Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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The KIMBER AWARDS 2.0

You’ve heard of the Academy Awards. The Emmys, Tonys, and Golden Globes. But you may not have heard of The Biggest Bow Wow of them all:

The Kimber Awards.

What? You haven’t heard of this prestigious honor? Maybe that’s cuz I, Kimber, just made it up. 

Well, okay. Mom helped. A little. She lobbied for “World’s Most Super Duper, Seriously Splendid, Extra Excellent, Terrifically Talented, Genuine Genius-y, and All-Around Awesome Author Awards.”

I nixed that. After all. Someone has to be the adult in the room. (Well, okay again. It was mostly me. But Mom helped a bit.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. The Kimber Awards. … Continue reading


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Tails From a Thanksgiving Expert

Kimber here. I’m an expert on thanks-giving. Just ask Mom. I’m thankful for just about everything and everyone. That dropped bit of bacon. Unattended hot dogs. Belly rubs! Sea gulls! Snoozes in the sun. Walks in the woods! My favorite blanket, right next to the heating vent.

On Four Feet

Mom says words related to “thankful” include gratitude. Appreciation. Gladness. Being at peace. Contentment. Cheer. Like me! Mom says I’m “thankfulness on four feet!” See? Told you I’m an expert.

As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought I’d mention a few things that make my tail wag like a pinwheel (do any of these ring a bell?):

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Thanks! You’re PAWsome!

Mom and I wanted to take a moment to thank those who’ve recently joined our little Pages & Paws community. Glad to have you. You’re like, totally PAWsome! So Welcome Aboard!

A few FYIs:

  1. The holidays are just around the corner. We traditionally focus on the holidays during the holidays. We’re just funny that way. So stay tuned for further flashes of seasonal brilliance and frivolity.
  2. If there’s a particular genre, title, or other things bookish you’d like to see on the blog that fits our submission guidelines, holler.
  3. Bookish guest posts are encouraged. We sometimes offer select authors guest posts, too. (If we really, really like you. Or you bribe us with extra crispy bacon.) For more info., click here. Be sure to put “Pages & Paws Guest Post” in the subject line so we don’t miss it.

Thanks again. Don’t be a stranger!


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Why ‘My Mother’s Secret’ Will Melt Hearts

Hardcover My Mother's Secret: A Novel of the Jewish Autonomous Region BookMy Mother’s Secret: A Novel of the Jewish Autonomous Region

By Alina Adams

Publisher:  The Donohue Group, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

Pages: 305

Via: Blog Tour

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

***

“Hope, my earthly compass

It’s luck, it’s a trophy for bravery…

We only need to learn how to wait

We must be calm and stubborn.”

Real estate lawyer and San Franciscan Lena Burns doesn’t understand why her mother is so aloof. Also:

  • Why is Mama Regina so impassive and ambivalent?
  • What happened in Regina Solomonova’s past, when she fled Moscow for a God-forsaken patch of ground in Eastern Russia called Birobidzhan, the world’s first Jewish Autonomous Region?
  • Why does Mama Regina not trust herself to make good decisions?
  • Did something happen to Regina before she married an American G.I. and left the USSR for San Francisco after World War II?
  • Why did Mama Regina leave her homeland, and who did she leave behind?
  • What did Lena’s father mean with his deathbed question: “You couldn’t’ tell, could you?”

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The DNF Pepto Patrol

Ever dive into a well-anticipated book only to go thud? Like, “Good thing my fall was cushioned by a nice, thick slab of granite or I might’ve been seriously injured”? How ‘bout trying so hard to really, really like a story only to wind up reaching for the nearest bottle of Pepto?

Well. Books are supposed to be enjoyable and engaging, capcihe? So if ya gotta force yourself to read a book, that kind of defeats the whole purpose, right?

Not Our Cuppa

We could not force ourselves to finish the titles below. Kindly note that some aren’t necessarily lousy books (although some are really lousy. We’ll get to that in a min.). They’re just not our cuppa, okay? Usually cuz they moved with the speed of a growing redwood, numbed our brain into a dopamine stupor, or could’ve doubled as a bunch of arugula.

Drum roll please… for our list of nominees for the DNF Pepto Patrol. In no particular order:

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Happy Birthday Mom!

Pssst! Kimber here. Being all magnificent and everything. Telling you that today, one of my favorite people turns 100 years old! What? Well, okay. Maybe not One. Hundred. Maybe just “older than dirt.”

Anyway, I thought I’d mark this auspicious occasion by sharing a post by Her Momness from 2014. You know. About 100 years ago. Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. The post is called “Like Coming Home.” It’s about growing up as a voracious reader and book lover.

You don’t want to miss this. Cuz it’s really, really good. (Maybe not as a good as a nice, thick T-bone steak. Nobody’s perfect.)

Anyway, it goes like this:

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J.D. Vance’s ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Comes Full Circle

Well. Who’d a thunk it?

When we did a review of J D. Vance’s searingly honest memoir, Hillbilly Elegy, we had no idea the author would become a United States Senator!

Just shows what we know.

But in light of last night’s election news out of Ohio, we figured now would be a good time for a revisit. So here ya go. From 2020.

From Appalachia to Yale Law: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Delivers Searingly Honest Memoir of Upward Mobility.

You’re welcome.


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Author Interview: Operation Mom’s Reenita M. Hora

Today we’re hosting an author interview with Reenita M. Hora, author of Operation Mom. Here’s a quick synopsis of the book before we dive in to the interview:

Synopsis:

Ila Isham has a lot to worry about – the angst of being an Ali Zafar groupie and the extra layers of fat she has inherited from her Punjabi lineage. Add to this separated parents, an enthusiastic best friend, Deepali, whose idea of variety means dating three guys at the same time and Aunty Maleeka, mom’s BFF, whose savvy skills throw up more problems than solutions.

Ila’s life takes an exciting turn when she decides to hunt for the perfect partner for her mother. With a little help from Deepali, Aunty Maleeka and Dev of the inviting chocolate-pool eyes, she’ll have to brave it all – from Lagaan.com and Ok-cupid profiles to handlebar-moustache colonels and middle-aged psychos, if she wants to succeed in her quest!

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‘Daughters of Teutobod’: Hold the Braunschweiger

See the source imageDaughters of Teutobod

By Kurt Hansen

Kimber: You know that feeling you get when you order a nice, thick filet mignon and wind up with an under-cooked burger instead? That’s how we felt reading this book. I’ll let Her Grumpiness explain. But I’d buckle up ‘fize you. Cuz she’s on a roll today. And I don’t mean burger bun. Take it away, Mom!

Her Grumpiness: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour. Then we read it. And bowed out of the tour. Why? Simple. Blog tour coordinators typically want a glowing review on the order of the Parting of the Red Sea or the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Burger Buns.

Newsflash, Buttercup: We don’t do that here.

We bowed out of the tour so we could post an Honest Review instead. We’re just funny that way.

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‘Chasing Tarzan’ Swings Thru Jungle of Emotions

Chasing Tarzan

By Catherine Forster

Published by: E.L. Marker, an imprint of WiDo Publishing, 2022

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir

Pages: 276

Via: Book Blog Tour

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

***

Johnny Weissmuller. That’s the first thing that popped into Mom’s head when we received the blog tour invitation for this book.

“I dunno, Kimmi…” says Mom.

“Oh, c’mon Mom!” chirps I, Kimber the Magnificent. “Think Tarzan! You know. Swinging through the jungle on high-flying vines. Swimming through croc-infested waters. Rampaging pachyderms. Voracious lions. Deadly pestilence and dastardly villains. It’ll be fun!”

Little did we know…

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