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the ncb newsletter
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Howdy, readers! Soak in that late summer sun! The leaves haven't turned but the cafes are jumping the gun and peddling pumpkin spice everything earlier each year. Happy September!

This week, the Fall release schedule is really picking up, with Elizabeth Strout, Nina Totenberg, and Ben MacIntyre all releasing new books; plus an upcoming event with local fiction darling Peter Geye; and some microfiction if you read all the way to the end...

All that and more is in this edition of the NCB Newsletter!
Do Yourself A Favor: Preorder!
In honor of the impending onslaught of new releases promised by the next few months, I'm going to get on my annual soapbox and ask that you consider preordering books you're planning on buying, especially when it comes to the major titles. Here's a little primer of the biggest releases of the next few months to get you started! Click on one of these covers to order the book on our website. You can also preorder in the store or over the phone at 651-225-8989.
Printing and distribution are still feeling the effects of COVID, so you should expect that we might be unable to stock some of the higher-demand titles as we get closer to Christmas. Preordering is also the best way to help the authors you love, boosting them onto those all-important best-seller lists, and demonstrating to the publishers that there's high demand for their work.

I'm sorry to say, I will continue to bring up preordering as we inch into Fall. However! I solemnly swear that you will not hear any obnoxious Christmas music in the store until December, if ever!
New Books

Nona the Ninth Tasmyn Muir

This third book delivers everything a Locked Tomb reader could want: old questions answered, new ones raised, swordfights, dad jokes, and a fresh angle on the universe of the Nine Houses. The main story follows amnesiac cinnamon roll Nona, whose story of found family reaches hilarious, riveting, and surprisingly tender highs before being forced, both authorially and diagetically, to dovetail with the overarching plot.
In between Nona's adventures are chapters that expose the incredible history of two of the series's key figures. Muir's complex, lovable characters, skillful worldbuilding, and vivid prose would make this a must-read even as a standalone. As it is, Nona is all that AND the groundwork for an incredible finale. — Graham

Dinners With Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships Nina Totenberg

Four years before Nina Totenberg was hired at NPR, where she cemented her legacy as a prizewinning reporter, and twenty years before Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court, Nina called Ruth, launching a remarkable, fifty-year friendship. Dinners with Ruth is an extraordinary account of two women who paved the way for future generations by tearing down professional and legal barriers. Ruth and Nina saw each other not only through personal joys, but also illness, loss, and widowhood. Inspiring and revelatory, Dinners with Ruth is a moving story of the joy and true meaning of friendship.

True North Cabin Cookbook Stephanie Hansen

Celebrate summer days with seasonal foods and cherished tales of life in the northland, as the author's recipes and personal recollections transport readers to a lakeside cabin in the north woods. The rhythms of cabin life are very familiar to food enthusiast and genial host Stephanie Hansen, who relishes the opportunity to dazzle with simple ingredients from pantry and garden, creating memorable and delicious meals for friends and loved ones. From her perch on True North Island, Hansen tells warm and witty stories and shares favorite recipes for the summer months. Hansen's straightforward, creative, tasty dishes will nourish those who gather at your table--whether at the cabin or at home. True North Cabin Cookbook offers ample opportunity to savor north woods living at its very best.

Farmhouse Sophie Blackall

Over a hill, at the end of a road, by a glittering stream that twists and turns stands a farmhouse.
Step inside the dollhouse-like interior of Farmhouse and relish in the daily life of the family that lives there, rendered in impeccable, thrilling detail. Based on a real family and an actual farmhouse where Sophie salvaged facts and artifacts for the making of this spectacular work, page after page bursts with luminous detail and joy. Join the best-selling, two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall as she takes readers on an enchanting visit to a farmhouse across time, to a place that echoes with stories. We have signed art prints that are free with Farmhouse while supplies last! We only have eight prints, so hurry!

Prisoners of the Castle Ben MacIntyre

During World War II, the German army used the Colditz Castle to hold the most defiant Allied prisoners. For four years, these POWs tested its walls with escape attempts that would become legend. Its population represented a society in miniature, full of heroes and traitors, class conflicts, and secret alliances. MacIntyre traces the war’s arc from within Colditz’s stone walls, where the stakes rose as Hitler’s war machine faltered and the men feared that liberation would come too late to spare them a grisly fate. With the intrigue of his acclaimed Operation Mincemeat and the keen psychological portraits of his real-life spy stories, Macintyre breathes new life into one of the greatest war stories ever told.

Lucy By the Sea Elizabeth Strout

With her trademark spare, crystalline prose, Elizabeth Strout returns to the indomitable heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton. As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again/off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it’s just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea. Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this story are the deep human connections that unite us even when we’re apart.

Less Is Lost – Andrew Sean Greer

The death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis has novelist Arthur Less running away from his problems as he accepts a series of literary gigs that send him zigzagging across the US, from the “Mild Mild West” to the South and to his mid-Atlantic birthplace, with an ever-changing posse of writerly characters. We cannot, however, escape ourselves. From his estranged father and strained relationship with his partner Freddy, to the reckoning he experiences in confronting his privilege, Arthur Less must eventually face his personal demons. With all of the irrepressible wit and musicality that made Less a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning, must-read breakout book, Less Is Lost is a profound and joyous novel about the enigma of life in America, the riddle of love, and the stories we tell along the way.
New in Paperback
Upcoming Events
Sirens & Muses Antonia Angress,
in Conversation with Alicia Kismet Eler

Thursday, September 15 at 6:00pm
Louisa is a thoughtful, observant nineteen-year-old when she transfers to Wrynn College of Art, but she soon finds herself adrift in an environment that prizes novelty over beauty. Complicating matters is Louisa’s unexpected attraction to her charismatic roommate, Karina , the preternaturally gifted but mercurial daughter of wealthy art collectors. Gradually, Louisa and Karina are drawn into an intense sensual and artistic relationship, one that forces them to confront their deepest desires and fears. But Karina also can’t shake her fascination with senior Preston, who is publicly feuding with visiting professor and political painter Robert Berger—a once-controversial figurehead seeking to regain relevance. Antonia Angress was born in Los Angeles and raised in San José, Costa Rica. She is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Minnesota MFA program. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, the artist Connor McManus. Alicia Kısmet Eler (she/they) is an arts journalist, critic and writer. She is the author of The Selfie Generation and is the visual art critic/reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Their work has been published in The Guardian, New York Magazine, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. Alicia grew up in Chicago and is currently based in Minneapolis. She is at work on a novel.
A Boy In The City S. Yarberry
in Conversation with Sun Yung Shin and Moheb Soliman

Thursday, September 22 at 6:00pm
NCB will host a reading with S. Yarberry for their new collection A Boy in the City, featuring fellow poets Moheb Soliman and Sun Yung Shin. In this debut collection of poetry, the obscure and mundane collide. Clever in its playful allusions to Greek myths, William Blake, and other figures, A Boy in the City is a distinct work of joy and liberation that reckons with the language of gender and desire. S. Yarberry is a trans poet and writer. Their poetry has appeared in Tin House, Indiana Review, The Offing, Berkeley Poetry Review, Notre Dame Review, and The Boiler, among others. They serve as the Poetry Editor of The Spectacle.

Moheb Soliman is an interdisciplinary poet from Egypt and the Midwest who's presented work at literary, art, and public spaces in the US, Canada, and abroad. His debut poetry collection HOMES, is a current finalist for several awards and put him in the Poets & Writers annual 10 debut poets feature. 신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin is a poet, writer, and cultural worker. She is the editor of What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories on Food and Family and of A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, author of poetry collections The Wet Hex; Unbearable Splendor; and Skirt Full of Black. She co-directs Poetry Asylum with poet Su Hwang. Both poets live in Minneapolis. 
Kathryn Savage (Groundglass) and Juliet Patterson (Sinkhole)

Thursday, September 29 at 6:00pm

Kathryn Savage's writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, Ecotone Magazine, the Virginia Quarterly Review, BOMB, and the anthology Rewilding: Poems for the Environment. Recipient of the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, she lives with her family in Minneapolis and teaches creative writing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Groundglass takes shape atop a polluted aquifer in Minnesota, as Kathryn Savage confronts the transgressions of U.S. Superfund sites against land, groundwater, neighborhoods, and people. Savage traces concentric rings of connection — between our bodies, our communities, and our ecosystem. Equal parts mourning poem and manifesto for environmental justice, Groundglass reminds us that no living thing exists on its own
Juliet Patterson is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Threnody and The Truant Lover, a finalist for the 2006 Lambda Literary Award. She teaches creative writing and literature at St. Olaf College and is also a faculty member of the college’s Environmental Conversation program. She lives in Minneapolis. Sinkhole is an elegant, fractured reckoning with the legacy and inheritance of suicide in one American family. In 2009, Juliet Patterson learned her father had died by suicide. Her father's father had taken his own life too; so had her mother's. Why had her family lost so many men, and what lay beneath the silence that had taken hold? Sinkhole layers personal, familial, political, and environmental histories to provide not answers but essential, heartbreaking truth.
Literary Bridges

Sunday, October 2 at 2:00pm

Literary Bridges is happy to present poets Annette Gagliardi, Laura Kozy Lanik, and Linda White in a matinee reading, highlighting Gagliardi's new poetry collection A Short Supply of Viability. Host Donna Isaac states, "It will be so fun and exciting to hear these women's' voices, women dedicated to their art, teaching, and the community. All three are active in the League of MN Poets and deserve their place in the spotlight!"
The Ski Jumpers Peter Geye in Conversation With Nicole Helget

Wednesday, October 5 at 6:00pm

A brilliant ski jumper has to be fearless—Jon Bargaard remembers this well. His memories of daring leaps and risks might be the key to the book he’s always wanted to write: a novel about his family. But Jon has never been able to get past the last, ruinous episode of their history, and now that he has received a terrible diagnosis, he’s afraid he never will. Traveling back and forth in time, Jon tells his family’s story to his beloved wife Ingrid, circling ever closer to the truth about his younger brother and father, and revealing the perhaps unforgivable violence done to the brothers’ bond.

Peter Geye is author of the award-winning novels Safe from the Sea, The Lighthouse Road, Wintering (winner of the Minnesota Book Award), and Northernmost. He teaches the yearlong Novel Writing Project at the Loft Literary Center. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he lives there with his family. Nicole Helget (she/her) is the author of The Summer of Ordinary Ways, The Turtle Catcher, Stillwater , Horse Camp, Wonder at the Edge of the World, and The End of the Wild. She is editor-in-chief of Minneopa Valley Press, an independent publishing company devoted to diverse voices from rural America launched. She lives in southern Minnesota with her children, husband, and dogs.
Beyond Belief John Koethe

Thursday, October 6 at 6:00pm

The eleventh book of poetry from America’s premier philosopher-poet is an intimate, searching collection that gives life to the mundane and lends words to our most interior and abstract musings. What makes a life real? Words on a page, the accumulation of moments and memories, or nothing at all? And what is it worth? Locked inside, have we lost our future and its promises or are we merely pressed to inhabit our present and ourselves? The award-winning poet invites us into his consideration of our world, as “an ordinary person sitting on his balcony on a summer afternoon, / Waiting patiently for someone to explain it to and meanwhile / Living quietly in his imagination, imagining the afterlife.” John Koethe is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.
NCB Manga Club: Nightfall Travelers (vol. 1)

Saturday, October 8 at 5:00pm
Come to NCB at 5pm on the second Saturday of every month to talk manga with other weebs! Hosted by our resident manga experts Emily and Graham (yours truly), the Manga Club provides free Japanese snacks, a 10% discount on ALL manga in the store, and most importantly, a forum to discuss a new title every month. For our Spooktober meeting, a manga about the feeling of walking safe but unfamiliar roads at dusk. In Nightfall Travelers: Leave Only Footstepts, two young heroines chase ghost stories up and down a sprawling, beautiful mountainside town, and discover mundane but beautiful truths. Walking the delicate line between cozy and slightly spooky, this is one to read for the vibes. We'll be discussing the first volume, which will be 15% off through 10/8, so give it a read!
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
Every Child Is Beautiful When Born  Esad Babačic

"These poems go off in little blasts of verse, leaving shards of language embedded in your brain. Babačic is the Slovenian William Carlos Williams, except funnier. Whether it's a puddle in the road or the long cruel arc of history, Babačic makes you see his subjects in a new shimmering light. Isn't that what poetry is for?"
Fact of the Week:

The black clothing that was popular in Europe during the Renaissance fell out of style as English and French empires rose in power, making floral patterns and saturated colors synonymous with wealth. Black became the color of mourning, an association strengthened when Queen Victoria's wore black for decades after Prince Albert's death, or with working women like maids and servants. Centuries passed before World War I changed attitudes towards wealth, bereavement, and women's work, creating the conditions for Coco Chanel's "Model 817" to take off in the 1920s. It was a stark, slim garment, the first successful instance of the now-ubiquitous "little black dress."

Learn more about the history of dresses in
Skirts, by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell
I've been wanting to add a section for quotes and excerpts here for a while, but I only just found a book that warrants excerpting. Reproduced here in its entirety is one of the flash fiction stories from Michael Martone's Plain Air. Each of the 130+ paragraph-length stories in this book follows a different occupant of the same fictional Indiana town, a sort of slant update of Sherwood Anderson's famous short story collection Winesburg, Ohio. It's the kind of exercise that could be terribly precious in less capable hands, but Martone's prose is dazzling, and his characters, even in these brief snapshots, come alive. Almost every story had one sentence that left me breathless. Here, I think you'll see what I mean.
Featured Excerpt:


Walking home from work, I walk along the west bank of the west fork of the Fork River that flows through Winesburg, Indiana, kicking at this or that shiny object poking up through the mud. The objects thus kicked up? Bottles mostly. "Pop" bottles as we say in the Midwest, oozing the mud, an effervescent stew. I like the old script lettering and the etched groove and rims of the proprietary glass. All these bottles were deposit bottles. You could take them back for the nickel deposit at Rupp and Ottings Market. Who knows where the bottles went from there. Once, I remember, they found one of the retired men who worked as bag boys at the market taking expired half in half out of the deposit bottle bin. No one had noticed. Everyone thought he was bent over there, rearranging the cases and grates of sticky bottles at the bottom. I take the new find home with me and work to turn the silt inside out, the mud frothing out its mouth in gasping pulsing bleats. Welling, the brew is welling. There is nothing to do with the artifacts now. No taking them back. All the nickels on deposit somewhere, never to be redeemed.

-Michael Martone, Plain Air: Sketches from Winesburg, Indiana
Next Chapter Reader Poll
Thanks to everyone who responded to last week's poll! ...Which was actually no one! And that's fine, we'll figure something out. But, if you think of any relevant local charities that are near and dear to your heart and would benefit from some year-end fundraising by an independent bookstore, shoot me a line. We have a few months to think about it.

Now for this week's poll! Click on "Select" to choose your answer! The results will be in the next newsletter. And our question is:
When you get a credit through our rewards program, what do you do with it?
Find a book to spend it on immediately!
Come in and use it next time I find a book I want!
Save it for an expensive hardcover down the line!
Save it for my holiday shopping at the end of the year!
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)