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In a Dog's Heart: What Our Dogs Need, Want, and Deserve--and the Gifts We Can Expect in Return

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Good quick read, with great appendices. My only bone of contention is that the author is a bit condescending towards anyone who's training methods differ from hers. I'm glad the book isn't slanted towards overly-sentimental stories, though there are a couple of sniffle-inducing tales. I think I appreciate just a little more how well my Boxers understand me, and how I need to work a bit harder on understanding them. I greatly enjoyed the information about how the human - canine relationship has evolved over the millennia. In fact I would enjoy another book on that topic alone. I do plan to get my hands on her other book Through a Dog's Eyes, and would read more from this author in the future.
Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die

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Touching and uncomplicated look at how to deal with the loss of a loved pet. Having lost one dog and four cats in the last eight years I could relate to Katz and much of what he had to say. One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was the afterword by Debra A. Katz, MD. (No relation to the author.) Could be very helpful for those who have just lost a furry best friend, or for those who know they will sooner rather than later. If you are one of those rare animal owners who does not love your pet/s as much as (if not more than) some of the people in your life then this book is not for you.
King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village

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Quite simply one of the sweetest and funniest Early Reviewers books I've ever received. (And I have received quite a few!) It does get off to a bit of a slow start, for which I deducted half a star. Once it gets going though, watch out. This is non-fiction, but reads like a novel in may places. No one could possibly expect the twists and turns King Peggy faces, especially from her own council of elders. Hilarious, informative and, well, just plain ol' inspiring at the same time. P.S. This is a must read for those who love The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
The Girl From Long Guyland

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I gave this an extra 1/2 a star for the humor, which I think must have been unintentional. I only finished it because I needed to find out 'who done it.' I wouldn't recommend this to anyone... ever.
The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil

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I'm giving it an extra half a star for all the wine references. But I'm tempted to take off that half a star because it's obvious that the book is the first in a series! BAH! How long will we have to wait? A very engrossing read that will suck you in until your dishes pile up in the sink and your dirty clothes threaten to engulf your closet.
The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus: A Novel About Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem

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I wasn't prepared one bit for the possibility of falling in love with a novel in verse, but hot damn, did I! The main theme of a child preparing to depart for college hit incredibly close to home for me, as it's only been six months since my own daughter left. The other inter-woven themes of hot flashes, aging, experiencing doubts about pretty much one's whole freaking life, plus, having a mother who's health is beginning to fail kept hammering one thing home; except for the fact I'm not a poet, I could have written this!!! I will most definitely be on the lookout for more books by Sonya Sones, and I will be buying copies of The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus to give as gifts.
Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games

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This short book is definitely a mixed bag of goods, as they say. My favorite part was the afterword written by Marcus Giamatti, the late Bartlett's oldest son. (Brother to the more famous Paul.) It was, on the whole, just too chewy for me. There are not a whole lot of people I know, not even here on LibraryThing, that I would even consider recommending this book to. It does contain some true gems of philosophical wisdom, but there is much wading to be done in order to find them.
Depths: A Novel

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Read this for one of my book groups. I really wish I had not wasted my time or my brain power on this dark depressing tale. It's only getting 1 and 1/2 stars because some of the imagery of the sea in Winter was hauntingly beautiful. The rest? Yuck.
Miss Timmins' School for Girls: A Novel

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This is another book I have mixed feelings about. I enjoyed it, but there were a few things that got in the way of it being wonderful. My biggest issue is with the writer's obsession with Charu's facial blot. I get it. I didn't need to be pounded over the head with it. Another complaint I have is that the book could have used a little more editing. I would have given it four stars if it had been 'tightened up.' I loved the atmosphere, and the descriptions of the school and surrounding areas were a pleasure to read. I didn't mind that the point of view hopped around a bit, though I certainly would have enjoyed hearing more from Merch. He is a fascinating character. It's a first novel and I would read more from this author, especially if she gets a more thorough editor.
Half a Life: A Memoir

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This book drew my attention much like the accident that is its centerpiece. Reading it forced me into the often unpleasant role of gawking bystander. It's a mixed bag of goods. While I do indeed feel for Darin Strauss I wish he'd spent a little more time fleshing out Celine, the young woman he accidentally killed when he was 18. The book is at times refreshing to read and at others a self-absorbed wallow. Part of me wanted to comfort him and part wanted to slap him out of his eternal funk. I guess that's the point! He couldn't break out of his self-imposed malaise of martyrdom either. I'm glad I requested and read this, as I lost a family member to a teen driver when I was young, and never once thought about how that driver must have felt. I can't say I'll be recommending it to a whole lot of people, though.
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