Safer-Midwest Connections

March 31, 2009



“Just finishing up SAFER.  What a page turner!!  I started it yesterday afternoon and have not put it down.  It is so good!!   It is well written, and I love the literary references throughout.  It may be a little predictable at times, but then [the author] throws you a curve and keeps your attention from the first page to the very last.  He had me questioning whom to trust throughout the story — including whether or not I should trust the narrator, Paul Calloway!   I can definitely recommend this one to my customers!”
– Angie Grafstrom, Inspiration Hollow, Roseau, MN

SAFER, a new thriller by Sean Doolittle is one great read! My laundry and dishes kept piling while I ignored them to read SAFER, but not for long because I read it in 2+ sittings. I love that the “sleuth” is an English Lit prof, but not the stuffy sort.  The story is wonderfully complex, but the author takes the reader by the hand without making us feel like we’re being led by the hand.  (I love the tool of explanations to the imaginary class). I think this book will have a lot of appeal to a wide group of people – East Coasters, Midwesterners, academics who need an intelligent enjoyable read, and of course thriller fans! Best of all, Doolittle avoided the annoying habit of so many thriller writers these days who feel they must use ridiculous metaphors. I can’t wait to hand-sell this!”
– Jennifer Wills Geraedts, Beagle Books, Park Rapids, MN

“[Doolittle's] novels are real gems, fine examples of timeless crime writing.”
– Chicago Sun-Times

SAFER is a high-octane, rip-roaring page-turner. I read it in one sitting-and loved every minute.”
- Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author

“In SAFER, Sean Doolittle has crafted a taut, claustrophobic thriller in which our safe world of home and neighborhood becomes instead something terrifying and deadly. SAFER made me look twice at my neighbors and check the locks on my doors, and that earns Doolittle a solid A+ in skin-crawling suspense.”
- Kay Hooper, New York Times bestselling author

“Admirably complex.”
- Publishers Weekly

“The plot is slick and inventive. The author is skilled at ratcheting up the readers’ foreboding, sympathy, and fear, creating the deep need to see how things turn out. The primary characters … are vividly rendered, and lesser characters are well-sketched.”

From Dirt to The Cleanup, Sean Doolittle has dazzled critics and defied expectations, garnering bolder critical raves with each new novel. “Stylishly written” hailed the New York Times Book Review … “Superb” declared theWall Street Journal … “Heart-stopping, gut-clenching, eye-opening” raved the Chicago Tribune. Now Doolittle fulfills all that promise-and more-in his latest novel, a powerhouse of suspense that will catch you off guard at every turn. Because in SAFER, a young couple moves into an idyllic little cul-de- sac-and ignites a harrowing journey into darkness as a shocking accusation is made, a family is shattered, and the mystery of a long-ago crime begins to unravel.

For Paul Callaway and his wife Sara, moving from the East Coast to a quiet Midwestern town was a major adjustment. But right from the start, Paul has tried to fit in. He’s played golf with the guys. He’s even joined the Neighborhood Patrol, grabbing a flashlight and a walkie-talkie to make these neatly tended streets even safer. Then Paul makes one mistake-and now they want him gone. But nothing could have prepared Paul and Sara for the quarrel that has erupted between Paul and a neighbor-the self-appointed leader of the Neighborhood Patrol. Or for the next outrage, as police arrest Paul for a sordid crime he didn’t commit. Suddenly Paul’s life, university career, and marriage are at risk, as he finds himself locked in a desperate fight with an angry man, a dark conspiracy, and a secret that began with a child’s disappearance ten years before.

doolittlephotocjessicadoolittleAbout the author

SEAN DOOLITTLE is the author of four novels: The Cleanup, Rain Dogs, Burn (winner of the gold medal in the mystery category of ForeWord Magazine’s 2003 Book of the Year Award), and Dirt (an Top 100 Editor’s Pick for 2001). His short stories have been collected in Plots With Guns and The Year’s Best Mystery Stories 2002. He lives with his family in Omaha, Nebraska.  Author


New look at Monkey See Monkey Read

March 26, 2009

Things are always changing at the store. Here are a few photos of the new look. If you have never been in our store, we carry a mix of new and used books, games, Kona africabikes, and bike accessories. Current best sellers are discounted 20%. Book clubs receive a 20% discount. We also offer a 10% discount on most special orders.





The Dragonfly Door and Dragonfly Secret-Midwest Connections

March 25, 2009



THE DRAGONFLY DOOR and THE DRAGONFLY SECRETprovide a lovely way to present the idea of death and dying to a young child. The concept can be so difficult, and the lovely pictures and uplifting stories will help on the road to understanding.”
– Vicki Erwin, Main Street Books, St. Charles, MO


“Beautiful illustrations … The reader feels the loss and despair with the main character.”
– Judge from the Benjamin Franklin Awards

THE DRAGONFLY SECRET is a must for any home library, but it also deserves a place of honor in libraries, churches, and other places where young children congregate. This book would also make a wonderful gift for any young child suffering from a tragic loss.”
– Bobbi’s Book Nook

THE DRAGONFLY SECRET would make a wonderful gift for a child facing loss in any form. It’s a book that gives readers a soft place to land in their grieving process.”
– Armchair Interviews

“The authors have a talent for storytelling and can relate well to a child’s perspective.”
– Breeni Books

THE DRAGONFLY DOOR (ages 5 to 9) explores the transformation of a water nymph into a beautiful dragonfly.  This story about friendship, loss, and change will be enjoyed by all children and can be a powerful tool in helping children experiencing grief.  Tips from a child psychologist for using this book will be available on the MBA website.  A Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Recipient and winner of 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award.

“[THE DRAGONFLY DOOR] should be quite helpful in providing support for a child who has experienced a loss similar to that of Nym.  It is a somewhat sad but truly hopeful story that I rate as excellent.”
– W. Walker, Stories for Children Magazine

THE DRAGONFLY SECRET (ages 8 to adult) tells the story of a chance encounter between a boy and a dragonfly.  The reader journeys through a beautiful garden with the dragonfly in search of the boy’s secret.  In the end the secret is revealed, gently reminding us that memories of a loved one are forever.  A Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Recipient; A Medalist in 2008 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.

“This is an outstanding read.  Well done in every area, story, and illustrations… Truly a precious gift to be given to any who are hurting from the loss of a loved one.”
– Midwest Book Review

“Clea and John Adams came to my school and talked about their inspiration… They wrote to help others and I want to help others just like they did with this inspirational story.”
– 5th grade student

Loss is universal and does not discriminate.  Because of this, we all share a common bond.  Sometimes finding the right words to comfort a child, a friend, a spouse or other grieving relative can be difficult.  We think you will find both books inspirational and worth recommending to children and adults alike.

About the Authors

cleajohnadams_smCLEA AND JOHN ADAMS participated in the 2007 and 2008 MBA Trade Shows. They enjoy taking time for school visits and other special events, including attending school performances of THE DRAGONFLY DOOR in Alabama and Wisconsin. The Adams live with their family near Minneapolis. More information about them and their books can be found at


Mudville-Midwest Connections

March 25, 2009



“This is a great book for those of us impatiently waiting for April and baseball season!! ”mudville-md

“From April through October, Jen and Sally follow Twins baseball. After the World Series is finished in October, we sigh with satisfaction –we have drunk deep once more from the baseball chalice. Then comes the holiday marathon beginning with Halloween and ending with New Year’s. Following that, we get baseball teasers: spring training (which of course takes place in January), glimpses of the next year’s team in the Sports pages of the newspapers and brief mentions in the sports report on the news. And then — We wait. And wait. And……wait.

“We become like children, ‘Is it April yet? Is it April yet? Is it April yet? How many more days until April?’ A lot of people have complained that the baseball season is now six months long. Sally and Jen are not these people. So what to do? READ MUDVILLE!

“’Mudville’ is the nickname of Moundville. Twenty-two years ago it started raining in Moundville during a baseball game between Moundville and Sinister Bend (what a great name for a rival). That means it’s been raining for 12-year-old Roy McGuire’s entire life. The baseball field has been washed out (even the bleachers are gone). Roy lives with his dad and their cat Yogi. Roy’s mom is a flight attendant with a drinking problem who has abandoned the family. Roy comes home one day to discover another boy in the house: Sturgis. Then it quits raining. Not wasting any time, Roy puts together a baseball team with Sturgis as his star pitcher. The boys weather through adolescent struggles of friendship, family, and teamwork.

“This is a very satisfying read. I recommend this for baseball fans aged 10-110. If you’re not a baseball fan, but know a young baseball fan, this book is a great introduction to the sport, nicely nestled in a good story.”

– Jennifer Wills Geraedts, Beagle Books, Park Rapids, MN

 Carla:  “MUDVILLE by Kurtis Scaletta is a baseball story with a twist—or two—that make it stand out from other sports stories.  Set in a small town said to be cursed by Ptan Tanka, a baseball-loving Native American, it’s peopled with characters with their own personalities.  Among them are the main character, a baseball fanatic in a town where no one has played baseball in his lifetime because it’s been raining for 22 straight years; his father, an entrepreneur who makes a living selling Rain Redirection Systems and cooks fish stick casserole for dinner; Roy’s new foster brother Sturgis, who has a prosthetic ear and is the son of a pro baseball player now in prison; and even some attractive baseball-playing girls.  It’s the perfect book for those hard-to-reach middle school boys who have just discovered girls and would rather be playing baseball than reading.”

Joel:  “As a 7th grade boy who likes baseball, I could identify with Roy, the main character in MUDVILLE.  It’s a good story where unexpected things happen.  If you like baseball books, you should read it.  Watch out for the ending!”

– Carla Ketner, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE
– and her 7th grade son Joel

 A story about brothers, baseball, and a whole lot of rain.

Welcome to Moundville, aka Mudville, where it’s been raining for longer than twelve-year-old Roy McGuire has been alive.  Most people say the town is cursed – right in the middle of their biggest baseball game against rival town Sinister Bend, black clouds crept across the sky and it started to rain.  That was twenty-two years ago…and it’s still pouring.

Baseball camp is over, and Roy knows he’s in for a dreary, soggy summer of digging ditches in the mud, pretending his dad’s meals are edible, and wishing he were still playing ball.  But when he returns home, Roy finds a foster kid named Sturgis sprawled out on his couch.  As if this isn’t weird enough, just a few days after Sturgis’s arrival, the rain stops.  No one can explain why it’s finally sunny, but as far as Roy’s concerned, it’s time to play some baseball.  It’s time to get a Moundville team together – with Roy catching and Sturgis pitching – and finish what was started twenty-two years ago.  It’s time for a rematch.

Kurtis Scaletta makes his literary debut with this witty, heartfelt novel about fathers and sons, brothers and baseball, and a whole lot of rain.kurtisscaletta_sm

KURTIS SCALETTA was born in Louisiana and grew up in New Mexico, North Dakota, England, Liberia, and Brazil, among other places. He now lives in Minneapolis with his wife and several cats. He got the idea for Mudville during a rain delay in a game between the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers. He wondered, “What if it kept on raining?”


Watchmen book review

March 18, 2009

Watchmen is a graphic novel about the real lives and struggles of super-heros. The story is about masked crusaders from thwatchmene sixties that start to show up dead. The few that are still alive have to find and take down the killer while dealing with there own issues. I personally loved the end of the book, but I’m not going to ruin it. The book is not for kids because it deals with some tough moral issues, and there are many violent and bloody scenes. Watchmen has been recently made into a major motion picture. I haven’t seen it yet, but it looks pretty good. Of course, the movie is never as good as the book. If you want a sneak peek, here it is.

By Jack Johnson

Pedro’s Ethik Seat Bag and Park Tire Patch Kits

March 10, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Read has bike stuff to keep you rolling.

The lightest and most aero seatbag on the market.
Pedro’s new Ethik Seat Bag is the first product of its type with sustainability designed into the bag. Great features too: Dry-bag closure Compression strap to reduce sway; Narrow profile tucks below the sleekest saddles; Used inner-tube strap keeper; Recycle it when you’re done!

These seat bags are made in Canada using recycled plastic bottles.

ahr0cdovl2vjec5pbwfnzxmtyw1hem9ulmnvbs9pbwfnzxmvss80mwdnvlb1njrhtc5fu0w1mdbflmpwzwGot a flat? There’s no point in wasting a tube because it flatted once.  Patch it with Park’s Vulcanizing Patch Kit.


The VP-1 Patch Kit includes six thin and flexible patches with tapered edges to blend with the tube’s profile. Four round patches are 25 mm in diameter for smaller holes. Two oval patches, 25 mm x 35 mm, are for wider cuts. A tube of self-vulcanizing fluid bonds the patch to the tube at the molecular level. Each kit is packaged in a small plastic box with sandpaper for cleaning the tube and instructions.



Kona BikeTown Africa 08 – Lots Of AfricaBikes In Bizana, SA

March 8, 2009

more about "Kona BikeTown Africa 08 – Lots Of Afr…", posted with vodpod

Jodi Picoult Handle With Care 20% Off

March 8, 2009

Jodi Picoult’s latest novel, Handle With Care, landed at the Monkey this week.  We’ve got a stack of copies and they are 20% off right now.

Every expectant parent will tell you that they don’t want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they’d been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of “luckier” parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it’s all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She’s smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow’s illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. Written with the grace and wisdom she’s become famous for, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.

Messenger Bags

March 8, 2009


Knog Messenger Bags have arrived at the Monkey.  Why Messenger Bags you ask?  What better to way to carry your books while riding, walking, or just being hip.  Why Knog?  Because they are super cool.  These bags are really nice.  They have laptop sleeves if you need that sort of thing.  And to sweeten the deal, we’re selling these at amazing low prices.  These Knog bags usually sell for $119-$189, but we’ll be letting them walk out the door for $65-$100 for a limited time.

Here is what Knog has to say about the Corsa Messenger Bag

A miracle child in Norway was born with a thick, brown moustache. Despite his parents’ best wishes to keep the moustache, medical experts suggested it would harm the child’s personal development. The moustache was shaved off, sold on ebay, and the boy never grew so much as a whisker thereafter. We designed the Corsa in his honour. I don’t know why. It just seemed the right thing to do.

And the Knog Hot Dog.

Finally there’s a place to park your 13” sausage – and don’t hold back on the sauce, because this puppy’s waterproof construction w

ill keep your goodies high and dry. Pack it up, strap it up and resist the temptation to gnaw at the seams.

And of course the Knog Dry Dog.

The reverse-aqua-Alcatraz of the bag world. Just like those crims were prevented from leaving that island, the Dry Dog, er… imprisons water, preventing it from entering the San Francisco within your bags. No one gets in, no one gets out. Simple.imageaspx

We’ve got a small, but high quality selection of bike stuff at the monkey just in time for this riding season.  And we plan to donate a portion of our sales to bike advocacy organizations.

Little Bee

March 6, 2009

9781416589631I just finished reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  It is a powerful novel set in England and Nigeria.  Little Bee is a young woman from Nigeria who immigrates to England. The book deals with the current political situation in Nigeria, the plight of refugees, and the human emotions of both of these situations.  I found Cleave’s writing to be captivating and the way he handled the difficulties faced by the two protagonists was very moving.  The publisher describes the book this way:

It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it.

Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:

It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.

The story starts there, but the book doesn’t.

And it’s what happens afterward that is most important.

Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

It’s true, I don’t want to reveal too much.  Little Bee is a beautifully written and deeply satisfying novel.  We have a stack of these in the store right now and they are currently discounted 20%.



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