Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


Leave a comment

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIMBER the Bookish Dog

Kimber the Magnificent here. You probably noticed I nosed my way into Mom’s ‘bookish’ blog awhile back. Kind of like the way I nose into a New York steak. Top sirloin. Meatloaf. Whatever. Nobody’s perfect.

Anyway, Mom says a whole raft of new readers have recently joined us. I’m not sure what that means. But if Mom’s happy, I’m happy. See my tail wagging? We wanted to say Thank you and Welcome!

Also, for any of you looking for any last-minute gift ideas, today’s my birthday. I’m six! Just sayin’.

Now then. Since it’s my birthday today and some of you may be new readers, Mom thinks some “introductions” may be in order. So here goes:

My name is Kimber. I’m a “rescue dog.” Part Golden Retriever. Part black Lab. A lot Border Collie. That accounts for my smarts and my speed. Mom says both are Off The Charts. Whatever that means.

By way of background, I joined my forever family in August 2016. I was about ten weeks old. (Not that I’m keeping track. But Mom is. You know how moms are.)

One of my baby pictures. I know. I’m adorable.

Mom calls me “Kimber the Magnifcent.” I don’t know why. She just does. But you can call me Kimmi. All my friends do.

Continue reading


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


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


4 Comments

Don’t Be This Author – or – How to Get a Negative Review in 3 Easy Steps

Shhh! Mom’s snoozing. So it’s just us, okay?

Can we talk? Like, about book reviews? Cuz Mom and I are getting flooded with requests for book reviews. We love it! But we also want to be efficient. So we decided to set and clarify some basic ground rules. As in, what to avoid. Or Don’t Be This Author. With this kind of book.

So, here’s how to get a negative review in three easy steps (Examples taken from actual events. Names and places sort of changed to protect the not-so-innocent.):

Continue reading


4 Comments

GUEST POST: Meet Rick Rogers, ‘The Hiking Guy’!

“Hey! Hey! Whaddya say? Let’s take this blog another way!”

Mom’s idea for an intro, spake I, Kimber the Magnificent. So don’t blame me, okay?

Anyway, today I’m almost as excited as when I get an extra strip of nice, crispy bacon! Cuz we’re introducing you to one of our favorite new authors, Rick Rogers “The Hiking Guy.”

We recently reviewed Rick’s magnum opus, Walking Home. It’s about his adventures and misadventures along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Easily one of the most engaging and entertaining books on the subject we’ve ever come across, Walking Home earned our highly coveted 5-star ratings. (Read our full review here. It’ll open your eyes as well as tickle your funny bone.)

We enjoyed Rick’s book so much, we didn’t want it to end. So we asked if he’d be interested in writing a guest post. Rick kindly agreed. So here’s the better-than-bacon part: It’s Write Here! (That’s not a typo. In case you’re wondering.)

So pour yourself a nice big glass of whatever. Sit down and take a load off. Kick back and get ready for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how and why Walking Home came into being. Take it away, Rick!

Continue reading


2 Comments

‘Will You Love Me?’ Offers Powerful Story of Dual Healing & Hope

Will You Love Me?

The Rescue Dog That Rescued Me

By Barby Keel

Citadel Press Book – Kensington Publishing Corp, 2018

Via: Publisher Request

Genre: Non-Fiction/Inspirational

Book 2 in the Foster Tails Stories.

Summary:

The true story of a woman and a dog, both battling past demons and immense suffering, find comfort and solace in each other as they journey together toward healing, hope, and love.

Kimber the Magnificent here to tell you about a very special author. Barby Keel is my kinda lady. She founded and runs the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary in Sussex, U.K. (No idea where that is. But it sounds nice.) 

Now. Why is Barby my kinda lady? Well. When it comes to loving, defending, protecting, and caring for abused, abandoned or unwanted animals, Barby Keel is a Force of Nature. You sooo Do Not want to mess with this woman. Especially if you dump a horrifically mistreated greyhound at the sanctuary’s gate on a cold, wet night.

Bailey’s Story

That’s where Bailey’s story begins. Merges with Barby’s. And something extraordinary, even miraculous, happens in the process.

Kimber the Amazing Rescue Dog!!

The Rest

I’ll let Mom tell you the rest. Cuz I gotta grab a nap and a tissue. (Fair warning, okay?)

Continue reading


5 Comments

Apocalyptic Christian Thriller Packs a Wallop!

Salvation

Book 3 in the Subversives trilogy

By Raena Rood

One Foundation Publishing, 2021

Genre: Christian Fiction/Apocalyptic Thriller

Via: Author Request

“… (we) must tell them what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”

– Betsie ten Boom

Kimber here, ready to rock and roll with Salvation, the third and final installment in the fast-paced, high-octane Subversives trilogy by Raena Rood. But first, a disclaimer:

Her Crankiness   – Hi, Mom – isn’t necessarily a big fan of book series or trilogies. The reason is simple. Way too often, the first book starts off as a real barn burner. Subsequent titles soon run out of gas. They sputter and putter and limp into The End with way too many stops in Dullsville and Snooze Gulch along the way.

So we were a little hesitant to take on the Subversives trilogy. Which just shows you what we know.

A Pleasant Surprise

The trilogy turned out to be one of the most well-written, thoroughly engaging and highly readable books/series of the year. (Not to brag or anything – Hi again, Mom – but one of us read over 350 books last year. Well, it was mostly me. But Mom helped. A little.)

“Whatever happens to us in the future, we must never lose faith in the end of the story.”

Anyway, here are our reviews of the first two books in the Subversives trilogy: 1) Subversive, and 2) Sanctuary: What Do ‘Sanctuary’ and Secretariat Have in Common?

Continue reading


6 Comments

A Five Minute Festive

Merry Christmas Dear Readers!

 

Mom and I have cooked up something short and sweet for you today. Cuz I dunno ’bout you. But I’m tuckered.

Mom says solitude can be hard to find in our rush-rush, hurry up, instant everything society. Grabbing a few quiet moments to refresh and recharge can be a challenge any time. But it’s particularly tough during the holidays, huh?

So if holiday merry-making has you ready to tear your hair out or your festive feathers are a bit ruffled, this is for you.

Slow down.  Grab a hot cuppa. Plop in a peppermint stick. Sit down. Put your feet up. Give Manheim Steamroller’s Stille Nacht (Silent Night) a listen.  Five quiet minutes. You’ll be glad you did.

Know someone who could use a yuletide boost? Don’t forget to share!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowy field image credit: Public domain