April 25, 2022
Howdy, readers! Hope you've been enjoying the nicer weather. Good news -- Independent Bookstore Day is upon us!

We have a preview of the signings, promotions, and exclusive merch you can expect this year's IBD, plus an incredible line-up of other events coming in May, new books by Robert Pirsig and Mieko Kawakami, and fun facts about bone-lockers...

All that and more is in this edition of the Next Chapter Booksellers Newsletter!
Independent Bookstore Day This Saturday with Diane Wilson and Marcie Rendon

This Saturday, April 30th, is Independent Bookstore Day 2022! We'll be selling exclusive merch (including limited-edition Blackwing pencils), stamping your Twin Cities Indie Bookstore Passports, and hosting signings: Diane Wilson (The Seed Keeper, Spirit Car) at 12:00 pm, and Marcie Rendon (Murder on the Red River, Girl Gone Missing) at 2:00 pm!
IBD proper is on Saturday, but this year we're starting the party early: swing by any time this week to pick up your Indie Bookstore Passport and we'll stamp it!

For those of you who haven't used one of Rain Taxi's Bookstore Passports before, you can pick one up for free at any of the nineteen participating bookstores. Each stamp you get entitles you to 20% off a one-time purchase, good May through September. Get ten stamps, and you can use that 20% off at each of the participating stores... Get all nineteen and you'll be entered into a drawing to win some fancy literary prizes!
Our merch this year includes the highly-sought-after IBD-exclusive Blackwing pencils (above), the customary IBD 2022 official tote bag (right), and this year, limited-edition "Six of Crows" totebags, with a design inspired by Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse series.

While you're in, pick up this year's Midwest Indie Bookstore Roadmap for free! This beautiful image was created by Twin Cities illustrator Kevin Cannon. It comes folded up small enough to fit in your pocket, and unfolds to 21" x 28", perfect for hanging on your wall -- I've got one in my kitchen already! Take a gander:
We've been preparing for Independent Bookstore Day non-stop, and we can't wait to see you all there -- or sooner, if you want to get your passport stamped early!
New Books

On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence – Robert M. Pirsig

More than a decade before the release of the book that would make him famous, Robert M. Pirsig had already caught hold of his central theme: “Quality,” a concept loosely that Pirsig saw as kindred to the Buddhist ideas of “dharma” or the “Tao.” Now, readers will be granted access to five decades of Pirsig’s personal writings in this posthumous collection that illuminates the evolution of his thinking. Skillfully edited and introduced by Wendy K. Pirsig, Robert’s wife of four decades, the collection includes previously unpublished texts, speeches, letters, interviews, and notes, as well as key excerpts from Zen and the Art of the Motorcycle Maintenance and his second book, Lila.

The Puzzler: One Man's Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life – A.J. Jacobs

Convinced that puzzles have made him a better person, A.J. Jacobs set out to determine their myriad benefits. He meets the most zealous devotees, enters any puzzle competition that will have him, unpacks the history of the most popular puzzles, and aims to solve the most impossible head-scratchers, from a mutant Rubik’s Cube, to the hardest corn maze in America, to the most sadistic jigsaw. Full original examples —including new work by Greg Pliska, one of America’s top puzzle-makers —The Puzzler will open readers’ eyes to the power of flexible thinking and concentration.

Vigil Harbor Julia Glass

When two unexpected visitors arrive in an insular coastal village, they threaten the equilibrium of a community already confronting climate instability, political violence, and domestic upheavals—a cast of unforgettable characters from the rich imagination of the National Book Award–winning, best-selling author of Three Junes. Vigil Harbor reveals Julia Glass in all her virtuosity, braiding multiple voices and dazzling strands of plot into a story where mortal longings and fears intersect with immortal mysteries of the deep as well as of the heart.

All the Lovers in the Night – Mieko Kawakami

Fuyuko Irie is a freelance copy editor in her mid-thirties. Working and living alone in a city where it is not easy to form new relationships, her only regular contact is with her editor, Hijiri, a woman of the same age but very different disposition. When Fuyuko stops one day on a Tokyo street and notices her reflection in a storefront window, what she sees is a drab, awkward, and spiritless woman, and she decides to do something about it. As the long-overdue change occurs, however, painful episodes from Fuyuko's past surface and her behavior slips further and further beyond the pale. All the Lovers in the Night will make readers laugh, and it will make them cry, but it will also remind them, as only the best books do, that sometimes the pain is worth it.

When Women Were Dragons – Kelly Barnhill

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of.
In this timely and timeless speculative novel, When Women Were Dragons explores rage, memory, and the tyranny of forced limitations, exposing a world that wants to keep women small and examining what happens when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.

Trust Hernan Diaz

Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth—all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit. An immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, Trust engages the reader in a quest for the truth, confronting the deceptions that live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts.

How To Prevent the Next Pandemic Bill Gates

Bill Gates lays out clearly and convincingly what the world should have learned from COVID-19 and what all of us can do to ward off another disaster like it. Relying on the shared knowledge of the world’s foremost experts and on his own experience of combating fatal diseases through the Gates Foundation, he first helps us understand the science of infectious diseases. Then he shows us how the nations of the world, working in conjunction with one another and with the private sector, can not only ward off another COVID-like catastrophe but also eliminate all respiratory diseases. Here is a clarion call—strong, comprehensive, and of the gravest importance—from one of our greatest thinkers and activists.

The Book Woman's Daughter Kim Michele Richardson

In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. When her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good. Picking up her mother's old packhorse library route, Honey delivers books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. To bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she's going to have to fight for her place and learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.
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.
Douglas Stuart, Author of Young Mungo and Shuggie Bain, In Conversation With MPR Correspondent Euan Kerr

Friday, April 29 at 6:00pm

Tickets are included with your purchase of Young MungoPurchase Here
Douglas Stuart's first novel, Shuggie Bain, is one of the most successful literary debuts of the century so far, winning the 2020 Booker Prize, the Sue Kaufman Prize, and two British Book Awards. His new novel Young Mungo is a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a deeply moving and highly suspenseful story of the first love of two young men. Growing up in a housing estate in Glasgow, Mungo and James are born under different stars--Mungo a Protestant and James a Catholic. When they fall in love, however, Mungo must hide his true self from his big brother, a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold. Young Mungo explores the bounds of masculinity, the divisions of sectarianism, the violence faced by many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.
One Summer Up North – John Owens

Saturday, May 7th from 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Meet & Greet Signing Event
It's a place of wordless wonder: the wilderness of the Boundary Waters on the Minnesota–Canada border. Travel its vast distances, canoe its streams and glacial lakes, and camp in its vaulting forests as stars embroider the darkening sky. Join a family of three as their journey unfolds, picture by picture, marking the changing light as the day passes, the stillness before the gathering storm, the shining waters everywhere, beckoning us ever onward into nature’s infinite wildness one summer up north.

John Owens is a freelance illustrator who teaches at the University of Minnesota. This book, his first, was inspired by his travels north to paddle, portage, and camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 
Literary Bridges Reading Series

Sunday, May 1st, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
"May Day is a day of many meanings,” says Stan Kusunoki, co-host/curator of the Literary Bridges Reading Series. “International Workers Day, an ancient European festival marking the first day of Summer, and the international distress call (after the French 'M’Aide')—expect a bit of all the above in our reading for May." The roster includes Athena Kildegaard, Peuo Thuy, Tu the Judoka (Eric Tu), Michael Walsh, and Lee Kisling.
Uncommon Charm – Emily Bergslien and Kat Weaver

Sunday, May 15th at 2:00pm
Release Party
Most of you know our bookseller / book-buyer / book genius Emily. You may not know that she is also a book writer -- she and her wife Kat are the authors of Uncommon Charm, soon to be published by Neon Hemlock as part of their 2022 series of queer fantasy/sci-fi novellas. 
In this 1920s gothic comedy, bright young socialite Julia and shy Jewish magician Simon decide they aren't beholden to their families' unhappy history. Together they confront such horrors as murdered ghosts, alive children, magic philosophy, a milieu that slides far too easily into surrealist metaphor, and, worst of all, serious adult conversation.
This event is free and non-ticketed, but we will be collecting donations for Letjaha, an aid network assisting Ukrainian refugees in Poland. If you'd like to preorder Uncommon Charm, you can do so here.
Democracy Under Fire: Donald Trump and the Breaking of American History – Lawrence R. Jacobs

Saturday, May 21st at 12:00pm
Meet & Greet Signing Event
The ascendance of Donald Trump is the culmination of nearly 250 years of political reforms that gradually ceded party nominations to small cliques of ideologically-motivated party activists, interest groups, and donors -- not an aberration but a predictable outcome of trends deeply rooted in American history which accelerated in the last few decades. In Democracy under Fire, Lawrence Jacobs provides a highly engaging, if disturbing, history of political reforms since the late-eighteenth century that over time weakened democracy, widened political inequality as well as racial disparities, and rewarded toxic polarization. Jacobs concludes with recommendations to restrain the unbridled ambition of politicians who thrive on division and instead generate broad citizen engagement with tangible policy making. Lawrence R. Jacobs is founder and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) and holds the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Summoned – Margaret Hasse
Prognosis – Jim Moore

Wednesday, May 25th at 6:00pm
Reading & Signing Event
Margaret Hasse is a poet, teacher, and writing mentor, and has been a consultant to arts organizations throughout the country. She's author of six full-length collections of poems, and a collaborative book with watercolor artist Sharon Demark. In Summoned, Hasse explores the sorrows and delights of daily life through narratives and ruminations enlivened by her lightning-quick imagination and her care in choosing just the right detail. Her attention ranges widely, from the distant past, seen through a filter of nostalgia to the humor and acceptance of aging that enliven the present.

Jim Moore is the author of seven books of poetry. His poetry has appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Spoleto, Italy. In his eighth collection, he looks into unrelenting darkness where moments of tenderness and awe illuminate, at times suddenly like lightning in the night, at others, more quietly, as the steady glow of streetlights in a snowstorm. These are poems of both patience and urgency, of necessary attendance and helpless exuberance in the breathing world—something rare in contemporary poetry. Written in Minneapolis amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s masked and distanced loneliness, after the police murder of George Floyd, as an empire comes to an end, Prognosis turns toward the living moment as a surprising source of abundance.
Something Wicked: A McKenzie Novel – David Housewright

Saturday, May 26th at 6:00pm

Tickets $5 or Free With Purchase of the Book: Purchase Here
David Housewright is the three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award and a past president of the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA). In Something Wicked, the nineteenth book in his Twin Cities P.I. Mac McKenzie series, Rushmore McKenzie is talked into doing one last job as a favor for an old friend -- a favor involving a castle, an inheritance feud, and at least one mysterious death. Join us for a reading and signing event celebrating the release of the latest book in this beloved series!
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
Gut J. Bailey Hutchinson

"Gut made me want to get my feet dirty from the muddy Mississippi riverbanks. It made me want to feel the Memphis sun on my forehead. It made me want to hug Mitzi (you'll meet her). Hutchinson explores life's ebb and flow through nature, the ritual of feasts, family traditions, death, among other memories. Wise, humble, gritty yet delicate. "
Fact of the Week:

Kennings are an Old English poetic device, created by hyphenating two nouns to form a metaphorical description of a third. For instance, ban-faet (bone-vessel), flaesc-hord (flesh-hoard), and feorh-hus (life-house) are all kennings for the human body. This is exhibited in a verse describing the death of St. Guthlac (spellings modernized):

"Guthlac's strength was spent at that dire time, but his thinking was very resolute. He was single-minded in courage. The illness was severe, feverish, and deadly fierce. His heart welled within, his bone-locker burned."

Learn more about Old English in
The Wordhord, by Hana Videen
Quote of the Week:

I think of water on the move,
how snowfall in Minnesota
may have come
from the Mediterranean Sea
where a drop of water
could spend over 3,000 years
in the ocean before continuing
to another part of the cycle
from ice or snow to vapor and liquid.

I think of life on the move
from wish to beget, from ancestors
to me, to my children,
from an unborn daughter
to a living son, from breath
to death and carbon and stars.

-From "Moving Water," Margaret Hasse, collected in Summoned
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)