July 2019

December 1, 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.

Please note that the entire store is not open for browsing. We've gathered a selection of bestsellers and staff picks for you to peruse, and we're happy to show you anything else in the store for your consideration.

Appointments are available Monday to Saturday from 1pm to 5pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm.

Great new books for December

No worries that anyone will have read these books. They're hot off the presses and perfect for almost anyone on your nice list.


Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley

Paras, short for "Perestroika," is a spirited racehorse at a racetrack west of Paris. One afternoon at dusk, she finds the door of her stall open and--she's a curious filly--wanders all the way to the City of Light. She's dazzled and often mystified by the sights, sounds, and smells around her, but she isn't afraid. 

How long can a runaway horse stay undiscovered in Paris? How long can a boy keep her hidden and all to himself? Jane Smiley's beguiling new novel is itself an adventure that celebrates curiosity, ingenuity, and the desire of all creatures for true love and freedom.


Somewhere in the Unknown World by Kao Kalia Yang

Somewhere in the Unknown World is a collection of powerful stories of refugees who have found new lives in the Twin Cities, told by the award-winning author of The Latehomecomer and The Song Poet.

Minnesota has welcomed more refugees per capita than any other, from Syria to Bosnia, Thailand to Liberia. Now, with nativism on the rise, Kao Kalia Yang—herself a Hmong refugee—has gathered stories of the stateless who today call the Twin Cities home. In Yang’s exquisite, necessary telling, these fourteen stories for refugee journeys restore history and humanity to America's strangers and redeem its long tradition of welcome


Fear and Loving in South Minneapolis by Jim Walsh

Two or three times a week, as a columnist, hustling freelance writer, and genuinely curious reporter, Jim Walsh would hang out in a coffee shop or a bar, or wander in a club or on a side street, and invariably a story would unfold—one more chapter in the story of Minneapolis, the city that was his home and his beat for more than thirty years. 

Fear and Loving in South Minneapolis tells that story, collecting the encounters and adventures and lives that make a city hum—and make South Minneapolis what it is. These everyday interactions, ordinary people, and quiet moments in Jim Walsh’s writing create an extraordinary picture of a city’s life.


Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in Ameria by Michael Eric Dyson

“Antiracist demonstrations have been like love notes to the martyrs of racist terror and anti-Blackness. Michael Eric Dyson writes out these love notes in this powerfully illuminating, heart-wrenching, and enlightening book. Long Time Coming is right on time.”—Ibram X. Kendi, bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist

"Formidable, compelling...has much to offer on our nation’s crucial need for racial reckoning and the way forward."—Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy


Barack before Obama: Life Before the Presidency; photographs by David Katz

In 2004, David Katz worked alongside then Senate-hopeful Barack Obama as a photographer and personal aide. He spent approximately six days a week alongside the future president as Obama campaigned across downstate Illinois, and the two developed a close, professional, and personal relationship. 

During this time, David was never without his camera, capturing quotidian scenes from the life of a man who would soon become known the world over. Now, fifteen years later, Barack Before Obama is the treasury of these photographs

Great books make great gifts

Whether you're looking for cooking or crafts, history or humor, we've got just the book for everyone on your holiday list. Here are a few suggestions. Come in and talk to a bookseller for even more recommendations to help you make just the right choice.

Join us for our virtual book events
Meet fascinating 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.

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

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, in conjunction 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.

Celebrating a fall crop of new poetry books by Nodin Press: a reading by Margaret Hasse, Emilio DeGrazia, Mary Moore Easter, and Norita Dittberner-Jax on Emily Dickinson’s Birthday--Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 7:00pm

Next Chapter Booksellers invites you to a virtual event on Emily Dickinson’s birthday when four poets read from their recent Nodin Press books: Emilio DeGrazia , Norita Dittberner-Jax, Mary Moore Easter, and Margaret Hasse

Emilio DeGrazia, whose book What Trees Know was published in 2020, served as a poet laureate of Winona, Minnesota, and writes novel, plays, poetry and creative prose.
Now I Live Among Old Trees is the sixth collection of poems from award-winning poet, Norita Dittberner-Jax.
Mary Moore Easter is a Cave Canem Fellow and professor of dance emerita at Carleton College. Her latest book of poetry is From the Flutes of Our Bones.
Margaret Hasse is author of five collections of poems as well as a collaborative poetry–art book, Shelter, created with artist Sharon DeMark.

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.

We've got lots more great books in the store. We hope you'll talk to us soon for a recommendation. Follow us on social media for the latest news. We’re Next Chapter Booksellers on Facebook; we’re @nextchapterbooksellers on Instagram; and we’re @NextChapterMN on Twitter.

--all of us at Next Chapter Booksellers