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Monthly Archives: January 2015

What We Keep …(a timeless read)

Although the story line is dated (I am way younger than woodstock and hippy clothes) it is a timeless read.

What We Keep


Elizabeth Berg

Berg weaves a tale of a family, broken

a tale of a woman and her sister

who thought they had a “normal” existence

until one day their mother leaves.

of course the mother felt lost

until a neighbor moves in next door

and she discovers that she has talents, and dreams and wishes

and although she does not go about reaching them in a “proper” way

she does what she thinks she has to do to survive

to really live

fast forward 30 some years later and Ginny is on traveling to see her mother who she hasn’t seen in over 30 years

and her sister

who she hasn’t seen in quite some time either.

Heartbreak and misunderstandings fill the book

and eventually the book comes to a fair end.

so I give

another book I tried to read by Berg is

Dream When You’re Feeling Blue

I couldn’t get into it but my mom loved it.

a worthy author to read I will definitely be on the look out for more books by Berg


The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst

There is a reason this book is a national best seller folks.




It is a little strange it says that right on the cover…but boy…I could not put it down…

I generally read books while waiting at appointments or picking up kids etc…


I stayed up last night to finish this book:

The Dogs of Babel

by Carorlyn Parkhurst


Carolyn effortlessly, and masterly weaves the story between current and past

A story with a tragic loss, and an endless effort of trying to make sense of what has happened.

A life remembered, but gone too soon

and the two left behind

one of which is a Dog.

A dog who knows what happened on that fateful day.


A man who is desperate to know what happened, decides it is his mission to teach his dog to talk.

hence the title, “The Dogs of Babel”


I’m sorry, that’s all I’ll give you folks

do yourself a favor check out, borrow or buy….get this book and enjoy a read that will stay with you forever.


funny video of dog talking…

Dog Gone, Back Soon

Dog Gone, Back Soon

by Nick Trout


I was a little leary… I mean look at that pathetic puppy on the cover….such sad eyes.


it was written by a vet

yup that’s right

somehow while a vet surgeon in Boston he has found time to be an author!


but this really  was really a good book…sorry I don’t say great…I rarely say great but I did say really good and I don’t say that often either


here’s why…in the beginning you think you know where the story is going and as you go along you suppose you were right but then the book comes to closure and you were wrong….


that so so rarely happens in modern literature…so many books are so predictable…by chapter 3 you know how it’s going to end…but since you paid for the book you forge on….and then are disappointed when your ESP was right


not so in Dog Gone, Back Soon.


a story about

  • a veterinarian who comes back to take over his father’s vet practice
  • a vet corporation that tries to take over the town
  • a bunch of quirky but interesting characters in a small town sort of way
  • perhaps a love interest or two



Nick Trout has a website you can check it out here


get off your duff and get the book.

or watch some quirky town characters



by the way this book is a sequel but you don’t need to read the previous for this to make sense

“Church of the Dog” … dog???

When I saw this book at my local library on the “used books for sale” stand I put it back and thought um that just sounds wrong.

but I have to say

when it was still there a few weeks later I picked it up and ultimately purchased:

Church of the Dog


Kaya McLaren

In Church of the Dog(from now on referred to as” COTD”)

Kaya in no true “chapter form” leads us through the story, narrated by the characters in the story.

It grabs you from page 1 as immediately you are entered into the life of Mara an art teacher who is in the middle of major life changes(sorry, don’t want to give away any of this gem)

you are then transported to Earl and Edith a set of Grandparents(not Mara’s) who are also on the verge of major life changes.

followed by Daniel a temporarily lost soul who is searching…(what for?  you’ll have to read the book)

 Although there is a Dog in the story, and plenty of stained glass, they don’t worship dogs


although there is a church mentioned several times in the story

the book is not so much about “religion” as it is about finding the good in everyday life and in living every day to the fullest.

I read one review that talked about “lots of story lines never developed” …

In my opinion COTD it could have taken 4 or 5 books to “fully develop” each characters story line and ….it’s not necessary

the stories of the main characters are artfully woven together….you get just enough to understand who each person is…what their take on life is, and what they learn

COTD is not about all these separate story lines, IT IS about life and the connections that come and go and how it all fits together

much like…pieces of a stained glass artwork

each piece on it’s own a little nondescript but when put leaded together makes a beautiful life

hurry now…get the book!

Wide Open ??? Better kept shut!

I don’t know how the IMPAC International Dublin Literary Award for 2000 was decided, but given that’s why I picked this book, I probably wouldn’t read anything else they awarded.

but in 2000 they gave the award to

Wide Open

by Nicola Barker

On recent vacation this was the third of 3 books I had picked out to read.

here a Ronny there a Ronny everywhere a Ronny Ronny

I was lost from chapter 1!

The only reason that I am including it in this blog of “Books Worth Reading” is that despite not being able to follow the story very well, her descriptions are immaculate, I can see exactly what those in the story see, or at least what I imagine they see.

However the book is filled with innuendo subtle and not so subtle,

All in all a 2 out of 5 on my list and a -1 as far as books I’d recommend  but if you like that sort of thing peppered through out a book, then maybe give it a try…but I guarantee, without those few pages….this book would not have been missing anything.

if you run across it a the discard pile at the local library like I did, I guess the $.50 wasn’t too bad an investment…any more in any case I’ll probably donate it back before borrowing it out to anyone I know.

sorry but if I see another book by Barker I will be most unlikely to purchase it.

What do you get when you cross Oliver Twist, Huckleberry Finn, and Tom Sawyer??

What do you get when you cross Oliver Twist, Huckleberry Finn, and Tom Sawyer??

Definitely not a classic…

but you do get

The Good Thief


Hannah Tinti

Seriously, take twelve year old  Ren(the main character) who lives at an orphanage run by monks, and is then sold to a man who claims to be his brother, they go on the lam and meet up with a few other roustabouts, gets into some scrapes(some rather serious)

He is forced into situations(thievery)of various sorts, that he cannot control for fear of being killed.

But…he has a good heart. At the end of the book, the only thing we are left wondering is what happens next.

perhaps time for a sequel.

Oh, did I forget to tell you Ren had a hand cut off as an infant…why?? guess you’ll have to read the book.

We Were the Mulvaneys

I had a few days to read books over winter break and one of the three I picked was

“We Were the Mulvaneys”

by Joyce Carol Oates

Being an Oprah Book Club book, I thought it must be really good….and it’s not that it’s not just doesn’t make my list of “read agains”

“Mulvaneys” starts well enough delving into the lives of the six people in the family.

Focusing on a tragedy that happened to one of the family and affected all of the family, in different ways.

I felt it was missing a chapter or two right before the last chapter.  Without ruining the book should you chose to buy or borrow it…

if you do read it, expect to feel uncomfortable, sick to your stomach, angry, at what happens in the book, and then angry at what doesn’t happen in the book.


yeah it’s ok…but …borrow it from your library.