A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Without hesitation I can say that this is the best book I've read in the past year. It came highly recommended by a friend who has a very different taste in books, but I took the chance, and it paid off. 
There were several things about the book that I enjoyed. I love when the important elements of the story develop independently, and are then woven into a cohesive tale. Marra accomplished this task beautifully. He allowed the story to unfold at its own pace, without forcing the issues, and it allowed the novel to develop nicely.
I also like when an author can take difficult subject matter and present it in a way that is neither overwhelming, nor watered down. There were several of these moments in this book, which can be expected since part of the book is set in war-torn more

PORTSMOUTH, NH—April 19,2014   In an effort to connect local children’s book authors with local illustrators, Piscataqua Press has begun a public list of artists interested in working in the children’s book field. The list, which now includes more than fifteen artists, can be found on their website at and includes contact information and work samples.


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I'm apparently not the world's best multi-tasker, but it seems impossible to get 30 uninterrupted minutes to focus on one thing.  The phone rings, the child interrupts, there is Facebook, and Twitter, and text messages.  Sustained narrative reading is an important function of our brain, and one I fear we are losing.

I read a study that showed that when we surf the web, we use a different part of our brain than we use for reading a long passage of a printed book. I suppose that makes sense, the two functions are very different, and it's not that one is worse than the other. It's just that I fear we will lose our ability to pay attention to one thing for long periods of time.

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A Great Day in Portsmouth

By tom on September 04, 2013 | Add a Comment

These are the kind of days Portsmouth was made for.  Bright, breezy, and beautiful.

The Herald reports this morning that there are enough restaurant seats in Portsmouth for every resident to eat out at the same time.

I'd like to add that there are enough books in RiverRun for every Portsmouth resident to buy one on the same day.

How about today? Today seems good.


See you soon,



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That's right, you don't have to worry about the bridge any more.  RiverRun will have a small store in the Foreside area of Kittery, right across the street from AJ's.  Our neighbors will include a coffee shop and a juice bar!


RiverRun Foreside will carry both new and used books.  It will be like RiverRun Portsmouth, except it will be about the size of your living room.


Why are we doing this?  Because we care about our Maine customers and don't want to lose them.  We loooovvve Portsmouth, but we understand that between bridge repair, parking, and general hubub, it can be hard to shop here sometimes.


As downtown Kittery grows and becomes and exciting place to visit, we are excited to be a part of that.


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About RiverRun

  • We are your friendly neighborhood bookstore, located in downtown Portsmouth, NH.  Small but potent, we offer a fine selection of new books with an emphasis on fiction, history, poetry and mystery.  We also have a great little kids section, and hold over 100 events a year.

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