Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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A Summer Reading Record?

Do you do Summer Reading Programs?  Mom used to. She’s been kinda straddlin’ the fence on SRPs since about 2018. Why? Cuz she set a personal record for books read that summer: 156 books. From June 1 to August 31. No. really. Click here for more.

She hasn’t jumped into an SRP full-bore since. “Cuz Kimmi, how in the world am I gonna top 156 books in three months?”

Well. You know Her Momness. I bribed her with chocolate.

A New Record?

So. Did Mom set a new personal record for Summer Reading? 

Well, not quite. We tried. Really. And we got close.

But there was so much other stuff goin’ on this summer, if ya know what I mean. (And yes, I totally aced that semi-annual check-up at the vet’s. Thanks for askin.’)

Including audio books and read-alouds, Mom read 139 books this summer. It’s not 156+. But not bad, eh?  (Apparently, some people will do almost anything for a Triple Chocolate Meltdown a la mode.)

You can find some of Mom’s summer favorites at 6 Best Reads of Summer. 

Honorable Mentions:

I’d let Mom tell you more herself. But she’s snoozing right now. Or “resting up.” Or something.

Psssst!

Mom hasn’t tackled a Goodreads Reading Challenge since shortly after the Ark made landfall. The last one she did was in 2018: 383 books. In one year. She says, “No way can I do that again, Kimster. Not even close.”

But I’m scouting up new supplies of chocolate. Just don’t tell Mom yet, okay?

You gonna eat that?

 


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The Dog Days & Children’s Classics

What?

Hello Friends and Happy August!

If you’ve been following Pages and Paws for any length of time – say, 20 minutes or so – you know that Her Momness sometimes says weird stuff about books. (Don’t tell her I said that, okay?)

Sometimes Mom’ll read a “best-seller” that’s topping the charts and go, “Aaaarg! Barf-o-rama and gag me with Meow Mix! Bleeeech and double bleech!!” And sometimes she’ll read an obscure-ish book by an unknown indie author and chirp, “Why isn’t this magnum opus in every library, on every shelf, and in every bookstore in America and the whole world included?! Cuz it’s Seriously Awesome!”

The Children’s Section

Well. You know Mom. (Insert eye roll here.)

She also thinks some of the best writing and coolest stories around can be found in the Children’s Section of the local library. (Not sure what that says about Mom. Can I get back to you on that?)

Pop Quiz!

Anywho, Mom was lumbering back from The Book Place the other day with her usual truckload of To Be Reads. All from the Children’s Section. I’m not making this up. Then she decides it’s time for a Pop Quiz. Like this:

“Okay, Kimmi. What children’s classic opens with these lines”:

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Dystopian Novel ‘Reverence’ Clears High Bar

Reverence

Book One of the Reverence Trilogy

By Raena Rood

One Foundation Publishing, 2022

Genre: Fiction/Dystopian/Apocalyptic/Christian Fiction

Pages: 305

Via: Author Request

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

“Well, doggone it!” says I, Kimber the Magnificent. “You’d think one of us would learn. Never start a Raena Rood novel at night. If you do, you’ll be up till the wee hours finishing it. Cuz you can’t put it down! But you know Mom!” – Insert eye roll here. –

You know we loved Rood’s Subversives trilogy, right? Well, we did. Think nice, thick, juicy New York steak. With a T-bone chaser. And sirloin steak on the side. We didn’t know how this next trilogy would stack up. Which just shows you what we know.

Here’s the 4-1-1:

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Flat and Fine: 2 Novels by Popular Authors Contrasted

Kimber: Jackpot! It’s a beautiful July day. The sun is shining. The sky is a perfect bowl of blue. The neighbor’s cat is visiting relatives elsewhere. And  Her Grumpiness  is only half as grumpy as usual.

What a deal!

Speaking of “deals,” I’ve got a two-fer for you today. Sort of. One’s a  “repeat surprise.” I’ll let Her Grumpiness tell us about that in a min. So kindly keep your shirt on, okay? The other is a Second Sigh. As in, we loved the author’s first book but this second one is a stinker. Which is why Her Grumpiness is only half as grumpy as…

Well, wait. Here she is now. Mom, is that the second or third bowl of cookies ’n cream ice cream? “Mind your own beeswax;” Mom chirps.

So I’ll let her fill you in on these two books:

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ROCK Goes the 4th With These 25 U.S. Historical Fiction Books

Kimber here. Mom is busy rustling up some Independence Day eats. I’m not too sure about the potato salad and corn on the cob thing. But I’m all over the grilled burgers! Yeah, Lassie!

Well. The subject of “best U.S. historical fiction” came up the other night. We were watching videos of last year’s fireworks or somethin’. You know. The stupid Big Boom things. (Why do humans do this every Independence Day? I don’t get it.)

I was all ears. (For the book list. Not the Big Boom things. Mom got me a Thunder Shirt for that.)

Anyway, just in time for Independence Day, Mom and I put together a list of the best historical fiction reads set in the U.S. Mom says we aren’t even going to try to cover books by decade, social movement, issue, or what not. That’d take us like, till the cat comes home. Gag me with Meow Mix!

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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.

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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!

 


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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?

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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.”

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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.):

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