Archive for June 2008

Book Club Gathers Tomorrow — It’s the Truth

June 30, 2008

I am not going to fib you. The River City Books fiction book club will meet at 7 p.m., tomorrow (Tuesday, July 1), in the store’s downstairs meeting area. The book to be read is The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett.

As always, the club is free and open to the public. New members are welcome. If you join you receive 20 percent off every title the club selects.

Patchett, of course, is the critically acclaimed author of Bel Canto, Run, and others. Here’s a summary of “Liars,” her first book (and one people tell me is her best — honest):



Excuse Us!

June 28, 2008

River City Books manager Jon Lee asked me to make an announcement that may or may not come into play: On Monday, June 30, the store will conduct its annual review of inventory. The checking will begin well before the store is scheduled to open and the hope is that when the clock strikes 10 a.m. RCB will open as usual. However, inventory is not always as seamless and quick as desired and so it’s possible the store will be slow to open that day. Just letting you know in advance. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Carlin’s Books Still Here To Make Us Laugh

June 27, 2008

Such sad news about George Carlin’s passing. I really enjoyed listening to his routine. He seemed like a humble, good guy, too. Best known for his “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” Carlin was a fine writer who used his skills as a concise assembler of words to craft several milk-out-the-nostrils-funny books.

A summary for those who might like to pick one up (most would need to be special ordered, which the old neighborhood bookstore can surely do):

When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

“Brain Droppings”

“Napalm & Silly Putty”

“Three Times Carlin: An Orgy of George”

Someone Say Something About A Summer Sale?

June 23, 2008

My sources at River City Books have informed me of some news you’re going to want to hear: The store is having a huge four-day sale. From today, Monday, June 23, through Thursday, June 26 they’ll take:

• 30 percent off all bargain books

• 30 percent off all clothing

• 20 percent off all regularly priced books

• 15 percent off all CDs and DVDs

River City Books is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each of those days. Ready … set … go!

Free, Free! Everyone Likes Things That are Free

June 22, 2008

I’ve been writing quite a bit about books for kids of late because it’s that time of the year when students on break have a lot of time on their hands. Summer’s about soccer, dancing, softball, baseball, and running around town with friends. It’s also a season when there is time to read books just for the love of them. I was in the old neighborhood bookstore the other day and I spotted a more options for kids. I’ll keep them coming as we go along. This first one, pictured, is great in part because it’s affordable. Buy three cheaply priced paperbacks — good reads, too — and you receive a free gift!

More Popular Than the Bible?

June 21, 2008

Well, no. I asked the question but I already knew the answer: Harry Potter sales are out of this world, but they aren’t that far out of this world.

As a press report noted the other day J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has now sold more than 400 million copies worldwide. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Bible has sold 2.5 billion copies since 1815. So unless Ms. Rowling starts to pick up the pace a bit — and maybe add a dozen more books to the series (hey, fans and bookstores would approve) — it’s unlikely sales will reach biblical proportions.

But the fact that a bird like me would even wonder says something.

Step Right Up and Have a Laugh

June 19, 2008

Is there a more popular book-writing funny man going today than David Sedaris? I can’t think of one. And, as you know, I am something of an authority when it comes to laughers. Unfortunately, however, the laughing is usually directed at me.

But, alas, back to Mr. Sedaris. He has a new collection of essays available for purchase down at the old neighborhood bookstore: When You Are Engulfed in Flames. In story after story, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life to resonant human truths — culminating in a hilarious account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking.

This is Sedaris’ sixth essay collection. The previous five have been wildly popular among River City Books customers. In fact, some of them are still big sellers. I see no reason to suggest “Flames” won’t also light up the register.