April 11, 2022
Greetings! Happy Poetry Month! Come by and celebrate -- all our poetry is 20% off all month long.

We have a killer slate of new releases, including Ocean Vuong, Susan Cain, and Emily St. John Mandel; a new signing scheduled in May for those of you who like camping with your kiddos; and a brief cameo from our store cat (see if you can spot her!)

All that and more is in this edition of the Next Chapter Booksellers Newsletter!
Event Spotlight: Douglas Stewart In Conversation with MPR Correspondent Euan Kerr

On Friday, April 29th, starting at 6:00pm, we'll be hosting Douglas Stewart, author of Shuggie Bain, in conversation with MPR arts correspondent Euan Kerr. Your ticket includes a copy of Stewart's new novel Young Mungo. Tickets can be purchased in store or through the website 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.
This is what 100 copies of Young Mungo looks like. It was a workout receiving these!
New Books

Sea of Tranquility – Emily St. John Mandel

The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.

A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.

Time Is A Mother – Ocean Vuong

In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America. The author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds and the novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong writes directly to our humanity without losing sight of the current moment. Bold and prescient, and a testament to tenderness in the face of violence, Time Is a Mother is a return and a forging forth all at once.

The Trouble With Happiness: And Other Stories – Tove Ditlevson

A newly married woman longs, irrationally, for a silk umbrella; a husband chases away his wife’s beloved cat; a betrayed mother impulsively sacks her housekeeper. Underneath the surface of these precisely observed tales of marriage and family life in mid-century Copenhagen pulse currents of desire, violence, and despair, as women and men struggle to escape from the roles assigned to them and dream of becoming free and happy—without ever truly understanding what that might mean. The poignant and understated stories in The Trouble with Happiness, written in the 1950s and 1960s and never before translated into English, offer readers a new chance to encounter the quietly devastating work of this essential twentieth-century writer.

The Candy House Jennifer Egan

An electrifying, deeply moving novel about the quest for authenticity and meaning in a world where memories and identities are no longer private, The Candy House is a testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for connection, love, family, privacy and redemption. Egan introduces characters in an astonishing array of narrative styles—from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter and a chapter of tweets. The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that is moments away. Egan takes to stunning new heights her “deeply intuitive forays into the darker aspects of our technology-driven, image-saturated culture” (Vogue) -- delivering an extraordinary combination of fierce, exhilarating intelligence and heart.

The Quaking of America: An Embodied Guide to Navigating Our Nation's Upheaval and Racial Reckoning Resmaa Menakem

Through the coordinated repetition of lies, anti-democratic elements in American society are working to incite mass radicalization, provoking a collective trauma response in tens of millions of American bodies. Most of us are utterly unprepared for this potential mayhem. This book focuses not on strategy or politics, but on practices that build presence and discernment; settle our bodies during the heat of conflict; maintain our safety, sanity, and stability in dangerous situations; and heal our personal and collective racialized trauma. The Quaking of America is a unique and perfectly timed guide to help us navigate our widespread upheaval and build an antiracist culture.

Slouching Toward Radiance: A Day in the Life of You, Me and God Heidi Barr

Slouching Toward Radiance is a collection of nature poetry, meditations, gentle advice, and nudges toward reflection. Heidi Barr's words are worthy companions on the way toward living a life steeped in integrity and compassion for one's fellow beings--from the human down the street to a deer in the forest. It's a walk through a metaphorical day, from dawn to dusk, noticing the holy ordinary even through storms, by way of solitude and community. It's an invitation to start where you are, to find beauty and healing in the everyday stuff of life, and to make the choices that lead to fully living in the ways that work best.

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole Susan Cain

Em­ploying a mix of research, storytelling, and memoir, Cain explores why we experience sorrow and longing, and how embracing the bittersweetness at the heart of life is the true path to creativity, con­nection, and transcendence. She shows how a bittersweet state of mind is the quiet force that helps us transcend our personal and collective pain. If we don’t acknowledge our own heartache, she says, we can end up inflicting it on others via abuse or neglect. But if we realize that all humans know—or will know—loss and suffering, we can turn toward one another. At a time of profound discord and personal anxiety, Bittersweet brings us together in deep and unexpected ways.

A Brief History of Equality – Thomas Picketty

The world's leading economist of inequality presents a short but sweeping and surprisingly optimistic history of human progress toward equality despite crises, disasters, and backsliding. A perfect introduction to the ideas developed in his monumental earlier books. To keep moving forward, Piketty argues, we need to learn and commit to what works, to institutional, social, and educational systems that can make equality a lasting reality. At the same time, we need to resist historical amnesia and the temptations of cultural separatism and intellectual compartmentalization. At stake is the quality of life for billions of people. We know we can do better, Piketty concludes. The past shows us how. The future is up to us.

Math Games with Bad Drawings: 75 1/4 Simple, Challenging, Go-Anywhere Games — And Why They Matter Ben Orlin

Bestselling author and worst-drawing artist Ben Orlin expands his oeuvre with this interactive collection of mathematical games. With 70-plus games, each taking a minute to learn and a lifetime to master, this treasure trove will delight, educate, and entertain. With just paper, pens, and the occasional handful of coins, you and a partner can enjoy hours of fun—and hours of challenge. Orlin’s sly humor, expansive knowledge, and so-bad-they’re-good drawings show us how simple rules summon our best thinking.

Whiteness in Plain View: A History of Racial Exclusion in Minnesota Chad Montrie

Minnesota is a paradox. Widely seen as the progressive stronghold of the Midwest, the state also has some of the greatest racial disparities in the nation. Whiteness in Plain View examines the ways White residents across Minnesota acted to intimidate, control, and remove African Americans over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. What they did was not an anomaly or aberration, but common and continuous. The book shows that Minnesota's overwhelming Whiteness is neither accidental nor incidental, and that racial exclusion's legacy is woven into the state's contemporary politics, economy, and culture.
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.
An Evening with Fran Lebowitz

Thursday, April 14 at 8:00 pm

State Theater
805 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Tickets here, or call
(800) 982-2787

Next Chapter Booksellers will be selling books by author, humorist, and social observer Fran Lebowitz at her upcoming talk at the State Theater.

In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of our most insightful social commentators -- a cultural satirist whom many call the heir to Dorothy Parker.
Independent Bookstore Day

Saturday, April 30

Diane Wilson: 12:00pm
Marcie Rendon: 2:00pm

Non-ticketed event

Mark your calendars! This year's Independent Bookstore Day falls on the last day of April. We'll have all sorts of goodies, including limited-edition IBD-exclusive Blackwing pencils.

For signings, we've got Diane Wilson, author of The Seed Keeper and Spirit Car, and Marcie Rendon, author of the Cash Blackbear mysteries (most recently Girl Gone Missing). Come get our stamp on your bookstore passport!
One Summer Up North – John Owens

Saturday, May 7th from 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Meet & Greet Signing
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. 
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.
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
Passing Nella Larsen

"Written in 1929, it is not simply a book about passing for white, but also about the culture transformation that took place in America after WWI and changing definitions of concepts like race and gender, whiteness and blackness."
Fact of the Week:

Charles Bonnet syndrome is a form of detailed hallucination that accompanies loss of vision, arising from the brain's desire to perceive even when it cannot. The most common hallucination is that of miniature people, dubbed Lilliputians, "accompanied by small animals or small objects... with the result that the individual must see a world such as created by Swift in Gulliver."

Learn more about the neurology of our senses in
Quote of the Week:

"Beneath the Virgin's feet were a lion and a dragon who curled around each other in a most puzzling matter and bit each other's necks. These creatures had been carved by someone who had never seen a dragon but had seen a great many dogs and sheep and something of the character of a dog and a sheep had got into his carving. Whenever some poor fellow was brought before the Virgin and Child to be examined the lion and the dragon would cease biting each other and look up like the Virgin's strange watchdogs and the lion would bark and the dragon would bleat angrily."

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)