Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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Why THE GREAT ALONE Blows THE FOUR WINDS Away

Mom and I? We get it. We’re supposed to go gaga over every new Kristin Hannah novel that comes down the cat. Yes, Hannah is one of our favorite writers. She proves her mettle once again in The Great Alone. So what happened with The Four Winds?

I’ll let Mom explain. (You know how Mom is, right?):

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How to Snort Sprite Out Your Nose, Southern-Style With ‘Me, Boo & The Goob’

Me, Boo and the Goob: A Southern Adventure

By William M. Garner

Fiction/Humor

You know how you’re drinking a soft drink and then start laughing so hard, you snort Sprite out your nose?

“Don’t look at me,“ says Kimber. (Insert eye roll here.) “I don’t do Sprite.”

Mom doesn’t really do Spite either. But if she did, that’s exactly what would’ve happened when we read this book. We laughed so hard, we cried! (Maybe even snorted. A little.)

Rimming with wry wit and dry humor, this is the story of three young boys growing up in a small town near Memphis in the 1960s. Adventures and misadventures abound as they try to navigate the adult world with the best of intentions. 

(Kinda like me!  As in, if you don’t tell Mom about the missing New York steak, I won’t tell her about… well… how was I supposed to know that nice, juicy steak was headed to the backyard grill? Sitting there on the table unguarded, it looked like fair game to me! Football anyone?)

 

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Kimber to the Rescue with ‘Trail Angel Mama’!

Trail Angel Mama: Tales of a Pacific Crest Trail Angel (2015)

By Sue Holman and Trisha Faye

Non-Fiction

Mom was in a Blue Book Funk the other day. After wading through mountains of garbage disguised as “hiking memoirs” of the Pacific Crest trail (PCT), she was ready to buy stock in Pepto-Bismol. (For more on that, see 7 Skunkers and Clunkers.)

Well. You know me. I’m a rescue dog. I’m a rescuer. It’s what I do. So I says to Mom, “Maybe you oughtta check out The Book Place. Do the search thingy. See what else is available in the PCT category.”

Weeks later, Mom finally stumbled upon Trail Angel Mama: Tales of a Pacific Crest Trail Angel. (Mom’s nothing if not quick.) At less than 100 pages, Mom almost passed it over.

“No way!” barks I! Order that puppy!’

She did.

We loved it!

A Border Collie mix, Kimber is a rescue dog. She’s also The Smartest Member of the Family.

Did I mention I’m a rescue dog? And totally brilliant?

Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. Trail Angel Mama is the first PCT/hiking-ish book we’ve ever awarded marks. Here’s why:

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

Author Alert! Author Alert!

Incoming!

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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How a Human & a Street Cat Save Each Other in ‘But First, Rumi’

But First, Rumi (Ant Press, December 2020)

By Chitra Ramaswami 

Non-Fiction/Memoir

A young woman in Oman finds a scrawny “ginger and white cat” on her apartment staircase. The cat is undernourished, dehydrated, and injured.

Reluctant to make contact with a stray cat, Chitra is hesitant about reaching out. But compassion wins. She eventually takes the cat in and nurses it back to health. (The “she” cat is originally named Naaz until the author discovers the cat is male. She rechristens the stray “Rumi” after  a favorite poet.)

An unexpected friendship begins to bloom as the author battles a mysterious, debilitating illness while becoming increasingly attached to her new feline friend. And vice-versa. As Chitra learns to love “the little stray,” she begins “to see greater life lessons about herself, her family, her home country, and her place in the world.”

They wind up saving each other.

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‘A Time to Seek’: Honest & Effervescent

A Time to Seek:

Meaning, Purpose, and Spirituality at Midlife

By Susan Pohlman

Non-Fiction/Memoir/Travel

What is “midlife”? How does it affect perspectives, relationships, family, priorities, goals, self-worth and expectations? Is “midlife” a state of mind or a number? What do we do once we find ourselves approaching this new season of life, and how?

Touching, Incisive

These questions and more percolate throughout Susan Pohlman’s touching and incisive memoir, A Time to Seek. Beautifully written and spiritually sensitive, the narrative invites readers to join the author as she returns to Italy, the site of a significant turning point in her life as she hits another major life milestone: middle age.

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‘Bag of Lies’ & a Breath of Fresh Air

Is it spring yet?

During Snowmaggedon. One of us was really, really cranky about being cooped up indoors. Since like, the 12th of Never. So when the author reached out to us about a book review, saying he’d actually read our submission guidelines, we accepted. We got the ARC the next day.

You know that phrase “breath of fresh air”? Well…

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‘Acts of Dreams’: Where ‘Impossible’ Doesn’t Get The Last Word

Acts of Dreams (March 2021)

Book 3 of The Inquisition Trilogy

By Martin Elsant

Historical Fiction

How far would you go for freedom? Would you contest a centuries-old law? Throw in with a notorious privateer? Sail across an ocean? Challenge the Queen of England?

These questions and more are at the heart of a fast-moving historical fiction novel by Martin Elsant. There is so much in this story to keep both history lovers and bibliophiles turning pages until the very end.

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GUEST POST: Interview With Intrepid World Travel Author Kaitlyn Jain

Kimber the Magnificent here. The other day Mom and I came up with another brilliant idea in the guest author department: revisiting a heartfelt and often hilarious travel tome we recently reviewed. (Well, okay. It was mostly me. Mom helped a little.)

Mom and The Kimster. (At least ONE of us is awake. Most of the time.)

Today we’re chatting with the author of an interesting, insightful, and often very funny travel-ish book, Passports and Pacifiers—Traveling the World, One Tantrum at a Time. Her name is Kaitlyn Jain. Let’s tune in and see what she has to say. You won’t want to miss this, if I do bark so myself! (For our full review of Passports and Pacifiers, click here.)

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