Show Your Indie LOVE at River Bend

Note from a Bookseller

It's our favorite time of year, readers! Independent Bookstore Day!

It's the 10th anniversary of the national event and our first year with 2 shops to celebrate. Make us your first 2 stops on the Connecticut Book Trail this year and get your passports stamped for a chance at up to $800 in books from shops across the state! We'll also have games, treats and gave us a Golden Ticket for a year's worth of audiobooks to hide in each of our shops!

Spring is kicking into gear and so are our events and Book Truck outings. Steady your gaze below for updated info on our Jaime Green book launch. And we've got a new slew of author chats scheduled. Get yourself tickets to these FREE events now and save your spot!

As always, we've got Staff Pick book recommendations, a peek at what your neighbors are reading in our RBB Best Sellers section, and stick around to the end of this email for details on two exciting, exclusive signed books coming to River Bend you may want to preorder and claim before they're gone!

Hope to see you Saturday! Say hello!

— Meghan, Indie Bookstore Owner

River Bend Bookshops

Independent Bookstore Day




  • exclusive IBD 2023 books & merch,
  • new stickers for members,
  • snacks & treats,
  • Plinko-style fun & prizes,
  • a year of audiobooks Golden Ticket!

… and lots more for book lovers and indie supporters of any age!

We're also happy to be part of this year's Connecticut Bookstore Passport Program — spend the weekend on the CT Book Trail celebrating with 16 of our state's best indie shops participating for a chance to win a Grand Prize of $50 gift cards to each store! Or lots of other prizes too. See the details and trail.

Upcoming Author Events

New Date & Location: Author Chat with Jaime Green

We moved our book launch celebration to Saturday, May 6 at West Hartford's New Park Brewing.

Join us as we celebrate the release of local author Jaime Green's critically acclaimed work of nonfiction, The Possibility of Life! New York Times best-selling author Isaac Fitzgerald returns to Connecticut as her conversation partner.

This is going to be an evening not to be missed!



If you loved (or missed!) our virtual author chats this winter, we've got more great authors lined up for May!

River Bend is proud to present Beth Vrabel and Carrie Firestone May 10th (co-hosted with Rediscovered Books), Amy Spalding and Rebecca Podos May 16th, Hadeer Elsbai and Sara Hashem May 25th and local fave Megan Collins with Andrea Bartz May 31st.

Chats are FREE for all to join,

but registration is required..


• The Market at 1115 Main, Manchester — May 13 @ 10am-4pm

Glastonbury Exchange Club Touch-a-Truck at Gideon Welles School @ 10am-2pm

Glastonbury Farmers Market at the Hubbard Green— June 3 & 9am-12pm

RBB Best Sellers

What's everyone reading?

Here is a look at some of the top sellers at River Bend for March. Have you read any?

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Enchantment: Awakening Wonder… by Katherine May

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrilelle Zevin

Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

Best Sellers for Kids

Dog Man 11: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea

Pacey Packer, Unicorn Tracker 4: Dragon Rider

The Moth Keeper: (A Graphic Novel)

Staff Picks from River Bend Booksellers

Meghan: Murder Your Employer by Rupert Holmes

"Don't tell my staff, but Murder Your Employer is the book everyone should pick up right now! First in a series called McMasters Guide to Homicide, this book will have you twisting, turning, and laughing. For readers of The Thursday Murder Club, anyone who loves clever wordplay, and... aspiring deletionists?

Also a great choice if you are thinking about trying an audiobook from Libro.FM. It is narrated in part by my celeb crush, Neil Patrick Harris."

Audrey: House of Cotton by Monica Branshears

"House of Cotton is the kind of book that is so utterly un-put-downable it makes you want to forgo life's responsibilities just to read it. Magnolia is a captivating, complex main character and the life she finds herself in is like a modern day Grimm's fairytale. Utterly surreal, delicious, and haunting all at once. Everything you could hope for in a southern gothic tale...and so much more. I absolutely loved it. A must-read for fans of Raven Lelani's Luster."

Veronica: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

"Inti and her team are trying to rewild Scotland by relocating packs of wolves. However, local sheep farmers are less than thrilled. Circumstances and people in the town bring up old memories and violences for Inti and Aggie, the twin she tries to shelter. One of the townspeople ends up dead, and those outside of the team want to blame the wolves and Inti’s group. If you liked The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni, you might like this."

Deb: OMFG, BEES! by Matt Kracht

"For nature lovers with a sense of humor, OMFG, BEES! is the newest release from the comedic genius behind The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America.

Maniacal, hilarious and actually informative, you’ll want a copy for all your nature-loving friends."

Jillian: Sea Change by Gina Chung

"Weathering the stormy stages of early adulthood, Ro — the daughter of Korean American immigrants — is reeling from a unique breakup, a friendship on the rocks, and mom's new beau.

Sea Change kept me curious and cheering. A great pick for anyone who feels submerged in the undertow of life’s ebbs and flows.”

Kaitee: The Lies of the Ajungo by Moses Ose Utomi

"'There is no water in the City of Lies.' And… I was hooked. One of the most stunning novellas I’ve read in a while. It straddles the line between adventure and parable about the toxicity of power. You’ll be holding your breath as Tutu ventures into the desert to try and save his community, transforming himself into the hero they need. Even though they say there are no heroes in the City of Lies."

David: The Lego Story by Jens Andersen

"Who would have thought that a toy brick would utterly alter the imagination and play time of children around the world?

I still remember when my grandmother shipped me my own giant box of Lego pieces for Christmas, and the endless projects I engaged in with it. If you share a similar love for Lego, you’d appreciate this fascinating look into the origin and history of Lego.

Filled with pictures and tons of interview excerpts, you’ll get a first-hand look into this world that still sparks childhood glee in adults around the world."

Tess: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

"This book was a totally wild emotional roller coaster. The prose was absolutely amazing, the dual perspective and flashback tied everything together effortlessly, and every character felt real and wholly original.

You find yourself rooting for Salahudin and Noor, even as everything goes horribly wrong, and that is absolutely a trademark of an amazing book. I cried multiple times while reading this book, and I have never seen such dark and difficult topics be handled with such grace.

Everyone needs to read this immediately."

Torri: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

The perfect nail-biting mystery for anyone looking to venture into the genre!

After a girl goes missing, the town immediately suspects her boyfriend to be the culprit. When he dies by suicide shortly after her disappearance, questions remain unanswered and the case is closed. 

Years later, Pip chooses to re-examine the case for her senior project. What started as a desire to cast doubt on the murderer turns to an obsession that puts a target on her back. Pip is close to uncovering the truth and someone is willing to kill to keep their secrets."

Nora: The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandana

"Delightful, magical, fun and heartwarming.

This book has lovable characters and a romance woven into a larger story of found families."

Grace: The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

"Get ready to be taken on a journey to learn how one of the biggest names in rock-star history came to be.

If you’re a fan of Nirvana, Foo Fighters, or just music in general, this book is perfect for you! "

Taryn: You Can’t Be Serious by Kal Penn

"At times funny, at times serious. That’s Kal Penn, a public figure who isn’t afraid to explore his many talents and fight for what is right. This memoir will make you profusely miss the Obama administration and shed light on how unfair the entertainment industry is for minorities."

Olivia: I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee

"This memoir is a therapy session in a book. Sehee’s unabashed authenticity is arresting in the best of ways and the issues she explores can provide comfort for anyone struggling.

Told through conversations with her therapist, readers gain valuable insight into deconstructing, learning from, and healing mental health issues."

Audrey: Recipe for Disaster by Alison Riley

"This mashup of cookbook and essay collection is one of the most enchanting works of nonfiction I've ever picked up. Recipe for Disaster boasts a star-studded collection of writers, chefs, actors, and comedians offering a cornucopia of personal narrative, recipes, and photography. I laughed. I cried. I felt very, very hungry. I could not love it more!"

Ernio: Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

"Follow the personal and interpersonal relationships of three women in this Brooklyn Heights-set book — two sisters and their sister-in-law, who married into their rich New York family.

Each has their own struggles with each other and in their own lives despite their wealth. A fun read, with deliciously fallible characters you may be surprised to relate to."

River Bend Nabs Limited Signed Copies of Two Exciting New Books!

We will be receiving hand-signed stock for New York Times bestselling author R.F. Kuang's forthcoming literary fiction thriller Yellowface in both shops. And we're also lucky enough to get some signed copies of the coming-of-age memoir from the Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page Pageboy!

Both books will come in limited quantities, so orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis — while supplies last. Be sure to get yours!

Pre-Order Yellowface

Yellowface releases May 16.

Pre-Order Pageboy

Pageboy hits shelves June 6.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 10am-4pm, Closed Mondays

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