Archive for December 2007

New Year’s Day Notes

December 31, 2007

RCBlogos.jpgIs there a better way to start out the New Year than by starting a great new book? I think not. Thankfully, if you didn’t already know this fact, River City Books will be open for business on January first — from noon to 6 p.m.

On a related note, the River City Books fiction book club, which usually meets the first Tuesday of the month, will not meet tomorrow because of the holiday. Instead, the group will convene in one week. So more time to polish off this month’s selection. I’ve had informal talks with a couple of members and so far the book’s drawing raves.

I hope you and yours have a happy, healthy new year!

How To Use That Gift Card

December 30, 2007

five-pack.jpgThis time of year people are often walking into the neighborhood bookstore with plastic to burn. No, I don’t mean VISA or MasterCard. I am talking about the best present I ever received: a gift card from River City Books.

If you happen to be fulfilling the dream of every reader — to stroll into a store and be able to shop for free — here are some great books to consider (click on the pic to enlarge):


Take Twenty Percent Off, Please

December 28, 2007

holiday-books.jpgI always feel a letdown after the holidays. All that excitement — all that food — and then, bam, it’s back to regular life and the realization that if I ate that way all of the time I would be so fat my wings couldn’t keep me up. One thing that helps, though, is the post-holiday savings opportunities down at the neighborhood bookstore. Already, for example, they have put a great selection of holiday books on sale for 20 percent off. We’re talking A Christmas Carol, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, picture books, chapter books, trade books … basically, if it’s holiday related it’s on sale. I took a pic of a few of the offerings (click to enlarge). While supplies last. Now please pass me the Tums.

Christmas Festival CDs Sold Here

December 26, 2007

st-olaf-cd.jpgIt amazes me how quickly they can turn a recording into a CD available at retail outlets near you. (Frame of reference: I am also amazed at drive-through windows at pharmacies.) Already, for example, you can buy copies of the 2007 St. Olaf Christmas Festival — the world renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival — and you don’t even have to venture onto The Hill to do it. River City Books, home of an impressive display of music CDs, has copies of “Where Peace and Love and Hope Abide”  on sale. Stop by and pick up your copy today. Or tomorrow. Or whenever it works for you. But don’t take too long. These little pieces of cellophane-wrapped plastic are hot.

The Last Minute Solution

December 23, 2007

cards.jpgSay you forgot about someone. It could happen. It has happened. A lot of people — OK, me — forget to buy a gift for a certain someone and then are left scrambling at the last minute. Or maybe you didn’t forget but after scouring the ends of the earth you just can’t find a good gift. These are the maddening problems of the human existence. At least during the holidays.

Fortunately, I have an answer to holiday conundrum: the River City Books gift card.

It’s so fast, so easy, it almost seems funny to mention it. But never forget it is there, always available, a ready Plan B (or Z) whenever you need it. Too, RCB, has a great way to get everything done in one run. Because not only does the store sell gift cards it also sells a great line of holiday greeting cards. Pick out whatever ift card denomination you wish, find a greeting card off the rack (pictured) and — yowsers — you’re ready for the holiday party.

Extended Holiday Hours at RCB

December 21, 2007

RCBlogos.jpgI happened to look at my calendar this morning and it hit me like telephone pole that was mistakenly in my airspace: It’s time to start shopping!

Only a few days left till judgment day. Geeesh, I better get a move on. Fortunately for me — and you, too — the neighborhood bookstore is open later and longer this weekend.

Here are the store’s holiday hours:


A Post About Nothing

December 20, 2007

seinfeld.jpgThe Soup Nazi. Kramerica Industries. High talkers. Low talkers. Yada, yada, yada. It’s a well-known secret in our nest that I am a “Seinfeld” fan. If you ask me, the show gets better with each viewing. Which is why I am tickled to report that down at River City Books they have the ultimate gift for “Seinfeld” fans: all nine seasons of DVDs that includes a commemorative book. I am telling you this is one slick looking package of “nothing” (click on the photo for an enlarged view). There’s only one left, though, so you if you’re going to act, act fast. If you have a “Seinfeld” fan in your life you could become that person’s hero. Bigger, even, than Keith Hernandez.

Follow-Up Also Makes A Great Gift

December 18, 2007

history.jpgAs a mediocre student, I didn’t get everything I could have out of my education. It wasn’t that I wasn’t smart. It’s just that I wasn’t especially bright. So I missed a few things (as they sailed past me, above me, up and over me). In the years since I have tried to make up lost ground (or air) and last year I found an excellent resource — The Intellectual Devotional.

Modeled after bedside books of prayer and contemplation many turn to for spiritual guidance, the national bestseller offers secular wisdom in the form of year’s worth of readings from seven different fields of knowledge.

devotional.jpgFortunately for me, authors David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim have written a follow-up volume, this one focusing on American history for their selections. From Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin to Martin Luther King Jr., from the Federalist Papers to Watergate, the giant figures, cultural touchstones, and pivotal events in our national heritage provide a year’s worth of reflection and education that, the publish says “will refresh knowledge, revitalize the mind, and open new horizons of intellectual discovery.”

Both of these books have been huge sellers down at the neighborhood bookstore. They are the quintessential gift books, whether for people who want to brush up or those of us who want to learn for the first time all over again.

‘Run’ — Don’t Walk — To Buy These Books

December 16, 2007

run.jpgI apologize that I haven’t written in a few days. I know this has troubled many of you and I am sorry. I caught a bug and was on my back for a couple of days. The only good part of being sick is that there’s plenty of time for reading and, friends, I happened to spend time with a couple of great new books that I am heartily recommending. Two wings up, as it were.

The first is Ann Patchett’s Run. Patchett, of course, wrote Bel Canto, which still sells well, years after it first hit all of the bestseller lists. I loved “Run” because it’s full of terrific characters. It’s sweet and sad and I was grabbed by Patchett’s language and keen insights. People say all the time “I couldn’t put it down.” Well, I could set it down but only long enough to eat.

lobster.jpgThe second book I am imploring you to buy is Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan. O’Nan has a long list of impressive writing credits but his books have never sold especially well. I think that’s about change. “Last Night at the Lobster” is a slim but poignant examination of working-class people that takes place during the day a Red Lobster closes for the last time. The writing sucked me in.

Fritz Perry Will Present Book

December 12, 2007

cecil.jpgIf you’re like me, about now you’re ready to set the wish lists aside and take a break from the busiest month of the year. Even for just an hour. Maybe sit somewhere warm. Perhaps listen to a good story.

Sound nice?

Then, friends, grab the kids and keep a little time open in the weekend schedule. Popular author Marie Fritz Perry will visit River City Books at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, to discuss her great new picture book. “Cecil’s New Year’s Eve Tail” is the story of Cecil, a snake who is invited to a New Year’s Eve ball in New York City. Cecil’s insecurities almost prevent him from enjoying the evening with his friends and, along the way he learns an important lesson about acceptance and friendship.



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