38 Snelling Ave S, St. Paul, MN 55105 • 651-225-8989
EST. 2006 .. St. Paul, Minnesota .. “Veni Sedi Legi”
A P R I L . 2 2 , . 2 0 2 4
Howdy, readers! I hope you know what this Saturday is before seeing the next paragraph... But if not, that's okay too!

This week, we have a more in-depth breakdown of the exclusive books, merch, and freebies you can expect at Indie Bookstore Day this Saturday; new titles from Jane Smiley, Erik Larson, Emily Henry, and Amy Tan; book maps and burgers; and a poem by an awesome local poet, recommended by a different awesome local poet...

All that and more, in this edition of the NCB Newsletter!
Indie Bookstore Day This Saturday!!!
Wow, April is gone in a flash, and Independent Bookstore Day is this Saturday, April 27th. Sorry for excessive exclamation points in the headline, but IBD only comes once a year! The exclusive merch and limited-edition books have arrived. This year's IBD tote bag, pictured above, reads 'The Future Is Indie'! We'll also be selling magnets which read 'Eat Sleep Read Local,' and the ever-popular IBD-exclusive special-edition Blackwing pencils (sold in boxes of a dozen, above). As for books, here's a few of the special-edition ones we'll have on Saturday:

The Field Guide to the Dumb Birds of North America: Exclusive Five-Year Anniversary Edition — Matt Kracht

An indie bookstore exclusive 5-year anniversary edition of The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America. This exclusive signed edition also includes a dumb birds sticker sheet and a letter from the author, Matt Kracht, to the readers that made this book a bestseller for the past five years.

Becoming Who We Are — Ed. Sammy Lisel & Hazel Newlevant

Nine members of the trans community share their real-life childhood experiences, which include much more than just their gender journeys. Their courageous yet relatable stories will inspire readers as they see these musicians, teachers, scientists and activists overcome the various challenges of growing up to discover who they truly are. This Independent Bookstore Day exclusive edition comes with a foil logo and a fold in poster of the cover art.

A Stroke of the Pen — Terry Pratchett

A delightfully funny, fantastically inventive collection of twenty newly unearthed short stories by Sir Terry Pratchett, the award-winning and bestselling author of the phenomenally successful Discworld fantasy series. This special trove — featuring charming woodcut illustrations and a new cover — is a must-have for Pratchett fans of all ages and includes a foreword by Neil Gaiman. These rediscovered tales were written by Terry Pratchett under a pseudonym for British newspapers during the 1970s and 1980s. The stories have never been attributed to him until now. The day after Indie Bookstore Day is Terry Pratchett's birthday, also known as Terry Pratchett Day, so celebrate with this one-of-a-kind collection!
You can view all the IBD-exclusive products on our website here, though you won't be able to buy them online until Sunday the 28th -- assuming we don't sell out on Saturday!
IBD Freebies and Prizes
You don't have to wait until Saturday to get your Twin Cities IBD Passport -- you can grab one starting this Wednesday, the 24th!

Here's how the passport works: every participating bookstore in the Cities (which is almost all of them) has a page in the passport, and you can grab your passport (and get your first stamp) for free at any of them. Then:

  • Get the passport stamped at a store, and come back with it later (starting in May) for 20% off your purchase.
  • Get fifteen stamps, and you can use the 20% off coupon at every bookstore, even the ones you didn't visit during IBD.
  • Get all 28 stamps, and you can enter to win one of five prize packs, or the Grand Prize: $25 gift cards to all 28 stores!
  • Stores will be stamping passports through Sunday, the 28th.
And grab the Midwest Indie Bookstore Roadmap -- also free, and illustrated, as ever, by the amazing local artist Kevin Cannon! You can win prizes here too:

  • Post a picture to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter/X of yourself inside (or in front of) any of the bookstores on the map. Use the hashtag #BookstoreRoadmap and tag the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA) to enter.
  • MIBA will randomly select one entry each month to win a $50 gift card at the member bookstore of your choice.
  • On next year’s Indie Bookstore Day, they'll randomly select one winner from all of the year’s entries to win a $500 gift card! The more stores you shop at and tag, the more likely you are to win the grand prize.
Finally, we'll have two new designs for our usual free bookmarks available starting Saturday, so for those of you who collect our bookmarks, you'll be able to add a fifth and sixth to your collection: one depicting David as a noir-themed bookseller (left), and one celebrating our monthly Manga Club!

There's also etched metal bookmarks designed after Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Orisha series! The metal bookmarks are free too, but limited quantity: first come, first served.
Audiobooks for IBD!
Our digital audiobook partner Libro.fm has some fun stuff planned:

-The Indie Bookshop Appreciation Sale is on! It runs through April 28, with tons of popular audiobooks on sale for $5.

-New members will get two free audiobooks when they start a monthly membership using code SWITCH! Time to ditch Audible.

-Visit Next Chapter on IBD to get a FREE audiobook: The Hill We Climb, by this year's Indie Bookstore Ambassador, Amanda Gorman (while supplies last)
One more time for the people in the back: Indie Bookstore Day is this Saturday, April 27th, from 10am when we open to 5pm when we close! See you there, book lovers!!
Next Chapter Is Hiring!
Next Chapter Booksellers is looking for a part-time bookseller to work weekends. Interested parties should send a resume and cover letter to info@nextchapterbooksellers.com. Benefits include: appearing on a future bookmark.
New Books
In Fiction

Lucky — Jane Smiley

Before Jodie Rattler became a star, she was a girl growing up in St. Louis. Jodie thrived in the warmth of her extended family, and then—through a combination of hard work and serendipity—started a singing career which catapulted her around the country and back again. Jodie comes of age in recording studios, backstage, and on tour, and she tries to hold her own in the wake of Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Joni Mitchell. Yet it feels like something is missing. Could it be true love? Or is that not actually what Jodie is looking for? Shot through with longing and exuberance, romance and rock 'n' roll, Lucky is a story of chance and grit and the glitter of real talent, a colorful portrait of one woman's journey in search of herself.

The Paris Novel — Ruth Reichl

When her estranged mother dies, Stella is left with an unusual inheritance: a one-way plane ticket and a note reading “Go to Paris.” A traumatic childhood has kept her confined to the strict routines of her comfort zone, but Stella resigns herself to honoring her mother’s last wishes, and her first stop is the iconic brasserie Les Deux Magots, where Stella meets an octogenarian art collector who decides to take her under his wing. As he introduces Stella to a veritable who’s who of the Paris literary, art, and culinary worlds, she begins to understand what it might mean to live a larger life. A feast for the senses, this novel is a testament to living deliciously, taking chances, and finding your true home.
In History

The Demon of Unrest — Erik Larson

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the fluky victor in a tight race for president. The country was bitterly at odds, and the passions of North and South came to focus on a lonely federal fortress: Fort Sumter. Erik Larson offers a gripping account of the months between Lincoln’s election and the Confederacy’s shelling of Sumter—a period marked by tragic errors, enflamed egos, craven ambitions, and betrayals. In the middle of it all is the Lincoln, battling with his duplicitous secretary of state, William Seward, as he tries desperately to avert a war that will eventually kill 750,000 Americans. Drawing on diaries, secret communiques, slave ledgers, and plantation records, Larson gives us a political horror story that captures the forces that led America to the brink.
In Romance

Funny Story — Emily Henry

Daphne always loved the way Peter told their story. How they met, fell in love, and moved back to his lakeside hometown… right up until the moment he realized he was actually in love with his old friend Petra. Which is how Daphne begins her new story: stranded in beautiful Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family, now roommates with the only person who could understand her predicament: Petra’s ex, Miles. The roommates mainly avoid one another, until one day, while drowning their sorrows, they form a plan: posting deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures together! It’s all just for show, of course, because there’s no way Daphne would start her new chapter by falling in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex… right?
In Nature

The Backyard Bird Chronicles — Amy Tan

In 2016, Amy Tan grew overwhelmed by the state of the world. In search of peace, she turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, the birds visiting her yard. But what began as an attempt to find solace turned into something far greater—an opportunity to savor quiet moments during a volatile time, connect to nature in a meaningful way, and imagine the intricate lives of the birds she admired. Tracking the natural beauty that surrounds us, Tan maps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions, and beautiful original sketches.
In Memoir

Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent — Judi Dench

Taking a curtain call with a live snake in her wig... Cavorting naked through the countryside painted green... Acting opposite a child with a pumpkin on his head... These are just a few of the things Dame Judi Dench has done in the name of Shakespeare. For the very first time, Judi opens up about every Shakespearean role she has played throughout her seven-decade career. In a series of intimate conversations with actor & director Brendan O'Hea, she guides us through Shakespeare's plays with incisive clarity, revealing the secrets of her rehearsal process and inviting us to share in her triumphs, disasters, and backstage shenanigans.
In Essays

I Just Keep Talking: A Life In Essays — Nell Irvin Painter

Nell Painter has published works on such luminaries as Sojourner Truth, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Malcolm X. Her unique vantage on American history pushes the boundaries of personal narrative and academic authorship. I Just Keep Talking assembles her writing for the first time into a single volume, displaying the breadth and depth of her decades-long inquiry and the evolution of Black political thought—and includes a dazzling introduction and coda, published here for the first time. This collection also offers her original artwork, threaded throughout the book as counterpoint and emphasis. This collection will solidify Painter’s place among the finest critics and writers of the last half century.
In Children's

Orris and Timble: The Beginning — Kate DiCamillo & Carmen Mok

Orris the rat lives alone in an old barn surrounded by his treasures, until the day his solitude is disrupted by a small owl who has gotten caught in a trap in the barn. Can Orris rescue the owl, despite the fact that owls and rats are natural enemies? And if he does, will he be ready for the consequences? With humor and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo brings us this first of three tales celebrating unlikely friendship and the power of doing the right thing—a soon-to-be classic brought to expressive life by the full-color illustrations of Carmen Mok.
News In Photos
Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking!! Grab a flowery book from our new column display for some nice outdoor reading!
Did you know: we're right across from the Mac-Groveland MyBurger! Hardcover and fries, anyone?
New at Next Chapter: the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in map form! This is such a fun thing to have on hand while you're rereading Huck Finn or making your way through Percival Everett's James. We also have maps for Frankenstein, The Odyssey, Pride & Prejudice, and more - grab one and chart your journey through some great literature!
NCB saw a huge turnout for the recent release of local novelist Fredrick Soukup's latest book, Ashes, Ashes, a heartbreaking mystery set in the Northwoods and partially inspired by the author's own experiences with the foster care system. He left us with some signed copies, which are available here.
Our 'Love & Loving' display has expanded after being rehomed on a larger table! Come here for books about finding, practicing, making, and keeping love.

Meanwhile, Our 'Free Palestine' display, which started as an endcap, has moved to a table, with room to grow. Here you can find books by Palestinian authors and covering Palestinian history, including [...] by Palestinian-American poet Fady Joudah, who just won the Jackson Poetry Prize last week. These books are also on our website here. Incidentally. the Vigil for Palestine organized by Women Against Military Madness meets every Friday from 4 - 5pm on Snelling and Summit Avenues, just a block north of Next Chapter. Attendees are welcome to use our water fountain, restroom, couches, etc.
Now 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
Leif Enger — I Cheerfully Refuse
Wednesday, April 24th at 6:00pm

A bereaved and pursued musician sails a sentient Lake Superior in search of his departed wife in Leif Enger's career-defining tour-de-force, out April 2nd. Fleeing a lawless society, crumbled infrastructure, and a malignant billionaire ruling class, Orphean narrator Rainy seeks refuge in the harbors, fogs, and islands of the inland sea. Amidst the challenges of life on the lake, he is lifted by surprising humor, generous strangers, and an unexpected companion. And as his guileless nature begins to make a rebel of him, Rainy’s private quest for the love of his life grows into something wider and wilder, sweeping up friends and foes alike in his strengthening wake. Leif Enger grew up in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut Peace Like a River, which won the Booksense Award for Fiction and was named one of the year's best books by Time Magazine and the LA Times. His second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, was a Midwest Booksellers Honor Book and won the High Plains Book Award for Fiction. His third, Virgil Wander, was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and named a year's best book of the by Library Journal, Bookpage, and Chicago Public Library. He lives with his wife in Duluth.
Christi Furnas (Crazy Like A Fox: Adventures In Schizophrenia), In Conversation With Caitlin Skaalrud
Thursday, May 9th at 6:00pm

Fox Foxerson's got a new roommate. Fox Foxerson's got a new job. Fox Foxerson's got a date. Fox Foxerson would rather be making art. As the oppressive weight of the everyday beats down on Fox, it doesn't seem like anyone can help — definitely not the nurses and doctors at the hospital, who don't seem to take notice of anything Fox tries to tell them. This autobiographically-inspired graphic novel explores mental health and schizophrenia in a surprising and emotionally honest story with a fantastical cast of animal characters.

Christi Furnas is a queer cartoonist, illustrator, oil painter, and disability rights advocate. She has exhibited in galleries across Minnesota and in New York City. Christi lives with her partner in Minneapolis. This is her debut graphic novel. Its protagonist, Fox Foxerson currently has an advice column in Dispatch, a Twin Cities publication covering arts and culture. Caitlin Skaalrud is a cartoonist, comics instructor, self-publisher and aspiring astrologer based in Minneapolis. A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's comic art program, she remains a working cartoonist and active in the Twin Cities comic scene as a organizer of Autoptic Festival, a bi-annual celebration of independent art. Her debut graphic novel, Sea Change: A Choose-Your-Own-Way Story, was awarded one of the last Xeric Foundation Grant for Self-Publishing in 2012.
See the calendar on our website for more!
Book Clubs & Recurring Events
Book club titles are 15% off through the date of the meeting!
Manga Club: the gods lie.
Saturday, April 13 at 5:00pm

Come to Next Chapter Booksellers at 5pm on the second Saturday of every month to eat some Pocky and talk manga with other otaku! Hosted by our resident manga expert Graham, the Manga Club (マンガクラブ, lit. manga kurabu) provides a forum to casually discuss a new title every month -- no RSVP required. For our May meeting, will be In This Corner of the World, Fumiyo Kouno's beautiful and heartbreaking story of civilian life in WWII Japan, which was adapted into a film by animation studio MAPPA, currently on Netflix. This is a longer one, and our first historical fiction. If you can't read it, watch the movie and show up anyway! See you there, space cowboy!
Enemies To Readers: The Bookbinder's Guide to Love
Thursday, April 25th at 5:00pm

Whether or not you are already in love with romance novels, or are seeking a new relationship with the genre, Enemies to Readers invites you to join us every last Thursday at 5pm to discuss the latest read, as well as our continuing passion for tropes and spicy reads. Our April pick, we'll be reading Katherine Garbera's The Bookbinder's Guide to Love. As a lonely foster kid, Serafina sought refuge in handmaking journals. Now, her books are in the spotlight--and rumored to manifest great things. But after the death of her mentor, Ford, all the loneliness and insecurity of her past returns. The only balm is the box of antique books he left to her, which Ford's brooding grandson, Wes, wants back. But it's clear he's seeking an emotional connection, too. So she offers a deal--work in her store for six weeks, and in return, she'll help him get closure by sharing memories of his late grandfather. Yes, Wes seems grumpy, but he's hot... and maybe kind? And so Sera begins to wonder if the best stories aren't the ones you intend, but the ones that take you where you least expected...
First Chapter Story Time
Every Saturday at 10:30am

Join us for First Chapter Story Time every Saturday at 10:30am, when Michael or a special guest reader will share a couple favorite picture books from our children’s section, followed by an activity related to the story! Children of all ages are invited. Enjoy a story, browse our books, and instill a love of reading in your tykes!

First Chapter Story Time will not be meeting on 4/27 due to Independent Bookstore Day.
Literary Bridges 
Sunday, May 5th at 2:00pm

"April showers bring... the MAY Literary Bridges Reading!” says co-host/curator, Stan Kusunoki. “Expect some fresh faces and ideas from this awesome group of writers!” A musical interlude will be provided by Carole Seline. Readers include:
  • A. E. Wynter
  • Erin Sharkey, editor of A Darker Wilderness
  • Christian Avey
  • Penelope Simison, Precarious
  • Jo Cassiday-Maloney
From Our Shelves
Staff Pick Spotlight:
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters — Emil Ferris

"Absolutely beautiful -- jaw-dropping comic. A fantastic coming-of-age story with mind-bending art and a real sense of place. Monsters both real and imagined leap off the page. A big, expansive book with tons of heart. 

Look for volume two in May. I'm sure it's gonna be more awesome stuff."

Featured Excerpt:
i'm going back to Minnesota where sadness makes sense

o California, don't you know the sun is only a god
if you learn to starve for her? i'm over the ocean

i stood at its lip, dressed in down, praying for snow.
i know i'm strange, too much light makes me nervous

at least in this land where the trees always bear green.
i know something that doesn't die can't be beautiful.

have you ever stood on a frozen lake, California?
the sun above you, the snow & stalled sea--a field of mirror

all demanding to be the sun, everything around you
is light & it's gorgeous & if you stay too long it will kill you.

it's so sad, you know? you're the only warm thing for miles
the only thing that can't shine.

-Danez Smith, collected in Homie
Thank you to Douglas Kearney for recommending this poem for the newsletter!
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.

2. Order online or over the phone (at 651-225-8989) 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. We can mail your books (at no additional charge for orders over $75). This option is available for web, phone, or in-store orders.

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 in and ask us for a recommendation, or tell us what you're reading right now!

See you in the stacks!

Graham (and all of us at Next Chapter Booksellers)
Cool water reaches my scalp and I feel somehow quenched. I let my neck go limp, baring my throat, and my head slides back into the stream. The stylist’s hands push water down to the roots, water out to the ends, which have split and frayed over the several months of work and worry since last I sat here, trying not to look up at the woman who untenderly rinses my hair. I was thirty the last time I got my hair cut, I realize. Every year is shorter than the last. What will my final years be like – seasons changing in time-lapse as I blink away years? She lathers the shampoo, and the workmanlike touch makes me feel like an infant. What were my first years like? My eyes unfocus like a newborn’s. For a newborn, every single second must be an eternity.