Happening around the Bend

Note from a Bookseller

Hi, River Bend readers! Audrey here with what's new around the shop!

We're sprinkling everyone with a little luck o' the Irish this weekend - the first Member Sale of 2023 will be this Saturday and Sunday, March 18 & 19! Members receive 20% off all *in-stock* merchandise. If you can't make it into the shop, use the code LUCKYME when shopping online. Not a member yet? Not to worry! Sign up today and join the club.

Coming up next week, graphic novelist and illustrator JC Phillipps will be joining us in West Hartford for a meet and greet – AND a live drawing lesson — for the launch of her latest in the Penny Packer, Unicorn Tracker series. Bring your kids! My graphic novel-loving kiddo and I will certainly be there.

If you joined us last year for our author talk with New York Times bestseller Isaac Fitzgerald at Hops on the Hill, you've already met our next featured author! Jaime Green — who spoke with Isaac as moderator — will now be in "the hot seat" as roles reverse and Isaac chats with HER about her new book, The Possibility of Life. Check out our pre-launch Q&A with Jaime below and get your personalized copy from riverbendbookshop.com/jaimegreen. Registration for this event is free or you can snag a VIP ticket for a reserved seat and pre-paid drink ticket! This launch is going to be a blast! (Rocketship pun very much intended.) 🚀👽

And, as always, take a look at what your neighbors and our booksellers are reading below with our Best Sellers and Staff Picks.

See you at the shop soon!

— Audrey, Manager

River Bend Bookshop


It's a big day for small businesses across the country and River Bend always has a blast!

Come support your local indie bookshop and there will be fun new prizes

for those who stop at our shop and our indie friends across Connecticut!

More to come! For now, just be sure to Save The Date: Saturday, April 29, 2023!

Recent Best Sellers at River Bend

Curious what your friends and neighbors have been reading?

Here were the Top Sellers at our shops in February:

Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

On Air with Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J.A. Chancy

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Upcoming Author Events

Calling all graphic novel readers + drawing fans! Pacey & Slasher (the world's grumpiest unicorn) are flying high with dragons in the latest in the series with plenty of attitude, humor, and heart! Come draw with the author!

Poetry month kicks off in April and we've got two great poets lined up to start the celebration! Join us — along with a notebook — for a Poetry Powered Tuesday with Leslie Bulion and Rajani LaRocca!

Join us back at Hops on the Hill to celebrate the release of author Jamie Green's highly anticipated work of nonfiction, The Possibility of Life! New York Times bestseller author Isaac Fitzgerald will return to Glastonbury as her conversation partner. This is going to be an evening not to be missed! Sign up and grab your VIP seat now!

Check Our Calendar of Events

Rev up your reading, the River Bend Book Truck will be back on the road soon! Keep your ears to the ground (and your eyes to our website) for where we'll pop up near you!

Want to Book

the Book Truck?

Book Us Here!

Friends, it will be "raining cats and dogs" at River Bend next week! Well, it's one cat (who actually identifies as a kitty-corn) and one dog (who is really part man, part dog), but that's not how puns work.

Join River Bend Tuesday, March 28 from 4:30-6pm for the release of two kid character favorites, popping up in their latest addition to their respective book series. We'll have Party Hearty Kitty-Corn and Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea in stock and some "treats" too!

(Reserve your copy at the buttons below now and be your kids' hero for the day!)

Reserve Your NEW Kitty-Corn!
Reserve Your NEW Dog Man!

River Bend Staff Picks

Meghan — What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jiménez

"Fans of Where'd You Go Bernadette or When Olga Dies Dreaming will enjoy this debut novel about a long-missing sister and the family road trip to investigate the possibility that she is not only alive, but currently filming a trashy reality tv show.

The book is funny, provocative, messy and angry. It questions our obsessions with the disappearance of (white) women and girls, and dives into family secrets."

Audrey — The Possibility of Life by Jaime Green

"Jaime Green is Miss Frizzle for grownups. Her upcoming work of nonfiction about the potential for intelligent life on other planets is both incredibly smart and entirely accessible (and fun!). The book is littered with Green's own hand-drawn diagrams; it made me feel like I was sitting shoulder to shoulder with her sipping coffee as she scribbled drawings on a napkin. Her enthusiasm is contagious! I absolutely adore this book."

Jillian - I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

"A compulsively readable literary psychological thriller. One of my most anticipated reads of 2023, I was riveted and hypnotized, it changed my mind about dark academia and modern campus novels! Impossible to put down and wholly unforgettable, Makkai interrogates gender, privilege, and race, and reckons with the past and its collective memory. If you're in a book club you must make this one of your selections this year. "

Deb — The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell

"As a huge fan of both The Great British Baking Show and somewhat gory thrillers, I was delighted by Jessica Maxwell’s thriller-mystery debut. The perfect blend of detail and suspense, this one will have you convinced you know who is guilty and who will win the coveted Golden Spoon…but I promise, you’ll be surprised by both!"

Taryn - This Is What It Sounds Like by Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas

"Did you know that people visualize different types of images when listening to music? Or that there's seven dimensions of a listener profile that determine your sweet spots as an individual? A fascinating look into the psychology of why we enjoy the music we love. Enjoy guided examinations into certain songs, so have your player ready while reading!"

Tess — Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn 

"This book is full of charm and humor, which made for an amazing beach read. I had a blast reading this book that can only be described as The Golden Girls meets John Wick. The aging assassin quartet are all lovable characters, and you learn to root for them as they fight for their right to retire. Great for any fan of murderous thrillers or feel good chick flicks."

Veronica - The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

"A grandmother pops an intruder on the head and kills him, and everything goes to hell in a hand-basket. Hilarity and morbidity and nihilism ensue. For a moment, I thought I was at a funeral with my Irish cousins."

Grace — One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

"From the author of Red, White, and Royal Blue, this book has an unexpected magical component that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat! This book is perfect for lovers of both romance and sci-fi!"

Ernio — A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat

"Author-illustrator Dan takes a trip down memory lane — via his European stay abroad right before starting high school. Discovering another world and more about himself than planned. Fanta & wild things kids could do pre-Internet abound!"

Kaitee - The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi

"This is an expertly spun tale, the taut unwinding of the myth of Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada as classic and chilling and otherworldly as you would expect of a story that lives somewhere between a nightmare and a fairytale. I love Chokshi’s writing and the true beauty of her prose is on display here. I felt I was reading the newest addition to our fairytale canon. By the end, I couldn’t turn to pages fast enough. I was as hungry for the secrets tucked away in this book as Bluebeard’s wife was to know what lay behind that door."

Olivia — The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

"God almighty, this book absolutely gutted me in the most brilliant and beautiful way imaginable. Schwab’s prose is luscious and immersive and each of her characters feel like a close friend by the time the story is over.

Full of fantastical elements wrapped in a poignant love letter to life itself, this novel will take your breath away and leave you in shreds by the end."

David - The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

"If you want to understand the characteristics of a leader that’s power hungry and how politics arguably lends itself to a power-analysis, look no further. What Machiavelli did was take a step back, observed political behavior, analyzed, then drew conclusions. Definitely a piece of work that finds as much use today as it did back then. Even if one disagrees with Machiavelli — there's a lot to learn here, even as a lens through which to view how our political leaders may be acting today."

Join us in welcoming two new staffers to the River Bend team!

We're happy to introduce Nora – who you'll catch mostly in Glastonbury — and equally excited about Torri — the newest addition to the team in West Hartford.

These avid book-lovers are happy to recommend a new book, here are their current picks:

Nora — The Sense of Wonder by Matthew Salesses

"Propulsive and layered, I couldn’t put this book down. It is alive with stories: of the NBA, K-dramas, and two main characters that I cheered for on every page."

Torri - The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Yoon beautifully captures both the cynical and idealistic sides of falling in love. The story explores hope, fate, identity, and the stars, and how they all come together to form a single moment. I couldn’t put this book down."

Quick Q&A with Author Jaime Green

Jaime Green photo by Sylvie Rosokoff

Join Jaime and Isaac Fitzgerald at our upcoming launch April 22 at Hops on the Hill. Register now.

Q: Currently reading:

I'm rereading one of my all-time favorites, The Clan of the Cave Bear, for an exciting upcoming writing project. I also always have an audiobook going, lately science or natural history, and that's currently The Great Quake.

Q: Who inspired your reading and writing as a kid?

A: It's hard to say, because I've loved reading and writing for longer than I can remember. But I think that means the answer is my mom: reading to me when I was little, typing my stories when I had ideas I couldn't even write yet, bringing me books home from the library that she thought I'd like, and never making me doubt that I could do this.

Q: Your book — The Possibility of Life — in 20 words or less?

A: How do we imagine aliens, through science and fiction; what does that reveal about what it means to be human?


Pre-order your signed copy of Jaime's book and register for her launch event now!

 Click here for more info. 


Q: What's the last book you read and loved?

A: My last audiobook was Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, which was beautiful and fascinating. It taught me so much new science and changed how I see parts of nature I take for granted.

Q: What author do you always love to read?

A: Ursula K. LeGuin and (I'm a huge romance fan) Sarah MacLean

Q: Books you keep recommending:

A: Same as the above: I think everyone should read The Dispossessed and The Rogue Not Taken.

River Bend Bookshop

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-4, closed Mondays

Did you catch our hidden sticker surprise at the end of last month's newsletter?

Send Ernio an email, and get a sticker with your next order!

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter