Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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3 Choice Novellas and a Monkey Wrench

Paintings from  the Cave: Three Novellas

By Gary Paulsen

YA/Fiction

Via: Library

“Dogs know how to love better than people.”

Paintings From the Cave

Sometimes even the best laid plans go awry. Especially when a monkey wrench gets thrown into the mix.  Like  when Mom and I plan our blogging calendar. (Well, one of us plans. The other snoozes. I’ll let you figure out who’s who.)

See, we were going to put together a collection of Best Gary Paulsen Books Ever. He’s an old favorite. When it comes to outdoor adventures or coming of age tales, no one does it better than Gary. He’s our bud. He’s also a dog lover. Need I say more?

So here Mom and I were, cruising along with our blogging calendar when Mom stumbled upon a Paulsen book she somehow missed: Paintings from the Cave.

Monkey Wrench Alert!

After finishing this extraordinary trio of gripping, poignant novellas, we knew they had to have a stand-alone post. Here’s why:

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How One Woman Discovers Something Bigger Than Herself in ‘The Accidental Suffragist’

The Accidental Suffragist: A Novel

By Galia Gichon

Wyatt-McKenzie Publishing, Inc., 2021

Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction

Via: Author/publisher review request

Summary: A family tragedy propels a working class wife and mother into the Women’s Suffrage Movement where she finds a part of herself she didn’t know existed.

“Ladies, do you believe in the importance of women voting?”

This is the salient question put forth in The Accidental Tourist. We may take the right to vote for granted now. But that wasn’t the case in the early 1900s, when a few stalwart women worked tirelessly to secure voting rights for themselves, their daughters, and future generations of American women. The Accidental Suffragist is part of that story.

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Lonely But Not Lost: 2 Young Novels Deserve Discovery

‘No, I am NOT lost, thank you very much. Just takin’ The Scenic Route.’

Ever see a lonely book? You know. A library book perched all on its lonesome on an isolated shelf, looking forlorn and a wee bit lost? Like it’s begging for some intrepid reader to come by and snatch it?

Enter Her Momness. She’s a sucker for lonely books. She found two of ’em in the Juvenile Fiction section of the library the other day. (She hangs out there a lot. Cuz she fits right in. Don’t get me started.)

Anywho, the books are: The Story Web by Megan Frazer Blakemore and After Eli, by Rebecca Rupp. In the first one, hockey… Oh, wait. Mom is elbowing her way into the conversation. As usual. So I’ll let her tell ya about these two “lost” and “lonely” books that deserve discovery:

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Why “Finding Dorothy” & The Land of Aahs Are ‘Forever Young’

You know that Good Book Feeling? Where you close the final page of a Really Great Read and sigh? Wish that it’d never end? Or maybe you just go, “aaah”?

Elizabeth Letts’ Finding Dorothy is that kind of book.

Sheer Genius

We turned Finding Dorothy’s last page and sighed. Because this book, like its protagonists, L. Frank Baum and his remarkable wife, Maud, is sheer genius.

Told through the eyes of L. Frank Baum’s indomitable wife, Maud, Finding Dorothy is the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the beloved book that inspired the movie classic.

Finding Dorothy is also a love story. It traces the intertwined lives of Maud, daughter of a suffragette leader and a “force of nature” in her own right, and Maud’s husband, creative genius and author L. (Lyman) Frank Baum. The two were devoted to each other until the end of their days.

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Why ‘Hunt for a Hometown Killer’ Kept Us Up All Night

Hunt for a Hometown Killer (EABooks Publishing, 2021)

By Mary Dodge Allen

Fiction/Christian/Romance/Suspense/Mystery & Detective

“Just a sec Kimmi,” chirped Her Momness as she snatched up Hunt for a Hometown Killer. “I’m just gonna zip through a coupla chapters tonight – quick like a bunny – and get a head start on tomorrow’s reading.”

Uh -oh. Heard that one before, says I, Kimber the Magnificent. (You know. The brains in the family.)

And that’s how we wound up staying up until zero-dark-thirty to finish this “just one more chapter! I can’t put it down” rippin’ good read!  Because:

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‘The Red Tent’: The Sisterhood Lives, or ‘Meh’?

The Red Tent

By Anita Diamant

Based on the story of Dinah from Genesis 34, The Red Tent is “historical fiction.” Emphasis on fiction. Indeed, the author takes so many liberties with the original text, “historical” is kind of an afterthought. 

The story is also billed as a “retelling of a biblical story from the perspective of the female characters.”

That’s quite an assumption. It’s also a clue. A big one. As in, if you’re looking for a re-telling that’s faithful to the original account, keep looking. Cuz this isn’t it.

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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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6 Best Film Adaptations of Classic Books

“Hey, Kimster!” says She Who (thinks she) Must Be Obeyed. (Insert eye roll here. Do I ever have Mom snowed!)  “I’ve got a great idea for summer reading!”

What is it now, Mom?

“Let’s revisit some of our favorites from classic British literature this summer… on film!”

You mean like that Charles D. guy? The 19th century novelist you keep bugging me to read again? As in Pip and Miss Havisham? Lucie Manette and Charles Darnay? Jacob and Ebenezer?

Exactly!

“Exactly!” chirps Her Momness.  (She always does that chirpy thing when she’s on a roll. Me? I save that for bacon.)

Anyway, that’s how we got to binge watching all things Charles Dickens-ish. And 18th century Cornwallish. Wait. Did I say “binge watching”? Well, yeah. One of us claims she doesn’t have the time to plow through Martin Chuzzlewit or Bleak House in one summer, let alone Pip and Magwitch or David Copperfield and Peggotty. 

So we’re watching (mostly) BBC productions and movies of same. Here’s what we’ve watched so far in the classic English historical fiction mode. These are our favorite film adaptations of select classic books, as noted. How many do you recognize?

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New ‘Destiny Falls’ Book Is a Howl & a Half! – or – Why Kimber Nominated a Cat Into the Secret Canine Society (No, Really)

Never fear! Boss Dog is on the job!

The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales (Better Beginnings, Inc. 2021)

Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Book 3

By Elizabeth Pantley

Fiction/Fantasy/Mystery

Kimber here, ears pricked. Alert. Scanning and sniffing everything that moves. And quite a few things that don’t. Cuz weird noises are coming from the study:

“Aaaarg!” Pause. “Double aaaaarg!”

Wait. Is there a Pirate Convention going on in Mom’s study and no one told me? Shall I dial 9-1-1? Call Peter Pan? Or morph into my usual, every day Kimber the Amazingly Awesome and Super Duper Walks-on-Water Wonder Worker mode?

Hang on, Toots. Deep breaths. There ya go. Okay, Mom. Now. Tell me what all the ruckus is about.

“Kimber, I just finished the most fascinating, fun book! It’s number three in the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic series. And I’m dying to know what happens next!

Can we kindly avoid the word “dying” in conjunction with a cliffhanger ending? As in, “The end… for now”?

The Backstory…

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3 Wag-Worthy Summer Stand-Outs

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

Her Momness is doing that “I can’t decide” thing again. Like when she has a coupla/three books she enjoyed and thinks you will, too. But she can’t decide which one to feature in a blog post.

Mom’s just funny that way.

“Mom,” says I. “Why don’t you just do all three? Like, at the same time?”

You know that deer-in-the-headlights look? AKA: The Her Momness Look? Mom has it down pat. Ditto three books we recently read. One is a murder mystery: Muzzled: An Andy Carpenter Mystery. Super great cover. Best I’ve ever seen, in fact. The other is a non-fiction book, Empire of the Summer Moon. The third is News of the World. By Paulette Jiles.

They’re as different as day and night. Peanut butter and jelly. Intelligence and presidential debates. Wait. Let’s not go there. Anyway, here’s The Official Mom and Kimber Scoop on these two very different but wag-worthy summer reads:

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