July 2019

August 5, 2020


Late Summer Books

Dog days of August? Hardly! This month brings you fantastic nonfiction by Isabel Wilkerson, Jeffrey Toobin, and Helen Macdonald, novels from Otessa Moshfegh and Peter Geye, and memoirs by Eric Utne and Mike Birbiglia. Now that's what we call a bumper harvest.

Call us at 651/225-8989 Monday to Saturday between 10am and 3pm to talk to a bookseller. We love making recommendations.



"AN INSTANT AMERICAN CLASSIC"--DWIGHT GARNER, NEW YORK TIMES

“What Wilkerson urges . . . isn’t argument at all; it’s compassion. Hush, and listen.”—Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.



A REAL LIFE COURTROOM DRAMA

From CNN chief legal analyst and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, a real-life legal thriller about the prosecutors and congressional investigators pursuing the truth about Donald Trump's complicity in several crimes--and why they failed.

Based on dozens of interviews with prosecutors in Mueller's office, Trump's legal team, Congressional investigators, White House staffers, and several of the key players, including some who are now in prison, True Crimes and Misdemeanors is a revelatory narrative that makes sense of the seemingly endless chaos of the Trump years. Filled with never-before-reported details of the high-stakes legal battles and political machinations, the book weaves a tale of a rogue president guilty of historic misconduct, and how he got away with it.


FROM MINNESOTA TO THE WORLD

The founder of Utne Reader chronicles his adventures on the frontlines of American culture—from the Vietnam era to the age of Trump—as a spiritual seeker, antiwar activist, and minor media celebrity.

In 1984, Eric Utne founded Utne Reader, a digest of new ideas and fresh perspectives percolating in the arts, culture, politics, business, and spirituality. With the tag line “The Best of the Alternative Press,” the magazine was twice a finalist for a National Magazine Award and grew to more than 300,000 paid circulation. Utne devoted the magazine to bringing people together to help make the world a “little greener and a little kinder.”

“Fascinating . . . a remarkable piece of social history.”—Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?



IT'S FUNNY 'CAUSE IT'S TRUE

An award-winning comedian delivers a memoir that is perfect for anyone who has ever raised a child, been a child, or refuses to stop acting like one.

"Mike Birbiglia & J. Hope Stein have written the seminal parenting tome--side-splittingly funny from the first word to the last delicious bite. It's a page-turner, wise and wise-assed, the comic hit of the year. Whether you've been a parent or ever had one: you'll love this knockout!"—Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club, Cherry, and Lit

"Life is not the same after having children. It's delusional to pretend otherwise. But Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein have not only survived, they're making their most hilarious and truthful art yet. This book might save your best friend's life."—Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pulitzer Prize Winning writer of Hamilton






A NOVEL TO TRANSPORT YOU

“[A] dazzling, devastating story . . . A puzzle wrapped in beautiful language, raising questions of identity and loyalty that are as unanswerable as they are important.”—The New York Times Book Review

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom. 

AVAILABLE AUGUST 11

From one of our most ceaselessly provocative literary talents, a novel of haunting metaphysical suspense about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds an ominous note on a walk in the woods.

Becoming obsessed with solving this mystery, our narrator imagines who Magda was and how she met her fate. With very little to go on, she invents a list of murder suspects and possible motives for the crime. Oddly, her suppositions begin to find correspondences in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to fade into menacing certainty. As her investigation widens, strange dissonances accrue, perhaps associated with the darkness in her own past; we must face the prospect that there is either an innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one.


AVAILABLE AUGUST 18--PREORDER NOW AND GET A LIMITED EDITION POSTER

​"In 1897, Odd Einar Eide is lost and struggling to survive in the Arctic. In 2017, Greta Nansen, Odd Eniar’s great, great, great, great granddaughter is searching for meaning in her marriage and life. Peter Geye knits these two narratives together across generations and between Minnesota and Norway to bring us a story of adventure, family and love. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, this is Peter Geye’s best novel yet. I absolutely loved it."— Nick

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Peter Geye lives there with his family. His previous novels are Safe from the Sea, The Lighthouse Road, and Wintering.


COMING AUGUST 25

The author of H is For Hawk returns with another devestating, beautiful book.

In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays, along with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep.

By one of this century's most important and insightful nature writers, Vesper Flights is a captivating and foundational book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us.




The 2020 Booker Prize Longlist

The 2020 Booker Prize longlist has been announced. The list was chosen from 162 novels published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020.

The shortlist will be announced September 15.

(Note that not all of the longlisted books are available in the US. Visit our website for updates as that changes.)

Available August 11



August virtual book events
Meet great authors in the comfort of your own home.

Pull up your comfiest chair and enjoy great conversations about books. We've got history, science fiction, and music coming your way this month.


Outside the Margins: A Speculative Fiction Book Club discusses This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal el Mohtar and Max Gladwell--Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 5:00pm

From award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone comes an enthralling, romantic novel spanning time and space about two time-traveling rivals who fall in love and must change the past to ensure their future. 

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandment finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.

Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, becomes something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean the death of each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win. That’s how war works, right?

Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.





David Housewright reads from From the Grave: A McKenzie Novel--Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 7:00pm

A past case comes back to haunt Twin Cities P.I. McKenzie as a stolen sum of money threatens to resurface in From the Grave, the next mystery in David Housewright’s award-winning series.
Once a police detective in St. Paul, Minnesota, Rushmore McKenzie became an unlikely millionaire and an occasional unlicensed private investigator, doing favors for friends. But this time, he finds himself in dire need of working on his own behalf.

His dear friend and first love Shelby Dunston attends a public reading by a psychic medium with the hope of connecting with her grandfather one final time. Instead, she hears McKenzie’s name spoken by the psychic in connection with a huge sum of stolen―and missing―money.

Caught in a world of psychic mediums, with a man from his past with a stake in the future, and more than one party willing to go to great and deadly lengths to get involved, McKenzie must figure out just how much he’s willing to believe―like his life depends on it―before everything takes a much darker turn.





Carolyn Holbrook discusses Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify: Essays--Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 7:00pm

Once a pregnant sixteen-year-old incarcerated in the Minnesota juvenile justice system, now a celebrated writer, arts activist, and teacher who helps others unlock their creative power, Holbrook has heeded the call to tell the story of her life, and to find among its chapters—the horrific and the holy, the wild and the charmed—the lessons and necessary truths of those who have come before. In a memoir woven of moments of reckoning, she summons stories born of silence, stories held inside, untold stories stifled by pain or prejudice or ignorance. A child’s trauma recalls her own. An abusive marriage returns to haunt her family. She builds a career while raising five children as a single mother; she struggles with depression and grapples with crises immediate and historical, all while countenancing the subtle racism lurking under “Minnesota nice.”




Next Chapter Book Club discusses The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer--Sunday, August 30, 4:00pm

“A gripping, tender novel.” —The New Yorker

Marseille, 1940. Varian Fry, a Harvard-educated journalist and editor, arrives in France. Recognizing the darkness descending over Europe, he and a group of like-minded New Yorkers formed the Emergency Rescue Committee, helping artists and writers escape from the Nazis and immigrate to the United States. Now, amid the chaos of World War II, and in defiance of restrictive U.S. immigration policies, Fry must procure false passports, secure visas, seek out escape routes through the Pyrenees and by sea, and make impossible decisions about who should be saved, all while under profound pressure—and in a state of irrevocable personal change. In this dazzling work of historical fiction—one that illuminates previously unexplored elements of Fry’s story, and has, since its publication, brought us new insight into his life—Julie Orringer, award-winning author of The Invisible Bridge, has crafted a gripping tale of forbidden love, high-stakes adventure, and unimaginable courage.






Now in paperback

Recent bestsellers--in a softer, park-friendly format.

Curbside pickup continues

As much as we miss you, we're not open for browsing.

We continue to get books out via USPS, home delivery (within St Paul, for orders over $50), and curbside pickup.

  • Curbside pickup is available 10am to 3pm, Monday through Saturday.
  • Call us at 651/225-8989 a few minutes before you arrive at the store.
  • We’ll put your order on the small table outside our front door.

Fine print: All orders must be paid for in advance (either online or by phone). We cannot accept payment at the time of pickup.



Thanks for reading all the way to the end.

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--all of us at Next Chapter Booksellers