38 Snelling Ave S, St. Paul, MN 55105 • 651-225-8989
EST. 2006 .. St. Paul, Minnesota .. “Veni Sedi Legi”
A P R I L . 8 , . 2 0 2 4
Howdy, readers! I'm sorry to anyone I fooled with last week's April Fools' email, and I promise not to tell any more lies until next April. Don't worry! We are not planning, at present, to pivot to fish.

This week, we have new releases by Anne Lamott, Leigh Bardugo, Anthony Horowitz, and Salman Rushdie; your guide to Indie Bookstore Day, which is April 27th; new letterpress cards and book thumbs for sale; one fiction and one non-fiction story both set during the Age of Exploration; Book books; and ghost children...

All that and more, in this edition of the NCB Newsletter!
Indie Bookstore Day Is
Saturday, April 27th!
It's April, and you know what that means! Well, last week it meant you couldn't trust a word that anyone said, but now that we're past April Fools' and we've got all the fish jokes out of our system, April means that Indie Bookstore Day is on the horizon! IBD is the last Saturday of April, which this year is the 27th. We'll have more to show in coming newsletters, but here's a primer on what you can expect.
illus. Kevin Cannon
First, we'll be handing out and stamping the Twin Cities IBD Passport, courtesy of local literary periodical Rain Taxi. If this is your first rodeo, here's how it 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 for free at any of them. Get it stamped and come back with it later for 20% off your purchase at that store. Get fifteen stamps, and you can use the 20% off coupon at every bookstore. 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!
Don't worry -- you don't have to visit 28 bookstores in one day. We'll be handing out and stamping passports between Wednesday, April 24th and Sunday the 28th.
We'll have the customary (and also free) Midwest Indie Bookstore Roadmap, updated to include stores that opened since last year! The roadmap is splendidly illustrated by Twin Cities artist Kevin Cannon. It folds out just like a real roadmap, and look great on your wall.

Next Chapter will debut two new free bookmarks, so for those of you who collect our bookmarks, you'll be able to add a fifth and sixth design to your collection. We'll also have 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.
Now let's talk IBD merch! As always, there's a unique IBD 2024 tote bag (design forthcoming), and the ever-popular limited-edition IBD Blackwing Pencils! This year, we'll also have exclusive magnets, which read "Eat Sleep Read Local."
In terms of limited-edition books, you can expect:
  • A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories by Terry Pratchett, whose birthday falls on the day after IBD this year. This is your chance to get the paperback early -- it won't be back until October!
  • A signed, anniversary edition of The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America, which includes a sticker sheet and letter from the author, Matt Kracht.
  • Becoming Who We Are, an anthology of autobiographical comics about growing up trans, edited by Sammy Lisel and Hazel Newlevant. This is the only way to get the book before its June release; the IBD edition comes with a fold-out poster, too!
Finally, our digital audiobook partner Libro.fm has some fun stuff planned:

-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)

-The Indie Bookshop Appreciation Sale runs the whole week of IBD, April 22 - 28, with tons of audiobooks on sale.

-New members will get two free audiobooks when they start a monthly membership using code SWITCH! Time to ditch Audible.
Wow, that's a lot, huh? Indie Bookstore Day is our biggest day of the year, so we want to pull out all the stops. We can't wait to see you there, whether you come by on Saturday the 27th or in the week running up to it!
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: cool coworkers.
New Books
In Essays

Somehow: Thoughts on Love — Anne Lamott

Love surprises us, forces us to confront uncomfortable truths, reminds us of our humanity, and guides us forward. Anne Lamott explores the unexpected love for a partner later in life, the bruised (and bruising) love for a child who disappoints, even frightens, the sustaining love among a group of sinners, for a community in transition, in the wider world. The lessons she underscores are that love enlightens as it educates, comforts as it energizes, sustains as it surprises. Somehow is Anne Lamott’s twentieth book, and in it she draws from her own life experience to delineate the intimate and elemental ways that love buttresses us in the face of despair. Full of the compassion and humanity that have made her beloved by millions of readers, Somehow is classic Anne Lamott: funny, warm, and wise.
In Fantasy

The Familiar — Leigh Bardugo

Luzia uses scraps of magic to get through her days of toil as a scullion. But when her scheming mistress discovers her talent for little miracles, she demands Luzia use those gifts to improve the family's social position. What begins as simple amusement for the nobility takes a turn when she garners the notice of Antonio Pérez, disgraced secretary to Spain's king. Determined to better her fortunes, Luzia plunges into a world where the lines between magic, science, and fraud are never certain. But as her notoriety grows, so does the danger that her Jewish blood will doom her to the Inquisition's wrath. She will have to use every bit of her wit and will to survive—even if it means accepting help from an embittered immortal whose own secrets could prove deadly for them both.
In History

The Wide Wide Sea — Hampton Sides

On July 12th, 1776, Captain James Cook, already lionized as the greatest explorer in British history, set off on his third voyage in his ship the HMS Resolution. Two-and-a-half years later, on a beach on the island of Hawaii, Cook was killed in a conflict with native Hawaiians. How did Cook, who was unique among captains for his respect for Indigenous peoples and cultures, come to that fatal moment?
At once a ferociously-paced story of adventure on the high seas and a searching examination of the complexities and consequences of the Age of Exploration, The Wide Wide Sea is a major new work from one of our finest narrative nonfiction writers.
In Music

All You Need Is Love — Peter Brown & Steven Gaines

A groundbreaking oral history of the one of the most enduring musical acts of all time, comprised of intimate interviews with Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, their families, friends, and business associates that were conducted by Brown and Gaines in 1980-81 as preparation for their bestselling The Love You Make. The authors also interview the major social and business figures of the Beatles’ inner circle, suggesting answers to the perennial question of why the Beatles broke up. The information, stories, and experiences herein are of unparalleled historic value: no collection like this will ever be assembled again.
In Mystery/Thriller

Close to Death — Anthony Horowitz

In the ingenious fifth literary whodunnit in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series, Detective Hawthorne is once again called upon to solve an unsolvable case—a gruesome murder in an idyllic gated community in which suspects abound. Riverside Close is a picture-perfect community, until the Kentworthy family arrives, with their giant cars, shrieking children, and plans for a garish swimming pool. The Kentworthys obviously do not belong in Riverside Close, and quickly offend every last one of the neighbors. So when Giles Kentworthy is found dead on his own doorstep, a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest, Hawthorne is the only investigator they can call to solve the case. Because how do you solve a murder where everyone is a suspect?
In Memoir

Knife: Meditations After An Attempted Murder — Salman Rushdie

From internationally renowned writer and Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, a searing, deeply personal account of enduring—and surviving—an attempt on his life thirty years after the fatwa that was ordered against him. Speaking out for the first time, and in unforgettable detail, about the traumatic events of August 12, 2022, Salman Rushdie answers violence with art, and reminds us of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable. Knife is a gripping, intimate, and ultimately life-affirming meditation on life, loss, love, art—and finding the strength to stand up again.
News In Photos
Next Chapter now carries book thumbs! Locally made, these wooden implements make it easier to hold a book open with one hand, for only $12.95. Totally revolutionary for those of us who like to read while walking, biking, or driving!*

*Do not read while walking, biking, or driving.
Brush up on tongues with a book from our new Languages section! Whether you're traveling abroad or just edifying yourself, we now have a selection of language-learning books under the Spanish-language literature shelf, which has been expanded.
Any languages you'd like to see featured here going forward?
March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility! Let's celebrate by reading a book by a trans/nonbinary author or one that follows a trans/nonbinary character! Here's a few of our favorites! This display will be up for at least a week. After all, these are good books all year round!
Local author Mia Nosanow stopped by last week to sign her book The College Student's Guide to Mental Health! This is an excellent resource for anyone making the transition from adolescence to young adult life -- grab a copy from the Psychology & Self-Help shelf, or here.
Next Chapter is your premiere destination for Book books, from The Book of Fire to The Book of Love to The Book of Joy to The Little Book of Beetles -- we have all the books that say "book" at first look!
These bright, beautiful letterpress cards come from Lickety Split Press! Find them on the spinners by the front door -- we have cards for every occasion.
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
Fredrick Soukup — Ashes, Ashes
Friday, April 19th at 6:00pm

Dorian is white-knuckle sober, carving out a life for himself in the Northwoods, all thanks to Miss Bonnie, foster mother to him and many others. Painful memories of his childhood have kept him from returning to thank her, but after learning of her sudden passing, he resolves to pay his respects. But what he discovers back home alters the course of his life forever. Ashes, Ashes lays bare the struggle foster children face in their pursuit of identity, belonging, and love, all amidst a heartbreaking murder mystery. Fredrick Soukup is a St. Paul-based literary fiction writer and author of Bliss and Blood Up North, which won the 2022 NYC Big Book Award for Literary Fiction. He has published works in Fluent Magazine and Sou’wester and was a semifinalist for the 2017 American Short Fiction Prize, as well as a 2021 Minnesota Book Award Finalist.
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 April meeting, we'll be reading Kaori Ozaki's the gods lie., a coming-of-age one-shot about family, secrets, and youthful yearning. Natsuru, a 6th grader who lives alone with his mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with the reserved and driven Rio. Natsuru plays hooky from soccer camp that summer, spending all his time with Rio and her kid brother at their rickety house, where a dark secret threatens to upend their fragile happiness.
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! On 4/13, Michael will be reading Oskar's Voyage by Laura Purdie Salas and Kayla Harren, and Ahoy! by Sophie Blackall.
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:
It's Lonely At The Centre of the Earth — Zoe Thorogood

"The Overby principle states that a great work of art must deliver wit and genuine feeling in proportion to its indulgence in metatextual navel-gazing. By this measure and others, It's Lonely at the Center of the Earth is a masterpiece. Marshalling the semiotics of manga, video games, internet memes, film / theater, and '00s culture, alongside her own excellent color and page design sensibilities, Thorogood turns what could have been a relatively straightforward memoir into a hilarious, devastating interior journey that could only exist in comics form. I laughed out loud at least three (3) times, and was often moved to silent contemplation in between. Thorogood's story lays bare the daily struggle of depression, while also sharing the artistic and philosophical fruits of the work she has done despite and/or because of it. No one person is (or should have to bear) 'the future of comics.' But I hope 'the future of comics' does include Thorogood, because it will be so much better for it."

Featured Excerpt:

"We died hundreds of thousands of times, whether in war, under war, or astride war: in shootings and bombings and shelling and camps and pogroms and hospitals. Oh, it's all war, in the end -- the dead know. We are not children. We died old and young over the decades and centuries.

We are children because we choose it. Those of us who don't die that way become as children after. We decide to remember ourselves bright and innocent, untroubled by aches and pains and guilts and fears and abuses, unmarked by the things we did or that were done to us. We want to be remembered with childhood's halo. Surely, we reason, no one would refuse to mourn us like this. If justice is dead and dharma a maggoty husk, there must at least be sentiment left at the bottom of the jar. Surely no one would look away now.

We stick out our ghost tongues. We sharpen our ghost teeth. We no longer remember which of us were once grown. We no longer tell ourselves apart, except through history. Except through factionalism.

In our unparented ghost childhood we grow feral, like the jungle. Once we were plantation, neat and rubbery and exploited. Now we are bramble and undergrowth and overstory. We dream hot dreams and feel no guilt. We dream cold dreams and feel no pain. We are the ones who died for someone else's peace. We are not the ones at peace."

-Vajra Chandrasekera, Rakesfall (available 6/18)
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)
The greatest gift afforded him was to watch their hair grow long, be sheared short, and grow long again. Each haircut marked the month in sudden, dramatic loss, and in between it grew out, measuring undifferentiated time in indiscernible gain -- an impossible idea, that the only true wealth was comprised of such iotas.