Bookshop News & Updates

JUNE 2024

A Summer for Reading

Welcome to the official season for reading for pleasure! (1 of 4 for us.) Studies show reading for fun is down among youth, and reading for fun directly correlates to better mental health, better test scores, better communication skills and future success. Help us bend the curve back, read with your kid and/or model the behavior by reading in downtime yourself.

Fill Your Home With Books

Waldo: Back in (Local) Business

July is coming and with it brings our beloved bespectacled hiding hero... Waldo! Scour local businesses where he'll be hiding all around Glastonbury and West Hartford — so come and pick up your passport at either shop July 1! Then hand your stamped passports in for a chance at prizes at our Search Party!

Party with Waldo

Two Years in a Row

Thank you for your support in making River Bend Bookshop winner in The Best of Hartford 2024 for Best Bookstore.

Book Events & Other Happenings



Enjoy a Mystery Chat with Authors and Brews, Too!

River Bend is happy to celebrate the release of Death in the Details, a historical Vermont-set mystery filled with miniatures and murder from local debut author Katie Tietjen!

Fellow mystery author and River Bend friend Megan Collins joins Katie for the conversation and how their books share a connection at Urban Lodge in Manchester. The authors sign or personalize copies!

Come join us Wednesday, July 10 for a drink and discussion.



If you read River Bend fave The Seven of Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna, you'll want to join us July 26 at Hops on the Hill for our launch of Juliet Grames' newest The Lost Boy of Santa Chionia.

Historical fiction and mystery fans join Juliet in conversation with fellow writer Luanne Rice. Book signing to follow.


→Registration Required←

Then, join River Bend Bookshop at Thomas Hooker Live in Hartford July 29 to celebrate Connecticut author Amy Neff and the launch of her debut novel The Days I Loved You Most!

Amy will be joined by River Bend's own bookseller Jillian Puzzo for a conversation and will sign books after the chat.


→Registration Required←

Book Picks & Best Sellers


  1. James (by Percival Everett)

Best Sellers at River Bend

This Month

River Bend Booksellers Staff Picks

Jillian: Fire Exit by Morgan Talty

"Fire Exit is devastatingly beautiful. Talty's writing is exacting/hopeful, blending sorrow with love and humor, a rare & masterful gift. I loved his story collection Night of the Living Rez, which read like a memoir, intimate and honest. So I dove for this with both hands.

This book is about family-belonging, bloodlines, secrets, culture, heritage and legacy... but mostly humanity, what unites us and how to treasure that. I implore you to pick it up!"

Maggie: Funny Story by Emily Henry

"Emily Henry does it again! Funny Story is more than just a romance book, diving into themes of family dynamics, friendship, and community. It is filled with witty dialogue and perfect punchlines, great for someone looking for a fun summer read.

If you love a rom-com that makes you laugh out loud that also has depth and emotion, this book is for you! "

Renee: The Rom-Commers by Katharine Center

"This book is a love letter to those who love romcoms! I was fortunate enough to access the advanced listening copy and as soon as it ended I started it over, which never happens. There is banter, forced proximity, silliness, but also depth and the question of where your dreams fall in the priority list of life.

Do yourself a favor and let it be your perfect summer feel-good read!"

Zoe: Did I Ever Tell You? by Genevieve Kingston

"A heartbreakingly beautiful story of a mother's love from beyond the grave that you will refuse to put down.

Kingston writes like a seasoned professional, every sentence remains in your mind as her memoir progresses. Every chapter that passed, I wanted to tear up and tell my mom I love her!"

Amy: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

"Don't make the mistake of passing on this book because you aren't a David Copperfield fan. Kingsolver's ability to make you laugh out loud while simultaneously breaking your hear will draw in any reader. I fell in love with Demon and his friends. Now it's your turn!"

Grace: Just Kids by Patti Smith

"This book follows a young Patti Smith through her early adult years, as she moves to NYC in hopes of becoming an artist.

Just Kids is beautifully written, and a must-read for fans of her work!"

Tess: Chain Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

"This book is a colossal undertaking, but it’s written so well that it’s completely immersive and engaging the entire time. I was hooked completely from the first page, and the dynamics of all of the A-Hamm Chain Gang members make you invested in the characters’ fates. The ending left me speechless.

If you’re looking for a dystopian book that provides impactful commentary on our world today, this is for you."

Emily: A Magical Girl Retires by Park Seolyeon

"A fun, smart reimagining of a classic story. An unnamed millennial protagonist becomes a magical girl at age 29 and fights the evils of the world — but in her case, these are credit card debt, climate change and the crushing pressure of trying to find life's purpose in a world that doesn't live up to what was promised. Perfect for those who grew up with stories like Sailor Moon and wonder how these characters would adapt to a modern world. I both laughed and cried at the reveal of the protagonist's power - she is truly the perfect millennial magical girl."

Taryn: Homebody by Theo Parish

"This is probably the most approachable YA graphic novel I've read about gender identity and exploration. Follow Theo's journey of coming home to themself against a captivating purple color scheme."

Need more Picks, see our Favorites.

Looking to get your hands on the hottest books before they hit best-seller lists?

Check our Popular Pre-Orders!

Pre-Order These — Local Authors!


Lola Reyes Is So Not Worried

by Cindy L. Rodriguez

Coming September 17

A Split Second

by Janae Marks

Out on October 1

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