the ncb newsletter
A U G U S T . 1 5 , . 2 0 2 2
Howdy, readers! How's everyone doing? How about that rain? Got your fill of rainy days yet?

This week, we have book recommendations based on your birthdate, preorders for the new Locked Tomb book that Emily and I are gushing over, and a lot of big titles finally released in paperback -- including Colson Whitehead, Joyce Harjo, and Ross Gay...

All that and more is in this edition of the NCB Newsletter!
Your Literary Horoscope
The future is a scary subject for us all right now. We can't tell you whether to invest in stocks or water futures, or what kind of person to trust or avoid... But we have consulted with the stars and spirits, peered beyond the veil of ink and paper, and divined your literary horoscope. Simply refer to your astrological sign in the chart below for a recommendation that will prove auspicious in the coming months.

March 21 –
April 19
Your heart is weary of the same meals every week, while your body is weary of processed foods and, according to the spirits, your wallet is weary of paying for takeout. The stars suggest the recent Two Dollar Radio Guide to Vegan Cooking, an adventurous, affordable, and fun entry to plant-based cuisine. Try the beanball sub.

April 20 –
May 20
The stars know that you haven't read Beowulf since high school, and didn't really get it then, because how could a high-schooler be expected to understand anything? So the stars recommend last year's new feminist translation by Maria Dahvana Headley, which includes the word "bro."

July 23 –
August 22
Check out Ben Percy’s gleefully gruesome thriller, which blends together American history and dystopic futurism into a strong brew of adventure and fantasy. Lewis and Clark escape the confines of post-war, post-plague St. Louis, in search of a better life in Oregon. I was irked at myself when I left it at home and couldn’t read it on my lunch hour. It’s that good.

May 21 –
June 21
Swirling portents suggest that you will soon be forced to confront a situation in which your surroundings both urban and cultural contort themselves into some sort of harsh allegory. You will be best prepared for this crucible by reading China Mieville's Kafkaesque, philosophically puzzling mystery classic The City and the City.

July 23 –
August 22
The next time it rains, you will come into the store and walk down the fiction wall until you see a shelf-talker with Jean's name on it. You will purchase this book even though it doesn't seem like the kind of thing you usually enjoy, and it will be your next favorite book.

August 23 –
September 22
The stars are saying that you should check out Taiyo Matsumoto's Ping-Pong, a brilliant and moving sports manga by one of the greatest alternative comics artists in Japan. You will be shocked to find yourself caring a great deal about teenagers playing table tennis. And to be clear, that's the stars saying this, not just me.

September 23 –
October 22
The omens suggest asking David, and David suggests The Orenda, which begins with a chase scene so good it should be taught in writing programs and evolves into a beautiful, nuanced portrait of the first contact between French missionaries and Native peoples. "Elegiac and distressing," he says, "this gorgeous novel has stayed with me for years."

October 23 –
November 22
Remember always, dear Scorpio, to engage in excess. Atlas of Perfumed Botany, by Jean-Claude Ellena, translated by Erik Butler and featuring Karin Doering-Froger's illustrations, would be a good place to start.

November 23 –December 21
Pick up 111 Places in the Twin Cities That You Must Not Miss, open to a random page, and go to that place. The fates have a very special meeting in store for you there, plus, well, the spirits of air aren't saying you need to get out more per se, but it wouldn't hurt, so maybe hold onto the book.

December 22 –
January 19
As someone with more than two cats, you will appreciate the work of Stevie Smith. Her poems are wry, scattered, and have no respect for rhyme or meter. Remember that cats are sometimes known to eat their owner's bodies after they pass.

January 20 –
February 18
Your reading has been too serious lately. Broadening intellectual horizons is all well and good, but too much and your heart will grow leaden. Choose an album or an author you like from Bloomsbury's seminal 33 1/3 series and give the book a read. You will be invigorated and ready to face tomorrow's trials.

February 19 –
March 20
The earliest known astrologers were Babylonian, but volumes of early Babylonian poetry are hard to come by. Try instead this classic of Renaissance literature, published around the time when western astrology was formalized. Dante (probably a Gemini) placed Italian astrologer Guido Bonatti (sign unknown) in the 8th circle of hell. Fun stuff.
*Predictions not guaranteed as the future is fundamentally unknowable.
New Books

Elizabeth Finch Julian Barnes

Taking an all-ages class, “Culture and Civilization,” Neil develops an intellectual crush on his withholding yet commanding professor, Elizabeth Barnes. While other personal and familial relationships drift from Neil’s grasp, Elizabeth’s material remains important to his daily living, even after her death, in a way that nothing else does. In Elizabeth Finch, we are treated to everything we cherish in Barnes: his eye for unorthodox forms of love, his swerves into nonfictional material (this time, through Neil’s obsessive study of Julian the Apostate, following on notes Elizabeth left for him to discover after her death), and his focus on history and biography as nourishment and guide in our current lives.

The Herbivorous Butcher Cookbook Aubry & Kale Walch

From the Guamanian brother-sister duo behind the acclaimed Minneapolis vegan butcher shop, The Herbivorous Butcher, comes 75 innovative recipes for plant-based meats such as Pork Chops, Ground Beef, and Chicken Cutlets that taste and chew as good as the real thing—perfect for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone who wants to eat less meat. Use these base recipes for dishes like Cherry-Glazed Rib Rack, Nashville Hot Popcorn Chicken, BLT Couscous Crust Quiche, and more. With a chapter on sauces that will elevate your cooking, beautiful photography, and entertaining stories, this book is a glimpse of the delicious future.
We have all sorts of perks for preordering (see above), including a free enamel pin that reads "One Flesh One End," and more! Note that we only have two pins left.

Nona the Ninth Tasmyn Muir

Muir's latest entry in the Locked Tomb tetralogy comes out next month!
This third book delivers everything a Locked Tomb reader could want: old questions answered, new ones raised, swordfights, dad jokes, and a fresh angle on the universe of the Nine Houses. The main story follows amnestic cinnamon roll Nona, whose story of found family reaches hilarious, riveting, and surprisingly tender highs before being forced, both authorially and diagetically, to dovetail with the overarching plot.

Nona the Ninth was cleaved from an over-long final book, and you might argue that it suffers from middle-entry syndrome, tasked with lots of set-up and little resolution. With its previously unintroduced protagonist, readers may also find it digressive. Ameliorating such potential pitfalls are interstitial chapters that expose the incredible history of two of the series's key figures. But even without the revelations there supplied, and even without the context of the final book yet to come, Nona justifies its existence. Muir's complex, lovable characters, skillful worldbuilding, and vivid prose would make this a must-read even as a standalone. As it is, Nona is all that AND the groundwork for an incredible finale.
New in Paperback
Upcoming Events
Fox Creek – William Kent Krueger

Ticketed Event:
Tickets are $5 or free with purchase of the book here

Monday, August 29 at 6:00pm
In this latest entry in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor Mystery Series, the Ojibwe healer Henry Meloux guides a mysterious stranger and his great niece, Cork O’Connor’s wife, to safety deep into the Boundary Waters. On the last journey he may ever take into this beloved land, Meloux must do his best to outwit the deadly mercenaries who follow. Meanwhile, Cork begins tracking the killers, but his own skills as a hunter are severely tested by nightfall and a late season snowstorm. But his fiercest enemy in this deadly game of cat and mouse may well be his own deep self-doubt about his ability to save those he loves. William Kent Krueger is the author of This Tender Land, Ordinary Grace (winner of the Edgar Award for best novel), as well as nineteen acclaimed books in the Cork O’Connor mystery series. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family.
Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Reimagine Helen Gurley Brown's Cult Classic with Haley Swanson, Kathryn Nuernberger, and Elizabeth R. Tannen

Tuesday, August 30 at 6:00pm
Sixty years ago, Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl sent shockwaves through American culture. Helen’s message was radical for its time: marriage wasn’t essential for women to lead rich, fulfilling lives. Now, in these critical, wry, and expansive essays, twenty-four writers reconsider Helen’s advice and how it applies to their own paths, fielding topics that she couldn’t—or wouldn’t—conceive of in 1962: contraception and abortion, queer and trans womanhood, polyamory, celibacy, interracial dating, bodies of all kinds, consent, sex work, IVF, and the pop culture that both saves and fails us. Editor Haley Swanson is an MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Glamour, Electric Literature, Bustle, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at Catapult and lives in New York. Contributor Kathryn Nuernberger’s latest book is The Witch of Eye, which is about witches and witch trials. She is also the author of poetry collections RUE, The End of Pink, and Rag & Bone, as well as a collection of lyric essays, Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past. She teaches poetry and nonfiction for the MFA program at University of Minnesota. Contributor Elizabeth R. Tannen is a writer, editor, and educator based in Minneapolis.
NCB Manga Club: First Meeting

Saturday, September 10 at 5:00pm
Come to NCB at 5pm on the second Saturday of every month to talk manga with other weebs, dweebs, and otaku! Hosted by our resident manga experts Emily and Graham (yours truly), the Manga Club provides free Japanese snacks, a 10% discount on ALL manga in the store, and most importantly, a forum to discuss a new title every month. In addition, the title for the upcoming meeting will be 15% off all month, every month. Our first meeting was originally going to cover Inio Asano's Solanin, but it's out of stock with our distributor until November, so we're just going to introduce ourselves and talk about what we're reading right now over Pocky and Ramune. Maybe we can settle the issue once and for all of who is Best Girl. Probably not. Hope to see you there!
Sirens & Muses Antonia Angress,
in Conversation with Alicia Kismet Eler

Thursday, September 15 at 6:00pm
Louisa is a thoughtful, observant nineteen-year-old when she transfers to Wrynn College of Art, but she soon finds herself adrift in an environment that prizes novelty over beauty. Complicating matters is Louisa’s unexpected attraction to her charismatic roommate, Karina , the preternaturally gifted but mercurial daughter of wealthy art collectors. Gradually, Louisa and Karina are drawn into an intense sensual and artistic relationship, one that forces them to confront their deepest desires and fears. But Karina also can’t shake her fascination with senior Preston, who is publicly feuding with visiting professor and political painter Robert Berger—a once-controversial figurehead seeking to regain relevance. Antonia Angress was born in Los Angeles and raised in San José, Costa Rica. She is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Minnesota MFA program. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, the artist Connor McManus. Alicia Kısmet Eler (she/they) is an arts journalist, critic and writer. She is the author of The Selfie Generation and is the visual art critic/reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Their work has been published in The Guardian, New York Magazine, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. Alicia grew up in Chicago and is currently based in Minneapolis. She is at work on a novel.
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
The Hare With Amber Eyes Edmund De Waal

"De Waal, world renowned ceramicist, traces his family's history through his inheritance of Japanese netsuke. Paris before WWII, Japan, world and art history meet. Beautifully written and fascinating."
Fact of the Week:

Throughout the 2010s, as segments of the health care system were acquired by private equity firms like Blackrock, hospitals were shuttered and merged at record rates, especially in lower-income areas where more patients were covered by government programs, which offered lower pay-outs. As a result, by the time COVID hit in 2019, the US was down to under a million hospital beds, compared to 1.5 million in the 1970s. In the metropolitan areas that had exhibited the greatest degree of consolidation, the price of a hospital stay had increased by as much as half, while hospitals made record profits for their new owners.

Learn more about how the billionaires devoured the world in
Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World, by Peter S. Goodman
Next Chapter Reader Poll
Thanks to everyone who responded to last week's poll, our first "short answer" format question. Here's a selection of the answers I received:

What's your desert island book?
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. - DW
Something by Mary Oliver. -MS
 The Overstory by Richard Powers. -MK
A Painted House by John Grisham. -DN
And a special 'thank you' for this very well-considered answer:
"The ultimate desert island book, it seems to me, should support both many re-readings and much dipping in and out, or piecemeal reading. (If it serves both those functions while also being on the longer side, so much the better.) There are many, many books that fit in that Venn diagram, but to my mind, right now, there is simply no better choice than the complete Books of Earthsea (Ursula K Le Guin!), which contend with humanity, nature, and death in ways that will prove deeply fulfilling for the rest of my time on that island.

If that's cheating---after all, they weren't all published together, initially---my backup choice would be Frans Bengtsson's The Long Ships, which tackles the same themes, if perhaps with less magic and a sharper sense of humor.

That sailing is integral to both of these books is just a coincidence. Probably." -WJ
Now for this week's poll! We're back to multiple-choice format, so click on "Select" to choose your answer! The results will be in the next newsletter. And our question is:
What's your favorite bookstore in Minneapolis?
Moon Palace Book
Magers & Quinn Booksellers
Birchbark Books & Native Arts
Boneshaker Books
Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers
Milkweed Books
Once Upon A Crime
We Are Open!

Three ways to shop with Next Chapter Booksellers:

1. Come in the store and browse. Talk to a bookseller or peruse the shelves, as you prefer. Although the mask mandate is no longer in effect, we do still appreciate it if you choose to wear a mask. 

2. Order online or over the phone for in-store pickup. We'll let you know when your books are ready, then you can swing by and pick them up at your leisure.

3. Get your books delivered to your home. We can mail your books to you (no charge for orders over $50) or deliver them to your home (to addresses in St. Paul only, and again for orders over $50).

We're here 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday and noon to 5pm on Sunday.
Thanks for reading
all the way to the end.

As always, we've got lots more great books in the store. Come on in and ask us for a recommendation -- or tell us what you're reading right now! And follow us on social media for the latest news: we’re Next Chapter Booksellers on Facebook, @nextchapterbooksellers on Instagram, and @NextChapterMN on Twitter.

See you in the stacks!

Graham (and all of us at Next Chapter Booksellers)