We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013)
An intriguing story about the broken Cooke family. The narrator Rose used to be a talkative girl but now she wraps herself in silence. Both her parents are sad. Her brother is a fugitive, wanted by the FBI for terrorism. He left home long ago, and only sends the odd postcard as a clue to where he is. Her twin sister, Fern, "disappeared" many years ago, leaving Rose feeling like a part of her is missing. So far so "unmonkey", but trust us - there's a very good reason you should read this in the year of the monkey!
Journey to the West
The 16th Century Chinese novel is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature. It tells of Buddhist monk Xuanzang's travels to the western Asian region to obtain a sacred text. With 100 chapters, the novel is full of weird characters, but the most popular is Sun Wukong, a monkey born from a stone nourished by the Five Elements who gains supernatural powers through Taoist practices. For example, he can lift his 7,900kg stick with ease and travel long distances with a single somersault. He can also shapeshift into various animals and objects. Lucky that Xuanzang had the monkey king to help him on his mission!
This classic game features Donkey Kong, the iconic gorilla character of the Nintendo series. Originally an arcade game in the 1980s, Donkey Kong was one of the earliest platform games, and the very first to involve jumping between gaps, which really shaped the platform genre into what it is today. It is also in Donkey Kong that Nintendo's flagship character Mario makes his first appearance.
Nothing makes a social gathering more fun than a good board game, and Tumblin' Monkeys is an easy but exciting game to play. A bunch of plastic monkeys are dropped through the hole in the top of a clear plastic tree, which is skewered by coloured sticks to stop the monkeys from falling. Players take turns rolling the dice, and removing a stick of the same colour rolled. If a monkey drops down a tree during your turn, you must keep the monkey. The player with the fewest monkey wins!
The British indie-alternative band is best known for their singles I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor and Do I Wanna Know? Although guitarist Jamie Cook didn't even tell his fellow bandmates why he chose this particular name for their band, they have enjoyed some wild success. They have released five studio albums, headlined Glastonbury Festival twice, and have been nominated for three Grammy Awards. They also have several tribute bands, including Antarctic Monkeys and Spastic Monkeys.
Monkey Business (2005)
The fourth studio album by American hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas has a few fun tracks that are good for revisiting now and then, such as Don't Phunk with My Heart and Pump It.
This is one of the pioneers of virtual bands, created in 1998 by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. The alternative rock band's line-up includes four fictional cartoon members: 2D on lead vocals and keyboard, Murdoc Niccals on bass, Noodle on guitar and Russel Hobbs on drums. They live in a made-up universe that is explored via the band's websites and their animated music videos. During concerts, holographic versions of the characters perform on stage. The band has received nine Brit Award nominations and one Grammy nomination, and are best known for songs like Feel Good Inc and Clint Eastwood.
Three years ago, Darwin the macaque became an internet sensation that inspired thousands of memes. Darwin, who was a couple of months old then, had escaped his owner's car in Canada and was wandering around in the car park of an Ikea shop - dressed in a shearling coat and a diaper. His owner, Yasmin Nadhuka, was fined for illegally keeping an exotic pet, and Darwin was taken to the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Ontario.
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
A follow up to 1981's Tarzan, the film stars Christopher Lambert as the man who was raised by apes, and depicts what happens to him after he is returned to Britain. Directed by Hugh Hudson, the film received three Oscar nominations.
The American rock band first formed in 1965 for the television series The Monkees, where they were an imaginary band that aspired to be like the Beatles but never succeeded. When the sitcom stopped airing in 1968, actor-musicians Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith continued to record music, and became a real band. They are best known for songs such as Last Train to Clarksville, Pleasant Valley Sunday and I'm A Believer.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Arguably one of the best science-fiction films ever, it tells of an astronaut crew that crash-lands on a strange planet that is inhabited by intelligent apes who can speak. Humans, on the other hand, are primitive and are used by the apes for experiments or as slaves. Astronaut Taylor is taken to Ape City, where he must do all he can to escape the ruthless apes. This film was also groundbreaking for its use of prosthetics make-up techniques.
A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella (1995)
This hilarious movie features Stephen Chow Sing-chi as Sun Wukong, also called the Monkey King. The movie talks about a past life interwoven with the future, and explores the interconnections between an event's causes and effects. Strange though it may sound, the storyline is logically solid. It teaches us not to take everything seriously as sometimes things happen without a reason. No one knows what will work out fine and what will not. Artistic, meaningful and highly entertaining, this has to be on your "must-see" list.
George of the Jungle (1997)
This film stars Brendan Fraser in his prime, and in a loincloth, as George, the loveable jungle man raised by "an ape named Ape" who really should be professor at a university somewhere. It's a romantic comedy with a great slapstick touch, and Ape couldn't be any funnier.