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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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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

29 11, 2012

Review: ZooBorns The Next Generation by Andrew Bleiman & Chris Eastland

By | November 29th, 2012|Categories: Animals, For Kids, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction, Photography|Tags: , |3 Comments


Reviewed by Charity Lyman

Almost any woman I know is a sucker for baby animals. Whether they are pets, farm animals or zoo animals. And believe me, I am no different. So when I reviewed ZooBorns The Next Generation, you should have heard all the oohs and ahhs from the whole family! And that includes some of the guys:) I mean, who can resist a smile when looking at a picture of a newborn Cheetah cub, or an Arctic Fox? None of us could! Of course, I won’t mention the pictures only a mother could love!

This book is filled with pictures of baby animals that have been born at zoos anywhere from Tampa, FL to South Africa and Houston, TX. I felt like a took a trip across the world as I browsed the pages. ZooBorns The Next Generation features

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

28 08, 2012

Review: The Bond by Wayne Pacelle

By | August 28th, 2012|Categories: Animals, Nonfiction, Politics & Government|Tags: , , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Caitlin O’Malley 

I was thrilled at the opportunity to read The Bond based on its author alone: Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Since assuming his role at the helm of one of the most respected animal welfare organizations in the world, Pacelle has transformed the Humane Society into one of the most visible agitators for animal welfare in every arena of America. I admire him for bringing mainstream attention to issues such as animal welfare on factory farms, an area once reserved for more “radical” organizations like PETA, as well as more “traditional” issues like the protection of animal companions and wild animals.

During Pacelle’s short time at the helm, he has moved the HSUS from a mild-mannered charity to an aggressive action group on behalf of our animal neighbors. Pacelle

15 08, 2012

Review: Kitty Cornered by Bob Tarte

By | August 15th, 2012|Categories: Animals, Entertainment, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |4 Comments


Reviewed by Joanne Reynolds

Kitty Cornered starts with a ground-floor plan of Bob and Linda Tarte’s home. There are indications of where things occur in this home, all related to the pets that this couple cohabitates with.

Bob and Linda are very much into animals, with cats, birds, rabbits in the house and ducks and chickens in the barn. Bob litters this book with the personalities of all the animals that encompass his life. There are cats already in the home, but more are acquired during the reading, including the one stray that Bob seems to be the most taken with, Frannie.

Kitty Cornered is enjoyable look into the mechanics and the ups and downs involved in owning so many different pets. Bob is great at making you understand, as much as he or we can, the different emotions, phobias and quirks of

11 08, 2012

Review: The Amazing Life of Cats by Candida Baker

By | August 11th, 2012|Categories: Animals, Hobbies & Home, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments


Reviewed by Jenna Arthur

Few animals have effected humans as much as cats. Furry, frustrating, lovable, playful…they truly are one of man’s (and woman’s) best friends. They are there to entertain us when we are bored and nuzzle us when we are sad – and so are the great stories told in The Amazing Life of Cats by Candida Baker. A collection of dozens of cat stories, The Amazing Life of Cats makes you laugh, tear and smile with every furry tale. Whether it’s the story of the small cat who fiercely protected his owner’s baby or the cat that liked to climb through windows only to steal the neighbors pies and other baked treats, this book is filled with reminders of why we strive to make these furry friends such a close part of our families.

Story after story will take

3 12, 2011

Review: Cat Calls by Jeanne Adlon & Susan Logan

By | December 3rd, 2011|Categories: Animals, Entertainment, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , |8 Comments


Reviewed by Melanie Kline

Cat Calls is described to be full of practical advice for cat owners and stories of Jeanne Adlon’s experiences as a cat sitter. Adopting, feeding, indoor vs. outdoor, litter boxes, health, behavior issues, playtime and special occasions are all covered with Adlon’s anecdotes mixed throughout.

As I have a multiple cat household, I was excited to learn anything that could be of assistance and settled into my recliner with Spot on my lap and Wilson on my feet. Unfortunately, the only thing I took away from this quiet reading time was cat hair all over my pants and socks. Cat Calls, to me, is exactly the same as every other cat informational book out there and to be quite frank, I didn’t find even one of Adlon’s stories even remotely funny. In fact, I never even cracked

27 11, 2011

Review: ZooBorns Cats! by Andrew Bleiman & Chris Eastland

By | November 27th, 2011|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Animals, Children's Books, For Kids, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction, Photography|Tags: , , , , , , , |2 Comments


Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

First off, you have to get ZooBorns Cats! because it is the stinking cutest book ever! I chose it for my soon-to-be nine-year-old daughter – who is the typical kitty and horse loving little girl – because of the adorable pictures that I knew she would love. What I didn’t expect was all of the great information and the variety of wildcat species that Bleiman and Eastland were able to capture.

Many of the cats that Bleiman and Eastland have included are extremely rare and, for some, this is the first time they have had their picture printed. Each species of wildcat pictured includes its common name, native location, and information about its habits and where it falls on the endangered list. My personal favorites are the sand cats of the Arabian Desert. Not only are they gorgeous,

30 08, 2011

Review: Tell Me about that Horse by Vaughn Wilson

By | August 30th, 2011|Categories: Animals, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |8 Comments


Reviewed by Jennifer Rasmussen

Vaughn Wilson spent three years and 30,000 miles to create a stunning tapestry of horse-lovers through the stories of their horses. The pages of Tell Me about that Horse cover 39 interviews with celebrities and cowboys about the horses that changed their lives, and complimentary images.

I’m always a little skeptical when I see a “horse book.” As a life-long and self-proclaimed cowgirl, most horse books are too shallow, too prettied up by superfluous descriptions and keep the horses center-stage as nothing more than big dogs.

While horses can be pets, the relationship between a horse and his owner goes far beyond companionship. Horses get in your blood and become an addiction. It’s impossible to eradicate them from your life. Vaughn Wilson has it bad, and worked incredibly hard to find other addicts who could effectively portray what it’s

25 06, 2011

Review: Bonobo Handshake by Vanessa Woods

By | June 25th, 2011|Categories: Animals, Biographies, Mathematics/Science, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , |3 Comments


Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Vanessa Woods had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. Accepting an opportunity to work with her friend Debby’s chimpanzee orphanage in Africa was just the beginning in a series of events that would change Vanessa in ways she had never expected. First, Vanessa fell in love with a primatologist who worked with the chimpanzees on Ngamba Island. She accepted his quick marriage proposal, scared and excited all at the same time.

Brian Hare’s scientific research took him and his new wife to Congo, where he hoped to find the answer to one of the greatest questions of mankind: What makes us human? Hesitant about Congo, which has the highest rate of rape in the world, Vanessa did not anticipate how involved she herself would become in Brian’s testing. Unlike the chimpanzees they