Archive for December 2006

Last Notes of the Year

December 31, 2006

I have a few important announcements and then, seriously, I’m taking the rest of the year off.

First, River City Books will be open on New Year’s Day. Yep. Though regular Monday hours do not apply. The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Redeem your gift certificate or open a fresh book with renewal in mind — this title has been a huge seller, possibly for that reason — as they will be open.

blood.JPGSecond, the day after the holiday, Tuesday, Jan. 2, the River City fiction book club will engage in its brand of merriment when it meets to discuss Blood From a Stone by Donna Leon. Time: 7 p.m. Place: RCB’s cozy downstairs meeting area. Come even if you never have before. It’s a great group that always seems to have a fun time.

Next, I am hearing that River City’s calendar sale — all calendars have been 25 percent off since Dec. 26 — is about to get even sweeter. Stop by the store for details. While supplies last. Discounts do not apply to calendars that are ordered special.

Finally, the end of a calendar year is a good time to say thank you and I hope you know I appreciate your willingness to take the time to read my ramblings. Thanks for your help launching RCBlog in 2006. It’s been voted the No. 1 bird-authored blog by Ornithology Weekly and for that I have my readers to thank. It’s always a treat to talk to — and with — fellow book lovers.

Have a safe and happy new year.

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Site Determined for Northfield Reads!

December 30, 2006

torch.JPGLike the festive feelings on New Year’s Eve, the positive reviews for the next Northfield Reads! selection have piled up:

“Strayed proves a master of the little and the big … an irresistibly engaging debut read,” says the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

According to People magazine, the book is “a heartbreaking anatomy of one family’s grief … Beautifully written and authentic.”

I also have some other delightful notes that pertain to Torch, the book by Cheryl Strayed that will be featured at 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18 to pass along:

First, a venue has been determined. The Northfield Reads! communitywide book club will gather at the Northfield Arts Guild to listen to Strayed discuss her book and field questions from readers.

Next, the book, currently available in hardcover at River City Books, will be released in paperback on Jan. 8 and will be on sale at RCB as soon as the store’s copies arrive.

Finally, pre-orders of paperback copies are available. RCB is discounting both the hardcover and the paperback 20 percent.

Northfield Reads!, which is sponsored by River City, the Carleton and St. Olaf bookstores, the Northfield Public Library and Monkey See, Monkey Read bookstore, is free and open to the public.

I hope you have time to check out this great read and plan to participate. Looks like another terrific event for Northfield area book lovers.

Time Is Flying — Off the Shelves

December 29, 2006

cals.JPGHey, I’m back. Refreshed and ready just in time to post an entry or two before … taking another holiday break! I hope you and yours are enjoying the season as much I have been and that with all of the hustle and bustle you’ve taken time to crack open a good book or two. Even when life gets crazy, we must take time for the good things — especially then. Or at least that’s what my birdie therapist says.

Speaking of time, there’s a sale in progress down at everyone’s favorite bookstore and it involves the counting of days, weeks and months. That’s right, every calendar — from the large wall variety to the page-a-days — is on sale. There are holiday books on discount, too.

I snapped this photograph of a display of calendars. Couldn’t get them all in a single frame. In fact, couldn’t get most of them in. So this is but a sampling. Like an appetizer before the ham comes. If you want to see them all, well, I am afraid you’ll just have to walk down to 306 Division and check them out.

Besides, about now, after the holiday sustenance, you could maybe use some exercise about now. At least I know I am past due.

Did Someone Say the Word Sale?

December 24, 2006

rcblogos.jpgThis bird’s gonna fly for a few days, but before I do I have two incredibly useful things to say: First, your (and my) favorite bookstore will be closed on Monday, Dec. 25, and will resume normal weekday hours (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on Tuesday. Second, I have learned that on that day a sale will commence at River City Books. Yes, indeedy. There will be 25 percent off on all calendars and holiday-related books. While supplies last.

I’ll return to my ramblings later in the week. Whatever you’re celebrating, happy, happy holidays to you and yours.

Gift Idea of the Week: Whip Out the Plastic

December 23, 2006

cards.JPGThis week’s gift idea is somewhat radical. In fact, in some quarters I will be poo-pooed. Called names. Some may even spit at me through their computer screens. But I will say it because someone needs to.

Gift cards make great gifts.

Yes, it’s true some people give them only as a last resort. They are, for others, a copout. An admission of failure. A way to shop without really having to use the old noodle. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I know the thing at the top of my material wish list this holiday season is a Book Sense gift card. There’s simply nothing better. When I get a Book Sense gift card I am able to go to ye ol’ neighborhood bookstore and browse knowing full well that whatever riveting read I settle on will already be paid for. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing and, quite frankly, I am tired of people giving this wonderment such a bad name.

At River City Books, you can purchase a Book Sense card usable at any Book Sense store for any dollar denomination. And, trust me, the person on the receiving end will be grateful.

You think they’ll be saying to themselves, “I guess they didn’t think I was worth shopping for.”

Really, though, they’ll be saying, “Thank goodness. I’ve had my eye on that new Richard Ford novel and, besides, I am all stocked up on fruitcake.”

Harry Potter And The Reveal Of The Name

December 22, 2006

harry.jpgIn case you hadn’t heard, I am here to tell you that the next Harry Potter book just came out. Oh, wait. I mean the title of the next Harry Potter book just came out. When it comes to these hot little reads even the announcement of a title is huge news.

Author J.K. Rowling has revealed — through her web site, of course — that Potter and his friends will be sent off in a book called “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.”

According to various news reports, the reclusive Rowling has expressed bittersweet feelings for writing what will be the last book in the most successful series in the history of printed pages: “I’m now writing scenes that have been planned, in some cases, for a dozen years or even more. I don’t think anyone who has not been in a similar situation can possibly know how this feels: I am alternately elated and overwrought. I both want, and don’t want, to finish this book. Don’t worry, I will.”

No release date for the book has yet been set — I’ll keep you posted — but here’s a wild guess: it’ll be a bestseller.

The Answer to Your Problem

December 21, 2006

picks2.JPGFor many, this is crunch time. And, no, I am not taking about rice crispies. You need a great gift fast. Preferably yesterday. You don’t want to spend a lot of money. But you want something you can feel good about. Elbowing your way through hoards at some mall — shop local! — is not appealing. And the game’s on. Or the child needs help with homework. Point is, this needs to happen without taking the better part of a day.

I hear you.

And I know how to ease your pain. River City Books has a full display of current books that are all on sale for 25 percent off. We’re talking history. Fiction. Children’s. Memoir. Politics. I think I saw a bestselling sports book in the mix. This is some good stuff. How do I know? I know because that’s the point of the display. RCB booksellers hand-selected some of their favorite titles and slapped a discount tag on them. They wouldn’t have done that with any old books — only books that struck a cord.

I have included a pick that includes some of the titles currently on sale. For the full list, stop by the store any day of the week (display changes monthly). Especially if you need a great gift in short order.