38 Snelling Ave S, St. Paul, MN 55105 • 651-225-8989
the ncb newsletter
J A N U A R Y . 2 , . 2 0 2 3
Howdy, readers! Happy New Year!! In case you didn't see the little Christmas card I posted on our social media, I'd like to thank all of you for a successful holiday season and a wonderful 2022. It's because of the reading community of Saint Paul that we're able to keep doing what we love, and we, the booksellers of Next Chapter Booksellers, are all deeply grateful.

So, what does the first month of 2023 have in store? Well, we've got an exciting reading with two all-stars of Midwestern poetry, our first-ever speed-dating event, a post-Christmas sale, and the origin of everyone's favorite snub-nosed, ivory troll*...

All that and more, in this edition of the NCB Newsletter!
*I am not talking about Danny DeVito.
25% Off Holiday Books and Cards
All holiday books and cards are now 25% OFF! This is a great time to stock up on the things you'll need next year -- stop in and see what's left. It's actually a lot this year!
Event Spotlight: An Evening With Midwestern Poets Klecko and Thomas R. Smith
Come to Next Chapter Booksellers at 6pm on Thursday the 19th for an evening with two beloved Midwestern poets, Thomas R. Smith and Klecko, featuring readings, conversation, and signings!
Thomas R. Smith's work has reached national audiences on Garrison Keillor's radio show Writer's Almanac and Ted Kooser's syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry. He 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.

Just before Christmas 2019, the author, Thomas R. Smith received a prostate cancer diagnosis. The very next day, his wife suffered a serious stroke. The poems he wrote in the months that followed, collected in his latest book, Medicine Year, tell the story of their eventual mutual recovery, in the midst of the pandemic.
Klecko is a poet and baker living in Summit Hill. His latest book, The Dead Fitzgeralds, is a memoir in poems, a reflection on the literary legacy of St. Paul. It follows "the Baker" and his loving friendship with the Poet Laureate of the city, "the Duchess," who becomes his writing 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.
New Books

Age of Vice — Deepti Kapoor

In New Delhi, the Wadia family are loved by some, loathed by others, and feared by all. In the shadow of lavish estates, predatory business deals and calculated political influence, three lives become dangerously intertwined: Ajay is the watchful servant, born into poverty, who rises through the family’s ranks. Sunny is the playboy heir who dreams of outshining his father, whatever the cost. And Neda is the curious journalist caught between morality and desire. Against a sweeping plot fueled by loss, pleasure, greed, yearning, violence, and revenge, will these characters’ connections become a path to escape, or trigger further destruction? Equal parts crime thriller and family saga, Age of Vice is an intoxicating novel of gangsters and lovers, false friendships, forbidden romance, and the consequences of corruption.

Brotherless Night — V. V. Ganeshananthan

Jaffna, 1981. Sixteen-year-old Sashi wants to become a doctor. But over the next decade, a vicious civil war tears through her home, and Sashi finds herself working as a medic at a field hospital for the Tamil Tigers, who are fighting for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. But after the Tigers murder one of her teachers and Indian peacekeepers arrive only to commit further atrocities, Sashi joins a secret project documenting human rights violations, embarking on a dangerous path that will change her forever. Brotherless Night is a heartrending portrait of one woman’s moral journey and a testament to both the enduring impact of war and the bonds of home.

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.

Tell Me I'm Worthless — Alison Rumfitt

Three years ago, Alice spent one night in an abandoned house with her friends, Ila and Hannah. Since then, her life has spiraled. She lives a haunted existence, selling videos of herself for money, going to parties she hates, drinking herself to sleep. But when Ila asks her to return to the House, Alice knows she must. Together, Alice and Ila must face the horrors that happened there and put their differences aside to rescue Hannah, whom the House has chosen to make its own. Cutting, disruptive, and darkly funny, Tell Me I’m Worthless is a vital work of trans fiction that examines the devastating effects of trauma and how fascism makes us destroy ourselves and each other.
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
Manga Club: Frieren: Beyond Journey's End (Vol. 1)

Saturday, January 14 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. To kick off our New Year, we’re going to discuss a manga about endings and new beginnings: Frieren: Beyond Journey's End by Kanehito Yamada and Tsukasa Abe. Decades ago Frieren and her friends saved the world from the Demon King, but now this band of heroes is aging and dying – all except Frieren, a near-immortal elf. Where do you find purpose in a land already saved, and what do you do with a life that lasts forever? We’ll discuss the first volume of this unique, poignant fantasy series. This title is 15% off through 1/14, so give it a read!
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!
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
Thieves Lucie Bryon

A delightful gay rom-com about kleptomania -- what more could you need? Bryon's minimalist art is so expressive that you can't help but love the characters, and feel acutely each peak and valley of their emotional roller-coaster. -Graham
Fact of the Week:

The term "Moomintroll" was coined by Tove Jansson's uncle Einar while she was staying with him in Stockholm as a youth: in an attempt to prevent her from eating all his snacks in the middle of the night, he told her that there were dangerous "moomintrolls" living behind the stove. Reviving the word to name her characters years later, she intended to title her first children's book Moomintroll and the Great Flood, but the publisher titled the first printing The Little Troll and the Great Flood instead, fearing audiences would not respond to the unknown word. It made little difference; Great Flood sold dismally. This did not dissuade Jansson.

Learn more about Tove Jansson in
Tove Jansson by Paul Gravett
Featured Excerpt:

Alive at the End of the World

The end of the world was mistaken
for just another midday massacre
in America. Brain matter and broken
glass, blurred boot prints in pools
of blood. We dialed the newly dead
but they wouldn't answer. We texted,
begging them to call us back, but
the newly dead don't know how to
read. In America, a gathering of people
is called target practice or a funeral,
depending on who lives long enough
to define the terms. But for now, we
are alive at the end of the world,
shell-shocked by headlines and alarm
clocks, burning through what little love
we have left. With time, the white boys
with guns will become wounds we won't
quite remember enduring. "How did you
get that scar on your shoulder?" "Oh,
a boy I barely knew was sad once."

-Saeed Jones (collected in Alive at the End of the World)
Next Chapter Reader Poll
Thanks to everyone who responded to last week's poll! The results are in:

The true joy of Christmas is in...
  1. ...time spent with friends and family! - 84.3% (43)
  2. ...gifts given! - 15.7% (8)
  3. ...gifts received! - 0% (0)

This is the most landslide result I've ever seen in one of our polls. You guys are so wholesome! A special thanks to Lori, who replied 'There should have been an option in the poll of "receiving a book bought for ourselves that we gave someone to give back to us as a gift!"' I totally agree with this and I've pulled this maneuver myself several times.

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:
What is your favorite Edda?
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 6pm Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm 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)