July 2019

July 17, 2020

Sizzling Summer Books

This time around we're recommending some good fiction, a chilling thriller, politics, history and more. And if those don't strike your fancy, you can call us at 651/225-8989 Monday to Saturday between 10am and 3pm to talk to a bookseller. We love making recommendations.

Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking...


"A conventional story of a band’s rise turns into a book on another plane entirely.”
The New Yorker

Utopia Avenue is the strangest British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss and guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet, Utopia Avenue embarked on a meteoric journey from the seedy clubs of Soho, a TV debut on Top of the Pops, the cusp of chart success, glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome, and a fateful American sojourn in the Chelsea Hotel, Laurel Canyon, and San Francisco during the autumn of ’68.


" A fabulous, frothy novel."
— New York Post

An exhilarating new novel from a global superstar--a sexy, over-the-top psychological thriller that tells the story of the scorned wife of a billionaire and her delicious plot to get her revenge and bring him to his knees.


From the prophetic author of the now-classic What’s the Matter with Kansas? and Listen, Libera l, comes an eye-opening account of populism, the most important and misunderstood movement of our time.

Rarely does a work of history contain startling implications for the present, but in The People, No Thomas Frank pulls off that explosive effect by showing us that everything we think we know about populism is wrong. Today “populism” is seen as a frightening thing, a term pundits use to describe the racist philosophy of Donald Trump and European extremists. But this is a mistake. Frank pummels the elites, revisits the movement’s provocative politics, and declares true populism to be the language of promise and optimism.


“A book about people pursuing second acts after a traumatic crisis is pretty timely - and such a book, filled with compassion, bravery, smart mobs and stupid ones, and a hell of a metaphor for late-stage capitalism, besides.” —Cory Doctorow

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor builds in every way on the thrills of the first book, featuring twists that are even twistier, mysteries that are even more mysterious, and, most impressive of all, solutions to those mysteries that are as interesting as their set-ups. ...[I]t’s fun as hell.”—Joseph Fink, author of Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn't Dead


"This romp through world history, by the famous economist Jeffrey Sachs, summarizes most of what you really need to know about the history of the last 70,000 years."--Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel

Today's most urgent problems are fundamentally global. They require nothing less than concerted, planetwide action if we are to secure a long-term future. But humanity's story has always been on a global scale. In this book, Jeffrey D. Sachs, renowned economist and expert on sustainable development, turns to world history to shed light on how we can meet the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century.


" Hamnet is an imagining of the life and death of William Shakespeare’s 11-year-old son who became the inspiration for his best known play, Hamlet.

"While the bard spends most of his time in London pursuing his career as playwright, his wife Agnes resides with their 3 children in Stratford, where Hamnet is taken suddenly by the plague. It is a poignant, often heart-wrenching story of marriage and loss and healing. Written in prose so elegant, so descriptive, it is pure pleasure to read--O’Farrell at her very best. Hamnet is the rare book the reader does not want to end. I found myself rereading passages to delay the inevitable and have since reread it, something I very rarely do."— Jean

July's 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.

Next Chapter Book Club discusses Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis--Sunday, July 26, 4:00pm

In defiance of the brutal military government that took power in Uruguay in the 1970s, and under which homosexuality is a dangerous transgression, five women miraculously find one another—and, together, an isolated cape that they claim as their own. Over the next thirty-five years, they travel back and forth from this secret sanctuary, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow
or alone.

Throughout it all, they will be tested repeatedly—by their families, lovers, society, and one another—as they fight to live authentic lives. A groundbreaking, genre-defining work, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit.

Nate Patrin discusses Bring That Beat Back How Sampling Built Hip-Hop --Sunday, July 26, 7:00pm

Sampling—incorporating found sound and manipulating it into another form entirely—has done more than any musical movement in the twentieth century to maintain a continuum of popular music as a living document and, in the process, has become one of the most successful (and commercial) strains of postmodern art. Bring That Beat Back traces the development of this transformative pop-cultural practice from its origins in the turntable-manning, record-spinning hip-hop DJs of 1970s New York through forty years of musical innovation and reinvention.

Nate Patrin is a longtime music critic whose writing has appeared in dozens of publications including Pitchfork, Stereogum, Spin, Bandcamp Daily, Red Bull Music Academy, and his hometown Twin Cities’ alt-weekly City Pages . This is his first book.

Craig Upright talks about Grocery Activism: The Radical History of Food Cooperatives in Minnesota --Monday, July 27, 7:00pm

Grocery Activism looks back to the 1970s, when the mission of cooperative grocery stores shifted from political activism to the promotion of natural and organic foods. The story of the fraught relationship of these new-wave organizations to the organic food industry, it is an instructive case study in the history of activists intervening in capitalist markets to promote social change.

Craig Upright is associate professor of sociology at Winona State University. Before earning his PhD from Princeton University, he spent more than a decade working in the restaurant industry, including four years as the owner of a small coffee shop in St. Paul.

John Rosengren discusses A Clean Heart: A Novel (Alcoholism, Dysfunctional Family, Recovery, Redemption, 12-Steps) --Tuesday, July 28, 7:00pm

Fans of the 2018 films Ben is Back or Beautiful Boy or addiction memoirs such as If You Love Me or We All Fall Down will love John Rosengren’s A Clean Heart.

Carter Kirchner struggles to stay sane and sober as a counselor on Six West, an adolescent drug treatment center run by a hard-drinking nun with an MBA. Before he can help the young addict commissioned to his care or safely navigate a dysfunctional intervention effort by the staff, he must rescue himself from his family’s past.

Now in paperback

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

Curbside pickup continues

As much as we miss you, we're not ready 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 daily.
  • 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.

We've got lots more great books in the store. We hope you'll talk to us soon for a recommendation. Follow us on social media for the latest news. We’re Next Chapter Booksellers on Facebook ; we’re @nextchapterbooksellers on Instagram ; and we’re @NextChapterMN on Twitter .

--all of us at Next Chapter Booksellers