Floating On High at River Bend

Note from a ^Happy^ Bookseller

Summer confession! Not going to lie, it’s always been great working at River Bend. But with all the good things that happened this past month, it’s like the magic has multiplied.

Not only did we get the great news that Connecticut Magazine selected us as its Best of CT 2022 Editor’s Pick for Indie Bookstore — !!! — but we also got to share in the celebration with our loyal support-superstars who came out for our Member Sale. (I honestly live for seeing our local regulars!)

We then got to host a story time again at the shop — and with a great author and illustrator team (Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox) to boot! Add to all that: the fun of bringing back our Where's Waldo hunt for kids (they're too good!) and sharing the fun with some of our favorite fellow local businesses — and it’s truly been almost an embarrassment of riches!

Speaking of Waldo, come join us July 30 for our Where's Waldo Search Party! out on our lawn from 1-3pm. There will be fun, games, and prizes for all our scouring searchers.

Kicking off August, we’re bringing back our Paperback Six-Pack Sale Aug.1-13. If you’ve been too busy enjoying your summer to stop in, now’s the perfect time to stock up on those beach reads and other summer reading you’ve been meaning to grab. Buy 5 paperbacks in the shop and get one free! Check in with a bookseller for details and recommendations (also see our new Staff Picks below)!

Our Book Truck will be cooling off during August, but keep an eye on our calendar and we'll be up and rolling again in September. Scroll down for some great upcoming author events we’re lining up and pre-order picks you won't want to miss!

— Ernio, ShOperations Manager

River Bend Bookshop

Ernio's Feel-Good Faves

With all the bookstore magic, I thought I’d share some of my own personal feel-good book picks. Drop by and chat me up about some of your favorite good vibe books!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

One of the first books I got my hands on as a bookseller couldn’t have kicked off my “professional” reading any better. It was delightfully easy to fall for Eleanor’s quirky charm and want to instantly keep seeing where her adventures would take her.

Anxious People by Fredrick Backman

This book will forever hold a place in my heart as the one that saved my lockdown. Having fallen into a reading slump, I picked this up — since I loved the author’s Man Called Ove. Not only did he deliver, but the depth and breadth of each of his motley crew of characters brought me such hope.


Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

I did NOT want to this book to end! Easily a new fave I'd recommend for a good read. Hearing one of the lead characters is an aging octopus who shares his thoughts roped me in, but the story of the night cleaner who shares his world just warmed all my hearts.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

To me, this story of a singer-songwriter and her tumultuous collaboration with a band has exactly what you want from a rock-n-roll drama: love, sex, music and incredibly rich females front and center. Hope the forthcoming screen adaptation does it justice!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Any book that has books within is kind of a gimme for readers. But when you throw in a time-bending, multiple-universe, existential twist… well now you're speaking my love language. This is a must read for any book-lover with even half a heart.

Henry Hamlet's Heart  by Rhiannon Wilde (pre-order it for October!)

Got my hands on this one early, but it’s stayed with me and can’t wait to share! Every one of the booksellers on the debut author panel I took part in all absolutely gushed about this sweet coming-of-age, coming-into-your-own love story. It’s truly so full of love.

A Whole Llotta Llama Llove

If you missed our awesome Llama Story Time with the fabulous Jonathan Stutzman and amazing Heather Fox, don’t fret, we’ve got signed copies of their latest and greatest kids booksTiny T-Rex, Butts are Everywhere and, of course, their Llama series that Audrey says "are among my absolute favorite picture books. They’re loaded with the kind of silly fun kids gobble up and are delightfully weird in a way grownups can appreciate too." Pick up any of the books in the shop or order them right here now.

Order your Signed Copy

Chamber Music on Main Street

Join us at the Shop Aug. 12 at 7:30pm

Here’s something new! Join Music in Motion as they present chamber music in a unique new way: Classical duo Nikki Pet (clarinet) and Aimee Toner (flute) "use cutting edge technology to seamlessly integrate the performed music with visual projections, creating a presentation of classical music enhanced by multimedia and live animated accompaniment.”

Staff July Reads

Meghan: Counterfeit : A Novel by Kirstin Chen

"A perfect page-turner that has everything I need for summer reading! This popular book club pick is a high stakes caper set right in the middle of a luxury purse counterfeiting ring. Filled with glamor, intrigue, and many subverted expectations — this story is fun and fabulous!"

Tess: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

"When aging star Evelyn Hugo decides to release a tell-all of her extravagant and drama-filled life, every news outlet wants the story. Despite this, low level journalist Monique Grant is hand-picked. The more details Evelyn shares, the more Monique is left speechless."

Taryn: Dinner for One 

by Sutanya Dacres

"University of Hartford alum Dacres turns her podcast into a memoir, chronicling her journey of a fairy-tale Parisian romance coming to a halt and facing the reality of being a Jamaican-born, Bronx-raised expat. Mixed with hard truths of belonging and self-love, she includes mouth-watering recipes perfect for One."

Noah: Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

"Disclaimer: have a box of tissues on hand when reading. It is a very emotional and heartbreaking read. The story centers around a young mom’s journey to reuniting with her daughter after serving five years in prison for a drunk driving accident. She returns only to find that the town has yet to forgive her. Her only ally and hope is a local bartender, who has ties to her daughter. A perfect choice for those who are fans of It Ends With Us, I loved everything about the book, especially that it wasn’t just an insta love story, but instead taught me lessons about self forgiveness and personal growth. "

Audrey: Briefly, A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens

"I LOVE this book. Historical fiction that's one part ghost story, one part unrequited love story, and a whole lotta bucking gender norms. Blanca is a teenaged ghost that's haunted the same monastery for hundreds of years. One day, acclaimed author George Sand, her two children, and her lover, Frederic Chopin (yes THAT Chopin), move in. Blanca immediately falls for George and, as she learns how this unconventional family came to live in an abandoned monastery, she also retraces the path she took to die there. A vibrant, life-affirming story that views two creative giants in a whole new light."

Jade: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Collector's Edition pictured)

"A timeless tale spun into a mystery romance perfect for summer time reads with a glass of iced tea.

Cinder, our protagonist, is a cyborg in a dystopian universe looking to overthrow the corrupt government. The story has the perfect build up to a perfect end which leads right into the next book.

This book truly gives teenagers everything they crave in a book.

Sincerely, from a teenage girl."

Taryn: The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

"Set in an alternate New Orleans where the city’s essential songs are somehow starting to disappear.

A commentary on the preservation of New Orleans culture, music fans will love this inventive debut!"

Kaitee: I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuinston

"This book made me happy cry! In between the scavenger hunt for Shara Wheeler, there’s a story of self-acceptance, how to unearth and show your true self, and finding your people. This book is queer joy at its finest."

Sophia: The Artist’s Way

by Julia Cameron

"The Artist’s Way has taught me how to prioritize and make space for my craft in my life. It debunks common stereotypes about making a living as an artist. With the exercises with each chapter you’ll rediscover so much more creativity you didn’t know was there."

Kaitee: Ballad & Dagger by Daniel José Older

"This book swirls with a kind of indescribable energy, at times slow and purposeful, at others, a hurricane of action. I love shy and awkward Mateo, who found his voice in the symphony of Little Madrigal. And fierce Chela, a storm in her own right. The way they find each other is just perfect. At the heart of this book are questions of community, how to find your place even if you feel like an outsider, and how to heal when things start fracturing from within."

Ernio: Star Knights by Kay Davault

"An adorably fun fantasy debut. If you mix Frog and Toad with a bit of anime, add a dab of super heroes, and give it a woodland creature meets space adventure vibe, that's this new, fun graphic novel that will be surely read by the time you get home. It's so adorbs + such fun (but with a great message of acceptance)!

Grab this for your little growing tadpole and they’ll leap for it."

Audrey: Crumbs by Danie Stirling

"I truly adore a love story that can be aspired to and Crumbs delivers. This is my favorite kind of YA graphic novel! Sure, there's conflict... what's a story without it... but the characters stay true to themselves and avoid the desperation of Romeo and Juliet-style romantic tragedy.

So delightfully refreshing. And there's magic to boot! What's not to love?"

Save the Date for These Author Events

River Bend Author Stage Returns to The Green

Last year, we launched this event with more than three dozen local authors at Glastonbury Arts' outdoor On The Green Art & Craft Show.

The River Bend Literary Arts Stage returns featuring more readings from books, short stories, essays, and poetry by writers from our own backyard.

September 10-11

Author Isaac Fitzgerald

at Hops on the Hill

River Bend Bookshop and Hops on the Hill team up to present an evening with author and "Today Show" fave Isaac Fitzgerald. 

Join us for a talk and Q&A about his new book, the memoir Dirtbag, Massachusetts. 

September 16 

Pre Order the Next Big Obama Book

Michelle Obama’s upcoming follow-up to her best-selling Becoming is bound to be the next big book of the season. Preorder your copy of 

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times with River Bend. (Members get 20% off preorders!)

In The Light We Carry, she offers readers "a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power." Obama writes "When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it."

The book, which blends memoir and self-help, will hit shelves November 15. If you plan to gift it to a fellow fan of the First Lady, get your order in now. 

Check out this and other popular pre-orders right from your phone in our Instagram shop!

Pre-Order with River Bend Bookshop Now

Check Out Great Upcoming Local Author Reads, Too!

The Ghost of Spruce Point by Nancy Tandon

Out August 2! 

A young boy discovers he must unravel a curse to save his family’s beloved Maine motel in this spooky middle grade novel by a River Bend fave!

Pre-Order Now

The Hellion and the Hero by Emily Sullivan

Coming August 23!

Lady Georgiana always put her family first—even marrying to save her father. Now, her husband’s death has left her stronger and bolder—a hellion, some would even say.

Pre-Order Now

Three Pockets Full... by Cindy L. Rodriguez

Coming September 1!

A new picture book that follows a young boy's resistance to wearing a traditional Mexican shirt to his Mami wedding. Begoña Fernández Corbalán illustrates.

Pre-Order Now

Thanks for bringing the magic to River Bend — and for making it all the way to this note, :) if you email me here, I'll add a surprise to your next order. 

Hours: Monday-Tuesday 10-4, Wednesday-Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-4, closed Sunday

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