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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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15 12, 2014

Review: Haatchi & Little B by Wendy Holden

By | December 15th, 2014|Categories: Animals, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , , |6 Comments


haatchi & little b book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Sometimes you meet a story that gives you a hug as you see the characters overcoming great personal odds. This true story of a dog and his boy promises to inspire and lift your day. Not being a huge animal lover myself, I didn’t expect to engage with Haatchi & Little B by Wendy Holden when I first started reading. It was after all a story about a dog…not my cup of tea.

Almost immediately, I knew I had assessed this book incorrectly. Haatchi proved to be more than a dog; he represented a will to survive, to overcome adversity and to be a powerful force for good for those around him. Found injured on a train track, abused and apparently tied there to die, he began a new life supported by a variety of

5 01, 2013

Review: Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean

By | January 5th, 2013|Categories: Animals, Entertainment, For Men, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Hobbies & Home, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments


rin-tin-tin-paper-medReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Rin Tin Tin, by Susan Orlean is a surprisingly complex, as well as a highly entertaining read.

When I first picked up the 317 paged Rin Tin Tin I wondered, “How can an author possibly write that many pages about just one dog?” I was doubting my book choice and wondering how interesting it could possibly be to read about the lineage of a dog, no matter how famous he may be. However, Orlean has displayed “Rinty’s” life as having been so fully woven into the fabric of American culture that her telling of Rin Tin Tin stands out as both entertaining and historically and culturally educational. No, not the classroom, fact listing, ho-hum sort of “educational,” but the sort of education that takes you on a ride, exploring and relating many areas of life while staying anchored

16 09, 2012

Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know by Jeff Johnson & Hy Conrad

By | September 16th, 2012|Categories: Animals, Entertainment, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Hobbies & Home, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |7 Comments


Reviewed by Caitlin Busch

The photograph on the front caught me immediately: two adorable Boston terriers, one seeming to whisper in the other’s ear, while the other stares at you in surprise, as though he’s been caught! Irresistible, right? The cast of characters next interested me – a mix of breeds common in America, breeds which most of us know well through direct or indirect contact. Some of their stories are weaker than others – not as funny, not as connection-forming, and not as well-rounded – but there are some downright stirring moments too. I enjoyed reading more than half of the book, but also felt some of the material was just fluff.

Yes, as you might expect, Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know is a cutesy book in many ways. The art direction is bright and adorable; each character

19 11, 2011

Review: Stay by Allie Larkin

By | November 19th, 2011|Categories: Contemporary, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Literature & Fiction, Romance|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments


Reviewed by Jennifer Leisey

Savannah “Van” Leone is downright miserable during the wedding of her best friend, Julie. But what else is expected, when Peter Clarke, Julie’s new groom, is the man who Savannah has loved since her freshman year of college. And when Julie’s mother tries to pay Van to keep away from the newlyweds, it’s clear that the only people who haven’t spoken about Van’s feelings are Van and Peter. Even Van’s mother, who passed away from cancer a few years prior, knew the truth.

Van returns home alone – her mother is gone, her best friends enjoying their honeymoon – and nurses her sorrows with vodka, Kool-Aid, and a Rin Tin Tin marathon. Angry at the world and too drunk to care, Van starts searching the web for German Sheppard puppies. After waking up the next morning wrapped around

6 04, 2011

Review: Making Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa

By | April 6th, 2011|Categories: Animals, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , , |5 Comments


Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

Oscar was adopted as a kitten from an animal shelter and grew up on the end-stage dementia unit at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The nursing home treats people with advanced Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other illnesses, most of whom are generally unaware of their surroundings. Oscar was one of six cats adopted by Steere House as they felt that the pets were a source of comfort to the patients and made the facility more homelike. Along with the cats, they had a few birds and bunnies.

After about six months, the staff noticed that Oscar, just like the doctors and nurses, would make his own rounds. Oscar would sniff and observe patients, then curl up to sleep with certain people. The patients he would sleep with often died within several hours of his

1 04, 2011

Review: Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee

By | April 1st, 2011|Categories: Contemporary, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments


Reviewed by Colleen Turner

Sandy Portman is rich, handsome, charismatic and incredibly pompous. He has gone through life with ease and, when faced with adversity or discomfort, has talked or bought his way out. The spark he had felt for his wife, Emily, has dwindled; he is on his way to pick her up from her volunteer job at a vet’s clinic, take her out to dinner and announce that he wants a divorce.

Outside the clinic he is involved in an accident and finds himself beside his body, greeted by a “triage specialist” who gives him a choice: fade into nothing or agree to help Emily cope after his death. Reluctantly, Sandy agrees to the man’s terms and is unpleasantly surprised when he wakes up in the body of Einstein, an old dog.

At the same time that Sandy is

20 03, 2011

Review: You Had Me at Woof by Julie Klam

By | March 20th, 2011|Categories: Animals, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , |7 Comments


Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

Julie Klam, a single 30-year-old part-time insurance clerk, feared that she’d never find her significant other. She had begun consulting various psychics and getting tarot card readings to find out when she might find Mr. Right. She did eventually find him, but he was a bit shorter, furrier, bug-eyed, and smooshed in the face than she expected. His name was Otto. Otto was Julie’s furry soul mate, but first came Paul, her future husband who fortunately had a place in his heart for a lady crazy about filling her house with dogs.

Thus began the long train of events which filled Julie’s house with a husband, a daughter, her dearly loved dogs, and fosters needing to be rescued. Julie’s love for dogs led to her desire to contribute to society by helping the little furry rascals she found so

22 12, 2010

Review: Love Like a Dog by Anne Calcagno

By | December 22nd, 2010|Categories: For the Pet Lover, Genre Fiction, Gift Ideas, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , , , , , , |5 Comments


Reviewed by Jenn L.

Sometimes we find love in unexpected places. For Dirk Seward, it’s found in a 10-month-old, white and black spotted Pitt Bull puppy, abandoned in a grocery store dumpster, named Bull’s Eye.

Suppressed by the void of a disappearing mother, Dirk’s world is sheltered and restricted by his unrelenting, selfish father, Russ. Where his father fails, Bull’s Eye offers Dirk purpose, attention, unconditional affection, and protection – the latter being exceptionally important for a young boy in Chicago.

At first, the addition to the household seems to improve the family unit. Dirk and his dad spend evenings reading library books on Pitt Bulls and how to care for the breed. And with a stranger’s suggestion of enrolling Bull’s Eye in an upcoming weight pull, the pup gives father and son a concrete, unified front: spending night and day on training

24 11, 2010

Review: ZooBorns by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland

By | November 24th, 2010|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Animals, Children's Books, Coffee Table Books, Entertainment, For Kids, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction, Photography|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |8 Comments


Reviewed by Vera (Luxury Reading)

I was not quite sure what to expect from ZooBorns by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland. I wondered whether it was targeted towards adults or kids, or if it was just a coffee table book. As it turned out, ZooBorns was all of these things! For an entire week after I received ZooBorns, I brought it out to almost every dinner I went to. Without a fail, the first viewer’s oohs and aahs had everyone else grappling to take a look at the adorable animals pictured of the book’s pages.

ZooBorns features baby animals from zoos and aquariums around the world, and discusses the role that these births play in conservation efforts. Beautiful photos of animals are accompanied by descriptions that include the dates of births, their endangered status, and background stories

30 10, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Dewey’s Nine Lives by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

By | October 30th, 2010|Categories: Animals, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Nonfiction|Tags: , |187 Comments


Reviewed by Carly L.

I recently finished Dewey’s Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter, a collection of stories that compliment the original Dewey book, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. I loved the first book and, although this new collection of stories wasn’t quite as endearing, it was nice to curl up again with Dewey and his friends.

The new Dewey book, again written by Dewey’s “mom”, librarian Vicki Myron, introduces readers to a new group of cat-lovers who have been affected by Dewey or by Dewey-esque kitties. It’s really more of a collection of happy cat stories than a continuation of the Dewey story, since this book introduces readers to other amazing cats and the people that they touched. The book definitely has a