Archive for the ‘Events’ category

The Last Customer

March 29, 2009

Kevin Krein had the honor of ringing up the last sale in the history of River City Books: a travel guide to Costa Rica. If the Raven were still with us he would, no doubt, strain his back trying to find the symbolism. In his place, I can only offer a picture. Thanks and best wishes to this customer and every one who came before her.

Celebrate Seven Years

March 25, 2009

balloons3dI told you’d I had more final week news and in all this time have I ever not delivered on a promise? Please keep your answers to yourselves.

On Sunday, March 29 — the final day in the seven-year history of River City Books — RCB booksellers are graciously hosting a store-closing reception. Please come, commiserate, celebrate, hearken fond memories, and, of course, if you so choose, buy more great stuff at historically low prices.

Store hours that day are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The reception will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Also, my favorite four words: refreshments will be served.

Note that I am told the word “light” should be inserted so as to make that a five-word disclaimer. In any event, see you there.

Author/Comedian at The Cow

December 13, 2008

relativeI don’t know about you, but I could use a good laugh. This is a stressful time of the year and, well, the weather’s not enhancing my mood any. Luckily, there’s an event on the calendar intended to draw chuckles from anyone who has relatives: Jeremy Greenberg, author of Relative Discomfort: The Family Survival Guide, will perform, read from and sign copies of his book at 7 p.m., Monday, December 15, at the Contented Cow. The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by River City Books.

“Relative Discomfort” is a guffaw-inducing guide to living through and laughing at family encounters. Greenberg, who is also a comedian, writes from the premise that although we love our families, many of us don’t particularly love spending time with those who share dysfunctional DNA.


It Was Warm Inside

December 5, 2008

I sincerely hope you had as much fun at Winter Walk as was had at River City Books on Thursday night. The line for Jim Gilbert stretched out the door at one point. By the end of the night there was nary a copy of Minnesota Nature Notes left (the last four were signed and gilbertshelved for the first four to claim them). Folks also filed downstairs to listen to — and watch! — Gordon Frederickson and his nifty audio-visual presentation of A Farm Country Christmas Eve. Man, that was a big TV. Overall, the place was packed. Elbow to elbow, parka to parka. Many shoppers brought in the 20-percent off coupon that ran in the local newspaper and took advantage of it. Dozens checked out the revamped bargain basement and picked up bags of good deals. There were, of course, smiles aplenty. Seems every year Winter Walk gets a little bigger, a little better, whoa, what a good time last night.

Two Authors and Countless Fun

December 2, 2008

I love Winter Walk but then, duh, that makes me part of a large club. This year, as every year for the last ten, I plan to stroll through a candlelit downtown, find great gifts at Division Street stores, maybe hop on sleigh ride, certainly listen to carolers, and, of course, poke my head into River City Books. I want to spend more time in RCB’s revamped bargain basement and also check out two author events hosted especially for Winter Walkers:

country-x-masGordon Fredrickson, 6 p.m. — Fredrickson, author of A Farm Country Christmas Eve, will perform, read from and sign copies of his book. The story begins on a small dairy farm, on Christmas Eve of 1950, as three children, hoping Santa will visit their house, go to the barn to help with the evening milking. While ten-year old Jimmy, who doubts Santa’s existence, guides Maggie, nine, and Joey, five, through feeding calves and teaching a newborn calf how to drink from a pail, Santa accidentally leaves behind a surprise that transforms Jimmy into a permanent believer.

gilbertJim Gilbert, 6:30 p.m. — Gilbert, author of Jim Gilbert’s Minnesota Nature Notes, will sign copies of “Minnesota Nature Notes” at 6:30 p.m. For more than 30 years Gilbert has been observing the changing Minnesota seasons with the accuracy of a trained biologist and the attention of a poet, while also keeping in touch with events in remote corners of the state through friendships developed during his WCCO Radio show. In this book, Gilbert shares the fruits of his experience in a series of essays and remarks focused on each passing week of the year. Topics include animal tracking in the snow, apple-blossom time, tapping maple trees and more. With dozens of color photographs and suggestions for family activities, “Minnesota Nature Notes” is a must-have for diehard Minnesotans.

Both books are on sale at River City Books for 15 percent off through Dec. 4. Both events are free and open to the public. If you want a signed copy but can’t stop by Thursday night, contact the store in advance for arrangements.

See you Thursday night!

Harmon Leon at The Cow Tonight (Video)

November 24, 2008

I can’t believe it, but another day, another big book event. Here’s the skinny: Harmon Leon, author of The American Dream: Walking in the Shoes of Carnies, Arms Dealers, Immigrant Dreamers, Pot Farmers, and Christian Believers, will read from and sign copies of his book at 7 p.m., tonight (Nov. 24) at the Contented Cow. The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the old neighborhood bookstore. The book is on sale for 15 percent off through the event. Copies will be available for purchase at the Cow.

By the way, Harmon was recently on the Carson Daly show and somehow (I’m not as techno as I look) I was able to add the segment here for your viewing pleasure:

Tail-Wagging Tales

November 23, 2008

I happened to catch most of Karin Winegar’s appearance at River City Books yesterday afternoon — and I am glad I did. Winegar, author of Saved: Rescued Animals and the Lives They Transform, read from and signed copies of her heartening book while one of the rescue dogs (see above photo) looked on with approval. Winegar shared slices of some of the compelling stories in “Saved” (I, for one, was happy to hear about kind people who reach out to animals in need). She also displayed several of the amazing photographs in the book. If there’s an animal lover on your shopping list I don’t know why you would need to look any further!

One more thing to note: Ms. Winegar was kind enough to sign a few extra copies for the store. Those are on sale while supplies last.

The Joint Was Booked

November 21, 2008

I stopped by River City Books last night and found there wasn’t a spare seat to be found, as popular novelist Lorna Landvik discussed her new holiday book and her latest paperback release. Readers packed into RCB’s cozy downstairs meeting area to listen to Landvik, who read from both books, and pick up signed, discounted copies of those and other Landvik-authored titles. Many authors struggle to present their material — but not Landvik. A trained stage performer, she adds wit, unique accents and colorful personality to her characters’ voices. And she’s especially comfortable telling stories — whether or not those stories come from one of her books. If the idea was to make people laugh … I know I was not the only one chuckling!

Three Big Events, Five Short Days

November 17, 2008

I don’t think the schedule has ever been this impressive. In fact, I know the schedule hasn’t ever been this impressive. On the heels of two great author events last week, our friends at River City Books will bring in — over a span of five days starting this Thursday — a witty national bestselling novelist; a renowned journalist with heartwarming stories; and a hilarious writer who is more daring than the rest of us.

There’s plenty of reason to be excited about this heavy-hitting lineup:

mountThursday, Nov. 20: Lorna Landvik. The bestselling author of “Patty Jane’s House of Curl” and “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons,” will appear at 7 p.m. at River City Books for a reading and book signing. Landvik will discuss both the recently released paperback edition of her acclaimed novel The View from Mount Joy and her new holiday book Tis the Season! “The View from Mount Joy” is the story of Joe Andreson, a teenager who moves to Minneapolis with his widowed mother and falls under the spell of Kristi Casey, a cheerleader who will prove to be a temptation (and torment) for the rest of Joe’s life. Heartfelt and witty, “Tis the Season!” is a holiday novel of redemption and forgiveness that shows that down and out doesn’t mean over and done — and that the things we need most are usually closer than we know.     

savedSaturday, Nov. 22: Karin Winegar. The author of Saved: Rescued Animals and the Lives They Transform will read from and sign copies of her book at 1 p.m. in the store. Winegar, a Carleton College graduate and an award-winning journalist who has written for such newspapers as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Star Tribune, will bring two rescue dogs with her to the event. “Saved” is a beautifully illustrated tribute to rescued animals that profoundly affected the people who saved them.

Monday, Nov. 24: Harmon Leon. The infiltration journalist and author of The American Dream: Walking in the Shoes of Carnies, Arms Dealers, Immigrant Dreamers, Pot Farmers, and Christian Believers, will perform and sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. at the Contented Cow in an event co-dreamsponsored by River City Books. In the satirical and poignant “The American Dream,” Leon draws upon his experiences of adopting personas and disguises (see “The Harmon Chronicles” and “Republican Like Me”) to infiltrate the various institutions of everyday life, living among a diverse range of subcultures and learning about their unique vision of life. Click here for video of Leon’s recent appearance on the Carson Daly show.

The books are on sale for 15 percent off before and during the respective events, which are free and open to all. If you want signed copies but can’t attend, give the store a call or stop in and I am confident they will make it happen.  

Northfield Reads! Celebrates Mom

November 12, 2008

shotgunMom. She’s underappreciated, wouldn’t you say? I know mine is. Oh, the stuff she had to put up with from … my siblings. OK, maybe from me, too. Once or twice.

Well, there’s a great book out that celebrates Mom — Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers — and Northfielders have the chance to hear from a handful of the acclaimed writers who contributed to the anthology. Minnesota authors Faith Sullivan, Sheila O’Connor, Heid Erdrich, Wang Ping and Shannon Olson will read from and discuss “Riding Shotgun” as part of the Northfield Reads! communitywide book club. This free event, which will include a book signing, will be at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14, in Great Hall on the Carleton College campus.

In “Riding Shotgun,” a group of literary women offer personal and universal stories that provide windows into the influential mother-daughter moments that shape lives. In true tales of candor and insight, the writers reflect on the women who raised them, revealing hard work and hardship, successes and failures, anger and love.

Northfield Reads! is a communitywide book club sponsored by River City Books, the Carleton and St. Olaf bookstores, the Northfield Public Library and Monkey See-Money Read. The public is invited.  Hope to see you — and your mother — there!

Of course, the book’s on sale for 20 percent off at RCB. Copies will also be available at the event. 


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