Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


2 Comments

‘End the Divide’ Offers Breath of Fresh Air

End the Divide:

The Surprising Power of Ordinary People to Fix What Went Wrong 

By Dwight Clough

Genre: Non-Fiction

Via: Author Request

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

Tired of the strident, bellicose voices blasting their way into your head every day? Weary of the divisiveness, pugnacity and acrimony over political parties and elections, of being riled up – or hearing from those who are riled up – over partisan talking points?

Have we got a deal for you. It’s called End the Divide. This new book ‘explores how people of faith can lead the way to end the toxic polarization in our culture.’ 

Continue reading


2 Comments

‘Where the Children Take Us’: Moving & Memorable

Where the Children Take Us: How One Family Achieved the Unimaginable by [Zain E. Asher]

Where the Children Take Us:

How One Family Achieved the Unimaginable

By Zain E. Asher

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir

Publisher: Amistad 35, an imprint  of Harper Collins, 2022

Pages: 212

Via: Library

Where the Children Take Us is the compelling true story of two remarkable women, mother and daughter.  

One story recounts the life of Obiajulu, the author’s mother. A widowed immigrant from Nigeria, Obiajulu (“my heart is at peace”) raises four children alone in South London while also running a small business six days a week. She is determined to carve out a better life for her children. With remarkable grit, tenacity, and dignity, Obiajulu does exactly that as recounted in this powerful, heartfelt memoir.

The second narrative focuses on the author. Zain is a first-generation African immigrant “raised by a single mother who struggled to keep the heat on in a gritty home in East London.” Via lessons learned from her mother, Zain graduates from Oxford University, earns a graduate degree from Columbia, and becomes a CNN news anchor.

Continue reading


2 Comments

‘The Waltons’ Lives on in ‘Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton” by Mary McDonough

Ah, August! The shoulder of summer. Deep summer has passed. But the sullen skies and cherry-cheeked winds of autumn are still waiting in the wings. Isn’t August a great time for a little trip down memory lane? That’s what we’re doing today. With a review from March of 2012. Cue Jerry Goldsmith musical score in 3, 2, 1…

Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton

By Mary McDonough

Kensington Publishing Corp., 2011

For millions of American television viewers, The Waltons was a Thursday night staple. It was in my house. Candidly, I considered the second Walton daughter the least credible character in the whole clan. Mary McDonough’s Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton provides some explanation, connects some dots and offers a glimpse into the girl who portrayed the red-haired Erin and her post-Waltons life.

Continue reading


4 Comments

‘Reckless Grace’ Pulls No Punches

Reckless Grace book coverReckless Grace

A Mother’s Crash Course in Mental Illness

By Carolyn DiPasquale

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: E.L. Marker, an imprint of WiDo Publishing, 2022

Pages: 419 + Several pages of Endnotes and Works Cited

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

How do you help a severely ill loved one who can’t or won’t get healthy? How do you help someone who doesn’t necessarily want help? How do you help someone if you don’t really know they need help, or what kind of help is needed?

These questions and more are raised in this finely crafted, heartrending memoir. Reckless Grace is the shattering true story of a mother’s journey through her daughter’s physical and mental illnesses, told in retrospect following the daughter’s fatal overdose.

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

‘Independent Woman’ Memoir Opens Window into Yugoslavia

An Independent Woman in Yugoslavia: A Memoir

By Iris Novak

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir

Pages: 327

Via: Author Request

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

Kimber the Magnificent here asking “What’s an “irregular declension”? Can I eat it? I’m only asking cuz it showed up in a book Her Momness recently read, An Independent Woman in Yugoslavia.

“You do not see me. I am Kimber the Invisible!”

First thing I had to do was look up the location of Yugoslavia. (One of us knew it was in Southern/Central Europe. And about Tito. One of us is also old enough to remember Kosovo. So don’t laugh. Bet you had to look it up, too. So here ya go. You’re welcome.)

Knowing a bit about Yugoslavia is kind of important. Cuz this memoir is about  how the 20th century moved into the 21st century in that part of the world as seen through the eyes of author Iris Novak. Mom will pick it up from here:

Continue reading


2 Comments

Snap Out of It! Why ‘Untethered’ is “Moonstruck”

Untethered:

Faith, Failure, and Finding Solid Groud

By Laura Whitfield

She Writes Press, 2022

Genre: Memoir/Autobiography

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

This is how Her Momness felt while reading most of this book:

Continue reading


4 Comments

‘How-To’ Book on Presentation Prep Packs a Punch

Simple Preaching Prep: A guide to finish your first sermon and flourish beyond. by [Mark Messmore]Simple Preaching Prep

A guide to finish your first sermon and flourish beyond

By Mark Messmore, 2022

Non-Fiction

 

“I don’t know about this one, Kimmi girl,” chirps Her Momness the other day. “Does this book look like a good fit for Pages and Paws?”

“Mom,” says I, Kimber the Magnificent.Of course it’s a good fit. Cuz I’m a World Champion Reacher! I reach for unattended New York steaks. Burgers on the counter. A thick, juicy T-bone. (I might even reach for a stray Brussel sprout or two. But let’s get carried away here, okay?”) So, ya see, Mom. I’m an awesome “Reacher!! Right up my kennel!”

“That’s preacher, Kimmi,” says Mom.  Insert eye roll here. Mom says we don’t do pulpit supply – whatever that is – and we’re not big into parsing Greek verbs. Whatever that means. So I dunno about reviewing this book, said one of us.

Which just goes to show you what Mom knows.

Maybe you’re thinking the same thing. Maybe you’re thinking a book on preaching prep isn’t your cuppa. That’s okay. Cuz while Simple Preaching Prep is geared toward Jesus followers, its principles and practical advice will help anyone looking to sharpen their presentation skills, organize their thoughts, and connect with their audience, be that in a church, business, club, discussion group, classroom, or other context.

Continue reading


2 Comments

Why ‘Eyes Up’ is One to Watch

Eyes Up: How to Trust God's Heart by Tracing His Hand  -     By: Alexandra V. Hoover
Eyes Up: How to Trust God’s Heart by Tracing His Hand

By Alexandra V. Hoover

B&H Publishing Group, 2022

Genre: Christian Nonfiction, Inspirational

Via: NetGalley ARC

This book releases on May 24, 2022

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

Ever felt lost? Scared? Disoriented or discouraged? Overlooked or confused? Then Eyes Up is for you. Articulate and eloquent, this book is firmly anchored in a biblical worldview that’s marinated in grace. Drenched in hope and saturated in truth, it’s simply extraordinary.

The book’s main premise comes from a paraphrased quote by Charles H. Spurgeon:

“God is too good to be unkind and He’s too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.”

Continue reading


Leave a comment

‘DAWGS’: Inspiring True Story of Animal Sanctuary

DAWGS

A True Story of Lost Animals and The Kids Who Rescued Them

By Diane Trull With Meredith Wargo

Citadel Press/Kensington Publishing Corp., 2020

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

Non-Fiction

“There’s no way we’re going to let anything bad happen to any of the dogs we save.”

That’s an admirable objective coming from an adult. It may be even better coming from a fourth grader. And it did, as we discover in the uplifting and inspirational story of how everyone can make a difference, DAWGS: A True Story of Lost Animals and the Kids Who Rescued Them.

A cardboard box overflowing with homeless puppies is the impetus for the creation of the Dalhart Animal Wellness Group and Sanctuary in Dalhart, Texas.  When students in Diane Trull’s fourth grade class ask what’ll happen to the puppies if no one takes them, Trull faces a dilemma: Gloss things over or tell them the truth.

Continue reading