Pug Pals: Yay for Vacay! by Flora Ahn (Review)

Pug Pals: Yay for Vacay! By Ahn, Flora Children’s Mystery/Picture Story Book Scholastic Press Hardcover (No Dust Jacket) $9.99 (USD) January 2019 If you’re too shallow to appreciate Pugs, stop reading right now. That said, Flora Ahn has done it again.  Yes, another classic.  Her first Pug-themed children’s book, Pug Pals: Two’s a Crowd (2018), introduced us to Sunny and Rosy, two dogs with human traits who bonded under conditions that didn’t look too promising at first. The second book in the series, Pug Pals: Yay for Vacay! is an equally uplifting continuation of the odd relationship between two dear friends … Continue reading Pug Pals: Yay for Vacay! by Flora Ahn (Review)

Parking the Moose by Dave Hill (Review)

Parking the Moose By Hill, Dave Humorous Essays Hardcover, $29.95 (CAN) $24.00 (USD) Doubleday Canada Published September 2019 Most of us have given some thought to our ancestry, and we think of how differently we’d be living if something hadn’t changed direction before our births.  Personally, I wonder how I would be conducting my life if my maternal grandmother hadn’t left Utah when she was young and stopped practicing the local religion. Actually, I wouldn’t even be here if my maternal grandmother had stayed in Utah.  She married a gentile she met in San Francisco, so with genes being what … Continue reading Parking the Moose by Dave Hill (Review)

Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Review)

Guts By Telgemeier, Raina Graphic Novel, Paperback $12.99 Publisher: Scholastic Graphix © 2019 I wish this book had been around when I was turning thirteen, and suffered with a debilitating “nervous” stomach that knocked about a year and a half from my life. Guts is an autobiographical graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier, whose work can offer comfort to children and teenagers — particularly girls — who mistakenly believe their lives are over when stress becomes overwhelming. Raina is a ten year old child who must always focus on the question, “How will my stomach react to (fill in the blank)?”  She … Continue reading Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Review)

Keep Her Close by Erik Therme (Book Review)

Keep Her Close by Therme, Erik Psychological Suspense ©2018 Bookouture Original Paperback $10.99 (USD) 230 Pages ISBN-13:  978-1-78681-9 In your experience, how many times have you acted on impulse against your better judgment? You probably don’t have an answer to that, and if you did you wouldn’t say. An even more uncomfortable question might be, How many times have you acted on impulse because of an intense emotional void? I want to be careful not to share too much, but Erik Therme has written a modern classic suspense novel that explores the ways we — any of us — react when … Continue reading Keep Her Close by Erik Therme (Book Review)

Maid by Stephanie Land (Review)

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive By Land, Stephanie Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich Memoir ©2019 $27.00 Hardcover Hachette Books 270 Pages You may have social media friends who rely on each other for emergency childcare or other support when their families suffer hardships.  Even if you’re not in a particular inner circle, you may see posts on Facebook by friends who thank their siblings, parents or others for stepping up to the plate during a crisis. Stephanie Land, author of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, rarely had any human safety net … Continue reading Maid by Stephanie Land (Review)

It’s Bookshop Day!

(Addendum/Correction:  It’s Bookshop Day in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  I live in the United States, and until now I was unaware that the U.S. is not observing Bookshop Day on this date.  Please accept my apologies.  I should have researched this more carefully because the source is an article which originated on the other side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, please consider taking a look at the article in The Guardian.  A link appears at the end of this post.) Sadly, it’s unlikely I’ll be participating — that means spending money — in this year’s Bookshop Day, which is today, darn … Continue reading It’s Bookshop Day!

Room by Emma Donoghue (Review)

Room By Emma Donoghue Mass Market Paperback ISBN: 978-0316268356 © 2010 $7.99 USD Also Available in Trade Paper and E-Book Editions Some highly educated people claim that literature isn’t published anymore.  My father used to say that. Room, the 2010 novel by Emma Donoghue, is one of the exceptions to that rule. You might recall a California kidnap victim named Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was missing for eighteen years before being freed in 2009.  She had two children by then, both fathered by her kidnapper. There is no indication that Room is based on that crime.  The novel must have taken more than … Continue reading Room by Emma Donoghue (Review)

The Infinite Reading List

Almost anyone who appreciates the printed word has one.  It’s the terrifying, insurmountable To Be Read List. My list was at its peak when a bedbug infestation hit the fan in 2009.  I had to discard most of the unread books, and the rest were wrapped for eighteen months before they could rejoin the community.  Even after a year and a half of staring at books in sealed plastic bags and gently moving them to a new apartment, I left many on the proverbial back burner. Eventually, the books were unwrapped, and allowed to resume breathing.  However, most were denied … Continue reading The Infinite Reading List

Secondhand Bookshops are Disappearing, and not Just in Your City

About twenty-five years ago, I did volunteer work in a struggling used bookshop in San Francisco.  Eventually, the store went out of business, but I was happy to keep paperback shelves stocked for customers who read everything from pop fiction to ancient history. I went through a meticulous process with each book.  First, I inspected the book carefully to look for damage or highlighter/underlining marks, and unfolded a few dog eared corners.  Then I wrote the price in large numerals with a #2 pencil that wasn’t too sharp.  Then each book was shelved exactly where it belonged. Whether the book was … Continue reading Secondhand Bookshops are Disappearing, and not Just in Your City