Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


2 Comments

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?

Anyway, when it comes to books about The Great Outdoors, Gary Paulsen titles top our list. Every time.

Mom says Paulsen’s a three-time Newberry Award-wining author. I have no idea what that means. Can you eat it?

More importantly, Paulsen is a super duper dog lover. Told he’s brilliant.

Paulsen’s writing style is spare and lean to the point of terse. No excess fat. Brisk as an autumn breeze. Quick as a greyhound. Or me.

Reading any of the Paulsen books below would be a great way to celebrate Great Outdoors Month. How many have you read?

Some of our favorites:

  1. Hatchet –Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson’s small plane goes down in the Canadian wilderness. He’s alone, except for a tattered windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present. It will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive. Newberry winner.
  2. Dogsong (pretty obvious, huh?).  Oogruk the shaman owns the last team of dogs in the village. He alone understands Russel’s longing for the old ways and the songs that celebrated them. Driven by a strange and powerful dream and by a burning desire to find his own song, Russel takes Oogruk’s dogs on an epic journey of self-discovery that will change his life forever.
  3. The River – Book two of the Brian saga. The government sends Brian back to the Canadian wilderness.
  4. Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod –  Paulsen writes about his experience running his team of dogs in this famous race. Snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, and hallucinations in the relentless push to go on.
  5. Wood Song – Paulsen has survived a dogsled crash and a fall down a frozen waterfall, a bear attack, and running the grueling Iditarod. In this vivid, vibrant book, the author recounts the experiences that shaped his life and inspired his award-winning writing.
  6. My Life in Dog Years – Don’t make me explain this.

Oh yeah. Nothing a word about broccoli. I like this Gary guy more and more.

Honorable mentions:

 

What are your favorite outdoor books and authors?

Kimber the Amazing Frisbee Chasing, Book-Loving Dog!

 


2 Comments

Which Reader Are You?

I’m gonna be six years old next month. I’m telling you this now to give you last-minute gift-getters a heads up.

Anyway, Mom insists I’m still a “puppy.” So embarrassing. I keep telling her I’m a lap dog. I mean, really. What’s a measly 55 pounds?

So. I may not be six yet. But I’ve been around long enough to make some observations. Like postal carriers aren’t always friendly. Neither are fences. There’s no such thing as a “ten second rule” when Yours Truly is on kitchen patrol.

Squirrel!

Wait. Where was I?

Oh yeah. I’ve made some observations in six years-ish. One of them is there are lots of different kinds of readers. You may not think us canines notice stuff like this. But we do. Here are a few of the readers I’ve seen. Any of these sound familiar?

Continue reading


4 Comments

Gripping Suspense in ‘The Second Wife’

See the source imageThe Second Wife

By: Miranda Rijks

Via: Book Blog Tour

Publisher: Inkubator Books, 2022

Genre: Fiction: Psychological Thriller/Murder Mystery/Suspense

Summary:

When a down-on-her-luck violinist takes a menial job for a famous composer, she gets more than she bargained for in this intense and compelling murder mystery/suspense story.

Mia Benton is a former student at the Royal College of Music in London. Desperate for a job in the aftermath of a dark secret from her recent past, Mia takes a cleaning job at the residence of composer Robin Featherstone. Recently divorced, Robin’s new wife Tamsin is 25 years his junior. Tamsin’s not exactly thrilled with the new hire, to put it mildly.

Continue reading


4 Comments

Holmes & Watson at Top of Their Game in ‘Murder in Keswick’

Murder in Keswick

A Sherlock Homes Mystery

By William Todd

SpellBound Books, 2022

Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Suspense

Via: Book Blog Tour

“The game is afoot.” It’s the catch phrase for literature’s most famous detective. And there are plenty of twists, turns and “gaming” going on in William Todd’s delightful page-turner, Murder in Keswick.

Told in the third person by Dr. Watson, the story opens aboard a train bound for Keswick, England in 1898. Disembarking, the duo soon learns that a well-respected resident of the area has turned up dead. And while Watson is looking forward to a relaxing holiday in the bucolic countryside, Holmes quips that nothing is more relaxing than solving a murder, even if he’s informed that “this sort of thing never happens here.”

Continue reading


2 Comments

‘Here, There Be Dragons’ Ignites Imagination

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica:

Here, There Be Dragons

Written and illustrated by James A. Owen

Simon & Schuster, 2006

Genre: Fiction: Fantasy/Young Adult

Pages: 324

“There’s a very strange man outside, said Jack…’

One of us is totally kicking herself for not finding this book sooner.

“Good thing one of my brothers sent this to Her Momness for Mother’s Day,” spake I, Kimber the Magnificent. “Otherwise, Mom would still be clueless. Cuz this book is a bibliophile’s treasure trove. It’s just Too. Much Fun! Ya know. Like me. So way to go, bro!”

Here’s more:

Continue reading


2 Comments

The Best Book We’ve Read All Year?

Wonder Dogs

True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs

By Maureen Maurer with Jenna Benton

Publisher: Revell, 2021

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Dogs

Pages: 229

Via: Author Request

“Mom! Mom!” hollers I, Kimber the Magnificent. “Can I invite some friends over for a sleepover??!! They’re these Seriously PAWsome dogs from Assistance Dogs of Hawaii. They’re my new BFFs! There’s only a couple hundred or so. Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Um… Mom…?”

“She’s keeled over. So maybe I better tell you about how I met my new BFFs. Like when Mom and I recently read Wonder Dogs: True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs.”

Continue reading


2 Comments

‘Potiphar’s Wife’: Fresh Take on an Old Story

ImagePotiphar’s Wife

A novel

By Mesu Andrews

Genre: Fiction/General Fiction/Historical Fiction/Biblical Fiction

Part of The Egyptian Chronicles

Published by: WaterBrook & Multnomah

Release Date: May 24, 2022

416 pages

Via: Book Launch Team

Streams of mercy, never ceasing…

Step back into ancient Egypt and the palace of a mighty pharaoh in this beautifully crafted, meticulously researched historical novel where the writing is as elaborate as Potiphar’s apparel and the story is as exquisite as his bride’s finest crystal vase.

Who Was She?

Most people know her as one of the Bible’s most notorious women. But who was Potiphar’s wife? What was her background? Her name? Who was she? How, where and why did she meet the powerful Potiphar? Even a cursory reading of the Old Testament story indicates that she was unhappy with her marriage and husband. But why?

These themes and more are explored in a captivating faith-based novel from the award-winning author of Isaiah’s Legacy.

A Brief Overview (without giving too much away):

Continue reading


2 Comments

PAWsome or Over-Rated? 7 Popular HF Titles Reviewed

Kimber here. You know Mom and I read a lot of historical fiction, right? Well. We’ve read so much historical fiction lately, we’re almost ready to produce our own Encyclopedia Historica. Almost.

Best of HF?

Anywho, we’re in the process of reading our way through some “Best Of” historical fiction lists found elsewhere. We wanted to see for ourselves what titles are worth the time and what belongs in the kitty litter box. Cuz ya know, just because a book or author is a popular “best seller” doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll pass Kimber and Mom Muster.

Yea, verily. No one wants to waste their time on lousy snoozers with stale, brittle plots that are as predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise. Or populated with one-dimensional, cardboard characters we don’t know, don’t want to know, and could care less about, no matter how many accolades they get elsewhere. Cuz we’re like, picky.

The List

So here’s our Totally Unscientific, 100% Subjective take on a few recently read historical-fiction titles. Plus one plain fiction title we’re throwin’ in for free. Cuz we can. (You may want to buckle up. Just sayin’). Ready? Set? Let’s GO!

Continue reading


2 Comments

Until Next Sunday

Until Next Sunday

By Audry Fryer

Publisher: Of Ink & Pearls Publishing Co., 2021

Genre: Historical Romance

Via: Book Blog Tour

Story

Rosina leaves Italy to build a better life. But after joining her brother and his shrewish wife in America, Rosina finds disappointment and disillusionment. She never expects to find love in this place – until she meets a shoemaker’s apprentice named Gianni.

When Rosina becomes ill and is hospitalized, their future is at stake. All they have is their shared letters. Each week she tries to survive the long, lonely days until Gianni’s next Sunday visit.

Will fate bring Rosina and Gianni together once more? Or are they destined to remain star-crossed forever?

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Teaser Tuesday: ‘The Red Queen’

Okay, so Mom was roaming around the Internet thingy the other day, looking for some new ideas for blog posts. She found Teaser Tuesday. It sounded fun. (Not as fun as me, of course. But nobody’s perfect.)

Anyway, we thought we’d give Teaser Tuesday a whirl. So here it is:

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.

Here are the rules:

1: Grab your current read
2: Open to a random page
3: Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page that are SPOILER FREE.

Continue reading