July 2019
May 15, 2021
We are open again for browsing!
We're excited to be able to see our readers again so you can browse our shelves. We're here to help you find just the right book. Here's how:

1. Come in the store and browse. Talk to a bookseller or peruse the shelves, as you prefer. Wear your mask, please

2. Order online or over the phone for instore 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 to Saturday and noon to 5pm on Sunday.
In Paperback May 18
Hamnet bMaggie O'Farrell
"Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell, is an imagined telling of the lives of Shakespeare’s family who remained in Warwickshire while he was off producing plays in London. Little is known about them and O’Farrell imagines a credible and loving relationship between Agnes, his free-spirited wife and healer, and their three children. Central to the novel is the death by the plague of 11-year-old Hamnet and O’Farrell recounts in gorgeous language and prose the passion, grief, and ultimately reconciliation with this loss.

"I recently Zoomed an interview of O’Farrell by author Jane Hamilton, who gives the novel high praise and feels MO has elevated her writing to a whole new plane. Having read all of MO’s works, including her memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am, I also believe it to be her best yet. JH described the cadence, or “music of the sentences” that makes the book such absolute joy to read. It is a rare book that captures your imagination; a book you wish never to end; a book you want to share; a book you will read again. Hamnet is that book. It is dangerous to assume others must love a book because you do, but trust me; immerse yourself in this exceptional work of imagination and for a few hours escape the troubled times in which we find ourselves."

— Jean
Upcoming virtual book events

Discover and new books from the comfort of your own home
Next Chapter Book Club discusses If I Had Your Face: A Novel By Frances Cha--Sunday, May 30, 2021 - 4:00pm

Kyuri is an achingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a Seoul “room salon,” an exclusive underground bar where she entertains businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake threatens her livelihood.
 
Kyuri’s roommate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in a precarious relationship with the heir to one of the country’s biggest conglomerates.
 
Down the hall in their building lives Ara, a hairstylist whose two preoccupations sustain her: an obsession with a boy-band pop star and a best friend who is saving up for the extreme plastic surgery that she hopes will change her life.
 
And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to have a baby that she and her husband have no idea how they can afford to raise in Korea’s brutal economy.
 
Together, their stories tell a gripping tale at once unfamiliar and unmistakably universal, in which their tentative friendships may turn out to be the thing that ultimately saves them.

Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else By Jordan Ellenberg in conversation with Steve Strogatz-- Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 7:00pm

How should a democracy choose its representatives? How can you stop a pandemic from sweeping the world? How do computers learn to play Go, and why is learning Go so much easier for them than learning to read a sentence? Can ancient Greek proportions predict the stock market? (Sorry, no.) What should your kids learn in school if they really want to learn to think? All these are questions about geometry. For real.

If you're like most people, geometry is a sterile and dimly remembered exercise you gladly left behind in the dust of ninth grade, along with your braces and active romantic interest in pop singers. If you recall any of it, it's plodding through a series of miniscule steps only to prove some fact about triangles that was obvious to you in the first place. That's not geometry. Okay, it is geometry, but only a tiny part, which has as much to do with geometry in all its flush modern richness as conjugating a verb has to do with a great novel.

Shape reveals the geometry underneath some of the most important scientific, political, and philosophical problems we face. Geometry asks: Where are things? Which things are near each other? How can you get from one thing to another thing? Those are important questions. The word geometry, from the Greek for measuring the world. If anything, that's an undersell. Geometry doesn't just measure the world--it explains it. Shape shows us how.

The Ultimate RPG Game Master's Worldbuilding Guide: Prompts and Activities to Create and Customize Your Own Game World By James D’Amato with NCB bookseller Emily -- Friday, June 4, 2021 - 7:00pm

The Ultimate RPG Game Master's Worldbuilding Guide: Prompts and Activities to Create and Customize Your Own Game World
Level up your Game Master skills with these fun, interactive prompts and activities to help your worldbuilding from RPG expert James D’Amato.
 
Make your next campaign truly unique with the help of this interactive guide to world-building!
 
From RPG expert James D’Amato comes a fun new guide that teaches beginner and experienced gamers alike how to build and create their own game elements for customizing existing adventures or creating new stories from scratch. The Ultimate RPG Game Master’s Worldbuilding Guide includes dozens of activities for a wide range of genres from fantasy and sci-fi to horror and x-punk. This lively and interactive book helps Game Masters create dynamic destinations, powerful items, shadowy organizations, compelling villains, and more.
 
Make the most of your gaming experience with these unique and personalized ideas for your gaming group’s next adventures!

The Ninth Metal (The Comet Cycle #1) By Benjamin Percy-- Monday, June 7, 2021 - 7:00pm

IT BEGAN WITH A COMET…
 
At first, people gazed in wonder at the radiant tear in the sky. A year later, the celestial marvel became a planetary crisis when Earth spun through the comet’s debris field and the sky rained fire.
 
The town of Northfall, Minnesota will never be the same. Meteors cratered hardwood forests and annihilated homes, and among the wreckage a new metal was discovered. This “omnimetal” has properties that make it world-changing as an energy source…and a weapon.
 
John Frontier—the troubled scion of an iron-ore dynasty in Northfall—returns for his sister’s wedding to find his family embroiled in a cutthroat war to control mineral rights and mining operations. His father rightly suspects foreign leaders and competing corporations of sabotage, but the greatest threat to his legacy might be the US government. Physicist Victoria Lennon was recruited by the Department of Defense to research omnimetal, but she finds herself trapped in a laboratory of nightmares. And across town, a rookie cop is investigating a murder that puts her own life in the crosshairs. She will have to compromise her moral code to bring justice to this now lawless community.
 
In this gut-punch of a novel, the first in his Comet Cycle, Ben Percy lays bare how a modern-day goldrush has turned the middle of nowhere into the center of everything, and how one family—the Frontiers—hopes to control it all.

Outside the Margins: The Speculative Fiction Book Club discusses Catherine House, by Elisabeth Thomas--Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 6:00pm CST

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.

Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.

Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way-- Tuesday, June 8, 2021-- 7:00pm

The triumphant story of the all-Black Broadway musical that changed the world forever
 
Before Hamilton, before The Wiz, and even before Porgy and Bess, there was Shuffle Along, an unforgettable theatrical achievement that paved the way for innumerable Black actors, dancers, musicians, and composers and left an indelible mark on our popular culture and our lives.
 
Shuffle Along was the first of its kind when the piece arrived on Broadway. This musical introduced Black excellence to the Great White Way. Broadway was forever changed and we, who stand on the shoulders of our brilliant ancestors, are charged with the very often elusive task of carrying that torch into our present. I am humbled to have been part of the short-lived 2016 historical telling of how far we've come, starring as Aubrey Lyles in Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed--and happy that Footnotes further secures his place in history. --Billy Porter, Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winning actor
 

Kin: A Memoir By Shawna Kay Rodenberg with Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith-- Thursday, June 10, 2021 -- 7:00pm

A heart-stopping memoir of a wrenching Appalachian girlhood and a multilayered portrait of a misrepresented people, from Rona Jaffe Writer's Award winner Shawna Kay Rodenberg.
 
When Shawna Kay Rodenberg was four, her father, fresh from a ruinous tour in Vietnam, spirited her family from their home in the hills of Eastern Kentucky to Minnesota, renouncing all of their earthly possessions to live in the Body, an off-the-grid End Times religious community. Her father was seeking a better, safer life for his family, but the austere communal living of prayer, bible study, and strict regimentation was a bad fit for the precocious Shawna. Disciplined harshly for her many infractions, she was sexually abused by a predatory adult member of the community. Soon after the leader of the Body died and revelations of the sexual abuse came to light, her family returned to the same Kentucky mountains that their ancestors have called home for three hundred years. It is a community ravaged by the coal industry, but for all that, rich in humanity, beauty, and the complex knots of family love. Curious, resourceful, rebellious, Shawna ultimately leaves her mountain home but only as she masters a perilous balancing act between who she has been and who she will become.

 
Worldly Things By Michael Kleber-Diggs --Monday, June 14, 2021--7:00pm

From now on, if someone asks me why I'm never moving away from Saint Paul I'm just going to hand them a copy of "Worldly Things". Michael captures the nuances of our black and brown community here with unfiltered authenticity. 
— Riley

"Sometimes," writes Michael Kleber-Diggs in this winner of the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, "everything reduces to circles and lines."

In these poems, Kleber-Diggs names delight in the same breath as loss. Moments suffused with love--teaching his daughter how to drive; watching his grandmother bake a cake; waking beside his beloved to ponder trumpet mechanics--a couple with moments of wrenching grief--a father's life ended by a gun; mourning children draped around their mother's waist; Freddie Gray's death in police custody. Even in the refuge-space of dreams, a man calls the police on his Black neighbor.

But Worldly Things refuses to "offer allegiance" to this centuries-old status quo. With uncompromising candor, Kleber-Diggs documents the many ways America systemically fails those who call it home while also calling upon our collective potential for something better. "Let's create folklore side-by-side," he urges, asking us to aspire to a form of nurturing defined by tenderness, to a kind of community devoted to mutual prosperity. "All of us want," after all, "our share of light, and just enough rainfall."
Sonorous and measured, the poems of Worldly Things offer needed guidance on ways forward--toward radical kindness and socially responsible poetics.

 
Thanks for reading
all the way to the end.

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--all of us at Next Chapter Booksellers