Anne Sabo Reading Oct. 11

September 25, 2012

Please visit Monkey See Monkey Read for an evening with Anne G. Sabo, a former St. Olaf college professor turned author and mama- & sex blogger on Thursday October 11th at 7:30 PM for a reading and discussion of After Pornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters, a book about how women have seized the means of representation to create a positive counterweight to pornified media and porn as it’s been known.

Though her book will no doubt appeal to women who already show an interest in porn, After Pornified is primarily addressed to all the women who are skeptical to porn as she was, and who value asserting ownership of their bodies and sexuality against the media’s discriminating sexualization of women.

With more young people exposed to porn, Sabo’s book is also aimed at them; to empower young people to read porn critically and to see that there is a positive alternative.

This event is free and open to the public.


An Echo through the Snow-Midwest Connections

September 18, 2012


“Destined to become a classic” –Susan Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of One Good Dog

An inspiring story of how a single act of kindness can transform your life.

Rosalie MacKenzie is headed nowhere until she sees Smokey, a Siberian husky suffering from neglect. Rosalie finds the courage to rescue the dog, and—united by the bond of love that forms between them—they save each other.

Soon Rosalie and Smokey are immersed in the world of competitive dogsled racing. Days are filled with training runs, the stark beauty of rural Wisconsin, and the whoosh of runners on snow. Rosalie discovers that behind the modern sport lies a tragic history: the heartbreaking story of the Chukchi people of Siberia. When Stalin’s Red Army displaced the Chukchi in 1929, many were killed and others lost their homes and their beloved Guardians—the huskies that were the soul and livelihood of their people.

Alternating between past and present, telling of a struggling Chukchi family and a young woman discovering herself, An Echo Through the Snow takes readers on a gripping, profound, and uplifting dogsled ride to the Iditarod and beyond, on a journey of survival and healing.

Andrea Thalasinos, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology at Madison College. Her respect for huskies grew while she was running her own sled team of six dogs. She helped found a dog rescue group in the upper Midwest for displaced northern breeds. Andrea lives and writes in Madison, Wisconsin. An Echo Through the Snow is her first novel.

Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures-Midwest Connections

September 17, 2012

Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures

The enchanting story of a Midwestern girl who escapes a family tragedy and is remade as a movie star during Hollywood’s golden age.

“Emma Straub’s beautifully observed first novel explores the fraught trajectory of what has become a staple of the American dream:  the hunger for stardom and fame.  Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures affords an intimate, epic view of how that dream ricochets through one American life.” –Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

“Emma Straub is a magician, full of  brilliance and surprise.” –Lorrie Moore, bestselling author of A Gate at the Stairs

In 1920, Elsa Emerson, the youngest and blondest of three sisters, is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage, where she soaks up the approval of her father and the embrace of the audience. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child’s game of pretend.

While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura’s great love; she becomes an Academy Award­-winning actress—and a genuine movie star. Laura experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself.

Ambitious and richly imagined, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures is as intimate—and as bigger-than-life—as the great films of the golden age of Hollywood. Written with warmth and verve, it confirms Emma Straub’s reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in fiction.


Emma Straub is from New York City. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published byTin House, The Paris Review Daily, Slate, and Cousin Corinne’s Reminder. She is a staff writer for Rookie. Emma lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she also works as a bookseller.

Silhouette of a Sparrow-Midwest Connections

September 14, 2012

“Tight and purposeful…a positive breath of fresh air.” —Kirkus Reviews

A first novel for young adults that wonderfully evokes the historical period of the 1920’s, a love of birding, and a girl’s coming-of-age and sexual awareness.

In the summer of 1926, sixteen-year-old Garnet Richardson is sent to a lake resort to escape the polio epidemic in the city. She dreams of indulging her passion for ornithology and visiting the famous new amusement park—a summer of fun before she returns for her final year of high school, after which she’s expected to marry a nice boy and settle into middle-class homemaking. But in the country, Garnet finds herself under the supervision of equally oppressive guardians—her father’s wealthy cousin and the matron’s stuck-up daughter. Only a liberating job in a hat shop, an intense, secret relationship with a daring and beautiful flapper, and a deep faith in her own fierce heart can save her from the suffocating boredom of traditional femininity.

Silhouette of a Sparrow is a coming-of-age story about a search for wildness in a confining time, and a simultaneous quest for security in an era full of unrest. It is the tale of a young woman’s discovery of the science of risk and the art of rebellion, and of course, the power of unexpected love.

Molly Beth Griffin is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Grant, a graduate of Hamline University’s MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and a writing teacher at the Loft Literary Center in the Twin Cities. Her first picture book, Loon Baby, came out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011.

The Fall of Alice K.-Midwest Connections

September 6, 2012

“If only there were more unruly girls like Alice K., unwilling to submit to dogma or tradition — the world would be a better place.”
— Julia Scheeres, the New York Times bestselling author of Jesus Land

A first novel from a beloved regional author in which an Iowa farm family and its Dutch Calvinist inhabitants struggle with and are redeemed by land, love, and their faith in one another.

Seventeen-year-old Alice Marie Krayenbraak is beautiful, witty, a star student, and a gifted athlete. On the surface, she has it all. But in Alice’s hometown of Dutch Center, Iowa, nothing is as it seems. Behind the façade of order and tidiness, the family farm is failing. Alice’s mother is behaving strangely amid apocalyptic fears of Y2K. And her parents have announced their plans to send her special-needs sister Aldah away. On top of it all, the uniformly Dutch Calvinist town has been rattled by an influx of foreign farm workers.

It’s the fall of senior year, and Alice now finds herself at odds with both family and cultural norms when she befriends and soon falls in love with Nickson Vang, the son of Hmong immigrants. Caught in a period of personal and community transformation, Alice and Nickson must navigate their way through vastly different traditions while fighting to create new ones of their own. Funny and provocative, amusing and unsettling, The Fall of ’99 marks a watershed moment in the publishing career of author, Jim Heynen.

Jim Heynen is perhaps best known for his collections of short prose featuring young farm boys: The One-Room SchoolhouseThe Boys’ House, and Fishing for Chickens. His poetry includes The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Hat and, most recently, Standing Naked. Heynen lives in Saint Paul, MN.


Trickster’s Point-Midwest Connections

September 5, 2012


“A plot a cunningly treacherous as Trickster’s Point itself, Krueger’s latest mystery has that elegiac tone that’s perfectly suied to O’Connor’s character and to the harsh landscape where he lives and works.”–Booklist

The latest book in the Cork O’Connor mystery series, which finds the private detective caught in the crosshairs of a political assassin.

Private detective Cork O’Connor finds himself sitting in the shadow of a towering monolith known as Trickster’s Point, deep in the Minnesota wilderness.  With him is the first Native American elected governor of Minnesota, Jubal Little, who is slowly dying with an arrow through his heart.  Although the men have been bow-hunting, a long-standing tradition among these two friends, this is no hunting accident, and what only Cork knows is that the dying man was quite capable of murder himself.

Coincidentally, the arrow turns out to be one of Cork’s and he becomes the primary suspect in the murder.  Of course Cork understands his been set up and, over the course of the novel, works to clear his name and track the real killer.  As a result, he recalls his long, complex relationship with the neighborhood kid who became a populist politician.

Full of nail-biting suspense, Trickster’s Point offers a further look into Cork’s past, as well as an exploration of the motives, both good and ill, that lead men and women into the difficult, sometimes deadly, political arena.

William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of ten previous Cork O’Connor novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Vermilion Drift and Northwest Angle. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his family.

Off the Grid-Midwest Connections

September 5, 2012

“In the fifth Monkeewrench novel, the mother-daughter team of P.J. and Traci Lambrecht really hits its stride: a chilling premise; a supremely appealing cast of evolving characters; and dialogue that is brisk, witty, and authentic. Humor and humanity mix in this top-notch mystery, the best in the series.”
Booklist (Starred) on Shoot to Thrill

On a sailboat ten miles off the Florida coast, Grace MacBride, partner in Monkeewrench Software, thwarts an assassination attempt on retired FBI agent John Smith. A few hours later, in Minneapolis, a fifteen-year-old girl is discovered in a vacant lot, her throat slashed. Later that day, two young men are found in their home a few blocks away, killed execution-style. The next morning, the dead bodies of three more men turn up, savagely murdered in the same neighborhood.

As Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth struggle to link the three crimes, they learn that there have been similar murders in other cities around the United States. Piece by piece, evidence accumulates, pointing to a suspect that shocks them to the core, uncovering a motive that puts the entire Midwest on high alert and Monkeewrench in the direct line of fire. Before it’s all over, Grace and her partners, Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, find themselves in the middle of a shocking collision of violence on a remote northern Minnesota reservation, fighting for their lives.

PJ Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their novels, MONKEEWRENCH, LIVE BAIT, DEAD RUN, SNOW BLIND, and SHOOT TO THRILL are national and international bestsellers.


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