Coming to: Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, 612.822.4611, www.magersandquinn.com

April 25 – Connie Baldrica will read from Tree Spirited Woman at 4 p.m.
As the former lead school counselor for the St. Paul Public School District and a Past President of the Minnesota School Counselors Association, Baldrica is no stranger to helping people listen to their inner voice. Her book Tree Spirited Woman is a narrative that takes the reader through one woman’s intimate transformation from the death of her maternal grandmother to the establishment of a new and guiding friendship with a wise and mystical woman. Along the way, she learns to “let go and trust” in love, personal relationships, and, ultimately, death. Baldrica says the inspiration for the various chapters, which correspond to life’s stages, came from her personal life, as well as from the teachings of her Native American grandmother. “I thought a lot about subjects that were important to me,” she says. “I knew these would have resonance with other women. Women are reaching out, and this book is touching many lives. For more information, visit www.colleenbaldrica.com.

April 28 – Jonathan Balcombe discusses Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals at 7:30 p.m.
Danger-junkie orangutans in Borneo climb dead trees and destabilize them until they begin to fall. They scream with excitement as they cling to the falling tree. Just before the tree hits the ground the orangs leap to another tree or vine, narrowly escaping death. Researchers call this peculiar behavior snag-riding and liken it to bungee jumping for monkeys. While no one can ask orangutans if they enjoy the same adrenaline rush as a person playing an extreme sport, one animal behaviorist sees this monkey fun as a bit of harmless thrill-seeking. A growing number of scientists agree that animals are conscious and capable of experiencing basic emotions, such as happiness, sadness, boredom and depression. New scientific studies of animal behavior reveal perceptions, intelligences, awareness and social skills that would have been deemed fantasy a generation ago. The implications make our troubled relationship to animals one of the most pressing moral issues of our time. Jonathan Balcombe was born in England, raised in New Zealand and Canada, and has lived in the United States since 1987. He has written many scientific papers and popular articles on animal behavior, humane education, and animal research. He is now an independent consultant based in Germantown, MD. For more information, visit www.jonathanbalcombe.com.

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