the ncb newsletter
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Howdy, readers! Welcome back. We're trying something different this week -- a theme! Our booksellers have been talking about ways to mix things up here a bit, to give you more to consider than just new releases and upcoming events (though we'll still have those, to be sure). So we're going to try having a theme going forward, perhaps not every week, but now and again. And in honor of Pride Month, our first theme will examine books that cover LGBTQIA+ topics!

This week, Pride Month recommendations from all our staff, new releases from Patrick Radden Keefe and (posthumously) Joan Didion, an upcoming event with store favorite author Brad Zellar, and fun facts about teen chimps...

All that and more is in this edition of the Next Chapter Booksellers Newsletter!
Feature: Pride Picks
In observance of Pride Month, our booksellers have picked out a recommendation for each letter of the LGBTQ acronym!
Nagata Kabi

A manga memoirist remarkable for her self-honesty, Kabi writes in direct conversation with the reader and draws in almost real-time. Starting with her breakthrough My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, Kabi grapples with identity, sexuality, mental illness, and alienation from her family and world. Read her books in order, and you see her grow little by little. Stories should not be judged by their ability to engage straight white guys, but as a straight white guy, I was surprised by how utterly relatable I find her work. There are pages I think about weekly. -Graham
Alan Hollinghurst

If you're looking for gay literature, you can hardly do better than a novel by Alan Hollinghurst. He's as fine a writer as you'll find, but his ongoing focus on gay life in the 80s and 90s sets him apart from other authors. Whether you pick up The Swimming-Pool Library (about pre-Stonewall life and its relevance today), The Spell (a classic English country house novel updated), or The Line of Beauty (a sprawling satire of class and power in Maggie Thacher's Britain), you'll be dazzled by his mastery of language and captivated by his sly humor and piercing social commentary. -David
Charles Wright

Though he never found the success of his contemporary James Baldwin, Charles Wright was every bit as brilliant a stylist, and way funnier. His three short novels are full of the smart-ass schemers and bad bisexuals who made 60s New York such a trip. -Hank
Nevada – Imogen Binnie

The classic of modern trans lit, reissued at last! Nevada is the best kind of queer story: the one that happens after you come out, transition, whatever, and even though it was the right decision your life still sucks. It's not a book about "good representation" or the way you ought to be queer. You'll make mistakes, hurt people, and still you'll go on adapting, trying, learning. -Emily
The Adventures of China Iron – Gabriela Cabezón Cámara

A raucous adventure tale set in late 19th century Argentina. Cabezón Cámara queers national myths to create a new gaucho narrative, a tale of cross-dressing, dusty pampas camps, and sly critiques of colonialism. -Hank
Signings Aplenty!
As you know if you've been reading this newsletter, we've been busy with a slate of signings with great local authors this past week! If you feel like you missed out on one of these books, we've got signed copies for you. Grab one in the store, by phone, or online before we're out! For a list of our upcoming signings, see below.
New Books

Lapnova Ottessa Moshfegh

Little Marek, the abused and delusional son of the village shepherd, never knew his mother. One of Marek's few bonds is with the blind midwife, Ina, who suckled him when he was a baby. Ina possesses the ability to commune with the natural world, bringing her transmission of knowledge beyond that available to other villagers. For some, this makes her home in the woods outside the village a place to fear and to avoid. This includes Father Barnabas, town priest and lackey for the wealthy, depraved lord and governor, Villiam. When fate brings Marek into violent proximity to the lord’s family, occult forces upset the old order. By year’s end, the veil between blindness and sight, life and death, the natural world and the spirit world, will prove to be very thin indeed.

Around the World In 80 Birds –Mike Unwin, With Illustrations By Ryuto Miyake

This beautiful and inspiring book tells the stories of eighty birds around the world: from the Sociable Weaver Bird in Namibia which constructs huge, multi-nest 'apartment blocks' in the desert, to the Bar-headed Goose of China, one of the highest-flying migrants which crosses the Himalayas twice a year. Many birds come steeped in folklore and myth, some are national emblems and a few have inspired scientific revelation or conservation projects. Each has a story to tell that sheds a light on our relationship with the natural world. This is the latest in the line that includes store best-sellers Around the World in 80 Trees and Around the World in 80 Plants!

Learning to Talk: Stories
Hilary Mantel

In the wake of Mantel’s award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, this collection of loosely autobiographical stories locates the transforming moments of a haunted childhood. Opening in the 1950s in an insular northern village, our young narrator's only way to survive is to get up, get on, get out. In “King Billy Is a Gentleman,” the child must come to terms with the loss of a father and the puzzle of a fading Irish heritage. “Curved Is the Line of Beauty" is a story of friendship, faith, and near-disaster. The title story sees our narrator ironing out her northern vowels with the help of an ex-actress. With a deceptively light touch, Mantel illuminates the poignant experiences of childhood that leave each of us forever changed.

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels, and Crooks Patrick Radden Keefe

Bringing together a dozen of Keefe's most celebrated articles from The New Yorker, Rogues explores the intricacies of forging vintage wines, examines whether a whistleblower who dared to expose money laundering at a Swiss bank is a hero or a fabulist, spends time in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain, chronicles the quest to bring down a cheerful international black market arms merchant, and profiles a passionate death penalty attorney, among other bravura works of literary journalism. Collected here for the first time, Keefe's work forms an enthralling but deeply human portrait of criminals and rascals, as well as those who stand up against them.

Joan Didion: The Last Interview and Other Conversations

Some writers define a generation. Some a genre. Joan Didion did both, and much more. Didion rose to prominence with her nonfiction collection, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, but her writing ranged from personal essays and intimate memoirs to reportage on international affairs and social justice, making her much harder to pin down than her reputation might suggest. This collection encompasses it all, in conversations that delve into her underappreciated mid-career works, her influences, the loss of her husband and daughter, and her most infamous essays. This collection reveals a warm, thoughtful woman whose well earned legacy promises to live on for readers and writers for many generations to come.
New in Paperback
Upcoming Events

For events held in the store, all attendees are required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination at the door. For attendees who are unable to get vaccinated, a negative COVID test result dated within 72 hours of the event date is also accepted.
Next Chapter Book Fair at Modist Brewing Co.

Tuesday, June 28, 6:00 - 8:00pm

505 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Next Chapter will be running our first-ever book fair at Modist Brewing Company! We'll have as many of the latest and hottest titles as we can carry, and Modist, of course, will have their incredible selection of craft beers. Nothing beats sipping and reading!
Next Chapter Book Fair at Urban Growler Brewing Company

Wednesday, July 6, 6:00 - 8:00pm

2325 Endicott St, St Paul, MN 55114
Next Chapter will be running a popup book fair at Saint Paul's own Urban Growler Brewing Company! Come check out the latest best-sellers, as well as hidden gems we'll have picked out for this event, and sip some craft brews courtesy of Urban Growler.
They Drown Our Daughters – Katrina Monroe

Tuesday, July 12 at 6:00pm
No Ticket Required
They say Cape Disappointment is haunted, but when Meredith Strand and her young daughter return to her childhood home after an acrimonious split from her wife, the Cape seems more haunted by regret than any malevolent force. Yet her mother, suffering from early stages of Alzheimer's, is convinced the ghost stories are real. There something in the water, and it's watching them. Reaching out to Meredith's daughter the way it has to every woman in their line for generations—and if Meredith isn't careful, all three women, bound by blood and heartbreak, will be lost to the ocean's mournful call. Part queer modern gothic, part ghost story, They Drown Our Daughters explores the depths of motherhood, identity, and the lengths a woman will go to hold on to both. Katrina Monroe lives in Minnesota with her wife and two children.
Till The Wheels Fall Off – Brad Zellar

Thursday, July 28 at 6:00pm
No Ticket Required
It’s the late 1980s when teenaged Matthew bonds over music with his mom’s new husband, roller rink owner Russ, setting off a series of events that will haunt him into adulthood. After years trucking, dealing with mental health disorders, and living on the road, Matthew returns to his hometown and seeks to reconnect with the man who shaped the course of his life. An expansive, masterfully crafted story for readers of Jennifer Egan and Ben Lerner, Till The Wheels Fall Off is an ambitious coming-of-age tale and portrait of Midwestern life, examining neurodiversity, masculinity, family, and nostalgia. Brad Zellar is the author of Suburban World: The Norling Photos, Conductors of the Moving World, House of Coates (a Next Chapter favorite!), and Driftless. A frequent collaborator with photographer Alec Soth, his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, and Paris Review. He spent fifteen years as a bookseller, and co-owned Rag & Bone Books in Minneapolis. He lives in Saint Paul.
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
The Sweetness of Water
Nathan Harris

"Longlisted for the Booker Prize, this novel explores the unlikely bond between two freedmen and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will change their lives, and his, forever. Parallel to this story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. Equal parts terror and beauty."
Fact of the Week:

Chimpanzee infants bond most strongly with adults of the same sex, and learn by observation. Daughters copy their mothers, while sons, lacking a clearly defined father figure due to chimpanzee mating habits, will follow the example of whatever adult males he can find.

Between the ages of twelve and sixteen, when male chimpanzees grow independent of their mothers but are not yet ready to enter the hierarchy of adult males, they instead spend their time with older males, those who have aged out of the hierarchy, and learn from them. This example of primate self-socialization puts the lie to the idea that only humans have gender.

Learn more about gender in primatology in
Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist, by Frans de Waal
Next Chapter Reader Poll
Thanks to everyone who voted in last week's poll! The results are in:

What is your preferred reading format?
  1. Hardcover - 44.6% (29)
  2. Paperback - 43.1% (28)
  3. Audiobook - 6.2% (4)
  4. E-book - 6.2% (4)

I think this must be the only bookstore in the country where most people (even if only by a small margin) prefer hardcovers! It's always been something we talked about, how our hardcover sales are much higher than industry standards, but it's cool to see that reflected in our results here. And I agree, there's nothing like the feeling of cracking open a new hardback. It only ever makes that noise once or twice!

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:
If you had to live in a work of genre fiction, what genre would it be?
Science Fiction
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)