April 4, 2014
Review by Steve Swanson
Nevada Barr, Destroyer Angel. an Anna Pigeon mystery, St. Martins, April, 2014, 342 pp.
When Jerry of the Literate Monkey handed me this pre-publication mystery, I remembered having read several other Anna Pigeon mysteries, two of them set in Minnesota’s Isle Royale Park on Lake Superior.
Reading Nevada Barr’s biography, I wondered if we might have had the same writing tutor, James B. Hall, she at University of California, Irvine, and I at University of Oregon.
There are a dozen and a half Anna Pigeon mysteries, all of them set in national parks. This one, also set in Minnesota’s north woods, opens with four campers—one of them a paraplegic, and one extremely wealthy–kidnapped and held captive by urban thugs.
A third of the way into the book I had plausibility traumas on behalf of Anna Pigeon who, arriving late at the campsite without even her Swiss Army knife, finds four armed and vicious criminals holding her four friends hostage out in the woods. Is she The Lone Super-Ranger?
Anna must figure out how to free the hostages. The action starts early, 20 pages in, and it’s a real potboiler. Anna, weaponless, sneaking around outside the kidnappers’ campsite, manages to rescue all four hostages and save a wounded dog, though she and one of the hostages is wounded and the others are brutally injured by the thugs.
If you like wild, violent, gory stories, if you like relentless suspense, if you like Nevada Barr, and if you like narrative twists and turns, settle into your easy chair with this one.
January 23, 2014
Jane McDonnell’s poetry reading has been postponed until the spring. The reading had been scheduled for tonight, but we will reschedule it.
September 26, 2013
a review by Steve Swanson
This book, by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri, is begins in India and ends in the U.S. Much of the action is in the 1970′s, a time of political and religious turmoil in both countries. Two brothers, Subhash and Udayan, born a year apart, are excellent students. Both are aimed for careers.
The older brother studies in Rhode Island, the younger brother, in India, marries against his parents’ wishes and because of his rabid political views, is killed by the police. Out of grief and concern, the brother then marries his sister-in-law, now a pregnant widow, and takes her to the U.S. From then on the story is mostly about them, and about the daughter who doesn’t know that she was sired by her “father’s” brother.
In a variety of bi-cultural relationships, this engaging narrative explores courtship, arranged marriages, a charitable marriage, immigration, unwed pregnancy, parenting, and lesbianism. It is told with a shifting point of view–the life stories of two brothers, one wife, and one daughter–and those wrapped around and woven through their lives. It is a jigsaw puzzle, exotic and complex, but like most jigsaw puzzles, a fascinating and enlarged picture when finished.
March 3, 2013
Scott Dominic Carpenter will read from This Jealous Earth Friday, March 8th at 7:30 pm.
A man puts his beloved pets to the knife; a family prepares for the Rapture; a woman in a department store slips a necklace into her purse. Whatever the situation, the characters in This Jealous Earth find themselves faced with moments of decision that will forever alter the course of their lives. Always moving and often touched with humor, Carpenter’s stories examine the tension between the everyday and the transcendent—our struggle to grasp what lies beyond our reach. Whether hawking body parts in a Midwestern city, orbiting through the galleries of a Paris museum or plotting sibling tortures in an Arizona desert, his characters lead us through a series of dilemmas of universal appeal.
December 16, 2012
The touching sequel to the beloved novel A Dog Named Christmas.
On Sunday, November 29, 2009, more than 12.5 million families fell in love with the television adaptation of the novel A Dog Named Christmas. Within forty-eight hours after the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie aired, the initial run of twenty thousand DVDs sold out. Two years later, when Christmas with Tucker, the prequel to the McCray family stories, was released, it was described by Dean Koontz as ”a perfect Christmas read,” by A. J. Jacobs as ”lovely and poignant,” and by Publishers Weekly as ”cute, hopeful, and heartwarming.” Now, the much-anticipated third installment, A Christmas Home, will prove to be yet another holiday classic.
Watching their children move out and live independently is a difficult task for many parents — but for George and Mary Ann McCray, it’s nearly impossible. Even though Todd, their disabled son, is in his twenties, George and Mary Ann fear that he cannot thrive without their support and supervision. But Todd is determined to be his own person — and he has a dog named Christmas and an entire community ready to help him find his way.
Gregory Kincaid lives on a farm in eastern Kansas with his wife, two cats, and two dogs, including Rudy, adopted from a local shelter. When not writing, he is a practicing lawyer and pet-adoption advocate.
November 27, 2012
Small Business Saturday was a huge success at the Monkey this year. We saw more foot traffic and had a significant increase in sales. For that, I thank all of you who made it a big day for us. What are we doing to celebrate? We’ve ordered more inventory, lots of it.
We’re doing everything we can to make Monkey See, Monkey Read a better bookstore. Small Business Saturday was amazing. A great kick-off to the holiday shopping season. But it’s just one day. A business needs year round support to succeed. We’ve had a great year so far and look forward to a busy December. I’m grateful that our little bookstore continues to thrive in a challenging economy. We owe our success to our many customers. Thank you.
This commercial says it better than I can.
November 20, 2012
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 is Small Business Saturday. The sane alternative to the mall. Shop small.
June 27, 2012
We will not be buying any used books until July 6th. the ape in charge is taking some R&R.
We will be closed July 4th.
June 9, 2012
Raffle tickets available at Monkey See Monkey Read