Archive for June 2007

Pricey Potter

June 28, 2007

Not sure about you, but my bid on this Harry Potter book came up about $17,500 short!

Additional Extended Hours for Harry

June 27, 2007

harry1.jpgAs I may have mentioned, plans are coming together for the coolest Harry Potter release party you’ve ever attended. Of course, River City Books will be open at midnight and into the morning of July 21 to distribute copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to all who wish to purchase them. I also just learned that the store will have extended hours later that same day.

Usually, RCB is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. On Saturday, July 21, the store will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. So if you absolutely can’t attend the party — I’m sure you’ll have a good excuse; a malfunctioning broomstick, perhaps? — there will be plenty of opportunity to buy early and often during daylight hours.

Letting the Wind Rip Through My Hair

June 26, 2007

book-sense.gifAh, summer! I was just hanging out at the cool new Northfield pool and thinking about how much I love summer. The water … the warmth. … the cookouts … the tornadoes.

Wait. Which one of these things doesn’t fit?

Hey, it’s a fact of life in the Midwest. Our brand of storms are interesting to learn about — that is, when they are safely on the page or on screen and not ravaging the countryside. That’s why I chose F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century by Mark Levine, a current Book Sense pick, as one to consider:

“Levine brings a colossal act of nature, a storm that spun nearly 150 tornadoes through the heartland, down to human scale by following the lives of the people most affected. He gives us corner stores and broken bones, AM rock and Gerald Ford: It’s a big story made up of small pieces of temporary defeat and long-lived resilience.” -Mark David Bradshaw, Watermark Books, Wichita, Kan.

Take Home More Than Just Potter Book

June 25, 2007

pennant.jpgAs I mentioned the other day, plans are taking shape for the greatest book release party you’ve ever seen. At this point I should point out two more things about the Night of Harry.

First, the book is not the only thing you can pick up at River City Books that evening. There will be a free giveaway for the first two hundred customers. 
River City will also hold a drawing for other Harry Potter prizes of the kind pictured here (click to enlarge).

Second, the deadline to pre-order the book — July 15 — is quickly approaching. The regular hardcover edition ($34.99 retail), the deluxe edition ($65.00) and audio editions will be discounted 30 percent off each respective price to those who pre-order. Pre-orders do not have to be picked up the night of the release party. Additional books will be on sale that night for those who have not pre-ordered.

Playing With Fire

June 24, 2007

olds.jpgMichael Ondaatje has called Sharon Olds’ poetry “pure fire in the hands.” The Raven is no poetry maven — even if he does rhyme all of the time — but he would agree with the author of The English Patient. Switching back to first person so as to no longer sound like a man who scores touchdowns for a living, I would say that Strike Sparks, a collection 117 of her finest poems drawn from seven published volumes, is perhaps the finest book of poems I own.

That may not be saying much, but don’t hold my meager offerings against the plucky River City Books poetry book club, which will discuss “Strike Sparks” at its next meeting. For those who have not followed along, the club will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, in the store’s downstairs meeting area.

Remember: Participants receive 20 percent off selected titles. 

(And you can be a participant even if this is your first time.)

Will Harry Die?

June 23, 2007

There’s an interesting piece in the Times this morning. Apparently, some hacker out there believes he or she has learned how the final Harry Potter book will end. I am dubious, but thought you’d like to read the piece anyway, if you haven’t already seen it. Viewing may require a free login. Here’s a slice:

A self-proclaimed hacker says that he broke into the computers of the British publisher of the hugely successful Harry Potter series and discovered the feverishly awaited climax to the coming seventh and final installment. But his disclosures were met with skepticism this week.

Hoping They Promise Tax Cuts for Bird Seed

June 21, 2007

political.jpgIf you look at your calendar closely you’ll see that it is not, in fact, June 21 — the longest day of 2007. No, that is a mirage. In fact, it’s November 2008.

Well, at least it seems that way, given that the race for president is already in overdrive. And we’re just starting summer! Of the year before the election!

But it’s campaign season because the polls (or, if you prefer, bestseller lists) are telling us it is so. The ads are out, the TV talking heads are bobbing at a good clip, and, well, there are a bevy of political books to choose from as you can see from this photo I took at the neighborhood bookstore the other night (they don’t really shelve them this way — I cheated).

For example, you could read this one. Or this one. Don’t forget this guy. Or the rock star. Then, of course, you have your pick on one or the other books about Hillary.

Hey, if you ask me, it’s far better to dig into one of these books than watching the non-news readers talking fast on the tube. But I’m biased. And I don’t have cable.

Behind the Scenes at Party Central

June 20, 2007

harry.jpgI was lucky enough to be a fly on the wall — usually I just fly into the wall — last night when some of the movers and shakers got together to plan the biggest book bash in the history of Rice County. Or at least that’s my take. I’d be happy to be told of another instance in which the downtown community came together to celebrate a release of some hardbound pages.

There are things I don’t know (not a shock for those who have spent four seconds with me). But a few things I do. Among the ever-evolving details:

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Clear the Floor: The Poets are Coming

June 18, 2007

mike.jpgSorry it’s been a couple of days. I just haven’t had any quality time in front of the machine. I wish I could say my absence was because I was out flying summersaults in the warm, sunny air that rained upon us this weekend. But if I said that it wouldn’t be accurate.

What is true — and as tasty as a yummy bag of popcorn from the wagon in Bridge Square — is the fact that River City Books and The Contented Cow are, once again, teaming up on another wildly popular open-mike poetry night. The frivolity and phraseology begins at 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 19, at The Cow.

Here’s how it works. 

Either bring your own poem(s) or steal a few from one or more of your favorite writers. Though you really don’t have to play by those rules either, as if you don’t have a poem on you, undoubtedly someone will bring an anthology or two to share.

You can read with dramatic authority or with a straight face — it’s up to you. Heck, there’s no pressure. You can even just come to listen. 

The idea is provide a casual setting for those who want to enjoy a little poetry with their beverage. The public is welcome to participate in this free event. 

The Contented Cow is located at 302B Division Street, just a few doors away from River City.

A Pick With Dad In Mind

June 15, 2007

book-sense.gifContinuing right along with the housecleaning theme … which reminds me, the nest could use a good sweeping … it’s been a spell since I reminded you to take a gander at the Book Sense list. And, as many of you are hunting for reading material to take to the cabin or to the beach, there’s no better place to find great recommendations. Recall, this is not a straight bestseller list. It’s a series of terrific reads, picked monthly by independent booksellers.

Of course, you might not be shopping for yourself at the moment. Dad, after all, is having his day pretty soon (one day, that’s all, then you can let him click the remote in peace) and, with that in mind, I picked a June title that honest fathers will likely love — Land of Lincoln by Andrew Ferguson.

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