Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

3 Titles: The Good, The Tasty, & The Wa-Wa Section


Ready to dive into something a little different? Good! Cuz Mom and I? We’re mixing it up today with three titles that are as different as me and the neighbor’s feline. (Gag me with Meow Mix!) 

Today we’re reviewing a Young Adult dystopian fantasy. A yummy cookbook with down home cookin’ (it passed the Kimber Taste Test, so grab a plate!). And a clunker of a skunker. Can you guess which is which?

Ready? Set? Play ball!


Solid, Broken, Changing

By Elizabeth Ellsworth

Via: Reedsy/Discovery, 2021

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Dystopian

“Trust nothing you thought you knew. Expect only the unexpected.”

That adage ably sums up this clever and inventive Young Adult novel.

Basic Plot:

It’s summer off the coast of Maine. Kally and her father David, an emergency management professional, are sailing aboard Home, their stalwart vessel of many memoires. The weather forecast says “perfect.” An artist, Kally is trying to figure out her figure and is about to begin her college tour. Dad is about to tell Kally Something Important – Something Big – when Home is hit by a titanic rogue wave and capsizes. Kally and her father are rescued by the Hart family. They’re enjoying a vacation on a nearby lighthouse island before plunging into the fall season.

It’s not long before Kally starts feeling she’s in a “summer Disney movie going very, very wrong.” Did a freak storm bring Kally and her dad to the island – or is something else going on? What is making that “sound-feeling”? Are Kally’s drawings “abstract art” or something else?

“All the falling apart of what used to be real? All the erupting of new facts of existence that never before existed on Earth? It all starts now.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this book at first. Turning pages, however, I discovered a highly engaging blend of dystopian fiction, futuristic sci fi and “family forever.”


Featuring rich, full-bodied characters and robust writing, Solid, Broken, Changing is a page turner once you get into it. (That’s a really unfortunate title. A story as solid as this one deserves something better.) Nimble, agile, and briskly paced, Solid is an expertly crafted story that’s highly readable. An exceptional achievement, especially for a first-time Young Adult novel.

Our Rating: 4.0


A Taste of Living Charleston: Lowcountry Dishes Anyone Can Cook

By Bobby Shealy 

Via: Reedsy/Discovery, 2021

Genre: Cooking/Food/Wine & Spirits

Bring your appetite, attention, and taste buds for this lively, luscious cookbook by an eleventh generation Charlestonian and a national award-winning real estate agent.

A Taste of Living in Charleston offers shortcuts to many of those storied (mostly Southern) recipes you’ve heard about but didn’t have time to try. An accumulation of over forty years of cooking, recipes are largely collected from the author’s family and friends.

Easy, Peasy

Additionally, this easy-to-read cookbook is designed to make it easy to cook and enjoy good food without spending all day in the kitchen. Hence the author’s motto: “If I can cook it, so can you.” (Fair warning: “If you are afraid of fat and gravies and bacon and butter and cheese and sour cream . . . this isn’t the book for you,” advises the author.) The cookbook blends two of Bobby’s biggest passions—real estate and cooking.

Lavishly illustrated with color photographs, recipes start with Breads, Breakfast and Appetizers. Also Salads and Entrees and Sides. Be sure to save room for Dessert!


Recipes are formatted in dual columns. Ingredients are on the left. Directions are on the right. Recipes are laid out in a step-by-step format that’s easy to follow. Preparation and cooking times and number of servings are included. Even novice cooks will find these recipes easy to follow.

All in about 100 pages, followed by an extensive Index. ‘Fize you, I’d grab the nearest knife and fork and get ready to dig in!

Bonus points: Proceeds benefit the Helpers Adoption Center and Spay/Neuter Clinic.

Our Rating: 4.0


Clouds Float South by [Paul A Broome]Clouds Float South

By Paul Broome

Genre: Fiction

Via: Reedsy/Discovery, 2021

From our review on Reedsy/Discovery:

Alan Smith is the youngest son of the Smith family. He narrates ten stories about what it’s like to grow up in a large family during the 1950s and 1960s and how the glue of family love and loyalty is the “cement” that holds five lives together during turbulence, turmoil, and triumph. …

This book is Exhibit A in How NOT to Get on Mom’s A list.

For starters, this book is classified as a “short story.” Raise your hand if you think 70,000 words qualifies as a “short” story.

Yeah. That’s what we think, too.

This book has its moments. But it moves with the alacrity of a three-toed sloth. Adding injury to insult, it tosses in sermonizing on social issues to boot. (Kimber: Gag me with cat nip!) Had to force ourselves to finish this clunker.

Oh, Boo-Hoo

Well. The author didn’t like our two-star review.

Newsflash: We were being generous. We don’t have to do that here. Our blog. Our rules. So here ya go:

Our Rating: 1.0


Anyone else?

2 thoughts on “3 Titles: The Good, The Tasty, & The Wa-Wa Section

  1. The A Taste of Living Charleston: Lowcountry Dishes Anyone Can Cook sure looks yummy!

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