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Sy Montgomery from Hancock, New Hampshire visited Village Square Booksellers for book signings and book discussions on her books Good Good Pig in 2006 and when Spell of the Tiger and Journey of the Pink Dolphin were reprinted in Spring 2009.
Autographed books available
This is not only a life-and-death adventure story but a journey through one of the strangest places in the world. Sundarbans, a huge, swampy area between India and Bangladesh on the Bay of Bengal, remains the largest tract of mangrove forest on the face of the earth. It is also the only place where tigers eat men. Elsewhere in Asia, tigers are rapidly being hunted to extinction, but here they are the hunters, routinely carrying away fishermen, honey collectors, and woodcutters and feasting on human flesh. Sy Montgomery, the gifted young author of Walking with the Great Apes, has devoted years to this mist-shrouded, forest-screened region, and in Spell of the Tiger she tells us all about the peculiar relationship between tigers and their human prey. She tells us how it feels to know that as a human being you are, to the tiger, merely a source of meat. Although they fear tiger attacks, the men and women of Sundarbans have turned the tiger into an object of veneration. Montgomery investigates the strange forms of tiger worship, itself a kind of earth worship. She comes to the conclusion that Sundarbans has been protected by the tigers who, watching over the mangrove wilderness, prevent humankind from destroying their own habitat. This book embodies a landscape; it also embodies a religion.
Scientists call them Inia geoffrensis, an ancient species of toothed whale whose origin dates back about 15 million years. To the local people of the Amazon, pink river dolphins are "boto," shape-shifters that, in the guise of human desire, can claim your soul and take you to the Encante, an enchanted, underwater world. As tributaries braid into a single river, Journey of the Pink Dolphins weaves ancient myth and modern science into one woman's search for this elusive creature. With their melon-like foreheads and tubular snouts, pink dolphins look eerily familiar, like a person in a watery beginning. No one knows for certain what gives the dolphins their distinctive coloring: They may glow pink with exertion, or with age, or their color might change with the temperature of the water. With their flexible bodies—stretching to 8 feet long and weighing up to 400 pounds—and finely-tuned echolocation abilities, the pink dolphins perform their water ballet on hand-like, five fingered flippers, in a habitat no other dolphin could colonize. Since these mysterious creatures appear mainly at dusk and dawn, and their migration patterns are unknown, Sy Montgomery's Amazon quest encompasses four separate journeys. In the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo region, she follows the pink dolphins to the spirit realm, where shamans commune with the powers of the plants and visit the Encante; with paleontologist Gary Galbreath, she follows them back in time, tracing the history of the species. At Mamiraua, the pink dolphins illuminate the Amazon's present-day conservation dilemma. And in a final, glorious burst, Montgomery follows them back, down, deep to the watery womb of the world, to touch the very soul of the Amazon.
A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourish meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish, and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible Unexpectedly, Christopher provided this peripatetic traveler with something she had sought all her life: an anchor (eventually weighing 750 pounds) to family and home. The Good Good Pig celebrates Christopher Hogwood in all his glory, from his inauspicious infancy to hog heaven in rural New Hampshire, where his boundless zest for life and his large, loving heart made him absolute monarch over a (mostly) peaceable kingdom. At first his domain included only Sy's cosseted hens and her beautiful border collie, Tess. Then the neighbors began fetching Christopher home form his unauthorized jaunts, the little girls next door started giving him warm, soapy baths, and the villagers brought him delicious leftovers. His intelligence and fame increased along with his gift, and he was eventually featured in USA Today and on several National Public Radio environmental programs. One election day, some votes even wrote in Christopher on their ballots. But as this enchanting book describes, Christopher Hogwood's influence extended beyond celebrity‹for he was, as a friend said, a great big Buddha master. Sy reveals what she and other learned from this generous soul who just so happened to be a pig. Lessons about self-acceptance, the meaning of family, the value of community, and the pleasures of the sweet green Earth. The Good Good Pig provides proof that with love, almost anything is possible.