July 2019

November 14 2020

Visit the store by appointment,
and get recommendations
from our booksellers.

Book an appointment, and stop in to browse a selection of the season's best books. Talk to a bookseller for personal recommendations for everyone on your list. Discover great new books.

  • Book your appointment at the link below. In order to maintain visitor records, we cannot make appointments over the phone or by email.
  • Come in only if you are healthy and have no COVID symptoms.
  • Enter through the lobby at 36 Snelling, just to the north of our store's main entrance.
  • One person/couple/family at a time; maximum of 4 people in the store at a time.
  • Everyone ages 2 and up must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times.
  • Use hand sanitizer when you walk in.
  • We no longer have a bathroom or trash can for public use.
  • We cannot accept cash or checks at this time. We accept only credit cards or contactless payment methods.

Appointments are available Monday to Saturday, from 1pm to 5pm.

Join us for our virtual book events
Meet great authors in the comfort of your own home.

Pull up your comfiest chair and enjoy great conversations about books. We've got some wonderful conversations coming your way this month. Learn about Minnesota history, hear great new fiction, or dive into poetry. Whatever interests you, we've got you covered.

Far Out Man: Tales of Life in the Counterculture By Eric Utne --Monday, November 16th, 2020 - 7:00pm

Far Out Man is the story of a life-long seeker who was occasionally a finder as well. In 1984, Eric Utne founded Utne Reader, a digest of new ideas and fresh perspectives percolating in the arts, culture, politics, business, and spirituality. With the tag line “The Best of the Alternative Press,” the magazine was twice a finalist for a National Magazine Award and grew to more than 300,000 paid circulation. In the nineties, the magazine promoted the Neighborhood Salon Association to revive the endangered art of conversation and start a revolution in people’s living rooms. More than 18,000 people joined, comprising naearly 500 salons across North America. Utne devoted the magazine to bringing people together to help make the world a “little greener and a little kinder.”

Some People Let You Down By Mike Alberti --Friday, November 20, 2020 - 7:00pm

The nine stories in Mike Alberti’s debut collection shine a sharp light on small-town American life —not the Arcadian small towns of yesteryear, but the old mill towns hanging on after the mill has stopped running, the deserted agricultural communities in the middle of vast industrial farms, places where bad luck has become part of the weather. But even in these blighted, neglected landscapes, the possibility of renewal always presents itself: there is hope for these places and the characters who inhabit them. In these fresh, innovative stories, some people let you down, but some people don’t.

The Sun Collective: A Novel By Charles Baxter--Monday, November 23, 2020 - 7:00pm

Once a promising actor, Tim Brettigan has gone missing. His father thinks he may have seen him among some homeless people. And though she knows he left on purpose, his mother has been searching for him all over the city. She checks the usual places—churches, storefronts, benches—and stum­bles upon a local community group with lofty goals and an enigmatic leader who will alter all of their lives. Christina, a young woman rapidly becoming addicted to a boutique drug that gives her a feeling of blessedness, is inexplicably drawn to the same collective by a man who’s convinced he may start a revolution. As the lives of these four characters intertwine, a story of guilt, anxiety, and feverish hope unfolds in the city of Minneapolis. 

A vision of modern American society and the specters of the consumerism, fanaticism, and fear that haunt it, The Sun Collective captures both the mystery and the violence that punctuate our daily lives.

Confessions in B-Flat By Donna Hill in conversation with Bernice L. McFadden --Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 7:00pm

The year is 1963. In Harlem, the epicenter of Black culture, the fight for equality has never been stronger. The time is now. Enough is enough. Yet even within its ranks, a different kind of battle rages. Love thy neighbor? Or rise up against your oppressors?

Jason Tanner has just arrived in New York to help spread the message of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of passive resistance, while beat poet Anita Hopkins believes the teachings of Malcolm X with all her heart: that the way to true freedom is “by any means necessary.” When Jason sees Anita perform her poetry at the iconic B-Flat lounge, he’s transfixed. And Anita has never met anyone who can match her wit for wit like this…

One movement, two warring ideologies—can love be enough to unite them?
Confessions in B-Flat is a celebration of the hard-won victories of those who came before us, and a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go.

Next Chapter Book Club discusses The Warlow Experiment, Alix Nathan--Sunday, November 29, 2020 - 4:00pm

Herbert Powyss lives in an estate in the Welsh Marches, with enough time and income to pursue a gentleman's fashionable investigations and experiments in botany. But he longs to make his mark in the field of science--something consequential enough to present to the Royal Society in London. He hits on a radical experiment in isolation: For seven years a subject will inhabit three rooms in the basement of the manor house, fitted out with rugs, books, paintings, and even a chamber organ. Meals will arrive thrice daily via a dumbwaiter. The solitude will be totally unrelieved by any social contact whatsoever; the subject will keep a diary of his daily thoughts and actions. The pay: fifty pounds per annum, for life.

Only one man is desperate to apply for the job: John Warlow, a semi-literate laborer with a wife and six children to provide for. The experiment, a classic Enlightenment exercise gone more than a little mad, will have unforeseen consequences for all included.

Outside the Margins: A Speculative Fiction Book Club discusses The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford--Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 5:00pm

“The best mingling of history with historical magic that I have ever seen.”—Gene Wolfe

In a snowbound inn high in the Alps, four people meet who will alter fate. A noble Byzantine mercenary. A female Florentine physician. An ageless Welsh wizard. And Sforza, the uncanny duke.

Together they will wage an intrigue-filled campaign against the might of Byzantium to secure the English throne for Richard, Duke of Gloucester—and make him Richard III. Available for the first time in nearly two decades, with a new introduction by New York Times-bestselling author Scott Lynch, The Dragon Waiting is a masterpiece of blood and magic.

“Had [John M. Ford] taken The Dragon Waiting and written a sequence of five books based in that world, with that power, he would’ve been George R.R. Martin.” —Neil Gaiman

The Willies Poems By Adam Falkner--Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 7:00pm

The Willies, Falkner’s first full-length poetry collection, offers a sharp and vulnerable portrait of the journey into queerhood in America. Departing from a more familiar coming out narrative he centers the stories of dueling selves. Masquerading white boy. Child of an addict. Closeted varsity athlete.
Drifting seamlessly between the scholarly and conversational, Falkner’s poems showcase a versatility of language and a courageous hunger, unafraid of depicting the costumes we use to hide legacies of toxic masculinity. Through snapshots both tragic and humorous, merciless and humane, Falkner offers powerful new ways of understanding the intersectional linkage that binds queer shame to cultural appropriation. At its core, The Willies asks us to consider who we will become if we do not grapple with what scares us most.

Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose & Hope By Fred Guttenberg
--Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 7:00pm

Life changed forever on Valentine's Day 2018. What was to be a family day celebrating love turned into a nightmare. Thirty-four people were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Jaime Guttenberg, a fourteen-year-old with a huge heart, was the second to last victim. That she and so many of her fellow students were struck down in cold blood galvanized many to action, including Jaime's father Fred who has become an activist dedicated to passing common sense gun safety legislation.
Fred was already struggling with deep personal loss. Four months earlier his brother Michael died of 9/11 induced pancreatic cancer. He had been exposed to too much dust and chemicals at Ground Zero. Michael battled heroically for nearly five years and then died at age fifty.
This book is not about gun safety or Parkland. Instead, it tells the story of Fred Guttenberg's journey since Jaime's death and how he has been able to get through the worst of times thanks to the kindness and compassion of others. Good things happen to good people at the hands of other good people─and the world is filled with them. They include everyone from amazing gun violence survivors Fred has met around the country to former VP Joe Biden, who spent time talking to him about finding mission and purpose in learning to grieve.
If you've read books such as Eyes to the Wind, Haben, or The Beauty in Breaking, then you'll love Find the Helpers.

Escaping Eleven (Eleven Trilogy #1) By Jerri Chisholm --Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 7:00pm

In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of the floors is everything.
My name is Eve Hamilton, and on my floor, we fight.
Which at least is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices.
Because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who remained were forced underground. While not a perfect life down here, I’ve learned to survive as a fighter.
Except my latest match is different. Instead of someone from the circuit, my opponent is a mysterious boy from the top floor. And the look in his eyes tells me he’s different…maybe even kind.
Right before he kicks my ass.
Still, there’s something about him—something that says he could be my salvation...or my undoing. Because I’m no longer content to just survive in Eleven. Today, I'm ready to fight for more than my next meal: I'm fighting for my freedom. And this boy may just be the edge I've been waiting on.

Synclair By Rachel Gold with Macalester College and Quatrefoil Library--Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 7:00pm

The summer before her senior year, Emma Synclair decides to find her true love: either a girl or God. Since she has a crush on her best friend--and on her best friend's girlfriend--Synclair figures she'll have better luck with God.
Which God? How will she know? Wicca, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity? Her atheist parents are out of the country for three months, so Synclair has the space to try some religions in peace.
Or so she thinks, until her friends decide that her house is the party house--that is: the dinner party house How can she tell them no? She sneaks away to start her spiritual quest, but runs into her childhood friend Avery. Who grew up to be hot. And is also into girls. Is her true love Avery or God? Can she have both or is that the path to neither? Synclair vows to find out.

Shelter By Margaret Hasse, Sharon DeMark --Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 7:00pm

Shelter began as a way for two artistic friends to reduce isolation and maintain their equilibrium during Covid-19. They took “shelter” as the theme of their work together because it conjures images of safety, warmth, and comfort in life—whether a permanent place to live or a short-term respite from a sudden circumstance. During the time of the pandemic, when even commonplace gatherings have become fraught with risk, poet Margaret Hasse and artist Sharon DeMark have explored and found new shades of meaning in “shelter” for people and animals, too.
Here are words and images depicting a variety of shelters including physical structures (house, bus stop canopy, turtle shell), natural sanctuaries such as a forest path or a blanket of snow, everyday experiences (hugging, sitting on the front porch, playing hide and seek), and makeshift private retreats such as reading a book and going for a ride in a car. 
Sharon DeMark’s artwork has the freshness and charm that only watercolors can provide. The accompanying texts, using a variety of forms, explore a given shelter with the unhurried confidence and often whimsical freedom of association readers have come to expect from a seasoned poet like Margaret Hasse. Together these two artists have wedded the allure of the familiar with the delight of the unexpected, reminding us, in these times of social constraint, that some of our richest experiences can be found close to home. 

Blood Moon By Patricia Kirkpatrick In conversation with Sally Wingert --Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 7:00pm

Troubled and meditative, Blood Moon is an examination of racism, whiteness, and language within one woman’s life. In these poems, words are deeply powerful, even if—with the onset of physical infirmity—they sometimes become unfixed and inaccessible, bringing together moral and mortal peril as Patricia Kirkpatrick’s speaker ages. From a child, vulnerable to “words / we learned / outside and in school, / at home, on television”: “Some words you don’t say / but you know.” To a citizen, reckoning with contemporary police brutality: “Some days need a subject an an action / or a state of being because it’s grammar. / The cop shot. The man was dead.” And to a patient recovering from brain surgery: “I don’t have names. / Words are not with me.”
Throughout the collection, the moon plays companion to this speaker, as it moves through its own phases, disappearing behind one poem before appearing fully in the next. In Kirkpatrick’s hands, the moon is confessor, guide, muse, mirror, and—most of all—witness, to the cruelty that humans inflict upon one another. “The moon,” she reminds us, “will be there.”
Compassionate, contemplative, occasionally wonderstruck, Blood Moon is a moving work of moral introspection.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end.

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