38 Snelling Ave S, St. Paul, MN 55105 • 651-225-8989
the ncb newsletter
J A N U A R Y . 1 6 , . 2 0 2 3
Howdy, readers! I hope the glummest months are treating you well, and you are stepping carefully, both on the frozen sidewalks and in life. The ice has cleared up a bit, but I'd still encourage you to be careful out there! Thank you to everyone who has braved these conditions to come visit the store. We've got a lot of great stuff coming up for you in the coming weeks.

This week we have two (2!!) new haunted house novels, four (4) different editions of the January 6th Report, four (4) new events, fourteen (14) suggestions for books to guide you into a healthy and happy 2023, and one (1) spell to better rest your horses...

All that and more, in this edition of the NCB Newsletter!
Calendar Sale!! 25% Off!!
The time has come for our annual calendar sale. We're only two weeks into 2023, so there's still plenty of time to get organized! Come check out our wide selection (from the Minnesota Weather Guide to the ever-popular Linnea Calendar) and shop at 25% off! This sale is available in-store or over the phone -- feel free to call us if you're curious about the availability of a specific calendar.
New Year, New Experiences!
How's everyone doing on their New Year's Resolutions? If you didn't make any, you know, there's no law against starting in late January... or February or March. New Years Resolutions aren't just about self-care and self-improvement (thought they can be) but also about expanding your world and trying new experiences. If you're not sure what to resolve, we've got a table full of inspirations for ways to make 2023 your best year yet!
New Books

The January 6th Report

On January 6, 2021, insurgents stormed the U.S. Capitol, an act of domestic terror without parallel in American history, designed to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. In a resolution six months later, the House of Representatives called it "one of the darkest days of our democracy," and established a special committee to investigate how and why the attack happened. Celadon Books, in collaboration with The New Yorker, presents the committee's final report, the definitive account of January 6th and what led up to it, based on more than a year of investigation by nine members of Congress and committee staff, with a preface by Pulitzer Prize winner David Remnick, and an epilogue by Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a member of the committee.

Note: we also have the Random Houses edition, featuring a foreword by Adam Schiff; the Harper edition, with writing by Ari Melber; and the New York Times edition featuring their additional reporting and analysis. Further options are available by special order.

Tell Me I'm Worthless — Alison Rumfitt

"No live organism can continue to exist compassionately under conditions of absolute fascism, even the birds in Italy under Mussolini were observed to take part in rallies and violence. [...] Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of the house, and whatever walked there marched on Rome."

Tell Me I'm Worthless is a thoroughly unpleasant book -- I mean that as a compliment! -- about the tacit cooperation between "gender critical"/trans-exclusionary feminism and fascism. Three girls enter a haunted house. Two girls leave. Alice and Ila can't comprehend what happened at Albion House or what they did(n't? do) to each other. Afterwards Alice scrapes by recording sissy porn, while Ila embraces gender-critical thought. Rumfitt cares deeply for her characters, writing Alice and Ila with equal tenderness and cruelty ("I have to believe that other people have also experienced impossible, horrible things," Alice thinks). But Albion still haunts them, Albion which is Britain, and fascism, and the kind of illusory safety from trauma you achieve only by declaring us vs. them. -Emily

How to Sell a Haunted House — Grady Hendrix

When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads dealing with the family home, stuffed to the rafters with her father’s papers and her mother’s puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who loved her best in the world. Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her deadbeat brother, Mark, who resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale, because it’ll take more than some new paint and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market. But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them… How to Sell a Haunted House is classic Hendrix: equal parts heartfelt and terrifying!

Write For Life — Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron has been teaching the world about creativity since her seminal book, The Artist’s Way, first broke open the conversation around art. Now she turns to one of the subjects closest to her heart: the art and practice of writing. Over the course of a six week program, Cameron carefully guides readers step by step through the creative process. With the learned experience of a lifetime of writing, Cameron gives readers practical tools to start, pursue, and finish their writing project. Write for Life is an essential read for writers who have completed The Artist’s Way and are looking to continue their creative journey or new writers who are just putting pen to paper.
New In Paperback
As always, our newsletter can't fit everything, so check out the other new arrivals and recent bestsellers on our website!
Upcoming Events
An Evening With Thomas R. Smith & Klecko

Thursday, January 19 at 6:00pm

Enjoy an evening with two beloved Midwestern poets, Thomas R. Smith and Klecko, featuring readings, conversation, and signings! Klecko is a poet and baker living in Summit Hill. His latest book, The Dead Fitzgeralds, is a memoir in poems, and a reflection on the literary legacy of St. Paul. It follows "the Baker" and his friendship with the Poet Laureate of the city, "the Duchess," who becomes his mentor. Her guidance leads him toward a deeper appreciation for Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and for his city, and after her death during the pandemic, he travels to the Fitzgeralds' gravesite in Maryland. The Dead Fitzgeralds tell a story of deep friendship, loss, literature, and a changing city, closing with an element of mysticism on the centennial anniversary of Scott and Zelda's Bad Luck Ball.

Thomas R. Smith is author of seven books of poems, including Waking Before Dawn, The Foot of the Rainbow, and The Glory. His poetry criticism has appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and other periodicals. He is a poetry instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. He and his wife, the artist Krista Spieler, live in River Falls, Wisconsin. His new release, Medicine Year, starts in 2019, when he received a prostate cancer diagnosis. The very next day, his wife suffered a serious stroke. The poems he wrote in the months that followed, tell the story of their eventual mutual recovery, in the midst of the pandemic.
Books & Boos: A 35+ Queer Speed Dating Event

Wednesday, January 25 at 6 PM
RSVP Here (Required)

Join The Modern Yentas for an evening of fun and connection. We will have a speed dating activity, time to peruse the stacks, and more! Queer folks of all genders, 35 years old or older, are welcome. The Modern Yentas are local matchmakers, inspired by the ancient Jewish tradition of meddling. We make customized matches for folks in the Twin Cities and host speed-dating and speed-friending events for people to connect and have fun. Our events are silly, chaotic, and low-pressure! We're excited for you to join us.
Sci-Fi Fantasy Club: Gnomon

Friday, January 27 at 5:00pm

There's no final frontier for the Sci-Fi Fantasy Club! Join us the last Friday of every month as we uncover and rediscover forgotten classics, titles that blur genres, small press stunners, and all the books you missed because they don't have Brandon Sanderson's marketing budget. For our inaugural meeting, we'll be discussing Nick Harkaway's Gnomon. What begins as a dystopian noir quickly expands into a maze of different stories -- a banker, an artist, an alchemist, and a far-future hyper-consciousness -- in this hermetic meta-narrative that blurs the lines between people, stories, memories, ideas, and data. This title is 15% off through 1/27, so give it a read!
Literary Bridges

Sunday, February 5 at 2:00pm

This month, Literary Bridges hosts Hamline University creative writers reading their work. Many of the students and alum worked with The Fulcrum Journal, created in 1995 to represent the balance between the literary and visual art communities at Hamline, showcasing the diverse voices of undergraduate students with their annual publication. (To order their 21-22 issue, Pleasure Fruit, email fulcrumjournal@hamline.edu.) Co-host Donna Isaac states, "We celebrate Hamline University for its fine creative writing programs, teachers, and publications; these writers are just a cross-section of the wonderful work that H.U. does right down the street from Next Chapter." Readers will include Emma Harrington, Elena Laskowski, Remi Sherman, Austin Malberg, Tara Westerlund, and Arielle Newfield.
Manga Club: Bloom Into You (Vol. 1)

Saturday, February 11 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 pre-Valentine's Day meeting, we're reading a girls' love manga that explores the gap between adolescent expectations and the realities of love. An unexpected response to an innocent question sparks a journey of self-discovery for the girls in a high school literature club... we'll be discussing the first volume of this wildly popular romance series.
Deborah Appleman — Literature and the New Culture Wars

Tuesday, February 7 at 6:00pm

Our current "culture wars" have reshaped the politics of secondary literature instruction. Due to a variety of challenges from both the left and the right, school reading lists are rapidly shrinking. For many teachers, choosing which books to include in their curriculum has become an agonizing task with political, professional, and ethical dimensions. Deborah Appleman calls for a reacknowledgment of the intellectual and affective work that literature can do, and offers ways to continue to teach troubling texts without doing harm. Rather than banishing challenged texts, she writes, we should be confronting and teaching the controversies they invoke. Deborah Appleman is the Hollis L. Caswell professor of educational studies and director of the Summer Writing Program at Carleton College. Professor Appleman's recent research has focused on teaching college-level language and literature courses at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater for inmates who are interested in pursuing post-secondary education.
Beth Obermeyer — When Winter Came

Wednesday, February 15 at 6:00pm

Maintain isolation - practice good hygiene - wear a mask - be kind. We all know these methods of fighting COVID-19, but this prescription comes from the 1918 experience of Dr. Pierre Sartor, who battled the worldwide influenza pandemic in his small town of Titonka, Iowa. Dr. Sartor wrote an inspiring first-person account which lay forgotten in a lockbox of family artifacts until it was discovered decades later by his granddaughter, Beth. Based on Dr. Sartor's memoir and years of research, she reconstructs his life from childhood in Luxembourg, to medical school in Chicago, to courtship and marriage. His story speaks to the qualities that make a compassionate physician - a compelling example of doing the best of things in the worst of times. Beth Obermeyer is a dancer, musician, journalist, and author of three books published by North Star Press. Her first book, The Biggest Dance, was a Summer Read Pick in the Pioneer Press. The third, The Days of Song and Lilacs, was a finalist for the Midwest Book Awards. She lives in Minneapolis.
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
Zeno's Conscience Italo Svevo

The funniest of the early 20th Century modernists, Svevo wrote his final novel as a psychoanalytical confession. To me, his self-deluded narrator surpasses the fictional creations of his friend, James Joyce. And William Weaver is one of the great English translators from any language.
Fact of the Week:

In medieval and early modern Britain it was believed horses and humans both were susceptible to nightmares. Here's an Elizabethan spell to cure a horse of bad dreams: first, find a flint stone with a naturally-occurring hole through the middle. Tie a string through the hole and hang the flint over the horse. Then transcribe the following onto a piece of paper: "Saynt George our Laydes knight, he walked both day & night, tyll yt he had her founde: he her beat & he her bounde, tyll trulye her troth, shee to him plyght, yt shee should not come within the night within 7 roodes of a longe spare, there as Saint George name is named thrice." Hang the paper above the horse alongside the flint.

Learn more real early modern English spells in
Making Magic in Elizabethan England, edited by Frank Klaassen
Featured Excerpt:

I'd like to include an excerpt from a book I'm enjoying right now even though I'm not able to sell the book to you, currently. The Afflictions is a fictional medieval encyclopedia of diseases. It is available from the publisher's website here. -Ed.

Amnesia Inversa

The invalid with Amnesia Inversa explains away the first memory lapses because they involve distant acquaintances: barbers and peddlers, innkeepers and tobacconists. But then the episodes become more frequent. Gatekeepers who once greeted the invalid by name now ask pointed questions about his purpose. Vendors from whom he purchased flour and salt each week claim they have never seen his face before. His neighbors' eyes no longer flicker with recognition at the sight of him, and his friends answer their doors with the polite, suspicious smile one reserves for strangers. The sufferer tries amulets and tinctures, prayers and supplications, but the disease progresses, swallowing all those dear to him, until finally he awakens on the rumpled sheets of a baffled and affronted lover, and realizes he has been wiped from all human memory.

Scattered across the shelves of the Central Library are reports written by physicians who, grasping at the nature of the condition, transcribed the words of the invalid while they spoke and dispatched the manuscripts with all possible haste before their own memories could fade. These physicians, when questioned about the reports, identified the handwriting as their own but had no memory of having written them. Perhaps that is evidence enough for the existence of this disease.

The fate of invalids with Amnesia inversa remains unknown, for the very nature of the malady prevents them from being studied.

-Vikram Paralkar, The Afflictions
Next Chapter Reader Poll
Thanks to everyone who responded to last week's poll! The results are in:

What is your favorite Edda?
  1. Prose - 66.7% (16)
  2. Poetic - 29.2% (7)
  3. Other - 4.2% (1)

Okay, I am a bit puzzled about the vote for "Other." I'll admit, I added "Other" as an option because I thought it would be funny, not expecting anyone to vote for it. As far as I know there are no Eddas but the Prose and Poetic Eddas. (Wikipedia states: "'Edda' is an Old Norse term that has been attributed by modern scholars to the collective of two Medieval Icelandic literary works: what is now known as the Prose Edda and an older collection of poems without an original title now known as the Poetic Edda.") If you are aware of any ancillary Eddas, please reach out.

Now for this week's poll! This is a short-answer question, so reply to this email with your response! I'll feature some of the responses in the next newsetter. And our question is:

What was your favorite gift you received during the holiday last year? (Literary or otherwise!)
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 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 (no charge for orders over $50) or hand-deliver them (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)