Books Better Than Candy

Note from a Boo-kseller

It's the most spooky-ful time of the year! We're celebrating Halloween, Día de Muertos and the ever-scary coming Holiday Season at River Bend. (I kid on the last, but as has become tradition, I'll say "Shop Early" to be sure your books are in and ready for gifting come your celebration.)

And it's a perfect time to start stocking up as we gear up for our Member Day Sale this weekend! Pop into the shop on Saturday Oct. 29 and Sunday Oct. 30 or shop online (with me!) and get 20% off your purchases. If you are not yet a member, sign up for a membership now! Our members are our lifeblood and we appreciate each and every one of you with these twice-annual sales.

We shared our big news last month and are plugging away at getting our second River Bend Bookshop location up and running in West Hartford! See below for an update.

If you missed our recent children's authors event October 16 at the Bookshop with Josh Funk, Rajani LaRocca and Elly Swartz, you can still nab some signed copies of their books and preorder the next Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast adventure right here with us:

Enter the shop soon if you want to grab any last-minute Halloween book treats, gory stories, moody mysteries, monster mayhem, edge-of-your-seat thrillers or — a personal favorite — the meat cleaver bookmark! 'Tis the season! Have a wicked one!

— Ernio, Managing Skeleton

River Bend Boo! Shop

Local Spooky Best Seller Picks

This spot is usually some of our picks, but this month it aligns with what YOU have been picking up at the shop! Here are spooky stories from authors, both awfully wicked & loathsomely local:

The Ghost of Spruce Point by Nancy Tandon

Among the Willows & Other Strange Tales by John Opalenik

The Family Plot by Megan Collins

+ Pre-order her next, Thicker Than Water here!

River Bend Recent Best Sellers

What's everyone reading? Here's some Top Sellers at River Bend last month:

Tribe by Sebastian Junger

Nona the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir

Dirtbag, Mass. by Isaac Fitzgerald

On Good Authority by Briana Una McGuckin

Fairy Tale

by Stephen King

The Marriage Portrait

by Maggie O'Farrell

And here is what the KIDS were picking up at River Bend this September:

Tiny Dino by Deborah Freedman — a local Connecticut fave!see more of her books here

The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster!  by Mo Willems

Creepy Crayon! (Creepy Tales!) by Aaron Reynolds

Upcoming Book Events

Join us this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29 and 30 as we celebrate... YOU!

Our annual member day sales are a time for us to appreciate our loyal locals.

As a token of our appreciation and a benefit of membership, you get 20% off your purchases this weekend. Online shoppers can use code: RBBSALE22 at checkout.

Not yet a member?!

Well, it's the perfect time to join! Sign up and get the 20% discount on your order as well as member gifts, special early access, 20% off year-round preorders, a River Bend tote or mug, and the smiles & welcomes booksellers share with all our bestest book friends :)


River Bend — WeHa Update

If you haven't heard — why haven't you heard?! — we're opening a second location in West Hartford!

We've got keys & are in full prep- (with only mild panic-) mode with hopes to open by Small Business Saturday!

We've been overwhelmed by the well wishes and welcoming response from our community of readers & book lovers. Thank you for your kindness, and send us your good vibes for smooth, safe deliveries of books and shelves.

We'll bring the bookshop magic!

River Bend Bookshop 

coming soon to:

161 Park Rd.

West Hartford, CT 06119

Staff Fall Picks

Meghan: Natural History by Andrea Barrett

"People often tell me about hectic routines and shortened attention spans impacting their ability to sit down and enjoy a novel.  Short story collections are the perfect solution!

Spend a few minutes with Andrea Barrett's Natural History, and you'll be so swept up in her elegant prose and lush settings that before you know it you will have finished all six of these artfully interconnected stories."

Audrey: Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

"This book affected me deeply. Celeste Ng has created an eerily prescient near-future America that brings to mind the "red scare" that followed World War II. The story of young Bird Gardner and his family, ripped apart by new laws meant to “preserve American culture,” is both a cautionary tale akin to A Handmaid's Tale and a bittersweet, hope-filled testimony to the indomitable power of artistic expression and a parent’s love. I was moved as a human, an artist, and a mother."

Tess: The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera

"The long-awaited prequel to Silvera’s bestselling novel They Both Die at the End, The First to Die at the End explores the origin of mysterious corporation that will call you the morning of your last day on Earth to warn you about your own death.

This book is addictive, suspenseful, and heartfelt.

How do you make the most of your last hours accompanied by someone you just met?"

Taryn: The Sporty One: My Life as a Spice Girl by Melanie Chisholm

"I can’t get enough of reading celebrity memoirs about individuals who manifested their stardom. The arrival of the Spice Girls was compared to Beatlemania!

Which topics did the Spice Girls fight to write about? Which life events shook Sporty Spice to lead her down a nearly deadly path to perfectionism?

Find out in Mel C’s tell-all memoir, The Sporty One."

Kaitee: The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker

"The Keeper of Night gets under your skin in the best way. (I love it!)

Ren, half British Reaper and half Japanese shinigami, is a death steward in both cultures but accepted in neither. She battles her way through every obstacle to prove herself to the Goddess of Death. Ren is ruthless, intense, a hero with a villainous edge, & I adore her.

Filled with death magic and yokai, this is a book to read with the lights on."

Deb: Liberation Day: Stories by George Saunders

"Saunders writes with his usual humanity and off-kilter sensibility.

Another magnificent collection of stories from one of the best short story writers in contemporary American literature."

Audrey: The Mountain in the Sea: A Novel by Ray Nayler

"This eco-thriller is like My Octopus Teacher and Sphere had a baby…and it’s AWESOME.

A mysterious, ground-breaking AI company buys an entire island in southeast Asia to research a colony of hyper-intelligent (potentially murderous) octopi. Naturally, it goes horribly wrong.

Fans of fast-paced sci-fi grounded in actual science, don’t miss this book!"

Welcome soon-to-be West Hartford staffer, Veronica!

Veronica: Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater

"Make a deal with a faerie, even accidentally, and lose your soul. In Theodora’s case, lose half your soul and all sense of embarrassment or propriety, become the bane of your family’s existence. She meets her match in Lord Elias Wilder and shenanigans ensue.

Like Bridgerton lite for the magically inclined."

Tess: The Night Ship: A Novel  by Jess Kidd

"The Night Ship is a half-historical, half-realistic fiction hybrid that alternates perspectives between two kids, Gil in 1989 and Mayken in 1629. Gil investigates a shipwreck nearby, unaware that the wreck was the very ship Mayken had sailed on before everything went wrong.

Through their dual accounts, connect the dots to find out: what really happened aboard the Batavia that night?"

Help The United Way

Meghan began our little shop four years ago, inspired by her work with the United Way Readers program.

They are looking for volunteer readers!

Become a United Way Reader and spend 40-60 minutes, one day a week helping children in Hartford, New Britain or Enfield learn to read!

The 2022-23 Readers program launches soon and this year you can volunteer online or in-person at a local school. please register now to participate! 

Register to Become a United Way Reader

Hours: Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday 10-4 and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10-6

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