Archive for November 2007

A Wild And Crazy Guy Stands Up

November 29, 2007

martin.jpgHere’s a new book that’s on my holiday wish list: Born Standing Up by Steve Martin.

I still remember my older brother giggling and trying to imitate this wild and crazy guy on TV. In the mid-seventies, Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. “Born Standing Up” is, in Martin’s words, the story of “why I did stand-up and why I walked away.”

Martin’s persona ever since has been so starkly different — he isn’t wild or crazy — and the man can write, as he proved with Shopgirl. So this book has potential, so says this birdbrain.

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Can You Believe the Deals Are This Good?

November 27, 2007

strange.jpgThe throngs are pouring into River City Books’ bargain books area where they are frolicking about the tables and shelves gobbling up great gifts and saving money that can be spent on extra holiday cookies. They are picking up great books for the cost of a frappe-a-chocolate-half-caf-a-chino or whatever it is the kids are ordering at the coffee shop these days.

Here, for example, is one bargain that made my eyes pop out of my little skull: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Said a New York Times reviewer about this book: “A reader more distractible than I am might yawn for 300 pages running and still discover several book-length stretches to enjoy. I never yawned. Clarke’s imagination is prodigious, her pacing is masterly and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty.”

This highly acclaimed book, which retails at $27.95, is now on sale for $5.99. While supplies last.

A Hundy Notable Books

November 26, 2007

Hey, the New York Times has released its 100 Notable Books for 2007 and I figured you might like to know about the list as it might remind you of books you meant to read and/or provide you with a crucial gift idea. The list will be published in next Sunday’s edition. By the way, River City Books sells a limited number of copies of the Times daily.

Music for the Season Ahead

November 25, 2007

bennett.jpgSeems as soon as the stuffing has been stuffed into our bellies everyone turns on the stereo to listen to holiday music. I know in our nest Mrs. Raven gets excited every year as soon as she hears her first carol. And she’s hardly alone.

Well, if you’re among those who enjoy the jingle bells of the season you might want to consider stopping by the old neighborhood bookstore. Yep, their ever-expanding selection of tunes includes a number of great holidays albums.

Here’s a sampling of CDs that store manager and music maven Jon Lee is recommending:

“Irish Christmas: 12 Celtic Carols and Songs”

Low (a band from Duluth) — “Christmas”

James Taylor — “at Christmas”

Aimee Mann — “One More Drifter in the Snow”

Tony Bennett — “Snowfall: Christmas Album”

Diana Krall — “Christmas Songs”

Bing Crosby — “A Crosby Christmas”

Frank Sinatra — “A Jolly Christmas (50th Anniversary Edition)”

There are many more holiday titles available at the store as the music inventory expands seemingly every day. Stop by — for yourself or the music lover in your life.

T-day Weekend Store Hours

November 20, 2007

turkey03.gifI don’t advocate eating birds of any kind (it’s ham in our nest, brother), but I know some of you are looking forward to Turkey Day (and the day after, the unofficial start of Shopping Season) so I thought I would give you an update on River City Books’ store hours for this holiday weekend:

Wednesday, Nov. 21, open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 22, closed.

Friday, Nov. 23, open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 24, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 25, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Happy holiday!

A Read That Won’t Make You ‘Melancholy’

November 19, 2007

lewis.jpgIt’s been awhile since we thumbed through the Book Sense picks list. And that’s a shame. Think of all the great reads we’re missing! As always, you can pick up gratis copies of Book Sense lists at the old neighborhood bookstore. Or you can go online.

Here’s a title I have my eye on: The Melancholy Fate of Capt. Lewis by Michael Pritchett and here’s what Book Sense has to say about it: “High school history teacher Bill Lewis, in the midst of writing a book about explorer Meriwether Lewis, reveals that he shares the historic Lewis trait of depression and madness. Fascinated by the hellish adventures of Captain Lewis, morbidly drawn to the downward spiral of his biographer, I read to the end, as Bill Lewis glimpses a ray of hope for his sanity, his son, and his marriage.”

Take the Test

November 16, 2007

remainders.jpgA quiz: What is the clearest and surest sign that the holidays are coming?

Your choices:

a.    Decorations on houses
b.    Kids making wish lists
c.    Mom’s starting to bake more
d.    River City Books temporarily expands to provide hundreds of great books at bargain prices

I think we all know what the correct answer is. And if you want to see what I am talking about, stop by RCB today and start browsing in their next-door bargains area. Open during store hours through the holidays.