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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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6 03, 2017

Review: Gizelle’s Bucket List by Lauren Fern Watt

By | March 6th, 2017|Categories: Animals, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

gizelle's bucket list book coverReviewed by Sarah Dalton

Gizelle’s Bucket List was a fun, fast read. I laughed, a lot. OK, right up until I needed tissues and a couple days away from the book for my mental health. The story centers on Lauren (Fernie) and Gizelle, her 160 pound Mastiff. Woven around this central pillar are ribbons of side story about family dynamics, friendships, adventure, boyfriends, love (or at least like), loss, self-discovery, and slobber. Lots and lots of slobber. Actually, there is really only one story about slobber. It’s not bad.

We get to be with Fernie when, at the behest of her Mother, she finds, falls in love with, and brings home Gizelle. Leave to get doughnuts, come home with a giant breed puppy.

10 10, 2016

Review: Pound for Pound by Shannon Kopp

By | October 10th, 2016|Categories: Animals, Disorders & Diseases, Health, Mind, & Body, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Self-Help|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

pound for pound book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Body image problems are not new. I’m sure that bulimia and anorexia existed when I was a teenager, but in those years, any kind of addiction was never brought out into the sunlight for a closer examination and possible treatment. I’ve lived with body image difficulties all my life, having inherited my height from my very tall father, and thus towering over my petite mother, who always seemed confused by my size. I’ve finally adjusted to being who I am, but in the years since I was a girl, these two horrendous diseases have become insidious and ever-present social nemesis.

Because our society allows for such a pressure-filled ‘demand’ to be made of those who may have a weak area, it is all too easy to be tweaked into a seriously addictive life-style. Shannon Kopp presents her struggles with bulimia in an open and forthright manner, making this book an invaluable resource for every young person anywhere.

17 02, 2015

Review: Dirty Chick by Antonia Murphy

By | February 17th, 2015|Categories: Animals, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

dirty chick book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

In her humorous book, Dirty Chick: Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer, Antonia Murphy invites readers to take an inside peak into life as an amateur lifestyle farmer. Her story starts with her babysitting some chickens for her father and step-mother. At the time, their farming experiment was of little interest to Antonia, and when one chicken ended up dead, she was rather traumatized by the experience. Living near San Francisco, she did appreciate the work of artisan farmers for all the delicious options they made available to consumers, but that was as far as her interest in agriculture extended.

Years later, Antonia and her husband moved with their two children to New Zealand. With its more remote population, the foodie in her realized that if she wanted to experience the culinary options she had at

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

Rating:

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

22 09, 2014

Review: Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You by Dan Riskin, Ph.D.

By | September 22nd, 2014|Categories: Animals, Biological Sciences, Nature, Nonfiction, Science & Math|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

mothernatureistryingtokillyouReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

I was initially quite excited to read Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You because from the way the synopsis made it sound, it was supposed to be about all the devices (be they animal, weather, disease, etc.) that nature has waiting around every corner to lead to your possible demise. After I got past the introduction, in which the author describes the experience he had with a botfly larvae living in his scalp, it became clear that this wasn’t really what the book was about at all.

The author lays out each of his chapters with a theme. The theme is “the seven deadly sins”, so there are chapters on greed, lust, envy, and so on. Within each chapter, the author showcases several animal behaviors that reflect on the specific chapter title. For example, in the chapter on lust,

20 08, 2014

Review: Animal Wise by Virginia Morell

By | August 20th, 2014|Categories: Animals, Nonfiction|Tags: , |5 Comments

Rating:

Animal Wise coverReviewed by Melanie Kline

I opened Animal Wise searching for something. I wasn’t sure what exactly, but as the owner of two dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon, and many other various creatures in the past, I was convinced that this book was somehow going to help me understand and communicate with them. I, however, was immensely disappointed.

Animal Wise looks and different species of animals and discusses how these animals, whether pets or wild, communicate with each other and show emotion.

I, personally, was floored that this book basically contained not one iota of information that I did not already know from simply being surrounded by pets at home. It makes perfect sense to me, for example, that when my border collie is chewing a bone and my goldendoodle barks at him, he wants the bone and is about to take

21 04, 2014

Review: What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren

By | April 21st, 2014|Categories: Animals, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |1 Comment

Rating:

What-the-Dog-KnowsReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Solo was an unruly German shepherd puppy and until his owner Cat Warren decided to try to find a way to handle his energy, she was wary about what kind of dog he would grow into. After having well-behaved shepherds in the past, Warren was worried that the dog would be too much for her to handle until a trainer friend suggested she consider training Solo as a cadaver dog. Warren, a college professor with a science and reporting background, was open to the idea even though she knew little about cadaver dogs and what would be required of both her and Solo if this was the path that they would continue on together. Once Solo got a taste of the training, it was immediately clear that this would be his future.

Warren was unfamiliar with all that owning a

19 03, 2014

Review: The Thing with Feathers by Noah Strycker

By | March 19th, 2014|Categories: Animals, Nature, Nonfiction|Tags: , |5 Comments

Rating:

71W8wQViiuLReviewed by Poppy Johnson

The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human is one of the most fascinating books that I have ever read about animals–birds in this case. Don’t let the plain bird silhouette cover fool you because reading this book is so much fun and interesting that you will not want to put it down (not even for one minute). The Thing with Feathers, by Noah Strycker is a book reference for bird lore with information on bird habits and insanely revealing groups of stories about real birds we see every single day. The book is divided into three parts of a bird, which includes chapters on the body, mind and spirit of birds. Each chapter highlights one type of bird (such as owls, turkeys, vultures, penguins, etc.) and then thoroughly explains

6 05, 2013

Review: Rescue Dog by Polly Frost

By | May 6th, 2013|Categories: Animals, Entertainment, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Rating:

2940015726039_p0_v1_s260x420Reviewed by Lauren Cannavino

When I first saw the title of this book, I was instantly intrigued and couldn’t wait to dive in. Owning my own rescue dog and being an animal lover all around, I was ready to read a cute tale about a dog named Waffle. The book is a memoir parody and is told through the eyes of Waffle, a dog rescued from a puppy mill who shares his story with Polly Frost. Frost’s writing style is sharp and fun, and it’s obvious that while the story is a feel good tale about a great and talented dog – one who even talks – I don’t know that it is a story that a wide audience could get into.

I was only given part one to review, labeled “The Puppy Years”, and I felt that while part one was enjoyable, I don’t

7 03, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Creature Features by Tim Rowland

By | March 7th, 2013|Categories: Animals, Giveaways, Hobbies & Home, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |4 Comments

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tim-rowlands-creature-features1Please welcome Tim Rowland, author of Creature Features, who is touring the blogosphere with Virtual Author Book Tours. Don’t forget to enter to win a copy below!

Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

I was raised in the suburbs, and it wasn’t until I was a married city dweller with 2.2 kids of my own that my parents decided to move to a horse ranch and start a little farm full of rescued animals and greenhouses that sheltered organically cared for delectables. How unfair is that! These days, our six children beg to go to the farm, and my husband and I dream of a country house and micro farming set up of our own. So, when I came across Tim Rowland’s Creature Features, I was eager to get reading!

Rowland is a columnist who, apparently, writes most often on politics,