July 2019
March 14, 2022

Greetings! The Ides of March are upon us. Any of you subject to unresolved prophecies: it wouldn't hurt to watch your back.

We have a new book for preorder from the author of Station Eleven; an upcoming event with the author of Shuggie Bain; and fun facts about indices...

All that and more is in this edition of the Next Chapter Booksellers Newsletter!
Honoring Ethna McKiernan

A big thank-you to everyone who turned out for our recent in-store poetry event held in honor of Ethna McKiernan! As you can see, it was a full house, and the readings were beautiful, including poems both by and dedicated to Ethna. We were also serenaded by live music, an original piece also in Ethna's memory. In the end Cracked Walnut, who coordinated the event, also collected quite a bit of money for Habitat for Humanity, Twin Cities, and People Inc. Homeless Services.
We now have two of Ethna's books back in stock. If you weren't able to make it to the event, reading one of these would be the next best thing. Her fifth collection, Light Rolling Slowly Backwards, is available through our website here, while the other, Caravan, is available by phone order (651-225-8989).

New Postcards!

We've got some new postcards in stock, reproductions of vintage Twin Cities postcards from decades past. Next time you're in the store, pick up a few to mail your distant friends -- they're just $1.50 each.


New Books
AVAILABLE NOW

Give Unto Others
By Donna Leon

What role can or should loyalty play in the life of a police inspector? It's a question Commissario Guido Brunetti must face and ultimately answer in Give unto Others, Donna Leon's splendid thirty-first installment of her acclaimed Venetian crime series.

Brunetti is approached for a favor by Elisabetta Foscarini, a woman he knows casually, but her mother was good to Brunetti's mother, so he feels obliged to at least look into the matter privately, and not as official police business. Foscarini's son-in-law, Enrico Fenzo, has alarmed his wife (her daughter) by confessing their family might be in danger because of something he's involved with. Since Fenzo is an accountant, Brunetti logically suspects the cause of danger is related to the finances of a client. Yet his clients seem benign: an optician, a restaurateur, a charity established by his father-in-law. However, when his friend's daughter's place of work is vandalized, Brunetti asks his own favors--that his colleagues Claudia Griffoni, Lorenzo Vianello, and Signorina Elettra Zorzi assist his private investigation, which soon enough turns official as they uncover the dark and Janus-faced nature of a venerable Italian institution.
AVAILABLE NOW

French Braid
By Anne Tyler

From the beloved best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author — a funny, joyful, brilliantly perceptive journey deep into one Baltimore family’s foibles, from a boyfriend with a red Chevy in the 1950s up to a longed-for reunion with a grandchild in our pandemic present.

The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever leave home, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Mercy has trouble resisting the siren call of her aspirations to be a painter, which means less time keeping house for her husband, Robin. Their teenage daughters, steady Alice and boy-crazy Lily, could not have less in common. Their youngest, David, is already intent on escaping his family's orbit, for reasons none of them understand. Yet, as these lives advance across decades, the Garretts' influences on one another ripple ineffably but unmistakably through each generation.
 
Full of heartbreak and hilarity, French Braid is classic Anne Tyler: a stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humor that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close—yet how unknowable—every family is to itself.
AVAILABLE NOW

The Best Casserole
Cookbook Ever 
By Beatrice Ojakangas

500 casseroles for every occasion—sweet and savory, hearty and light, homey and festive—from beloved James Beard Cookbook Hall of Famer Beatrice Ojakangas. A good cook once said that a casserole is a blend of inspiration and what’s on hand. Add to that a generous helping of know-how, and you’ve got The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever. 

Call it a hotdish, covered dish, or casserole—in these pages, you’ll find one-dish meals for every season and any occasion, put together with James Beard Cookbook Hall of Famer Beatrice Ojakangas’s customary common sense and uncommon culinary flair. For breakfast, there are make-ahead strata and quiches or last-minute offerings like baked omelets and Eggs Florentine; for lunches and brunches, light fare or full-on midday meals; and for dinner a dizzying array of dishes, meaty or vegetarian, made with fresh ingredients or pantry staples—from Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing to Baked Spaghetti, Southwestern Beans, or Autumn Vegetable Stew. Leave room for dessert, because Ojakangas includes sweet casseroles like Mocha Fudge Pudding and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. And for appetizers and snacks there are dips, spreads, and slathers; mini quiches and omelet squares; and mushrooms au gratin, curried, or stuffed. You’ll even find bread here in casserole form, from sweet Cinnamon Bubble Bread to savory Cornmeal Spoon Bread and tender Sally Lunn.

With an ever-reliable and inspired sense of how to create a delicious meal, Ojakangas has advice for both expert and novice about ingredients, equipment, and meals. Combine that with whatever you have in the pantry and fridge, and this cookbook is the perfect guide to everything that a casserole might be.
AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER:
COMING APRIL 5th

Sea of Tranquility
By Emily St. John Mandel

The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.
AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER:
COMING APRIL 5th

Time Is A Mother
By Ocean Vuong

In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, and in concert with the themes of his novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America. At once vivid, brave, and propulsive, Vuong’s poems circle fragmented lives to find both restoration as well as the epicenter of the break.

The author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds, winner of the 2016 Whiting Award, the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize, and a 2019 MacArthur fellow, Vuong writes directly to our humanity without losing sight of the current moment. These poems represent a more innovative and daring experimentation with language and form, illuminating how the themes we perennially live in and question are truly inexhaustible. Bold and prescient, and a testament to tenderness in the face of violence, Time Is a Mother is a return and a forging forth all at once.
New in Paperback
Upcoming Events!
All event 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.
The Last Bookseller:
A Life in the Rare Book Trade
By Gary Goodman

Saturday, April 9th, 2022
2:00pm - 3:00pm

Meet and Greet Signing Event

When Gary Goodman wandered into a run-down, used-book shop that was going out of business in East St. Paul in 1982, he had no idea the visit would change his life. He walked in as a psychiatric counselor and walked out as the store’s new owner. In The Last Bookseller Goodman describes his sometimes desperate, sometimes hilarious career as a used and rare book dealer in Minnesota—the early struggles, the travels to estate sales and book fairs, the remarkable finds, and the bibliophiles, forgers, book thieves, and book hoarders he met along the way. 

Here we meet the infamous St. Paul Book Bandit, Stephen Blumberg, who stole 24,000 rare books worth more than fifty million dollars; John Jenkins, the Texas rare book dealer who (probably) was murdered while standing in the middle of the Colorado River; and the eccentric Melvin McCosh, who filled his dilapidated Lake Minnetonka mansion with half a million books. In 1990, with a couple of partners, Goodman opened St. Croix Antiquarian Books in Stillwater, one of the Twin Cities region’s most venerable bookshops until it closed in 2017. This store became so successful and inspired so many other booksellers to move to town that Richard Booth, founder of the “book town” movement in Hay-on-Wye in Wales, declared Stillwater the First Book Town in North America. 

The internet changed the book business forever, and Goodman details how, after 2000, the internet made stores like his obsolete. In the 1990s, the Twin Cities had nearly fifty secondhand bookshops; today, there are fewer than ten. As both a memoir and a history of booksellers and book scouts, criminals and collectors, The Last Bookseller offers an ultimately poignant account of the used and rare book business during its final Golden Age.
Young Mungo
By Douglas Stuart

Friday, April 29, 2022
6:00pm

Tickets will not be sold separately, but are included with your purchase of the book: Purchase Here

Douglas Stuart's first novel Shuggie Bain, winner of the 2020 Booker Prize, is one of the most successful literary debuts of the century so far. Published or forthcoming in forty territories, it has sold more than one million copies worldwide. Now Stuart returns with Young Mungo, his extraordinary second novel. Both a page-turner and literary tour de force, it is a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a deeply moving and highly suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men.

Growing up in a housing estate in Glasgow, Mungo and James are born under different stars--Mungo a Protestant and James a Catholic--and they should be sworn enemies if they're to be seen as men at all. Yet against all odds, they become best friends as they find a sanctuary in the pigeon dovecote that James has built for his prize racing birds. As they fall in love, they dream of finding somewhere they belong, while Mungo works hard to hide his true self from all those around him, especially from his big brother Hamish, a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold. And when several months later Mungo's mother sends him on a fishing trip to a loch in Western Scotland with two strange men whose drunken banter belies murky pasts, he will need to summon all his inner strength and courage to try to get back to a place of safety, a place where he and James might still have a future.

Imbuing the everyday world of its characters with rich lyricism and giving full voice to people rarely acknowledged in the literary world, Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the bounds of masculinity, the divisions of sectarianism, the violence faced by many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.
Independent Bookstore Day
with Diane Wilson

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Non-ticketed event

Mark your calendars! This year's Independent Bookstore Day falls on the last day of April. We'll have all sorts of goodies, such as limited-edition Blackwing pencils, as well as a signing with Diane Wilson, author of The Seed Keeper and Spirit Car.
Staff Pick Spotlight

By R. Kikuo Johnson

"Masterful brushwork; brilliant chiaroscuro compositions; deliberate pacing and naturalistic dialogue delivered through first-rate character acting; a sense of place so strong that the island-paradise Hawaii of popular imagination is flushed from your mind -- Night Fisher is a masterclass in comics, and incandescently vivid slice of life churning with class tensions and adolescent confusion."
-Graham
Fact of the Week

When the inclusion of the index became widespread in the 16th Century, intellectuals such as Galileo feared that it would lead readers to rely on choice excerpts rather than read books cover to cover. This led to the pejorative term index-raker for writers who overuse quotations rather than demonstrating their own understanding.

Learn more about indeces in
by Dennis Duncan
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 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.


--All of us at Next Chapter Booksellers