July 2019
January 2020
Is one of your New Year's Resolutions to read more awesome books? We can help!
Staff Picks of the Year
2019 brought many great books our way, but here are our #1 picks!
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is a wild ride of growing up and old in 1940's NYC. Strong women who stitch together their lives beautifully.

The Plotters by Un-su Kim
Reseng's handsome face masks an assassin's empty heart, and he's not the only one. In the imagined Seoul of Un-Su Kim's dazzling novel The Plotters , hired killers are as common as taxi drivers. When betrayal and vengeance ignite a battle of all against all, Reseng races to escape the puppet strings that have ensnared him, but there's no one he can trust. Kim deftly weaves together a cast of spectacularly wicked characters, filling the pages of The Plotters until they erupt into a ballet of gorgeous prose and bullets. This is operatic tragedy, and I loved my front row seat.

How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Based on the author’s childhood and recollections of his parent’s upbringing and life, Kendi develops a philosophy of anti racism that challenges the readers’ preconceived notions about race and racism in America. Thorough in his definitions and historical perspectives, this book should provoke critical dialogue about what it takes for our society to struggle toward racial and social justice.

Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert MacFarlane
This is a tour of the vast world hidden below earth's surface. Macfarlane's journeys to subterranean rivers, a physics lab investigating dark matter, the catacombs of Paris, and further, weave history, mythology, and culture with complex scientific principles in clear yet poetic language. Delightful and educational all at once!
From The Shadows by Juan Jose Millas
A monologue of madness, a paranormal romance, a riotous send-up of the information age--Millas' novel is all of this and more. It was the funniest and most bizarre book I read last year.

The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
Behind every noble cause stand (YES!) the women! This inspiring historical novel of “America’s Joan of Arc” recounts the life of Annie Clements, who led the 9-months-long strike in 1913 to unionize the largest copper mining company in the world in Calumet Michigan - an authentic snapshot of the lives of the men and women of the turbulent and often violent early labor movement and the violent political landscape that is still relevant today.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Whitehead once again tears through all of your emotions while highlighting the parts of American History nearly forgotten. When a young black boy with a bright future despite the Jim Crow era is suddenly falsely accused of a crime his dreams are shattered as he is sentenced to reform school. You'll be heartbroken as you see the young boys try to manage their emotions and find hope for their futures and watch as they return to their past with wounds that will never heal. Hopefully, this will soon be a staple of the American high school reading curriculum.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
Easily the best novel I read last year. Gorgeous and transporting. I can't stop thinking about this story.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi depicts a graphic and unapologetic account of a family's struggle to survive slavery while interweaving magical realism which adds another facet to the character Hiram's perspective. Worth the read!

Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe
Perfect for people who wonder why anyone would give a frog a drum, young and old alike. For people who love vibrant illustrations and frogs. And little mushroom homes!

Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare Vol. 1 by Yuhki Kamatani
High school student Tasuku Kaname is inadvertently outed after his classmates find gay pornography on his phone. He decides to commit suicide but is stopped by the mysterious woman Someone, who leads him to a social club or drop-in center for... everyone, apparently, from middle-schooler Misori to the elderly Tchaiko. Tasuku finds he has more in common with his clubmates than he previously thought. How does he reconcile finding his new queer community with the way other people perceive him, especially his casually homophobic crush, Tsubaki? Shimanami's fluid visual metaphors perfectly suit Tasuku's uncertainty and fright: he shatters into shards of glass at the sight of Tsubaki, he's overcome by waves, his small town transforms into a fishbowl. It's beautiful and heartbreaking, and it's available in four short volumes. I'd swim forever in this story, if I could.

The River by Peter Heller
This is the story of Jack and Wynn, best friends since their first days in college, who set out on their dream canoe trip in wild, beautiful Northwest Canada and stumble into a situation that will change them forever. A literary thriller, an adventure novel and a meditation on friendship and the outdoors, The River is written with an authority born out of experience. It’s so completely authentic, you’ll feel like you’re in the canoe with them. My pick for best thriller of the year.

New in Hardcover

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the  jefe  of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Available January 2

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice,  Such a Fun Age  is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

Available January 7

Summer Snow by Robert Hass
A major collection of entirely new poems from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of  Time and Materials  and  The Apple Trees at Olema .

A new volume of poetry from Robert Hass is always an event. In  Summer Snow , his first collection of poems since 2010, Hass further affirms his position as one of our most highly regarded living poets. Hass’s trademark careful attention to the natural world, his subtle humor, and the delicate but wide-ranging eye he casts on the human experience are fully on display in his masterful collection. Touching on subjects including the poignancy of loss, the serene and resonant beauty of nature, and the mutability of desire, Hass exhibits his virtuosic abilities, expansive intellect, and tremendous readability in one of his most ambitious and formally brilliant collections to date.

Available January 7

Birds in Minnesota: Revised and Expanded Edition by Robert B. Janssen
A comprehensive update of the classic from the state’s foremost expert.

In the nearly half-century since the first publication of the landmark  Birds in Minnesota , the state and its bird populations have undergone dramatic changes. This newly revised, expanded edition reflects those changes as well as the most recent advances in birding, making it the indispensable resource for birdwatchers in Minnesota, both passionate amateur and professional. Featuring full-color photographs and more than one thousand distribution maps, the updated  Birds in Minnesota  describes where and during which season the 443 species of birds in the state can be found.

Available January 10

Arguing With Zombies by Paul Krugman
An accessible, compelling introduction to today’s major policy issues from the New York Times columnist, best-selling author, and Nobel prize–winning economist Paul Krugman.

In  Arguing with Zombies , Krugman tackles many of these misunderstandings, taking stock of where the United States has come from and where it’s headed in a series of concise, digestible chapters. Drawn mainly from his popular  New York Times  column, they cover a wide range of issues, organized thematically and framed in the context of a wider debate. Explaining the complexities of health care, housing bubbles, tax reform, Social Security, and so much more with unrivaled clarity and precision,  Arguing with Zombies  is Krugman at the height of his powers.

Available January 14

Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling  Half the Sky  now issue a plea--deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans--to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.

With stark poignancy and political dispassion,  Tightrope  draws us deep into an "other America." The authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon, an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared.

Available January 14

You Can Only Yell at Me For One Thing at a Time by Patricia Marx & Roz Chast
The perfect Valentine’s Day or anniversary gift: An illustrated collection of love and relationship advice from  New Yorker  writer Patricia Marx, with illustrations from  New Yorker  cartoonist Roz Chast.

Everyone’s heard the old advice for a healthy relationship:  Never go to bed angry. Play hard to get. Sexual favors in exchange for cleaning up the cat vomit is a good and fair trade.

Okay, not that last one. It’s one of the tips in  You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for Couples  by the authors of  Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It: A Mother’s Suggestions.  This guide will make you laugh, remind you why your relationship is better than everyone else’s, and solve all your problems.

Available January 14

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
From the  New York Times  bestselling author of  The House of the Spirits,  this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.

In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires.

Available January 21

Homie: Poems by Danez Smith
Danez Smith is our president.

Homie  is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living.

Available January 21

The Holdout by Graham Moore
It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.

Available January 28

The Catch by Mick Herron
British spy master Mick Herron returns with an explosive novella set in the same world as his multiple CWA Dagger–winning Slough House series.

John Bachelor is the saddest kind of spy: not a joe in the field, not even a desk jockey, but a milkman—a part-time pension administrator whose main job is to check in on aging retired spies. Late in his career and having lost his wife, his house, and his savings after a series of unlucky choices, John's been living in a dead man's London apartment, hoping the bureaucracy isn't going to catch up with him and leave him homeless. But keeping a secret among spies is a fool's errand, and now John has made himself eminently blackmailable.

Available January 28

Coming This Month in Paperback

Upcoming Events at Next Chapter Booksellers
New Year, New You Book Signing and Tarot Card Readings in collaboration with Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing

Sherman Wick and Holly Day discuss A History Lover's Guide to Minneapolis

Outside the Margins SFF Book Club: A Night on the Galactic Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa

Jon Kerr reads from Mohamed's Dream

Bridges Reading presented by Cracked Walnut

NCB Non-Fiction Book Club discusses Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide by Cass R. Sunstein

Friday, January 17, 2019 - 7:00pm
Mark K. Tilsen reads from It Ain't Over Until We're Smoking Cigars on the Drill Pad

Toni Morrison Book Club discusses Song of Solomon

NCB Book Club discusses Reinhardt's Garden by Mark Haber

New Year, New You Book Signing and Tarot Card Readings in collaboration with Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing -Thursday, January 2nd at 6:00pm

Join Next Chapter Booksellers and Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing for a Tarot Reading event! Get your cards read by three experienced tarot readers and figure out the year ahead for 2020. Also check out Llewellyn’s Little Book of Empathy and Llewellyn’s Little Book of Unicorns .

Sherman Wick and Holly Day read from A History Lover's Guide to Minneapolis -Monday, January 6th at 7:00pm

Join local authors Sherman Wick and Holly Day on a trip beyond the typical guidebook as they explore the architecture, parks and historical figures of the Mill City. 

Jon Kerr reads from Mohamed's Dream -Tuesday, January 14th at 7:00pm

Mohamed's Dream shares the story of Mohammed Fofana, one of the young boys killed in landslide at St. Paul’s Lilydale Park on May 22, 2012. The St. Louis Park boy was on a school field trip hunting for fossils when the accident happened.

Jon Kerr is a longtime journalist and writer who also happened to be a neighborhood and environmental advocate for Lilydale Park when the landslide occurred.

Our January SFF Book Club Selection
Night on the Galactic Railroad & Other Stories from Ihatov
by Kenji Miyazawa

Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933) is one of Japan's most beloved writers and poets, known particularly for his sensitive and symbolist children's fiction. This volume collects stories which focus on Miyazawa's love of space and his use of the galaxy as a metaphor for the concepts of purity, self-sacrifice and faith which were near and dear to his heart. "The Nighthawk Star" follows an lowly bird as he struggles to transform himself into something greater, a constellation in the night sky; "Signal & Signal-less" depicts a pair of star-crossed train signals who dream of eloping to the moon; and "Night on the Galactic Railroad," Miyazawa's most famous work, tells the story of two boys as they journey upon a train that traverses the cosmos, learning the true meaning of friendship, happiness and life itself along the way.

The Outside the Margins SFF Book Club will meet on Tuesday, January 7th at 5:00pm!

A Book Club to Honor Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison Book Club
discusses Song of Solomon

Join our bookseller Milan for a wide-ranging discussion of Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon . No RSVPs are required.

"You can't go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison.  Beloved Song of Solomo n,  The Bluest Eye Sula , everything else — they're transcendent, all of them. You’ll be glad you read them."--Barack Obama

Stop by at 3:00pm, Sunday, January 19

Our Non-Fiction Book Club Selection
Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide
by Cass R. Sunstein

“With insight, wisdom, affection, and concern, Sunstein has written the story of impeachment every citizen needs to know. This is a remarkable, essential book.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin

Please join us on Friday, January 17th at 5:00pm!

NCB Book Club Selection
Reinhardt's Garden
by Mark Haber

At the turn of the twentieth century, as he composes a treatise on melancholy, Jacov Reinhardt sets off from his small Croatian village in search of his hero and unwitting mentor, Emiliano Gomez Carrasquilla, who is rumored to have disappeared into the South American jungle--"not lost, mind you, but retired." Jacov's narcissistic preoccupation with melancholy consumes him, and as he desperately recounts the myth of his journey to his trusted but ailing scribe, hope for an encounter with the lost philosopher who holds the key to Jacov's obsession seems increasingly unlikely.

The NCB Book Club are meeting on Sunday, January 26th at 4:00pm! Stop by!

New Store Hours for 2020
Monday to Saturday - 9am to 8pm
Sunday - 10am to 5pm

We raised over $1,300 for The Aliveness Project in the month of December!
Thank you so much for your donations!

Thanks for reading all the way to the end.
We've got lots more great books in the store.
We hope you'll come in soon for a recommendation.

--all of us at Next Chapter Booksellers