Archive for January 2007

Mark the Days for Less Than a Buck

January 31, 2007

ninety-nine.JPGThe bad news: River City Books’ calendar sale was such a wild success that there aren’t many more available.

The good news: If you’re still in the market for one, RCB has priced remaining calendars at 99 cents. That’s no typo. It actually comes to $1.05 with tax.

I caught this snapshot (click on the image to enlarge) of a few stragglers last night. Get them while they’ll still available. At a price less than a cup of coffee, they are not likely to last long.


Don’t Forget to Pick Up ‘Torch’

January 30, 2007

torch-display.JPGHave you picked up your copy of Torch by Cheryl Strayed yet? If not, what exactly are you waiting for?

The author of the critically acclaimed novel will appear in just less than three weeks — at 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Northfield Arts Guild to be exact — as part of the Northfield Reads! communitywide book club.

River City Books, a supporter of Northfield Reads! from the very beginning, has placed “Torch,” available in hardcover and paperback, on sale for 20 percent off.

If you haven’t noticed, people are talking about this novel:

“An unforgettable read; highly recommended.” –Library Journal

“Beautifully observed…shimmers with a humane grace.” –Publishers Weekly

“A heartbreaking anatomy of one family’s grief … Beautifully written and authentic.” –People magazine

“An accomplished first novel.” –Elle

“Strayed proves a master of the little and the big … an irresistibly engaging debut read.” –StarTribune

“Strayed’s debut novel hits with the weight of unwelcome news and tackles head-on some of the most difficult issues a family can face.” –Bookmarks magazine

“You should definitely read this book and participate in the Northfield Reads! discussion.” –The Raven

Minnesota Books Nominated for Awards

January 29, 2007

mnbookawards.jpgThis is not only the season of bone-chilling temps — you think it’s cold but, hey, buddy, I sleep outdoors — it’s also the time when book awards announce contenders. I’ve reported on some of these already. Over the weekend I also learned the Minnesota Book Awards finalists have been chosen. A partial list:

Autobiography, Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

Caroline Burau, Answering 911
Mary Rose O’Reilley, The Love of Impermanent Things
Matthew Sanford, Waking
Diane Wilson, Spirit Car

Children’s Literature

Dianne E. Gray, Tomorrow the River
Joyce Sidman, Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
Joyce Sidman, Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Rooms
Lauren Stringer, Winter is the Warmest Season
Anne Ursu, The Shadow Thieves

Fiction or Short Story

Alicia L. Conroy, Lives of Mapmakers
Patti Frazee, Cirkus
Maureen Millea Smith, When Charlotte Comes Home

General Nonfiction

Taner Akçam, “A Shameful Act”
Cyn Collins, “West Bank Boogie”
Moira Harris and Leo Harris, Minnesota on Paper
Kim Ode, Baking with the St. Paul Bread Club
William Swanson, Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson

Genre Fiction

Brian Freeman, Stripped
William Kent Krueger, Copper River
Roger Stelljes, “The St. Paul Conspiracy”

Young Adult Literature

William Durbin, El Lector
Pete Hautman, Rash
Julie Schumacher, The Book of One Hundred Truths

Click here for a full roster of nominated books (I did not list all categories). Click here or on the titles themselves if you want to learn more or purchase.

The Magical Bookseller Has Chosen

January 26, 2007

Stop the presses! The Raven has learned that Oprah has spoken and her next book club pick is … imagine the sound of a drum roll … or, if you have a drum and some sticks handy, go ahead … this book.

Join N.Org’s Book Discussion

January 25, 2007

letter.JPGThe folks over at are conducting a salon that pertains to two hot-selling books: Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris, one of the most thought-provoking authors I’ve read recently, and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

Click here for information on how you can participate. Apparently, there is an in-person salon — the general topic is atheism — as well as the chance to participate in an online forum.

Of course, if you’d like to check out the books stop by River City Books. I know they have ’em in stock.

Kids Books That Earned Hardware

January 24, 2007

Perhaps the most popular section at River City Books is the children’s and I thought those of you who are — or shop for — young readers may want to note that some prestigious awards were just handed out to a batch of children’s books that were published in 2006. Among them:

caldtitl.gifCaldecott Medal
Honors the illustrator of the most distinguished picture book for children published in the U.S. during the preceding year.

Winner: David Wiesner, Flotsam

Honors: David McLimans, Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet; Kadir Nelson (illustrator), Carole Boston Weatherford (author) Moses

newbtitl.gifNewbery Medal
Honors the year’s most distinguished contribution by a U.S. citizen or resident to American literature for children.

Winner: Susan Patron, The Higher Power of Lucky

Honors: Jennifer L. Holm, Penny from Heaven; Kirby Larson, Hattie Big Sky; Cynthia Lord, Rules

Alex Awards
Honors ten books, published in the preceding year, written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.

John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
Ivan Doig, The Whistling Season
Michael D’Orso, Eagle Blue
Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants
John Hamamura, Color of the Sea
Pamela Carter Joern, The Floor of the Sky
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
David Mitchell, Black Swan Green
Ron Rash, The World Made Straight
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

csk_seal.gifCoretta Scott King Award
Honors a black author and a black illustrator for an outstanding, inspirational, and educational contribution to literature for children and young people published during the preceding year.

Winner (Author): Sharon Draper, Copper Sun

Winner (Illustrator): Kadir Nelson (illustrator), Moses

Man on the Run

January 23, 2007

manhunt.JPGSometimes when I peruse River City Books’ remainder tables — note to self: don’t forget to look downstairs! — I am taken aback. Kind of like when I taste one those soy-for-beef substitutes you humans eat, which fool me every time. Meaning, I just can’t believe my eyes, er, stomach, as the case may be.

The other night I was shocked because it was while browsing the remainders that I found Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson, in hardcover, for only $8.99. This is a new title — the paperback hasn’t even come off the press yet — and it’s a gripping read. It tells the story of the murder of Abraham Lincoln, which set off the greatest manhunt in American history — the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

I just can’t believe, no matter how far I fly, that I am going to find a better deal than that.