We actually get paid for this job. Not a lot, true, but we love it. And the best part is recommending books to eager readers. When a customer loves your picks you've found an instant friend, and when a customer doesn't like one of your picks, it's hard not to take it personally.
We hope you will explore our favorites. If you recognize a kindred spirit, be sure to give a chance to some of their more obscure picks, those authors need the attention. If you want to talk about some of your favorite books, check out our RiverRun Blog, where there's usually a thread going about favorite or recent reads.
I might be the non-fiction nerd in the store ~ natural science, religion, medicine, essays, criticism, philosophy, and poetry, poetry, poetry… (yes, Tom, I think poetry is non-fiction). I also enjoy reading plays. I’m impatient with fiction and re-read the classics. My taste in more contemporary fiction (read 1960 forward), is a little quirky… hard to classify: John Berger, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Michel Ondaatje, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, J.M. Coetzee, Arundhati Roy. I’m the one in the store who tends to display books that were hot thirty years ago! When was the last time you read Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca? How about Mary Renault’s Funeral Games?
Reading, alphabetizing, shelving, organizing…working here has been a most appropriate outlet for my favorite hobby, as well as for my O.C.D. People who know me best know that my whole life has been leading up to this. I enjoy reading a fairly wide variety of books – both fiction and non-fiction – but I have a special place for more outlandish fiction. Whether it’s a conceptual shark, a talking bat, or an adventurous blue bear – I’m there. That being said, some of my favorite authors include Christopher Moore, Carl Hiaasen, Bill Bryson, Steve Almond, and John Irving.
Emma has volunteered at RiverRun for several years now. She's going into her freshman year in high school this fall, and she loves to read. Some of her favorite books are scary books, mystery books, and fantasy. She loves Shiver, The Hunger Games, The Summer I Turned Pretty, and The Forest of Hands and Teeth!
I'm here because I love books! I lean towards the grim and strange, but, really, I'll read anything. Bukowski, Vonnegut, and Atwood are my all-time favorites, and I've recently enjoyed reading McCarthy, Stephenson and Brockmeier. I speak geek pretty well, too - science fiction and graphic novels are my favorite sections. When I'm not working with books and deciding what to read next, I'm reading. When I'm not reading, I'm either asleep or wondering why Chip Kidd doesn't return my calls.
I used to read a lot of books before I opened a bookstore. Then in 2008 we had our first baby. Good news is, I'm reading a lot more; bad news is the books I'm reading now are targeted for toddlers. When I do have time to read, I'm fond of literary novels and short stories, balanced by noir mysteries. I don't read a whole lot of non-fiction-- that's what NPR is for. If you enjoyed some of the better-known books I've listed, I hope you will take a chance on some of the more obscure ones-- they deserve a chance.
I'm a big bibliophile and so working in a bookstore is the ideal job for me. I love to read literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and graphic novels, and some of my favorite authors include Michael Chabon, Mary Gaitskill, Neil Gaiman, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, George Eliot, Kate Christensen, and Jeanette Winterson. I love beautiful writing and stories that reimagine fables and mythology. I also really enjoy talking about books, so stop in the store or post on my GoodReads page and tell me about your favorites!
Jody takes it as a personal challenge to try to have as many books in her house as RiverRun has. She's partial to intriguing and offbeat fiction, provocative poetry, and reference books about writing and other need-to-know topics, with a chaser of mysteries, memoirs, and more. What's really getting her in trouble lately are books that blend literary merit with visual inventiveness, and books with unusual bindings.
I'm a sci-fi guy. I don't get overly excited about regular stories centered around regular people. A good read for me has to be out there somehow, preferably beyond earth orbit. I'm now realizing my years as an English major have prepared me to shelve books, not write them. For now I'm loving it. Maybe some day a kid like myself will shelve my book. One can only hope...and write. Favorite authors include Arthur C. Clarke, H. G. Wells, Charles Yu, Yukio Mishima, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, and Michael Cunningham.
Okay, so I'm too young to type, but this is where you'll find great recommendations for children selected by staff, teachers, and some of our best customers.
Pen Central is offered through RiverRun Bookstore. Writing classes are taught at SecondRun Bookstore by Kimberly Cloutier Green, Jody Hetherington, and Rebecca Webb. For more information about Pen Central’s workshops, or to inquire about registration, please call 603-475-4084 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.