Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


DNF-ing: How, Who, and Why

Kimber the Magnificent!

Mom and I love good books! We love good books so much that we do not do lousy books. You know. The kind that top our DNF list.

Look, Cupcake

One of us used to feel a wee bit guilty about our Did Not Finish list. But then I says to Mom, “Look, Cupcake. We get zillions of requests for book reviews every day. We don’t have time to slog through sludge! “

“Yeah, but…” sputters Mom.

“Oh, c’mon Mom! Our time is valuable. Why waste it on sludge? Or stuff that’s so grimy and gross, it belongs on the bottom of a bird cage. Or the kitty litter box.”

“You may have a point there,” concedes Mom. (“A point? Really. More like, Game. Set. Match!”)

We used to slog through sludge cuz we felt duty-bound to finish every book that came our way.

Not anymore.

One of us realized that if a book doesn’t grab us in the first few chapters, we’re unlikely to keep going. Or if we do, it’s through gritted teeth. (Hi, Mom.)

Well. Life’s too short. I mean, really. Who wants to waste their time on sludge? Especially when there are so many other good books around. Nowadays, we don’t bat an eye at consigning a book to our DNF pile. (For more, see 4 Reasons Why We’re World Champion ‘Book Bailers.’)

Anyway, here’s the short list of our usual criteria for sludge that’s headed for DNF pile ignominy. Followed by a list of recent inductees:

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A Champion for the Ages

“Inevitable.” Isn’t that a great word? Learned it from Mom the other day. As in, the 147th annual Run for the Roses is coming up on May 1. So debates about who was the Greatest Thoroughbred of All Time are… inevitable.


Or so I’m told.

A few other things I learned:

The “Run for the Roses” is also known as The Kentucky Derby. The Derby is always run on the first Saturday in May. It’s the first jewel in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred horse racing.

Why do I, Kimber the Magnificent, care about Thoroughbred racing? Well, I don’t. Not really. But Mom does!

She’s been reading a Walter Farley book about one of the greatest champions to ever set hooves on a race track: Man O’War. Along with legendary Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Man O’War is a top contender for Greatest Thoroughbred of All Time honors.

Back to the Farley book.

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JUBILEE: Why Hermon Pettit May Be The Greatest Man You Never Heard Of


Kimber Lugs-a-Lot here. I’ve been helping Her Momness lug stuff out of the resident black hole. (Mom calls it “the basement.” But it’s really a black hole where things go to vanish. Forever. Poof!)

Anyway, she lugged up this dusty old box. It hadn’t been opened since 1999. Inside? Books! Lots and lots of books!

“Oh, my!” Mom whispered, pulling out a dusty paperback. “I haven’t seen this since 1979!”

I have no idea what that means. But Mom was doing that glistening-eye thing again as she pulled out this book, Jubilee! Autobiography of Hermon Pettit.

Re-reading the remarkable saga of a man of God who devoted his life to intercession, we realized that Hermon Pettit may be the greatest man one of us has never heard of. Till now.

Here’s how and why Hermon’s story intersects ours:

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AUTHOR ALERT: A Word of Explanation (I’d Listen up ‘Fize You)

Author Alert! Author Alert!


Kimber here. Advising you that Her Crankiness is at it again. Regarding book review requests. As in, how NOT to request a book review from us. And HOW TO GREATLY REDUCE the chances of getting your review request accepted. Also a word about guest posts.

If you’re a serious author, you’re gonna want to know this stuff. So here’s the 4-1-1:

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