Monthly Archives: December 2011

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie

To solve my big book loving problem, I’m going to be participating in The 2012 Chunkster Challenge! A chunkster is a book of 450 pages or more (525 if you’re reading in large print), and no e-books or audio books are allowed. Why? Because part of the challenge, the thrill, is to figure out a way to comfortably hold that ginormous dinosaur of a book while you’re reading.

There are different levels of the challenge, and I will be aiming to complete the Do These Books Make My Butt Look Big? level, which means I’ll be aiming to read six chunksters of varying lengths- two between 450-550 pages each, two between 551-750 pages, and two books that have more than 750 pages- in the next twelve months. It’s a little ambitious, but several of the books I already wanted to read will count towards it- A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book, Anna Karenina, The Poisonwood Bible, 1Q84, Kate Morton’s newest mystery The Distant Hours– so why not make it official?

I will not be reading any chunky books today, however. Today, I am cleaning in preparation of the friends we’re having over tonight to celebrate yet another wonderful New Year, full of promise and hope. And tomorrow I begin my first book for the Lovely Little Reading Challenge 2012! In honor of the new year, I leave you with a little challenge. I’ve already selected my first book of 2012. Based on this very short authors note, can you guess what classic British novel I’ll be reading tomorrow?

“I am not I; thou art not he or she; they are not they.”

Happy guessing! And Happy New Year, friends!

11 Comments

Filed under Books, Odds and Ends

My 12 Favorite Books of 2011

Today and tomorrow are all that remain of 2011. I can’t believe it’s gone by so quickly! As the year draws to a close, so does my very first reading challenge adventure. I’ve read several amazing books, a few terrible books, and a whole lot of books that fell in the middle somewhere. These are my 12 favorites, in…hmmmm…let’s go with alphabetical order:

20111230-114841.jpg

1: The Book of Lost Things: John Connolly
2: Bossypants: Tina Fey
3: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: Cathrynne M. Valente
4: The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay: Suzanne Collins
5: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns: Mindy Kaling
6:
The Map of Time: Felix J. Palma
7: The Night Circus: Erin Morgenstern
8: One Thousand Gifts: Ann Voskamp
9: The Reading Promise: Alice Ozma
10: Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: Nina Sankovitch
11: Traveling Mercies: Anne Lamott
12: The Year of Magical Thinking: Joan Didion (This book touched me so deeply that I could not bear to write up a review. Needless to say, it is a moving portrayal of grief from an author who is worthy of every bit of the praise she receives.)

Runners Up:

  • Alice I Have Been: Melanie Benjamin
  • Angry Conversations With God: Susan E. Isaacs
  • Anonymous: Alicia Britt Chole
  • Bittersweet: Shauna Niequist
  • A Jane Austen Education: William Deresiewicz
  • Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: Rhoda Janzen
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Ransom Riggs
  • The Paris Wife: Paula McLain
  • Sideways on a Scooter: Miranda Kennedy
  • The Wilder Life: Wendy McClure
  • Zoo Story: Thomas French
  • 4 Comments

    Filed under Book Reviews, Books, Odds and Ends

    You Are Cordially Invited to the 2012 Lovely Little Reading Challenge!

    In case you have not yet heard, Marissa, of the 2011 Reading Challenge fame, and I are at it again. 52 Books proved to be not enough of a challenge once we got into it, so as proof that we’re both deranged, we’ve decided to read 104 books- the equivalent of two a week- in 2012 in what we are formally calling The 2012 Lovely Little Reading Challenge!
    20111229-142354.jpg

    If you are also a deranged person of the bibliophile variety and would like to join us, this is your formal invitation! Come read a literal boat load of books with us! The only guidelines are this:

  • You must read all required books (104 total) between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.
  • If this is new to you, or you don’t feel like two books a week is feasible for your situation, you can participate on the Jr. level, which requires only 52 books, or one per week. Honestly, just set your goal and read along with us! The more voices in the chorus the better!
  • Each book may only count once. You can read Pride and Prejudice once a week, but it can only count once in 2012.
  • No cheating. This is about feeding and enriching our minds, so Green Eggs and Ham only counts if you’re five.
  • Books from more specific challenges can count towards this one also.
  • Keep a list of your finished books, even if it’s just in the back of a journal. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Also, this isn’t a requirement, but the challenge is better when you do it with someone. Even if it’s just a blog friend, reading quests are so much more fun when they’re shared! And I’m always available to be that blog friend, too. I love to hear about what you guys are reading; it inspires me!

    And that’s all she wrote. Well, that and also this: Marissa, my partner in crime, has started her own blog to keep track of her reading quest. If you’re interested, you can find it here.

    So start collecting those books, and Happy Reading!

    8 Comments

    Filed under Books, Odds and Ends

    Zoophilia: Three Great Animal Books

    I love animals. From elephants and panda bears to manatees and gorillas, you name an animal and the chances are high that I’m completely fascinated. (As long as they have legs. I don’t deal well with reptiles of the no-leg variety.)

    So it’s logical that I am completely obsessed with zoos. I want to see them all! One of the few things I love with the same intensity as a good book is a leisurely afternoon at my local zoological garden. There is nothing more peaceful than sitting inside a darkened aquarium, watching the myriad of tropical fish and sea turtles mosey around their coral home, nothing more fascinating than observing a family of bonobos playfully harass one another, nothing as awe-inspiring as watching a tigress stalk around, waiting for her lunch, or as fun as seeing a troop of otters gleefully dive and run and chatter.

    So, naturally, when my husband presented me with Betty White’s newest book, Betty and Friends: My Life at the Zoo, I promptly lost my mind.

    20111227-221413.jpg

    Betty has been deeply involved with the Los Angeles Zoo and the cause of animal conservation for over 30 years. This book is a collection of antidotes and stunning photographs of the animal friends she has made over the years. It’s “her personal love letter to zoo’s and the animals in them.” The photographs are beautiful, and her stories are touching though brief. This reads more like a coffee table book, and is really best for the hardcore animal lover who won’t care that the photo-to-word ratio is rather high.

    Of course if you’re looking for a more story-intensive offering (and most people spending upwards of $26 on a new hardback are), there are a few surprisingly good zoological tales out there.

    Zoo Story: Life In the Garden of Captives, by Thomas French, gives a rare glimpse into the nehind-the-scenae workings of a zoo.

    20111227-223937.jpg

    French spent six years researching in and reporting on Tampa Bay’s Lowry Park Zoo, and what resulted is an absolutely fascinating and touching account of the life of a zoo and it’s animal and human inhabitants. From the quirky (an alpha chimp with a fetish for blond women) to the painful (should we keep animals captive? Do zoos help accomplish or ultimately defeat their own conservation goals?), French, true to his journalistic heritage, does not shy away from any issue, nor does he seek to answer the questions or ease the tensions. What is left is a raw but beautiful account of the interdependent relationship of man and the lesser animals, and the stickier questions of our responsibility towards them. Both animal lovers and lovers of masterfully crafted nonfiction will be delighted by this fantastic book.

    For a more warm, homespun tale, Benjamin Mee’s memoir, We Bought A Zoo, is just the ticket.

    20111227-224512.jpg

    This is literally my dream. If I am ever independently wealthy, I plan to purchase two things: a book store and a zoo. (Side note: the chances of a housewife from San Diego who has problems saving money because she buys too many books and also really likes shoes becoming independently wealthy are slim. I know this. But even a housewife is allowed her dreams. What else am I supposed to do while scrubbing out the bathtub?)

    Mee and his family- mother, Amelia, wife, Katherine, and a smattering of siblings- decide to use the inheritance left to them by their late father and husband to purchase the small, rundown Dartmoor Wildlife Park. They hope to renovate the dilapidated park and reopen it as not just a tourist attraction but a viable zoo that aids in the conservation and breeding of endangered animals.

    Along the way, they run into their fair share of troubles: lack of funds, their own amateur naivety about the needs of a zoo, escaped jaguars and wolves, contentions between new and old employees, and Katherine’s reoccurring brain tumor all threaten to derail the dream. But the crux of the story is that through grief, overwhelming odds, and a steep learning curve, sometimes zoo dreams do come true. The Dartmoor Zoological Park, as it is now known, is a thriving, accredited zoo, and this little memoir is now a Matt Damon blockbuster movie that opened last week, just before Christmas. I haven’t seen it yet, but if it has as much gumption as the book it’s based on, I’m sure I’ll love it.

    What about you, friends? Have you read any of these books, or any other good animal books that a zoophile such as myself shod check out? Or do you prefer your animals to be of the domesticated variety? If so, I have that too! Cambria has recently started working on her own memoir. The working title is: “The Story of Cambria: How A Stray Ally Cat Came to Rule the World.” Or something like that.

    20111227-234915.jpg

    3 Comments

    Filed under Book Reviews, Books, Odds and Ends, Some Thoughts, Wednesday Book Review

    Lady Little Facts


    My favorite female authors:

    1. Madeleine L’Engle
    2. Denise Levertov (poet)
    3. Anne Lamott

      (I’ll say this is my top three, but fitting stuff into three’s is hard. I don’t edit myself well enough to do this. It really hurt my heart that I couldn’t also include Joan Didion or Kate DiCamillo or Edith Wharton or Kate Chopin or Sylvia Plath or Jane Austin, even if she is cliche. Can we have a “Verbose and Overstated Facts” meme? I think I’d be better at that.)

    Leave a comment

    Filed under Little Facts, Odds and Ends

    Merry Christmas!

    20111225-164456.jpg

    Merry Christmas from Cambria and me!

    “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

    3 Comments

    Filed under Odds and Ends

    The Holiday Slump

    Well, the Grinch has paid a visit to my house. He has not stolen my holiday spirit, I have buckets of that, and that would have been too easy for an old pro like Grinchy. Oh no, he took something far, far worse: my blogging mojo.

    20111224-132840.jpg

    I may not be the most accomplished blogger out there, but it comes pretty naturally to me. Normally when I sit down to blog I make my post for the day, plus a few drafts of ideas that I can pull out in a crunch if I need to. I’m like a blogging machine, ideas flying out of my head left and right.

    And then The Blog Grinch visited, and there are no more flying ideas. He did it at Thanksgiving too. It’s too difficult to concentrate with the festive lights and the heavenly smell of the Christmas tree and a cat to pull out of the tree that she thinks is her new bed and the presents to wrap and the cookies to bake and the parties to go to and the sales to shop and the TV specials to watch…

    My synapses are over loaded; my brain just can’t process it all. I’ve tried to write about twelve book reviews. They all go something like this:

    Blah Blah Blah by Whoever was a great read. The author did good. I liked it. That’s all I can think of to say right now because my mother-in-law sent us the best fudge ever and it has killed my concentration. Must. Eat. Fudge. Now.

    Pathetic, isn’t it? But never fear! I’ve made a list of ways to get over my holiday blog slump! And incase you’re in one too, I shall share.

    Amanda’s Five Rules for Getting Over a Blogging Slump:

    1: Just get over yourself, chubsters, and eat the fudge! Whatever is distracting you, give yourself a few minutes to work it out, then come back. Make the phone call to the electric company, run over to the post office to pick up the mystery package, make sure the cat has water and isn’t stuck behind the dryer eating stray lint, eat the fudge from heaven, do ten jumping jacks to work off your fudge guilt, and then get back to work.

    2: Read a few of your favorite blogs for inspiration. I’m not saying you should blatantly copy your favorite bloggers, but it could remind you why you love to blog in the first place and give you the motivation you need to get your ten little fingers and one little brain back to work.

    3: Revisit an old, unused idea. This has been a list of many different five (or seven, or three, or fourteen) things, but the others just never panned out. That picture of Mr. Grinch has been sitting on my computer since last Christmas when I said I was finally, for real this time, going to start blogging. (Notice I didn’t start this blog until August? Yeah, timing is not my strong suite.) You just never know where some gold is lurking, but chances are you’ve got a few nuggets buried in your archives that you’ve forgotten about.

    4: When in doubt, talk about yourself. Try to make it either funny or touching, whichever you can pull off better. I know narcissism is not usually advisable, but it works in a pinch. Your followers already like you, and aside from the books/knitting/underwater basket weaving that brought you together in the first place, well placed personal antidotes can serve to strengthen your blog-friend bond. Side Note: Do not let this turn into a play-by-play of every day of your life. This is not your diary, or at least it shouldn’t be if you want anyone but your mom to read it. I have made this mistake, and guess who read my whiny blog of day past? Only my mom. And even she was bored.

    5: Fake it ’til you make it. Do I have anything worth while to say today? No, not really. But I’m pretending like I do, and someone will probably believe me. (Maybe. I hope. Please?) It’s like the idea that if you walk with confidence and act like you’re supposed to be wherever you are, you can probably get in. Many a teenager has gotten into an R rated movie this way, and I know of someone who got into the frequent flyer lounge at an airport using this technique, and you can do it to. (For the record, I am not recommending anyone sneak into anyplace they’re not supposed to be. I like rules. Rules are good. They keep you safe, and you should follow them.) The Who’s down in Whoville sang their Christmas song even without all the trappings, and Christmas came back to them. Sing your blog song, and eventually your mojo will reappear.

    And that, my friends, is the story of how I got my mojo back by blogging about losing my mojo! Isn’t the irony just fantastic? Take that, Grinchster! I hope my techniques help you too in your slumpier times.

    And now, I really must get back to my fudge eating and gift wrapping. I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed Christmas! Eat a cookie for me, okay? And if you live in a land where snow is not a fairy tale, maybe make a snowman in my honor too.

    Feliz Navidad!

    1 Comment

    Filed under Books, Odds and Ends

    My Week of Magical Reading

    Inspired by Nina Sankovitch’s literary memoir Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading, I took it upon myself over the last week to read a book a day for seven days, just to get a taste of what it’s like.

    20111215-184337.jpg

    In a magical fairy land where my husband is a money farmer and soda does not make you chubby, I would have read seven books in seven days. In the real world, I read six books in six days, and then the seventh book a day and a half later. It was, in fact, finished in one day, like the other six, just not on a consecutive day.

    I’m not sure where the trouble came, but on the seventh day I hit a wall. Maybe it was all the Christmas music that got in my head, maybe it’s that my brain got book-logged from all the many, many books I’ve been reading lately, but the seventh day came and I just couldn’t do it.

    The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise, by Julia Stuart, is a book I’ve wanted to read for quite some time. I almost bought it when Boarders was going out of business, and I’ve kicked myself for skipping over it ever since because I couldn’t find it elsewhere. When I stumbled upon it at Target recently I immediately became super excited!…And then I couldn’t read it. Normally I have the same relationship with books that Augustus Gloop has with the chocolate river, but suddenly I was Augustus Gloop with a bag of carrots. I just couldn’t do it. And then a few days later my carrots unexpectedly turned into carrot cake, and I have been happily reading ever since.

    The moral of the story? Some people, like Nina Sankovitch, can read a book a day, and it enhances their life exponentially. And then some people, like me, can read probably five books a week. In fact, my first five days of reading were a complete delight. I was happier, I took more pride in my household chores, I was kinder, and I remain absolutely convinced that my dinners tasted better on those nights. But I need a reading weekend, a few days break where I read little or nothing. In her book, Nina even mentioned that in her year of book-a-day reading she let a lot of things go, and her four sons and husband picked up a lot of slack they otherwise would not have tended to. I think it’s awesome that that worked for her, but I don’t have four sons. (In fact, the idea of four sons is possibly the most intimidating thought I’ve had in awhile. Eeek.) And I don’t feel like I can just let things go to read. For starters, I live in a loft, and things get icky in an apartment on just one room really quickly. Also, I started to feel detached from the world this week, and that defeats the purpose and magic of reading.

    So this is my verdict: try it for a week if you think you might like it, but don’t commit to a book-a-day without a trial run. I don’t feel like I can commit to even five books a week for next year, not because I don’t think I can do it, but because I have absolutely no clue what 2012 holds for me job, school, and career wise. (Marissa, my book challenge buddy from this year, and I are going to be doing a book challenge again in 2012, however. This year we’re doubling our ambitions and shooting for 104 books, or two books a week.) But I do think I’m going to aim for five books a week as a short term goal, at least until my birthday on January 12. This will help me get a running start on my 2012 reading, and help clear off my shelves for all the books I’m hoping to get between Christmas and my birthday. (I’m going to be 25. That seems incomprehensible. Wasn’t it just last week that my mom told me I was too young to date a guy who was 20?)

    While I’m here, I might as well mention that my day five book, Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins, being the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy, was magnificent. (I’ll post tomorrow about days 6 and 7-8-9. Those were fantastic books, and I want to spend a little more time on each review.)

    We pick up with Katniss Everdeen, now a Hunger Games champion, as she gets ready to embark upon her Victory Tour with fellow champion and supposed lover, Peeta. But victory did not solve her problems: the unprecedented allowance of two Hunger Games victors has undermined The Capital and planted thoughts of rebellion in the minds of many districts. The Capital is breathing down her neck, and unless she can figure out how to fix it, the lives of her family and friends, including the town she is torn between, Peeta and her long time hunting partner and best friend Gail, are in jeopardy.

    Then, suddenly, The Capital plays an ace card no one could have anticipated, and Katniss and Peeta find themselves back in the arena, and this time there can be only one winner.

    Almost everyone (and by that I mean all of six or seven people)told me that the second book wasn’t as good as the first, but you just had to find out the ending anyway. Perhaps I’m losing my English major edge, because I still loved the second book! I’m actually really frustrated that my husband made me promise not to buy the third book because Christmas is coming up. I totally get that it’s not cool for me to rush in and buy all the books on my Christmas list, but I am dying over here! I have to know what happens! I’ve been having dreams about it, for pities sake! I can’t wait ten more days! Sigh. I haven’t been this bad off since I started reading Harry Potter in college and decided to read the sixth book instead of study for a big history test.(I miraculously scrapped by with a B. I still don’t know how I pulled that off. I’m not good with dates.)

    Anyway. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Husband-Clause, and in the mean time, I’m amusing myself with my five books for this week: a Kate Morton mystery, another Madeleine L’Engle classic, a few memoirs, and an undecided fiction book, of which I have several lined up, it just depends on my mood when I get there.

    1 Comment

    Filed under Book Reviews, Books

    Hamlet With A Twist

    I’m not very good at this whole “Goals and Resolutions” business. In fact, reading 52 books in a year may very well be the only resolution I’ve ever kept in full. Pitiful, isn’t it? Point in case: not three days ago I posted that I wanted to start blogging 6 days a week, and here I am going 1 3/4ths days without so much as a picture posted on here. Oh well. I got rather caught up in 1: reading, and 2: turning our apartment into a Winter Wonderland. But that’s a story for another day.

    Wednesday’s book was Ophelia by Lisa Klein.

    20111209-223250.jpg
    I sped through this book almost as quickly as I did The Hunger Games, though they could not be more different. Reading like historical fiction in the same vein as Phillipa Gregory, and being one part suspense and intrigue, one part romance, and one part tragedy, Ophelia is every wonderful thing you suspect upon reading the title.

    Ophelia is a rough and tumble village girl when her father moves her and her brother, Laertes, to the court of the King of Denmark. Though she is of humble birth, Ophelia finds favor with the queen, Gertrude, and begins her new life as a lady in waiting.

    But Ophelia is different from the other courtiers, preferring the company of the woods to stuffy castle life, and a good book to the latest gossip. Soon she catches the eye of Gertrude’s son, Prince Hamlet, and the two begin a secret courtship, falling deeply in love, and marrying secretly just days after Hamlet’s father, the king, has been murdered.

    From here, most of us think we know the story: how Hamlet is driven mad after being visited by his father’s ghost and promising to avenge him; how Ophelia, overcome with grief at the change in her lover, drowns herself; and how everyone, from Claudius, the kings usurping brother and Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, to Gertrude and Hamelt, dies in the last scene, the whole court having been overcome with the madness of revenge.

    But what if that’s not the whole story? What if Ophelia didn’t drown? And what if she were the only person at court who really knew the whole story?

    That is where Klein takes us, to the hidden underbelly of Shakespeare’s masterpiece where perhaps a different ending is found, one no less tragic but more hopeful, one where new life springs out of the soil of tragedy.

    If you have never read Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, you will want to do so before reading this novel. (It’s my favorite of Shakespeare’s works, so I hope you enjoy it!) Once you’ve done that, go out and find this fantastic piece of fiction!

    I really enjoyed this book, which was well written, imaginative, and extremely satisfying for anyone who ever wished there was more to be said for poor Ophelia and her hopeless love affair. (I am not one of those modern cynics who thinks every love story should be “realistic”. I hate it when a great love story doesn’t work out! And I relish it when an author says, “Fie upon modern cynicism! My lovers will live happily ever after!” Anyway, what kind of sad world would we live in if the only realistic love was the one that was doomed to failure?) Also, Klein is obviously knowledgable in the realm of Elizabethan culture and history, which makes this story all the more believable. The last third of the book, after Ophelia flees Denmark, started to get a little groggy, but the final chapter makes wading through totally worth it.

    And that, kids, is all she wrote. I shall return tomorrow to tell you all about our Christmas tree adventures, and my last two days of reading. Here’s a little sneak peek for you:

    20111209-235236.jpg
    But for now I’m going to eat Christmas cookies and sleep. Mmmmmm…I love sleep.

    5 Comments

    Filed under Book Reviews, Books

    “Wanted: Crazy Cat Lady to Read Crazy Cat Books.”

    If I found that description in the want ads, my job hunt would be over. I guess I’ll have to settle for being a self-employed crazy cat lady right now, though, since there doesn’t seem to be a need for one in most industries at the moment. How puzzling.

    I tried to deny my love of animal books for a long time. Then, this summer, I read Thomas French’s Zoo Story, and my fate was sealed. But I still tried to avoid cat books for awhile, to try to avoid the obvious cat lady stigma. Then I realized that I own cat print dish towels and oven mits, and I gave up.

    20111207-134343.jpg

    Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron, drew my attention for a few reasons:

    1: It’s about a super cute, fluffy orange cat.
    2: He’s a library cat. Love it! I don’t know how book stores and libraries came to be havens for furry little kitties, but I am a fan. Two of my favorite things in one place, how ever am I supposed to resist? Someday, when I own my Lovely Little Book Store, it will totally have a cat. Preferably a Hemingway six-toed cat.
    3: This particular feline literati lived in Iowa, for which I have a particular soft spot. I’ve mentioned before my love for my home state, Ohio. But I also adore Missouri, and Iowa, the states my mom and dad are from respectively. I’ve spent Christmases, Thanksgivings, vacations, family reunions, and countless other weeks among the corn fields of Iowa, and I love it there. When Vicki writes about Des Moines, Sioux City, and Lake Okoboji, I’ve been there. I may not have grown up on a farm or in a small town (at least not most of my life), but these are my people. My parents are those hard-working, small-town Midwesterners, and reading Vicki’s straight forward prose felt a little like going home. I may live in a beautiful California city by the beach now, but I’ll always be a Midwestern girl at heart.

    “Let them have the oceans and mountains, their beaches and their ski resorts. I’ll take Iowa.”

    Amen.

    20111207-134601.jpg

    There are few books that I read that I don’t have any criticism for, but this is one of those books. I fell in love with Dewey from the first moment the librarians pulled his tiny, frostbitten body from the after-hours drop box. I loved the pictures of Dewey stuffed into so many too-small boxes, and the stories of how he changed peoples lives, especially his friendship with Crystal, a disabled girl who could neither move nor speak. And I didn’t just cry, I sobbed as his story came to a close. He was loving, and even lively, to the end, and when I finished the book, I was sorry there were no more antics, no more pictures, no more stories.

    Sure, your English professor is not going to assign this book in your Great American Novels class, but if you like cats, you’re going to enjoy this book.

    Perhaps this makes me sound ridiculous, but I connected so deeply with Dewey’s story, with what he did for the struggling town of Spenser, and for Vicki as she struggled too.

    We got our Cambria during a time of unparalleled grief in my life. She was a six pound, one year-old, full bred Siamese who was terrified of the world after having been dumped, probably by an amateur breeder (her tail is too short, and she’s surprisingly stocky for her breed, so she’s not good for breeding or showing), and then snared by a trap originally set out for raccoons. For the first week she did nothing but hide under furniture, but having a scardy cat to love and care for that desperately needed me literally pulled me back from the brink. (I’m convinced, and so were the rescue workers who saved her, that we saved Cambria’s life as well. She went from shaking uncontrollably whenever a human entered the room and eating just enough to survive to being an irascible bundle of energy and affection who loves to play, snuggle, and eat as much human food as she can sneak away. Love did that for us both.)

    I’m now 100% a believer in animal therapy. Depressed? Lonely? Get a pet, or at least pick up a book such as this one. It will not make all your issues vaporize, but the love of an animal can definitely place you back among the land of the living. It worked for Dewey and Cambria; it also worked for Vicki and the people of Spencer, Iowa, and it worked for me.

    20111207-012249.jpg

    2 Comments

    Filed under Book Reviews, Books, Cambria, Cats