Archive for August 2006

Not Likely to Forget ‘Memory’

August 31, 2006

The other day I was in the store and a customer chatted me up about The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. “Memory” is fresh in paperback and while perusing the Book Sense bestseller list I noticed that this customer is not the only one fascinated by what looks like a stunning family drama.

In fact, not only is the book numero uno in the Book Sense tallies, the kudos are being doled out judiciously:

memory.jpg• “Unfolds from an absolutely gripping premise, drawing you deeply and irrevocably into the entangled lives of two families and the devastating secret that shaped them both. I loved this riveting story.” –Sue Monk Kidd

• “Kim Edwards has created a tale of regret and redemption, of honest emotion, of characters haunted by their past. This is simply a beautiful book.” –Jodi Picoult

• “Edwards is a born novelist. … Rich with psychological detail and the nuances of human connection.” -Chicago Tribune

Some are saying The Memory Keeper’s Daughter evokes Alice Sebold’s Lovely Bones, a runaway bestseller. The story articulates every mother’s silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you? In 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins, he immediately recognizes that one of them has Down Syndrome and makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and to keep her birth a secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own.

Sounds like one of those reads you can’t put down. Just might go well with a long weekend.


Monday is Like Sunday, Only Different

August 30, 2006

RCBlogos.jpgJust in case you were wondering … River City Books will be open on Monday, Sept. 4 — September? can it be September already? — during the Labor Day holiday.

But — but! — the store will not be open regular hours that day. Instead of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., business hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Just like on Sundays.

I hope you have a safe, relaxing holiday weekend as we unofficially usher in a new season.

Didn’t Forget; Just Didn’t Think of It

August 29, 2006

I have been remiss, forgiving readers, to post a bookish quote in some time and, well, you won’t let me forget it. This is a good thing. If you’re ever going to write, write to an audience that’s smarter than you are. In my case, this is not much of a challenge.

For moms everywhere:

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a mother who read to me.

Strickland Gillilan

A Friendly Reminder

August 29, 2006

Consider this your one-week warning. In seven days — at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 5, to be exact — the River City Books fiction book club will meet to discuss The Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.

see.jpg“Snow Flower” has received rave reviews. The story’s set in nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, and it’s about a young girl named Lily, who is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, nnow flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

If you haven’t read this mesmerizing book yet, there’s still time. Time to get cracking!

Don’t forget: Book club members receive discounts on selected books.

For more information about the RCB fiction book club, contact Sue at 507-646-7754 or

Never Know What You Might Find

August 28, 2006

mags.JPGThe other day I was in everybody’s favorite neighborhood bookstore and a customer grabbed hold of “Popular Mechanics” and noted that there was a story in there about Northfield. Of all the mags, “Popular Mechanics.” Who woulda thunk it?

Anyway, got me thinking that I should remind the flock that River City Books carries a goodly number of periodicals — a nice variety of magazines and newspapers — to supplement your book reading. Included are popular newsweeklies that serve scoops about current events around the world, entertainment magazines that keep you abreast on the latest about Tom Cruise’s beliefs and Britney’s kids, freebies (such as the Northfield Entertainment Guide), and newspapers, including the New York Times (they even have the Sunday edition).

Now, I can’t promise you’ll always find Northfield-related news in each of the offerings. But you never know when you might pick up a national magazine and see the old hometown.

By the way, the edition of “Popular Mechanics” with the Northfield note sold out in about a day.

The Lights Are Back On

August 26, 2006

Man, that was quite an outage on Friday. I wasn’t able to post anything. Then again, you probably weren’t able to read anything anyway.

I sincerely hope you and yours survived Thursday’s hail storm with minimal damage. I have never seen anything like that in all my years in the sky. It was like Johan Santana was up there pitching a warehouse full.

Thanks to for the related updates and photos. Hopefully, everything’s heading in the direction of normal again. Aside from those who are still dealing with insurance agents.

Since this is supposed to be a books blog … as follow up to an earlier post, I have been handed an advanced reader’s copy of Mike Perry’s new book. Yes, I think this makes me cool. A tasty read so far. I’ll let you know how it shakes out.

Mark Your Calendar and Prepare to Giggle

August 24, 2006

leon.JPGI just heard some hilarious news: Harmon Leon, perhaps the most daring infiltration journalist of this or any other time, has booked a visit to River City Books. The appearance, which will coincide with the release of Leon’s next book — The Infiltrator: My Undercover Exploits in Right-Wing America — will be at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27, at River City.

“The Infiltrator,” Leon’s follow-up to Republican Like Me and The Harmon Chronicles, will be released in October. RCB will have the book on sale for 15 percent off through the day of the event. This includes pre-orders.

Of “The Infiltrator,” Carol Kolb, former editor-in-chief of “The Onion” says, “You cannot but be amazed by the sheer guts of Harmon Leon. This book is great!”

As funny as Leon’s books are, he’s even better in person. So you won’t want to miss this entertaining evening. I’m sure I’ll write more about Leon’s work and this event as the date draws closer.