Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Jan 2, 2021

Happy New Year!

Educate ~ Inspire ~ Engage ~ Entertain

Since our opening on August 14th we have used our four values as a foundation supporting all that we do - driving the selection of our titles, speakers, events and our everyday interactions with our readers.

Despite challenges we have had a very successful start. We have now existed one hundred and fifty three days. Days that we believe have contributed positively to the economic, cultural and social health of our community. Obviously the pandemic has negatively impacted us like it has impacted everyone, and it has stopped us from being all we could be. However, despite the pandemic we have had tremendous support.

A huge thanks to our readers from around the county. Thanks to our speakers for shining a light on important topics like the Climate Crisis, Racial Justice, and interesting topics like history, nature and sports. Thanks to the media that thought our bookshop was an important story that deserved coverage. And thanks to our staff for their enthusiasm and caring to be excellent book sellers.

We are now entering a new year under a Covid Grey (lockdown) Category so we won’t be open normally for awhile. However, that doesn’t stop you from supporting local by going on line to www.riverbookshop.com and ordering titles for curb side pickup or shipment.

Unfortunately Covid also causes us to postpone our speaker series until at least to the end of January. We are really excited that we have seventeen speakers lined up that will allow us to have some necessary conversations and interaction on important topics.

While 2021 will start under threatening Covid skies we are optimistically looking ahead to an exciting year. A year where we can build upon what we have already created. And most importantly a year when we all collectively beat this pandemic.

In the mean time: please wear a mask, socially distance, and limit your gatherings.

And remember... books are magic!

~ Richard

Well 2020 has certainly been an interesting year to say the least.

It's been a year that we were stripped back to what was really important in our lives - and for many, books were one item that made the cut.

People read more during 2020. We reached for the comfort reads of classics for adults and old favourites for the kids.

We found ourselves looking for both predictable, reassuring who-done-it's that wrapped up nice and neat from authors like Shari Lapena or C.J. Tudor and the dystopian, apocalyptic reads like Moon of the Crusted Snow or Songs for the End of the World that made our own situation look not quite so bad.

It was the year for shopping local, supporting local and, of course, reading local - whether local meant your town, county or country.

River Bookshop is proud to support our local Essex County authors - Brian Baynton, Anna Byrne, M.E. Castaneres, Nicole Chevalier, Greg Crain, Ellie Csepregi, Jacqueline Dennis, Edmond Gagnon, Fred Groves, Adam Hawkins, Kevin Jarvis, Rosalind Knight, Veronique Mandal, Robin Martin, Stephen Massey, George Morneau, Robin Pugh, Tim Reddish, Tom Reynolds, Wayne Rocheleau, John Schlarbaum, Amy Soucie and C.D. Wood - who write everything from children's books to poetry to both fiction and non-fiction. Try them out next time you're looking for something new.

Some amazing Canadian literature came to the forefront this year - Scotiabank Giller prize winner, How to Pronounce Knife and Shuggie Bain which took home the Booker Prize were just two. Fortunately for booklovers there were many more great reads in 2020....


The Spoon Stealer by Leslie Crewe tells the story of Emmeline who never quite fit in with her Nova Scotia family and so built a life in England but when she inherits the family farm her life and that of her family gets thrown into chaos.

The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda is an intimate portrayal of four individuals as they grapple with what it means to be a family, leaving a painful past and entering a hopeful future. It is a profoundly moving exploration of the ways we all seek belonging—in our families, in our communities and ultimately, within ourselves.

Rabbit Foot Bill by Helen Humphreys is based on a true story - Leonard Flint, a lonely boy in a small farming town befriends the local hobo. Bill doesn’t talk much, but he allows Leonard to accompany him as he sets rabbit snares and to visit his small, secluded dwelling. Being with Bill is everything to young Leonard—an escape from school, bullies and a hard father - and he is completely shocked when he witnesses Bill commit a sudden violent act and loses him to prison. A reunion years later shows just how resilient the human mind is.

And before you think only the adults won the reading sweepstakes in 2020, here's a few kid picks that would make an excellent addition to any child's library.

For the middle grade and young teen readers, three choices that are sure to pique some interest.

The Barren Grounds, Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.

Eric Walters contribution to Covid themed stories, Don't Stand So Close to Me, gives us a view from a group of teens each having to adjust in different ways to the world wide pandemic.

Red Fox Road is a survival story along the line of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet. A 13 year old girl is stranded in the woods when the family's GPS goes astray - can she survive using just her wits?

If your littles need some giggles, here are the books for you....

The Last Loose Tooth is a reimagining of losing your teeth except from the perspective of the teeth. Lou is the last baby tooth and he's not going anywhere!

The story of a boy and his cat in I Do Not Like Stories supports literacy skills, adds humour, and is sure to engage young readers—even those who are sure they don’t like stories.

And finally, Not Me, shows what happens when the answer to "Who made this mess?" is Not Me! Any adult who's gotten that answer will appreciate the finger pointing and the surprise ending of this cute book.

So there you go...a myriad of reasons why Canadian readers are a lucky bunch and that is just the tip of the iceberg! Click here for even more Canadian authors and books to browse through on our website

As we are still in Covid level Grey and cannot allow in person shopping we will continue highlighting new titles as they arrive on our social media so if you don't already, please like and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Our window displays are changed and updated regularly for your window shopping convenience, just knock at the door for help.

You may place and pay for orders over the phone 226-906-8311

You can always shop our website at www.riverbookshop.com - you can choose curbside pickup or delivery (flat rate fee). Our curbside hours are from 12-5pm daily 7 days a week.

And until we can see you regularly in the shop - Stay safe, be kind, shop local and keep reading!

~ Lori