Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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Why a Good Book is Like Filet Mignon

File:Filet mignon with mushrooms and vegetables (1).jpg

Filet mignon with mushrooms and vegetables. Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

“Eureka!” says Mom the other day, coming home from the library (they’re doing “curbside” pick-ups these days.)

I have no idea why Mom says this. But she says it a lot. Especially when she’s lugging another truck load of “books” home from The Book Place.

 

The Book Place

Me, I’m not crazy about The Book Place. Ever since Mom pointed out the “guide dogs and service animals only” sign. What am I, chopped Salisbury steak with extra gravy? Tri-tip roast? A nice, thick burger sizzling merrily on the outdoor grill?

 

Wait. What was I saying?

 

Oh yeah. “Eureka” and The Book Place.

File:Omaha Steaks Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon.jpg

Omaha Steaks Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon. Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

 

“See what we have here?” Mom oohs and ahhs, pulling out one of those big square, reading thingies from a “book bag” big enough to choke a Brontosaurus. “Letters on pages,” she explains. “This is a book.” She fans the pages.

 

Can I Eat? Classics

I sniff said pages. Can I eat it? Something tells me no. As in, BIG N-O.

 

David Copperfield!” Mom announces.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! Jane Eyre! Classics!”

 

I’m still sniffing. Am I supposed to be impressed?

 

“Wait! There’s more!” Mom crows, excavating deeper into the Bronto bag. She unearths more reading thingies. Like Pride and Prejudice. Raisin in the Sun. The Black Stallion Returns. Thunder Rolling the Mountains. Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds.

 

Still sniffing…

Filet mignon wrapped with bacon with assorted vegetables フィレミニョンのベーコン巻き 温野菜添え | by naotakem

Filet wrapped with bacon and assorted vegetables. Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Book Boon

Meanwhile, I’m beginning to wonder about these reading thingies she calls “books.” They don’t have any buttons. Blinking lights. Bonus levels. App updates. In fact, books really don’t have any sounds at all. And not much smell, either. (Dust, maybe. Or something that’s been sitting on a shelf since just after the discovery of fire.)

 

“Look,” crows Mom, cheerfully paging through something called Anchor in the Storm. You’d think she just discovered filet mignon, medium well.

 

Buried Treasure

“Finding a good book is like finding buried treasure!” Mom continues. “It’s like an adventure waiting to happen! Like biting into a nice, thick, juicy…”

I get the picture, okay? Salivating here royally.

File:Filet Mignon with Asparagus Spears.jpg

Filet mignon with asparagus spears. Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

She also tells me these reading thingies – “books” – can:

  • Take you on travels only you can imagine.
  • Guide you through forests thick with facts.
  • Discover whole galaxies dripping with starry fiction.
  • Introduce you to lifelong friends.
  • Keep you awake all night until The End.

 

Says Mom, “A book can be a friend if you just want to be by yourself in the highest status-update-free mountain.” Plus, the only “storage space” that runs out in a book is what’s in your own head.

Photo by Kasumi Loffler from Pexels.

Batteries Not Required

Also, a good book doesn’t run on batteries. Never needs a recharge. Or a power cord. Doesn’t have an off button. And you don’t need to remember a password to get inside.

 

A book won’t make you sick because it doesn’t catch viruses.

A book won’t unfriend you.

Ever.

 

Well. Why is a good book like a good filet mignon? Because both taste great!

 

At the end of the day, you can put down a book guilt-free. It won’t mind. And you won’t be missing out. Because, says Mom, a book will always be there, waiting for you to come back. Pick up where you left off. Like an old friend welcoming you home. Whether you’re a “service animal” or not.

 

Mom may be on to something. I just hope she hurries up with that steak.

 

For more of some of our “filet mignon” reading, check out Fine Wine Fridays. Ta!

 

What do you enjoy or appreciate most about reading and books?

 

 

 

Wedding table photo by Kasumi Loffler from Pexels


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‘Wrong Place, Right Time’ Hits the Mark

Wrong Place, Right Time

By E.B. Roshan

Anna Belko is your average twenty three year-old garment worker in the fictional country of Sevia. Her life in the uneasy city of Dor takes a sharp turn when a waiter at a sidewalk café accidently spills a pot of tea in her lap. Turns out the waiter’s cousin has been recently killed, an innocent casualty in the high stakes battle for control of the country. And Boris Merkovich isn’t sure he can live with the loss – or with his growing affection for Anna.

Story

Simmering tensions explode as Dor plunges into war in Wrong Place, Right Time. Rival gangs fight it out in the streets. Anna’s family decides to leave Dor for safety, but she chooses to stay behind and be with Boris. As Boris unexpectedly rebuffs her, feeling he’s unworthy, Anna wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. Internal and external conflict soon crashes into Anna and Boris’s private world, threatening to up-end them both.

Boris and Anna have their flaws. But Wrong Place, Right Time shows readers why that doesn’t really matter, and why forgiveness is always a choice, even in the midst of a raging gang war.

Lithe and agile, this uplifting faith-based story features robust world building and sturdy writing. You can almost smell the smoke. Hear the gun fire. Taste the sugar-glazed cherry tarts.

Suspense

Meanwhile, suspense builds as personal and political antes are upped in this gentle romance. Will Anna and Boris’s love survive as Dor descends into chaos and internal war threatens to tear them apart?

Keep an Eye Out

A new author, E.B. Roshan writes like a seasoned pro. Keep an eye on this author. I’m already looking forward to the next Roshan book.

4.0


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BATTER UP! 10 Summer Hits & Misses

Woof-hoo! It’s summer time, summer time, sum-sum, summer time! Doo-whop, doo-whop.

Kimber here. Mom and I are celebrating the First Week of Summer with something a little special. I was lobbying for filet mignon. But nooooo! Mom decided on a quick run-down on recently read titles. To save you some time. So you can avoid the clunkers. And enjoy the goodies.

Public domain

And hey. What’s summer without baseball, right? So I suggested we categorize titles as either Hits and Misses or as Strike Outs and Home Runs. Brilliant huh? (Mom helped a little. But it was mostly me.)

So here are five kinds of each book. Five duds. As in, swing-from-the-heels strike-outs and don’t waste your time. Five awesome-dawsome, tail-wagging, bonafide home runs. (One is somewhere in the middle, depending on which bat you choose.)

So… batter up!

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5 Sure-Fire Ways to Lose Readers (And How To Avoid Them)

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Public Domain

Kimber here. Mom says it’s time for a little bloggish housekeeping.(She calls it “housekeeping.” I think it’s more like Rants From the Ole Curmudgeon. Don’t tell her I said that, okay?)

But here’s the deal. Mom gets tons and tons of jun… um, stuff in her In Box. Every day. Lots goes straight to the big kitty litter box in the sky. Never gets opened or read. We’re gonna tell you why and what you can do to fix that.

Here are 5 sure-fire ways to turn off readers and put them to sleep (and how you can fix them):

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‘No Place Too Far’ Brings Family Home

No Place Too Far

(Lake Union Publishing, September 1, 2020)
By Kay Bratt

A Maui-based book that begins with a shaggy dog named Woodrow? Count me in!

A highly engaging story with a smooth-as-silk plot, No Place Too Far is just plain fun. It snaps and crackles with energy throughout and is chockful of memorable characters like a precocious four year-old named Charlie, a scatter-brained but loveable veterinarian, Dr. Joe Starr, and a blue-haired dynamo named Juniper.

Setting

Lush tropical locations and a pitch-perfect pacing surf in and out of intrigue, danger, and triumph. Oh yeah. There’s this great dog and veterinary heroes, too. My kinda book!

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40+ Book-ish Quotes to Boost Your Instagram

There I was. Stretched out in a pool of sunshine. Working on my tan.  Mom comes along with her mobile Doo-Hickey:

“Smile, Kimber! Sit. Roll over. Lay down. Stay. Say ‘cheese.'”

While the Doo-Hickey is clicking away.

So annoying.

Anyway, Mom says she’s going to “post” the clickey things from her Doo-Hickey. Whatever that means. Then she says:

 “Kimmi, How’re we gonna caption these?”

What “we,” Kimo Sabe?

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5 Sumptuous Books Celebrating FOOD (and lots more)

Good food and books go together like peanut butter and jelly. Summer and surfing. Braying politicians and migraines. Belay that last. Cuz today we’re going a step further.

For today’s Fine Wine Fridays we’re sharing some favorites that combine the best in creative, delicious recipes and creative, delicious writing.

Insalata di Polpo – ‘Savoring Tuscany’

In order to make our menu, selected books must be more than just collections of recipes. They focus on food but must also include:

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3 Blogging Truths Nobody Tells You

Red And Blue Parrot · Free Stock Photo

Ever wish someone had told you how to get from Point A to Point B as a blogger? What to do and what to avoid? What works and what’s a waste of time?

I wish someone had told me some things when I first started blogging – shortly after the discovery of fire. After many, many fits and starts and enough mistakes and mis-steps to choke a camel, I’ve learned some essential blogging truths. Here are three:

Truth #1

Sometimes you don’t feel like writing. I can spend a whole afternoon puttering around doing absolutely nothing. Just to avoid writing. (This never lasts. I just threw it in to see if you’re paying attention.)

But sometimes the mere notion of sitting down and banging out something brilliant is as appealing as a slug. Like: I haven’t even started writing yet, and I’m already exhausted. 

Sometimes writing is as attractive as a root canal sans Novocain. Or my mother in law. (Wait. Did I say that out loud?)

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The #1 Reason No One is Reading Your Blog & What To Do About It

Are you cranking out luminescent strokes of blogging brilliance only to have no one notice? Tired of blogging your fingers off only to have your posts disappear into a black hole?

Do you feel like:

  • Why bother?
  • Is this blogging thing really worth it?
  • What’s the point in trying so hard if no one ever reads or reacts to my content?
  • Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel.

Here’s Help

Don’t toss that towel. Cuz help is on the way.

In this brief video, Cristian Mihai of The Art of the Blogging explains why no one is reading your blog and what you can do about it. Hint: It comes down to two words. Do you know what they are?

Cristian explains here. Give it six-ish minutes. You’ll learn a lot. I did.

 

See?

Related: How to Stop Being “The Invisible Blogger”

What did you learn? How will you apply Christian’s insights today?