Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


Celebrate “Great Outdoors Month” With These Awesome Outdoor Reads!

Frozen Lake Trail out of Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park.

June is Great Outdoors Month. I love this month because… well… um… I love June because Mom loves June. And I love everything Mom loves. (Except broccoli. Gag me with roughage!)

Hurray for Great Outdoors Month!

Back to June. Check it out: Hiking! Frisbee tossing! Swimming! Canoeing! Frisbee chasing! Kayaking! Fishing! Frisbee-ing! Picnicking! Biking! Frisbees! The beach, the mountains, the desert, the plains!

Did I mention Frisbees?

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Recs for Your Summer Reading

What’s on YOUR Summer TBR?

Mom’s at it again. She’s skipping merrily around the house, opening every window in sight.  Humming that Temptations song. You know the one. About sunshine on a cloudy day.

Here in the omni-soggy Pacific Northwest, we take whatever we can get in the “sunshine” department. Maybe that explains Mom lately. Why she keeps crowing, “Summer’s comin’! Woo-hoo!”

Has anyone found my frisbee? Cuz frankly, what’s summer without a nice, chewy, frisbee?

Anyway, with the weather warming up and some blue skies finally putting in an appearance, we whipped up a quick list of books for your summer reading. Categories include:

  • Most Unusual and Imaginative.
  • Most Intriguing.
  • Notable Nonfiction.
  • Just Plain Fun.
  • Favorite Re-reads.
  • Most Poignant.
  • #1 Favorites.

Titles appear in no particular order. So without further ado, here ya are. You’re welcome:

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5 Worthy Reads ‘For Us, The Living’ On Memorial Day

Memorial Day typically marks the unofficial start of the summer season. But let’s also take time out to remember those who gave their “last full measure of devotion” for their country. To honor those brave men and women in uniform who gave their lives so we can enjoy the blessings and responsibilities of liberty today.

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‘Be Right Back’ Isn’t Your Average Book of Poetry – Here’s Why

Be Right Back – The Travelogues of a Wandering Mind

By Jeffrey Greenmun, 2023

Genre: Non-Fiction, Poetry (Don’t freak out, okay? More on that in a min.)

Pages: 174

Note: We received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, okay. Quiet down in the back. Especially those of you who want to jump up and run screaming from the room the minute you hear the word “poetry.”

You know who you are.

So just hang on a min, okay? Cuz if poetry isn’t your cuppa, give Jeffrey Greenmun’s Be Right Back – The Travelogues of a Wandering Mind a chance. Articulate and eloquent, this delicious blend of poetry and biography may change your mind. Here’s the 4-1-1:

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The Best ‘Box’ Novel Yet?

Kimber: Hey Mom! You know that author guy we stumbled upon a while back? The box-y dude who writes crime thrillers set in Wyoming?

Mom: “You mean C.J. Box?”

Kimber: Yeppers! Didya know he has a new book out?

And that’s how Her Momness and I flew over to the library faster than Captain Kirk aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.  Here’s what we found:

The Setting

It’s early spring in Wyoming. State Game Warden Joe Pickett is facing the mother of all storms in C.J. Box’s latest crime thriller western, Storm Watch. And we don’t mean just the blizzard kind, either. No siree, Lassie! Although there’s enough snow and ice and freezing temps in this taut and tightly written novel to make you want to toss another log on the fire. Maybe two.

Well. The Cowboy State is about to get hit by an “apocalyptic blizzard” in more ways than one.

Kimber: The title has a double meaning, if you get my drift. As in snow drift. Also deep doo-doo of the political type “drift.”

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FRIDAY 56: ‘The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line’

TGIF! It’s Friday! Woop! Woop! Time for another Book Beginnings and Friday 56!

This week our Book Beginning and Friday 56 are from the same book, The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II. By Major General Mari K. Eder (U.S. Army, Retired.) 

Keep reading till the end for Our Rating!

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Will You Remember ‘Sweethearts’?


The Timeless Love Affair – On-Screen and Off – Between Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy

By Sharon Rich

Published by; Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1994

Genre: Non-Fiction/Biography

Via: Library

Kimber: Let’s get one thing straight right out of the kennel, okay? Her Crankiness is a huge MacEddy fan. (For you young whipper-snappers, that’s a person who loves Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy films from Tinseltown’s Golden Era.)

So altho some MacEddy fans may rave about Sweethearts, ‘ole Stick in the Mud (Hi, Mom) disagrees. Somethin’ about ‘disappointing’ and ‘a one-way ticket to Snoozeville.’

We’ll get to why in a min. So kindly keep your hair on, okay? First, a little background:

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10 Terrific Titles for Mom on Her Special Day (or anytime)

Kimber here. Gettin’ ready to break out my super-duper, snazzy-jazzy, woniferous and totally amazing canine Happy Dance! Cuz today’s one of my favorites! As in, Mother’s Day! (Don’t make me explain this.)

So, hey! Is your mom like Her Momness? Does she  love to read? Is her (or your) idea of paradise a quiet reading nook, a pina colada, and hours of uninterrupted page-turning?

Great! Then your mom will appreciate our Best Books for Mom list. Kimber Tested. Mom Approved!

Kindly note that books don’t necessarily have to focus on a mom to make the cut. Bonus points if they do. But our list is about compelling, captivating reads that mom can enjoy in that quiet nook with her chilled drink and some alone time. So our list is based on – but not strictly limited to – the following criteria:

  • Must be an enjoyable, uplifting read (who wants a downer on Mother’s Day? Ack!)
  • Superlative writing
  • Credible dialogue and a solid, poignant story
  • Strong, three-dimensional female characters who learn, develop and grow
  • Bonus points if all of the above include a dose of spunk and sass

That being said, Her Momness and I are rushing in where angels fear to tread with our purely subjective, 100% unscientific list of Best Books for Mom on her special day. Let’s go!

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14 PAWsome Animal Conservationists

Who’s PAWsome?!

“Mom! Mom! Wake up!”

“Umm…. Er… Arghhhhh!”

“Fine. But really, Mom. You gotta wake up!!”
“Right now, Kimber? It’s two o’clock in the morning!”

“No time like the present. Especially when announcing a Stroke of Genius from Yours Truly!”

And that’s how Mom and I came up with this post about famous animal conservationists. (Well, it was mostly me. Mom helped. A little.)

We just finished reading a book on a coupla animal conservationists from the mid-1900s. It was… a slog. Like, pass the No Doze.

So one of us thought we’d come up with our own list. Kinda like Who’s Who of Animals Conservationists List. For hoomans who’ve dedicated their lives to saving and protecting animals. Cuz what’s cooler than saving and protecting animals? (Well, there was that nice, thick slab of filet mignon… But I think Mom’s forgotten about that.)

Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. PAWsome animal conservationists. Several have written some excellent books. So here goes our totally subjective and 100% unscientific list of 14 PAWsome Animal Conservationists. In no particular order. Holler if you recognize any of these peeps. Or want to add someone:

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‘Purposeful Work, Blessed Rest’ A Breath of Fresh Air

Purposeful Work, Blessed Rest:

A 6-Week Devotional for Mothers

By Anna Hawkes Cabral, 2023

Genre: Non-Fiction/Inspirational

Via: Author request

Kimber here. Being all magnificent and everything. And letting you in on a little secret. So listen up. (Are you listening? Good!) I’m getting the Most Terrific-est, Woniferous, Splendiferous and All-Around PAW-somest person on the planet a little something special for a Really, Really Important Day.

Mom: Kimmi, are you talking about yourself again?

Kimber: Well. Maybe. But I’m really talking about Mother’s Day. (I’ll let you guess who that Really PAWsome person is. Besides me, of course.) Her Momness will fill you in on the rest:

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