Bookshop News & Updates

MAY 2024

Love is Love is Love

River Bend is loud and proud every day, but all the more this June with upcoming Pride celebrations. Join us in sharing LGBTQIA+ stories and books with the displays in our shops and see us at Pride events in Glastonbury (June 9) and West Hartford (June 22). Show your support as you have always, standing up to keep your indie bookstore a safe space in your neighborhood. We fly our flag & welcome all!

Read With Pride

What's Up Next at River Bend?

Pop onto the events calendar on the River Bend website to stay up on all that is coming up at the shops and out in the community! And enjoy even more book fun on our Instagram.

Follow us today!

River Bend Events Calendar

Pride All Year

Book Events & Other Happenings



Celebrate Queer Voices with a YA Author Chat

River Bend is happy to celebrate the release of Furious, the newest book by local author Rebecca Podos, with a panel discussion featuring S.J. Taylor and Ryan La Sala!

Join River Bend as Rebecca Podos (From Dust, a Flame) chats with local author Taylor (Being Ace) and West Hartford native La Sala (The Honeys). The panel will be moderated by upcoming debut author Taylor Grothe (Hollow).

Come listen to the authors talk about their books and writing stories that star queer kids. There will be a post-discussion audience Q&A as well a time for all the authors to sign or personalize copies!

Presented with West Hartford Public Library, the event is June 20 at 6:30 PM at Bishop's Corner Senior Center on 15 Starkel Road in West Hartford.

RSVP is requested, please click the button below to reserve your spot!


Join us Saturday, June 15 as acclaimed author Matthew Dicks discusses his new book, Stories Sell at the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History in Hartford.

Register Here.

River Bend presents author Gabriele Davis for special author storytimes in Glastonbury AND West Hartford June 15-16 as she shares her new picturebook, Peaches.

Come enjoy!

Book Truck Revs Up!

Come see us at these and keep an eye out for more stops

 this summer!

Spot the River Bend Book Truck at these upcoming local events!

Book Fairs for Adults LineUp

Come see us at these local haunts:

Brignole Vineyards

in East Granby

June 9, (12-4pm)

Alvarium Brewery

in New Britain

June 30, (12-4pm)

... and more soon!

Book Picks & Best Sellers


Best Sellers at River Bend

This Month

The Little Frog's Guide to Self-Care (Maybell Eequay)

River Bend Booksellers Staff Picks

Meghan: The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez

"Julia Alvarez is a treasure, and this latest book is a rare jewel. Familiar elements of her writing — four bickering sisters, a secretive father, and vivid depictions of the Domincan Republic — are transformed into something entirely new. Scenes of sending your manuscripts up in smoke, and hearing them call to you from the garden, will having you believing in Big Magic.

A must-read for storytellers and story lovers."

Jillian: The Ministry of Time: A Novel by Kaliane Bradley

"The past meets the future, a boy meets a girl, the beginning meets the end. The Ministry of Time has something for everyone. It is a speculative thriller, a time-travel romance, and a workplace comedy. Unputdownable and addictive, I loved every page of this wild, brilliant, fun debut novel!

You and your book clubs must read it this summer."

Deb: The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson

"I'm a diehard literary fiction reader — with the notable exception of Larson's books. His newest, a dive into the months between Abraham Lincoln's election and the first shots fired at Fort Sumpter, is as literary and compelling as his others.

Larson makes of historical figures characters you root for and rage at, giving them the dimensionality and color they deserve. You'll finish this one ready to pass to a friend — and go read everything else Larson has written. 

Taryn: Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

"Just in time for summer! I love how these characters came to life. Will this relationship be temporary to prove a point, or will Emma and Justin accept that this unique circumstance is different than anything they've experienced?"

Veronica: The Fox Wife: A Novel by Yangsze Choo

"The Fox Wife is a swirl of mythology, mystery, and a mother's quest for vengeance.

I was engaged, enchanted from start to finish. "

Kaitee: The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert

"What would you do if your best friend went missing and you're pretty sure it all has to do with the urban legend that haunts playgrounds and games of double dutch? Part thriller, part myth, part revenge-fueled fever dream, The Bad Ones hooked me. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!"

Ernio: Erasure by Percival Everett

"His latest novel, James, is atop many book lists and TBRs, but Everett's work that got me reading was Erasure — the one adapted into Best Picture nominee 'American Fiction.' You can see how the main character of Monk — an author at his wit's end — must have leapt off the page and into Jeffrey Wright's depiction almost fully-formed.

Not to spoil much, I'll say this book-world book spins the spotlight on publishing and trains an eye on race, while also celebrating a story of a family filled with loss but boasting with Black joy."

Renee: The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

"The fake dating trope at its best! She may not look like a bodyguard hovering around 5ft tall, but she can still knock you on your arse. When a famous actor is called home to spend time with his sick mom, the studio insists he bring a bodyguard to protect against his stalker — a 40-something woman who knits his face into sweaters. Unwilling to stress his mom during her recovery, he sweet-talks our protagonist into pretending to be his girlfriend. But a month is a long time to pretend... A pure joy of a book full of banter, loveable characters, and humor."

Amy: Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman

"A book about a Swedish ice hockey doesn't seem like a likely choice for May, but I found Beartown to be irresistible.

Backman has mastered the morally gray character. I found each member of the cast of characters to be both infuriating and redeemable, and wanted to simultaneously hug them or shake them by the shoulders.

I am excited to explore the second and third books in the Beartown trilogy!"

Pre-Order These — Local Authors!


The Lost Boy of Santa Chionia

by Juliet Grames (The Seven of Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna)

This July 23

The Days I Loved You Most

debut novel by West Hartford author Amy Neff 

Out July 30

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