Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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‘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.’ 

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GUEST POST: Author Mary Alford & ‘It All Starts With an Idea’

Oh boy! Oh Bowzer! Oh Rin Tin Tin!

Kimber the Magnificent here. I’m doin’ my tornado tail-waggin’ thing today. Know why? Cuz today’s one of my favorite kinda days! It’s a Guest Post Day with a New Favorite Author! It’s also a day when we get to find out where an author gets her ideas – setting, characters, plot and stuff like that. Have you ever wondered about that? We have!

So today’s your Bow-Wow Day! Yes siree, Lassie! We’re getting to know Mary Alford, author of Among the Innocent. (Read our full review here.) And she’s goin’ to answer that question and more! (Think of it as Sirloin Steak Day with a side of T-bone!!)

Ready? Set? Let’s go!

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‘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.

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Steaks, Reads, & Rascals

My humans were doing the backyard barbecue thing the other day. Something about “summer’s last hurrah.”

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Public domain

They plopped some burgers and four delicious “New York steaks” on the grill. Yes, four steaks. Clearly that meant one each for Mom and Dad. One for The Kid. One for me. Right?

Rather than waiting for my hunk of happiness to fall off the grill, I figured I’d just hop right up and help myself. No sense standing on ceremony, right? So I didn’t.

Speaking of which, I thought “fall” was something you do. Apparently that’s not always the case. For example. Mom says “fall” is her favorite season. Something about leaves changing. “Crisp.” Curling up by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book.

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Friday 56: Dive into ‘Home Waters’

TGIF! Time for another Friday 56 and Book Beginnings! Like this:

Book Beginnings is a theme where readers share the first sentence (or couple of sentences) from your current read. It’s hosted by Rose City Reader every Friday.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Frida’s Voice. Share a sentence or two from page 56 or 56% in to your current read. Sound good? Perfect! Cuz here we go:

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Is ‘To Be Where You Are’ One Mitford Too Far?

“I thought maybe it was just me,” frowned Her Momness. “Then I read some other reviews. And it’s definitely not ‘just me.’ So there!”

Here’s why Mom found To Be Where You Are so disappointing. (The short version).

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A Summer Reading Record?

Do you do Summer Reading Programs?  Mom used to. She’s been kinda straddlin’ the fence on SRPs since about 2018. Why? Cuz she set a personal record for books read that summer: 156 books. From June 1 to August 31. No. really. Click here for more.

She hasn’t jumped into an SRP full-bore since. “Cuz Kimmi, how in the world am I gonna top 156 books in three months?”

Well. You know Her Momness. I bribed her with chocolate.

A New Record?

So. Did Mom set a new personal record for Summer Reading? 

Well, not quite. We tried. Really. And we got close.

But there was so much other stuff goin’ on this summer, if ya know what I mean. (And yes, I totally aced that semi-annual check-up at the vet’s. Thanks for askin.’)

Including audio books and read-alouds, Mom read 139 books this summer. It’s not 156+. But not bad, eh?  (Apparently, some people will do almost anything for a Triple Chocolate Meltdown a la mode.)

You can find some of Mom’s summer favorites at 6 Best Reads of Summer. 

Honorable Mentions:

I’d let Mom tell you more herself. But she’s snoozing right now. Or “resting up.” Or something.

Psssst!

Mom hasn’t tackled a Goodreads Reading Challenge since shortly after the Ark made landfall. The last one she did was in 2018: 383 books. In one year. She says, “No way can I do that again, Kimster. Not even close.”

But I’m scouting up new supplies of chocolate. Just don’t tell Mom yet, okay?

You gonna eat that?

 


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6 Best Reads of Summer

Whoosh! Or Whoof! Where did summer go? Mom and I were just getting used to long days and more sunshine. Before I could bark twice at the Powder Puff sauntering by on her afternoon walk, the season is done-ski. That makes Mom and me kinda sad, if ya know what I mean. (Summer winding down. Not the Powder Puff.)

Summer Wrap-Up

Anywho, since we recently posted a list of Summer Stinkers (as in, Do Not Waste Your Time, Do Not Collect $200 or even a penny), one of us thought now would be a good time to do a Summer Wrap-Wrap thingy. Like when we highlight our favorite reads from the summer. Books with heart. Solid writing. Something to say that matters. You might be surprised how hard books like that can be to find these days. Or maybe not?

Anywho again. Here are our 6 Best Reads of Summer (in no particular order). Drum roll please…

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‘Among the Innocent’ is Un-Put-Downable!

“The former chief believed Harrison had chosen death over being accused of murder. Now the real killer had returned. The clock was ticking.”

 

Among the Innocent

By Mary Alford

Revell, 2022

Genre: Crime/Murder Mystery/Thriller/Romance/Christian Fiction

Via: Author Request

Pages: 295

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

“Un-Put-Downable.”

That’s a new word Mom and I just made up. You already know what it means. So here’s the scoop on this gripping and intense barn burner. We couldn’t put it down!

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Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky Awards, Part III -or – 9 Summer Stinkers (Skip These & You Haven’t Missed a Thing)

Kimber: Nobody wants to waste their valuable time reading stinkers, right? That’s why Mom and I launched the BKLBITS (Big Kitty Litter Box In The Sky) Awards awhile back. How does a book make the BKLBITS Award list? Like this:

Short criteria for Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky Awards:

  1. A pointless slog to the Middle of Nowhere littered with unsympathetic cardboard characters we don’t know, don’t want to know, and could care less about.
  2. Poor writing littered with spelling and grammatical errors and typos.
  3. Political polemics disguised as fiction.
  4. Badly overwritten, tedious and mundane. Dull as a box of rocks and twice as dense.
  5. Does not enrich, enlighten, educate or inspire in any way.
  6. Gratuitous violence and/or profanity
  7. A snoozefest

So here, without further ado, are the Mom and Kimber BKLBITS Awards, Part III:

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