The Next Chapter
Booksellers Newsletter
JUNE 7, 2022
Howdy, readers! Happy Pride Month!

This week, read about new releases from David Sedaris and Bill McKibben, preorder the upcoming parenting book from Ibram X. Kendi, RSVP to our event next week with a renowned local poet, and discover an innovative new way to buy books and drink beer at the same time...

All that and more is in this edition of the Next Chapter Booksellers Newsletter!
Event Spotlight: Local Poet Sun Yung Shin In Conversation With Chavonn Williams Shen
On Thursday, June 16 at 6:00pm, Next Chapter will host a conversation between local poet Sun Yung Shin, author of the upcoming collection The Wet Hex, and Chavonn Willaims Shen. Tickets are $5, or free with purchase of the book.
Sun Yung Shin was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in the Chicago area. She is a poet, writer, and cultural worker. She is the editor of What We Hunger For and of A Good Time for the Truth (both Next Chapter favorites), and author of poetry collections Unbearable Splendor, Rough, Savage, and Skirt Full of Black. She lives in Minneapolis where she co-directs the community organization Poetry Asylum. In her latest collection, The Wet Hex, Shin calls her readers into the unknown now-future of the human species, an underworld museum of births, deaths, evolutions, and extinctions. Incorporating sources such as her own archival immigration documents, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Columbus's journals, and indigenous Korean shamanism, The Wet Hex conjures a reality at once beautiful and terrible.

Chavonn Williams Shen is a 2022 McKnight Writing fellow and was a first runner-up for The Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction Contest. She was also a winner of the Loft Literary Center's Mentor Series and a fellow with the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. A Tin House and VONA workshop alum, her writing has appeared in Diode, Anomaly, Yemassee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others. When she's not teaching with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, she can be found at home obsessing over her plants.
News and Happenings
We're sorry to announce that we recently bid farewell to Riley Jay Davis. If you've enjoyed any of our events over the past few years, you have them to thank; likewise if you've discovered great titles in our YA, children's, or social/gender/race studies sections. Hank succeeds them as Events Coordinator, so you can continue to expect the same quality of events for which we are known. Riley can now be found at Minnesota Historical Society Press, publisher of such store favorites as Whiteness In Plain View, A Good Time For Truth, and Confluence: A History of Fort Snelling. While they remain firmly rooted in the Twin Cities literary community, they will be missed at Next Chapter. As Schopenhauer said, "Every parting gives a foretaste of death, every reunion a hint of the resurrection."
Our reading on the 24th with Margaret Hasse and Jim Moore was a hit! Both the poems and the conversation between the poets proved scintillating. Thanks to everyone who attended! The readers stuck around to sign copies of their books for the store, so if you'd like one, come on in before we run out.
In observance of Pride Month, we have a selection of LGBTQ+ books on the column by the entrance. It's currently stocked with graphic novels and manga, queer comics being something of a specialty for us. But we'll rotate through different books as the month goes on. Hope to see some celebrants in the store!
New Books

Happy-Go-Lucky  David Sedaris

Unable to tour and read for audiences as the world gradually settles into a post-Covid reality, Sedaris finds himself changed. His offer to fix a stranger’s teeth rebuffed, he straightens his own, and ventures into the world with new confidence. Newly orphaned, he considers what it means, in his seventh decade, no longer to be someone’s son. And back on the road, he discovers a battle-scarred America: people weary, storefronts empty or festooned with Help Wanted signs, walls painted with graffiti reflecting the messages of our time. In Happy-Go-Lucky, David Sedaris once again captures what is most unexpected, hilarious, and poignant about these recent upheavals, personal and public, and expresses in precise language both the misanthropy and desire for connection that drive us all.

The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened –Bill McKibben

In this revelatory cri de coeur, McKibben digs into our history (and his own well-meaning but not all-seeing past) and into the latest scholarship on race and inequality in America, on the rise of the religious right, and on our environmental crisis to explain how we got to this point. He finds that he is not without hope. And he wonders if any of that trinity of his youth—The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon—could, or should, be reclaimed in the fight for a fairer future.

Three –Valerie Perrin

1986: Adrien, Etienne and Nina, 10 years old and inseparable, promise each other they will one day move to Paris and never part. 2017: A car is pulled up from the bottom of the lake, a body inside. Virginie, a local journalist, reports on the case while also reflecting on the relationship between the three friends, who now no longer speak. As Virginie moves closer to the surprising truth, relationships fray and others are formed. Valerie Perrin has an unerring gift for delving into life. In Three, she brings readers along with her through a sequence of heart-wrenching events and revelations that span three decades. Three tells a moving story of love and loss, hope and grief, friendship and adversity, and of time as an ineluctable agent of change.

Troll Magic: Hidden Folk from the Mountains and Forests of Norway – Theodor Kittelsen

In this book, first published as Troldskab in 1892, artist Theodor Kittelsen spins tales of wonder around creatures rumored to haunt the fields, forests, and waterfalls of Norway. Striding, gamboling, and slithering across these pages are witches and gnomes and sea monsters, fiery dragons waking from their stiff-winged slumber, mermaids rising from the deep, and the sly, shapeshifting nøkk. But first and foremost are the trolls, hapless, horrible, or just plain silly, working their spells and making their mischief to the terror and delight of the reader. Tailoring his whimsical artistic style to each tale, Kittelsen’s stories reveal a Nordic world of wonder, myth, and magic as real as the imagination allows.

Cougar Claw – Cary J. Griffith

A deadly cougar attack on a human in the Minnesota River Valley is about as likely as getting struck by lightning--twice. Yet when wealthy business owner Jack McGregor is found dead, the evidence seems incontrovertible. Sheriff Rusty Benson brings in US Fish & Wildlife special agent Sam Rivers to examine the scene. But details begin to surface that challenge law enforcement's open-and-shut case. To find justice, Sam must take matters into his own hands. With no help or support from local law enforcement, Sam and his team are all that stand between justice and those who might otherwise get away with murder. His knowledge of backcountry, cougars, and the criminal mind will be put to the test as he tries to solve the case--and stay alive.

How To Raise an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi

Like most parents, Ibram X. Kendi felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research and experience changed his mind, and he realized that teaching children about the reality of racism and the myth of race provides a protective education in our diverse and unequal world. Following his internationally bestselling How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi combines a century of scientific research with a vulnerable and compelling personal narrative of his own journey as a parent and as a child in school. The chapters follow the stages of child development from pregnancy to toddler to teen. It is never too early or late to start raising an antiracist.

Flying Solo – Linda Holmes

Smarting from her recently canceled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie returns to her hometown in Maine to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, including a mysterious wooden duck that shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. After it disappears under suspicious circumstances, Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and her first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt’s secrets, Laurie must reckon with her own past and her future. With a cast of unforgettable characters, Flying Solo is a wonderfully original story about growing up, coming home, and learning to make a life for yourself on your own terms.
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.
Little Brother: Love, Tragedy, and My Search for the Truth – Ben Westhoff

Friday, June 17 at 6:00pm

Tickets $5 or Free With Purchase of the Book: Purchase Here
In 2005 Ben Westhoff, a white college grad from an affluent family, joined Big Brothers Big Sisters and was paired with Jorell Cleveland, one of nine children from a poor, African American family living in Ferguson. The two instantly connected, forming a bond stronger than nearly any other in their lives. In the summer of 2016, Jorell was shot at point blank range in broad daylight, yet no one was charged in his death. Ben grappled with mourning Jorell, but also with a feeling of responsibility. As a journalist, he had reported on gang life, interviewed crime kingpins, and infiltrated drug labs in China. But now, he was investigating the life and death of someone he knew personally. Learning the truth about Jorell and the man who killed him required Ben to uncover a heartbreaking cycle of poverty, poor education, drug trafficking, and violence. Little Brother combines a deeply personal history with a true-crime narrative that exposes the realities of life in communities like Ferguson.
The Barrens: A Novel of Love and Death in the Canadian Arctic Kurt & Ellie Johnson

Sunday, June 19 at 2:00pm (Father's Day!)

Reading & Signing Event
Two young women are canoeing the rapids-strewn river that runs through the uninhabited Barren Lands of subarctic Canada. Holly made the trip once before with a group of skilled paddlers, and she wants to share that experience with her lover, inexperienced paddler Lee, believing it will draw them closer. But a week in, Holly falls while taking a selfie near the edge of a cliff, and succumbs to her injuries. Lee is forced to finish the grueling trip alone in order to save herself and return her lover’s body to her family. During the dangerous journey she engages her grief, reflects on her relationship with Holly, and recalls her coming-of-age off the grid in Nebraska with her estranged eco-anarchist father.

Kurt Johnson and grew up spending summers on a remote island near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, first with his parents and later with his wife and their daughter, Ellie. At the age of seventeen, Ellie paddled the 450-mile Thelon River with three other women. The novel draws from that canoe trip, and from her experiences as a gay woman. Ellie is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota. Both Ellie and Kurt live in St. Paul.
Next Chapter Bookfair at Modist Brewing Co.

Tuesday, June 28 at 6:00pm

505 N 3rd St
Minneapolis, MN
Next Chapter will be running our first-ever bookfair at Modist Brewing Company! We'll have as many of the latest and hottest titles as we can carry, and Modist, of course, will have their incredible selection of craft beers. Nothing beats sipping and reading!
They Drown Our Daughters – Katrina Monroe

Tuesday, July 12 at 6:00pm

Tickets $5 or Free With Purchase of the Book: Purchase Here
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, two children, and Eddie, the ghost that haunts their bedroom closets.
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
The Last Days of Night Graham Moore

"Who knew? The legal clash between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse was 'lit' with trickery and treachery. Nikola Tesla and Paul Cravath have major parts too in this well-researched historical novel of the race to light up the country - a fascinating page-turner from the screenwriter of The Imitation Game!"
Fact of the Week:

Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine was commissioned by Duke Ludovico Maria Sforza and portrays his mistress, Cecilia Gallerani. Ludovico was wed strategically, to cement a dynastic alliance, but his heart belonged to young Cecilia, whose poetry, music, and oratory skill made her a darling of the Milanese intelligentsia.

The ermine in the portrait may represent her relationship with Ludovico, whose sobriquets included Ermellino Bianco (White Ermine). It may also represent Cecilia's purity, as ermines were thought to give themselves up to hunters rather than stain their pure white coats.

Learn more about Lady with an Ermine in
What the Ermine Saw, by Eden Collingsworth
Next Chapter Reader Poll
Thanks to everyone who voted in last week's poll! The results are in:

What is the most important reading accoutrement?
  1. Good chair / sofa - 38.5% (15 votes)
  2. Lamp / book-light - 28.2% (11)
  3. Coffee / tea - 25.6% (10)
  4. Lapdog / cat - 5.1% (2)
  5. Snack - 2.6% (1)

Wow, personally, very sad to see lapdogs / cats ranking so low on the list. I don't know how one gets any reading done without an animal lying atop one's legs peacefully shedding thick clots of fur and (if applicable) purring. I know one of those two votes was me; whoever the other was: I see you. Thank you.

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:
What is your preferred reading format?
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)