Children’s Futures is a 501c3 non-profit and these cash donations are tax deductable.

While figuring our your charitable donations for 2011,  please consider the Trenton Books at Home Program.

If you have any further questions, please email Eric at

Here’s the breakdown per distribution group

  • NAACP Education Committee                                           $694
  • Hedgepeth Williams School                                               $604
  • the Classics Kids Book Club                                              $537
  • Alexander’s Run                                                                  $364
  • the Boys and Girls Club                                                      $338
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary                                   $213
  • the Passage Theatre after-school program                      $177
  • Greater Emmanuel Church                                                  $129
  • Individual parents and kids                                                $1,622

Trenton: A Novel


In “Trenton: A Novel,” it is 1774 and the Revolution is brewing in the American colonies. This two-part saga begins with the discovery of a nearly lifeless body in the Delaware River, in Hopewell, N.J., by the son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The story of the Hart family, key players in the Revolution, is tied to the second part of the book, which takes place in modern-day Trenton and centers on the son of Cuban immigrants. Luis Alma is running for mayor and he discovers the key to Trenton’s future may lie in a secret from its past.

Dream Dancing

Local author and Trenton employee J.J. Lair offers this mystery.

Pushed into the gritty world of adult entertainment by an abusive boyfriend, Abby Broughton doesn’t care about her future until she meets Mark Winston, a self-employed truck driver. They begin a whirlwind courtship and marry, but the world of erotic dancing isn’t done with Abby. Murdered dancers are found. Jake Hersh, a down on his luck security guard tracks the killer and raises questions about everyone. What is Mark’s past with these dancers? Is Abby’s life in danger?

There’s More to New Jersey than the Sopranos


Marc Mappen, recently retired director of the New Jersey Historical Commission and friend of the store, wrote a quirky interesting book on New Jersy history, often compiled from articles he wrote for the New York Times.  I have some at the store!

Praise for There’s More to New Jersey than the Sopranos

“This is a delightful and informative book–where scholarship meets Weird New Jersey. Mappen is truly New Jersey’s master historical storyteller. “—Mark Lender, Kean University

“So, you think you know New Jersey history? Well, think again.  In There’s More to New Jersey than the Sopranos, Marc Mappen provides readers with dozens of fascinating Jersey stories.  From long-buried mastodons to menacing Martians, it is all here. This book is a must-read.”—Dr. Richard Veit, Department of History and Anthropology, Monmouth University

“Mappen pulls out little-known tidbits in our state’s history to illustrate a long-standing assertion by many historians that it is difficult to find national and international events without some link to New Jersey. Mappen makes a sound argument to lift our state from a punchline to a more suitable noble station in our hearts and minds.”—Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune/Courier News/Daily Record 2/28/10

Classics Used and Rare Books.  117 S. Warren, Trenton.  609-394-8400.

32 Candles

Essence book club author Ernessa T. Carter, who’s closest friend lives in Trenton, swooped through T-town on her book tour this summer.   Classics assisted in her book signing and snagged 10 autographed first editions for Classics’ customers.  If you want one, let me know at