July 2019

July 2, 2020

Hot New Summer Books

This summer season is full of good new books. From dishy novels to thoughtful history to urgent politics, there's a book here for you. 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...


"Kevin Kwan's new book is his most decadent yet."-- Entertainment Weekly

"A summer romp with a satirical sting"--NPR

Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.


“A shiver-inducing tale combining touches of Northanger Abbey with bits of the Gormenghast trilogy . . . to create a fascinating atmosphere of dark dreams and intrigue.”— Booklist

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. Mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, she may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.


"Rosalie Knecht is an audacious talent, and her latest novel a propulsive, subversive gem. Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery reintroduces us to Vera, one of the most compelling and complex characters in modern fiction, and puts her to the task of unwinding an intriguing mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end."--Lauren Wilkinson, author of American Spy

Vera Kelly is a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fiber, and martini-dry humor who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart. She's great company on a hot summer night.


"Megha Majumdar’s blistering debut novel, A Burning , unleashes her plight like a series of small explosions."--Minneapolis Star Tribune

For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri, an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise--to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies--and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.


An evocative and richly illustrated exploration of flowers and how, over the centuries, they have given us so much sustenance, meaning, and pleasure

Through the centuries and across the globe, Kasia Boddy looks at the wealth of floral associations that has been passed down in perfumes, poems, and paintings; in the design of buildings, clothes, and jewelry; in songs, TV shows, and children’s names; and in nearly every religious, social, and political ritual.


The author of American Nations returns to the historical study of a fractured America by examining how a myth of national unity was created and fought over in the nineteenth century--a myth that continues to affect us today.

Colin Woodard tells the story of the epic confrontations between competing visions of our nation's path and purpose through the lives of the key figures who created them, a cast of characters whose personal quirks and virtues, gifts and demons shaped the destiny of millions.


From the author of the landmark Shop Class as Soulcraft , a brilliant, first-of-its-kind celebration of driving as a unique pathway of human freedom, one now critically threatened by automation. 

Blending philosophy and hands-on storytelling, Crawford grounds the narrative in his own experience in the garage and behind the wheel, recounting his decade-long restoration of a vintage Volkswagen as well as his journeys to thriving automotive subcultures across the country. A meditation on the competence of ordinary people, Why We Drive explores the genius of our everyday practices on the road, the rewards of “folk engineering,” and the existential value of occasionally being scared shitless.


“The Platonic ideal of the anti-Trump Trump book.”-- The Washington Post

Thanks to the special perspective that is the legacy of a Soviet childhood and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Gessen has a sixth sense for signs of autocracy—and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate its emergence to Americans.

Surviving Autocracy provides an indispensable overview of the calamitous trajectory of the past few years. Gessen not only highlights the corrosion of the media, the judiciary, and the cultural norms we hoped would save us but also tells us the story of how a short few years have changed us, from a people who saw ourselves as a nation of immigrants to a populace haggling over a border wall, heirs to a degraded sense of truth, meaning, and possibility.

The holiday weekend

Next Chapter Booksellers will be closed July 4 and 5, so that staff can enjoy a long holiday weekend. We'll be back in the store to recommend books and fill your orders on Monday, July 6.

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.

Sue Leaf discusses Minnesota's Geologist: The Life of Newton Horace Winchell --Monday, July 6, 7:00pm

At twenty, declared, “I know nothing about rocks.” At twenty-five, Newton Horace Winchell was tasked with heading the Minnesota Geological and Natural History Survey. He charted the prehistory of the region, its era of inland seas, its volcanic activity, and its several ice ages. 
Traveling by horse and cart, by sailboat and birchbark canoe, Winchell and his group surveyed rock outcrops, river valleys, basalt formations on Lake Superior, and the vast Red River Valley.

Tracing Winchell’s remarkable path from impoverished fifteen-year-old schoolteacher to a leading light of an emerging scientific field, Minnesota’s Geologist also recreates the heady early days of scientific inquiry in Minnesota, a time when one man’s determination and passion for learning could unlock the secrets of the state’s distant past and present landscape.

"Outside the Margins: A Speculative Fiction Book Club" discusses A Memory Called Empire , by Arkady Martine--Tuesday, July 7, 5:00pm

" A Memory Called Empire perfectly balances action and intrigue with matters of empire and identity. All around brilliant space opera, I absolutely love it."—Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

A virtual launch party for Minnesota's Black Community in the 21st Century --Wednesday, July 15, 7:00pm

Join the Minnesota Historical Society for a virtual publication celebration of Minnesota's Black Community in the 21st Century featuring Anthony Scott, Dr. Chauda L. Scott and Dr. Charles Crutchfield III. We are honored to have Al McFarlane, founder and editor of Insight News and host of Conversations with Al McFarlane as our special host! 

While African Americans represent just five percent of Minnesota's total population today, the state has many successful African Americans, creative and influential residents who have left and continue to make their mark on a wide range of professional and vocational activities. This book honors those people.  

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.

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