the ncb newsletter
J U L Y . 4 , . 2 0 2 2
W r a t h
Howdy, readers! Happy Fourth of July! I hope you have a nice cookout, picnic, fireworks-viewing, or other Independence Day tradition of your choice, even if it's just enjoying the extra-long weekend with your loved ones. Following our last newsletter's theme of Pride, this week we're looking at Wrath! Seems apropos, no?

Other than that, we have Ed Yong's umwelt book that's been selling like hotcakes, a fresh Sayaka Murata collection, the announcement of a new book club for manga readers, and upcoming events with local powerhouse authors Charles Baxter and Brad Zellar...

All that and more is in this edition of the NCB Newsletter!
Wrathful Reads
Many people turn to reading for tranquility, escapism, and measured analysis... And that's fine. But books can also light the fires of righteous indignation! For this week's feature, in a month when we have much to be angry about, we present suggestions from our staff for books that make you rage, whether it be about the world's injustices, at a particularly diabolical antagonist, or simply against the good old dying of the light.
Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires Douglas Rushkoff

Now, this might be cheating because this book isn't out until September. But I'm reading it now and I highly encourage you to preorder it. The book opens with Rushkoff, giving a paid speech to the ultra-wealthy despite his lefty leanings, realizing that his audience really brought him in to pick his brain on upcoming collapse scenarios -- and how they might come out on top. Constantly redefining 'gall,' it chronicles the world the Silicon Valley elite have created, the world they are destroying, and their (often shockingly naked) schemes to outlast the rest of us on this blasted rock. At its core, it shows us the crossroads between hubris and base self-interest. -Graham
Wrath Goddess Sign
Maya Deane

I chose this because of the title... But also because it's a good book! -Emily
Hench Natalie Zina Walschots

Deeply amusing, but propelled forward by a current of righteous anger, this will get you into the supervillain mindset. -Graham
The Jakarta Method:  Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World
Vincent Bevins

For anyone who earnestly believes that there was anything "soft" about American power during the Cold War. For anyone who wants to learn more history about parts of the world we're taught to ignore. And finally, for anyone who thinks Kissinger et al. deserve a cushy retirement. Send them to the Hague. -Hank
Fire Punch Tatsuki Fujimoto

Fujimoto's first series, prior to his breakthrough Chainsaw Man, is an archetypal revenge narrative. It's just as gory as Chainsaw, but with none of the humor. Protagonist Agni walks, aflame, through frozen wastes on a path to kill Doma, the man who burned his family alive. Doma is Blessed with the ability to spew flames that cannot be extinguished, flames in which Agni now burns. But Agni too is Blessed, with a body that cannot die. Thus is created an absurd but brilliantly specific central metaphor for Agni's grief and rage, the fire that eats at him forever, consuming all he touches but never ending him. And that's all in the cold open! -Graham
Coming Soon: NCB Manga Club!
Here's something we've been talking over for a while and are very excited to unveil: a new book club specifically for manga, at 5:00pm on the second Saturday of every month! Hosted by Emily and I (the resident manga experts), the Manga Club (マンガクラブ) will provide a forum to casually discuss a new title every month. No RSVP required!

You bring your opinions and ideas, and we’ll bring the Ramune and Pocky! The club also offers attendees a 10% discount on ALL manga in the store during each meeting. In addition, the title for the upcoming meeting will be 15% off all month, every month. Shonen, shojo, seinen, josei – we’ll be covering a little of everything, so get ready to discover some new favorites!

For our first meeting on September 10, we’ll be covering a relatively new manga with retro charm: Sazan & Comet Girl. This one feels like the 80s anime movie that never existed. With beautiful watercolor art and a story that balances adventure, action, comedy, and romance beautifully, this epic standalone volume has something for everyone. This title is 15% off in the store and over the phone, so pick it up, give it a read, and come talk about it with some other fans!
New Books

An Immense World Ed Yong

The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. In An Immense World, Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses to encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved. Funny, rigorous, and suffused with the joy of discovery, An Immense World takes us on what Proust called “the only true voyage... not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes.”

Life Ceremony Sayaka Murata

In these twelve short stories, her first to be translated into English, Murata mixes an unusual cocktail of humor and horror, turning norms and traditions on their head to better question them. In "A First-Rate Material," Naoki's aversion to human-skin clothing and furniture threatens to derail her engagement. "Lovers on the Breeze" is told from the perspective of a curtain in a child's bedroom that jealously watches as she has her first kiss. "Hatchling" closes the collection with a depiction of the fractured personality of someone who tries too hard to fit in. In these strange and wonderful stories of family and friendship, sex and intimacy, belonging and individuality, Murata asks above all what it means to be a human in our world and offers answers that surprise and linger.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow Gabrielle Zevin

On a bitter-cold day, in his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees Sadie Green. He calls her name. So begins a legendary collaboration that will launch both to stardom. Before graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster video game. Not even twenty-five, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts. Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge to Venice Beach and lands between and beyond, this intricately imagined novel examines the nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to love and to be loved.

Imagine a City: A Pilot's Journey Across the Urban World
Mark Vanhoenacker

As a commercial airline pilot, Mark has spent nearly two decades touching down in dozens of the storied cities he imagined as a child. He experiences these destinations as brief stays that he repeats year after year, giving him a unique perspective on the places that form our urban world. In this intimate yet expansive travelogue-memoir, Mark celebrates the cities he has come to know and to love through the lens of the hometown his heart has never quite left. As he explores emblematic facets of each city’s identity, he shows us with fresh eyes the extraordinary places that billions of us call home.

Wonderlands: Essays on the Life of Literature Charles Baxter

In this new collection of essays, Baxter shares years of wisdom and reflection on what makes fiction work. Baxter is equally at home tackling a thorny matter such as charisma as he is bringing new interest to subjects such as list-making in fiction. Amid these craft essays, an interlude of two personal essays—the story of a horrifying car crash and an introspective “letter to a young poet”—add to the intimate nature of the book. The final essay reflects on a lifetime of writing, and closes with a memorable image of Baxter as a boy. Wonderlands will stand alongside his prior work as an insightful work of criticism. See below for an upcoming signing with the author!

Turn Up the Ocean 
Tony Hoagland

Over the course of his celebrated career, Tony Hoagland ventured fearlessly into the unlit alleys of emotion and experience. The poems in Turn Up the Ocean examine with an unflinching eye and mordant humor the reality of living and dying in a time and culture that conspire to erase our inner lives. Hoagland’s signature wit and unparalleled observations take in long-standing injustices, the atrocities of empire and consumerism, and our habit of looking away. In these poems, perseverance depends on a dogged quest for connection and the consolations of the natural world. Turn Up the Ocean is a remarkable final collection, a fitting testament to Hoagland’s devotion to the capaciousness of poetry.
New in Paperback
Upcoming Events

For events held in the store, all attendees are required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination at the door. For attendees who are unable to get vaccinated, a negative COVID test result dated within 72 hours of the event date is also accepted.
Events are no longer ticketed unless otherwise noted.
Next Chapter Book Fair at Urban Growler Brewing Company

Wednesday, July 6, 6:00 - 8:00pm

2325 Endicott St, St Paul, MN 55114
Next Chapter will be running a popup book fair at Saint Paul's own Urban Growler Brewing Company! Come check out the latest best-sellers, as well as hidden gems we'll have picked out for this event, and sip some craft brews courtesy of Urban Growler.
They Drown Our Daughters – Katrina Monroe
In Conversation With Jordan Shiveley

Tuesday, July 12 at 6:00pm
They say Cape Disappointment is haunted, but when Meredith Strand and her young daughter return to her childhood home after an acrimonious split from her wife, the Cape seems more haunted by regret than any malevolent force. Yet her mother, suffering from early stages of Alzheimer's, is convinced the ghost stories are real. There something in the water, and it's watching them. Reaching out to Meredith's daughter the way it has to every woman in their line for generations—and if Meredith isn't careful, all three women, bound by blood and heartbreak, will be lost to the ocean's mournful call. Part queer modern gothic, part ghost story, They Drown Our Daughters explores the depths of motherhood, identity, and the lengths a woman will go to hold on to both. Katrina Monroe lives in Minnesota with her wife and two children.
Till The Wheels Fall Off – Brad Zellar

Thursday, July 28 at 6:00pm
It’s the late 1980s when teenaged Matthew bonds over music with his mom’s new husband, roller rink owner Russ, setting off a series of events that will haunt him into adulthood. After years trucking, dealing with mental health disorders, and living on the road, Matthew returns to his hometown and seeks to reconnect with the man who shaped the course of his life. An expansive, masterfully crafted story for readers of Jennifer Egan and Ben Lerner, Till The Wheels Fall Off is an ambitious coming-of-age tale and portrait of Midwestern life, examining neurodiversity, masculinity, family, and nostalgia. Brad Zellar is the author of Suburban World: The Norling Photos, Conductors of the Moving World, House of Coates (a Next Chapter favorite!), and Driftless. A frequent collaborator with photographer Alec Soth, his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, and Paris Review. He spent fifteen years as a bookseller, and co-owned Rag & Bone Books in Minneapolis. He lives in Saint Paul.
Connie Wanek Signing

Saturday, July 30 at 2:00pm
Poet Connie Wanek, coauthor of Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets At Play Among Figures of Speech with Ted Kooser and illustrator Richard Jones, will be in the store signing on the last Saturday of the month. A freewheeling romp through the world of imagery and metaphor, Marshmallow Clouds is a quietly startling collection of thirty poems framed by the four elements, exploring art and reality, fact and fancy. As poet Connie Wanek alludes to in her afterword—a lively dialogue with former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser—sometimes the simplest sights and sounds “summon our imaginations” and cry out to be clothed in the alchemical language of poetry. This compendium of the fleeting and unexpected turns the everyday—turtles, trees, and tadpoles; cow pies, lazy afternoons, and pillowy white marshmallows—into poetic gold.
Wonderlands: Essays on the Life of Literature
– Charles Baxter

Tuesday, August 2 at 6:00pm
Acclaimed novelist, short story writer, and essayist Charles Baxter will be in the store reading from his new collection of essays Wonderlands. Baxter is equally at home tackling a thorny matter such as charisma as he is bringing new interest to subjects such as list-making in fiction. Ranging from brilliant thinking on the nature of wonderlands in the fiction of Haruki Murakami and other fabulist writers, to more intimate reflections on Baxter’s own life, including the story of a horrifying car crash and an introspective “letter to a young poet,” Wonderlands is an insightful and lasting work of criticism. Charles Baxter is the author of fourteen books, most recently the novel The Sun Collective. His stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He lives in Minneapolis.
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
Pig Years Ellyn Gaydos

"A book about pigs? Really? Yes! This is a great read about small-scale farming and the author's regard for the natural world and our animal and plant interdependence. Her view is both reverent and unsentimental and you will enjoy visiting her life."
Fact of the Week:

Mary Church Terrell was a lifelong civil rights activist who fought for desegregation and suffrage. As a black woman, her would-be allies often stood in her way: the head of the National Women's Party refused to endorse suffrage for women of all races when prompted by Terrell, while the National Negro Congress campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment despite her efforts to dissuade them.

Nevertheless, Terrell continued to advance the NWP's agenda of women's suffrage, knowing it would benefit all women in the end, and her campaign against segregated establishments in Washington, DC led to the ruling that set a precedent for Brown vs. Board of Education.
Learn more about women's suffrage in
Ordinary Equality, by Kate Kelly and Nicole Larue
Next Chapter Reader Poll
Thanks to everyone who voted in last week's poll! The results are in:

If you had to live in a work of genre fiction, what genre would it be?
  1. Mystery - 54.2% (13)
  2. Romance - 25% (6)
  3. Fantasy - 16.7% (4)
  4. Thriller - 4.2% (1)
  5. Science Fiction - 0% (0)

Being in a mystery does sound exciting... as long as you suppose you'll be the detective and not one of the bodies! If I've learned anything from mystery novels, it's that the best way to find yourself faced in a murder-mystery which only you can solve is to become a novelist who writes murder-mysteries. My take-away from these results is that no one wants to be in a sci-fi novel when they're already living in a borderline-dystopia. Not surprising.

Now for this week's poll! Click on "Select" to choose your answer! The results will be in the next newsletter. And our question is:
Are you a cat person or a dog person? (I'm trying to prove a theory here.)
Cat person
Dog person
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)