Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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‘No Place Too Far’ Brings Family Home

No Place Too Far

(Lake Union Publishing, September 1, 2020)
By Kay Bratt

A Maui-based book that begins with a shaggy dog named Woodrow? Count me in!

A highly engaging story with a smooth-as-silk plot, No Place Too Far is just plain fun. It snaps and crackles with energy throughout and is chockful of memorable characters like a precocious four year-old named Charlie, a scatter-brained but loveable veterinarian, Dr. Joe Starr, and a blue-haired dynamo named Juniper.

Setting

Lush tropical locations and a pitch-perfect pacing surf in and out of intrigue, danger, and triumph. Oh yeah. There’s this great dog and veterinary heroes, too. My kinda book!

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40+ Book-ish Quotes to Boost Your Instagram

There I was. Stretched out in a pool of sunshine. Working on my tan.  Mom comes along with her mobile Doo-Hickey:

“Smile, Kimber! Sit. Roll over. Lay down. Stay. Say ‘cheese.'”

While the Doo-Hickey is clicking away.

So annoying.

Anyway, Mom says she’s going to “post” the clickey things from her Doo-Hickey. Whatever that means. Then she says:

 “Kimmi, How’re we gonna caption these?”

What “we,” Kimo Sabe?

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5 Sumptuous Books Celebrating FOOD (and lots more)

Good food and books go together like peanut butter and jelly. Summer and surfing. Braying politicians and migraines. Belay that last. Cuz today we’re going a step further.

For today’s Fine Wine Fridays we’re sharing some favorites that combine the best in creative, delicious recipes and creative, delicious writing.

Insalata di Polpo – ‘Savoring Tuscany’

In order to make our menu, selected books must be more than just collections of recipes. They focus on food but must also include:

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3 Blogging Truths Nobody Tells You

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Ever wish someone had told you how to get from Point A to Point B as a blogger? What to do and what to avoid? What works and what’s a waste of time?

I wish someone had told me some things when I first started blogging – shortly after the discovery of fire. After many, many fits and starts and enough mistakes and mis-steps to choke a camel, I’ve learned some essential blogging truths. Here are three:

Truth #1

Sometimes you don’t feel like writing. I can spend a whole afternoon puttering around doing absolutely nothing. Just to avoid writing. (This never lasts. I just threw it in to see if you’re paying attention.)

But sometimes the mere notion of sitting down and banging out something brilliant is as appealing as a slug. Like: I haven’t even started writing yet, and I’m already exhausted. 

Sometimes writing is as attractive as a root canal sans Novocain. Or my mother in law. (Wait. Did I say that out loud?)

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The #1 Reason No One is Reading Your Blog & What To Do About It

Are you cranking out luminescent strokes of blogging brilliance only to have no one notice? Tired of blogging your fingers off only to have your posts disappear into a black hole?

Do you feel like:

  • Why bother?
  • Is this blogging thing really worth it?
  • What’s the point in trying so hard if no one ever reads or reacts to my content?
  • Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel.

Here’s Help

Don’t toss that towel. Cuz help is on the way.

In this brief video, Cristian Mihai of The Art of the Blogging explains why no one is reading your blog and what you can do about it. Hint: It comes down to two words. Do you know what they are?

Cristian explains here. Give it six-ish minutes. You’ll learn a lot. I did.

 

See?

Related: How to Stop Being “The Invisible Blogger”

What did you learn? How will you apply Christian’s insights today?


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Is ‘The Lost Queen’ Worth the Hunt?

The Lost Queen: A Novel (. Book #1 of The Lost Queen. Simon & Schuster, 2018)

By Signe Pike

Set in sixth century Scotland, The Lost Queen is a retelling of the Arthurian legend via the sister of Merlin.

Languoreth is the daughter of an ancient king (or chieftain). As such, she’s duty-bound to marry for socio-political reasons and not for love. But she has an affair with a young general.

Told in the first person, the story begins with Languoreth and her twin brother, Lailoken (later known as Merlin), mourning the recent loss of their mother, a Wisdom Keeper skilled in the healing arts. (Since this is a book review, not a history lesson, I am not going to delve into the historical underpinnings of this book and its protagonist. Google is your friend.)

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Why ‘Rainbow Bridge’ Will Melt Your Heart

Rainbow Bridge_COVER

Rainbow Bridge (Mirador, 2020)

By Dan V. Jackson

I can’t put into words how much I loved this book. How much I didn’t want it to end. How I really, really ought to buy stock in Kleenex.

For example, when I’m getting ready to write a book review, I typically take notes throughout the book. I started doing that with Rainbow Bridge. Then I stopped. The story took over. It resonated so deeply, in fact, I couldn’t read it and take notes at the same time. So I put my notes away and immersed myself in this extraordinarily powerful and poignant story.

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20 Awesome Outdoor Classics for Kids!

Grays skies are clearing. Temperatures are inching upwards. Summer’s waiting in the wings. Even if you’re stuck inside, you can still roam the outdoors through books! Especially with Great Outdoors Month starting on Monday, June 1!

Welcome to another edition of Fine Wine Fridays! Featuring The Best in Rich, Full-Bodied Read-a-Likes and other cool stuff!

Today we’re highlighting 20 top outdoor titles for kiddos. These books are geared for children ages third through ninth grade, roughly.

All include strong characters, engaging plots, and superlative story-telling. All have stood the test of time. (You may detect a big canine bias here. Because as Kimber knows, everything is better with dogs. Yes sirree, Lassie! That goes double for the Great Outdoors!)

Besides. If you can’t go to the outside, we’ll bring the outside to you, inside with:

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Why “Waking Up” is a Snoozer

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Waking Up on the Appalachian Trail: A Story of War, Brotherhood, and the Pursuit of Truth (BooksGoSocial, 2020)

By N.B. Hankes

Got insomnia? Forget Sominex. This snoozefest will put you to sleep in a foot fall.

Waking Up supposedly chronicles an Army vet’s hike with his brother along the Appalachian Trail as the author looks for “time in the wilderness” to help provide “answers and clarity” regarding his time in Iraq, or… something. (I’m deliberately not linking to it. You’re welcome.)

But this isn’t a hiking book or a trail tome. It’s not even much of a “memoir.” Most of Waking Up is just a convenient springboard for a slow roll into a slathering left-wing socio-economic harangue of Springer Mountain proportions. Indeed, a sizeable slice of the book is spent alternately blasting society for its alleged greed and corruption and blaming everyone else on planet earth for the author’s own lack of preparation, planning, and poor choices.

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From Appalachia to Yale Law: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Delivers Searingly Honest Memoir of Upward Mobility

Image result for Book Cover Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Thorndike Press, 2016

By J.D. Vance

 

You may want to buckle up before plunging into this memoir. Cuz it’s a doozy. It’s also an eye-opener worth the plunge.

“To understand me, you must understand that I am a Scots-Irish hillbilly at heart” explains the author in the Introduction. He grew up poor, in the “Rust Belt,” in an Ohio steel town that “has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember.” But he graduated from Yale Law. That’s a pretty compelling story any way you slice it. So I’d listen up ‘fize you. Like this:

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