Posts Tagged ‘animals’

I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship: Hilarious, Heartwarming Tales About Man’s Best Friends from America’s Favorite Humorists by Wade Rouse

 

Stories about dogs.  By some of my favorite authors.  Need I say more?  AND LOOK AT THE COVER.

I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship” is a compilation of very short stories from a variety of popular writers about man’s (or woman’s) best friend.  The book starts with a foreword by Chunk, comedienne Chelsea Handler’s adopted pup.  The rest of the stories were told from the perspective of the human.  I was especially excited to read the stories from Jen Lancaster, Jenny Gardiner, Laurie Notaro, Jane Green, and Sarah Pekkanen (particularly because I am a big fan of their other books).  This book also helped introduce me to some new-t0-me authors who were especially hilarious.

These stories weren’t super sad, “Marley and Me“-ending types of stories.  Most of them were laugh-out-loud funny, and if not laugh-out-loud funny, then at least chuckle-and-smile-to-myself funny.  Others were sweet and loving stories that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  If you have a dog, this book will make you really appreciate your relationship with your furry best friend, and if you don’t have a dog, you will probably want to go out and adopt one right away!  Also, 50% of each book purchased goes to the Humane Society of the United States.  How could you go wrong?

Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper

You guys know I’m a sucker for a good animal story (see here and here).  I finished another good animal book recently and it’s on my list of to-do list of blog posts, but I was so excited about this one that I had to share it now!

Homer’s Odyssey” is about a young woman named Gwen with a love for cats.  She already has two, Scarlett and Vashti, when her vet calls asking if she’d be interested in adopting a little blind kitten that no one else wants.  After Gwen meets the little guy, she knows right away that he is special and has to take him home.  Homer, as she names him, had to have both eyes removed when he was several weeks old.  Like a human, his other senses are heightened to make up for his loss of sight.  Gwen worries about Homer in her house that she shares with a friend and also with her two other cats.  Homer quickly proves that he’s up to the challenge and adjusts with ease and makes himself comfortable quickly.

Homer is also extremely affectionate toward not only Gwen, but anyone who shows him attention and wants to be his friend.  He relies heavily on Gwen to help translate his many different meows and to introduce him properly to a new person.  He is like any other cat – he loves to play, attack the other cats, and snuggle – and is extremely loyal and saves Gwen’s life in one situation.  Gwen tells story after story about funny things that Homer did that will make you think of your own cats and wish that you were the parent of a blind cat.  Seriously, I thought to myself multiple times how much I wanted to go out and adopt a blind cat.  You’ll understand why when you read the book.

Spoiler (in a good way, I’d hope): this story does not have a sad ending.  Yay!  Of course, there are some sad parts, but Homer is still going strong today.  This book was an emotional roller coaster for me.  One minute I was laughing out loud, the next minute I was crying.  Even though I loved the book about Dewey, the library cat, Homer’s story tops it.  He has such personality and it’s amazing to hear how he lives his life even though he can’t actually see the world around him… he adapts.  It helps that his mother, Gwen Cooper, is a great writer and can tell the story in a way that makes you fall in love with Homer, just like everyone else who has ever met him.

My recommendation: if you love cats (the TV theme song to “Must Love Cats” just popped into my head – go watch that too if you get Animal Planet!  John Fulton is the man.), you must go read this book.  I love love loved it and I hope you will too.

From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava by Jay Kopelman

In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to write about a book that I bought about a year or so ago about a dog rescued from Iraq.  As you may know, I love animals, and I also have a personal interest in supporting the military and veterans and am involved in some projects at work around that effort.

First of all, how can you NOT love the cover??  Please forgive me because it has been awhile since I’ve read this book, so I don’t remember a lot of details.  ”From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava” is about… well, exactly what the title says.  Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman is fighting the war in Iraq and one day while he’s on patrol, he hears something that he thinks may be a person coming to attack him, but it’s really a tiny little stray puppy.  The military has very strict rules forbidding soldiers from keeping pets, but Kopelman just can’t let him go back out into the streets.  Dogs over there are not like dogs here in America – they are wild animals and are not pets.  Kopelman smuggles him back to camp, and they name him Lava after the name of their battalion, the Lava Dogs.  Lava is a typically puppy – a mixture of cute and a troublemaker and that’s what makes everyone love him even more.  Kopelman knows that he is not allowed take him home once his tour of duty is over, but he can’t bear the thought of leaving him there in Iraq because he knows what happens to other dogs there.  The story explains how Kopelman has some other helpers in the quest to hide and protect the dog over in Iraq and who supported his efforts in getting Lava to the US.

The book was a very interesting read.  I loved reading the parts about Lava and his antics, but the details of military life in the middle of a war zone were also very insightful and I learned a lot from it.  The story does have a good ending, so don’t worry about that part!

Kopelman wrote a follow-up called “From Baghdad to America: Life after War for a Marine and His Rescued Dog” that deals with Kopelman’s adjustment from soldier to civilian and Lava’s transition into a real pet.  I also purchased this book but haven’t read it yet.

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all who have served our country and given their lives for our freedom.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

Anyone who knows me knows that I love cats.  I check Cute Overload and I Can Has Cheezburger daily for my fix of cute cat pictures.  I enjoy befriending and feeding feral cats (the nice ones).  I’ve dressed up my mom’s two cats in cat neckties and ladybug hats.

Marcus

Marcus

Emma

Emma

So yes, it’s safe to say that I love cats.  When I heard about “Dewey“, I was really excited and bought it right after it was released.  I read it awhile ago, maybe about a year and a half ago, but it still is fresh in my mind because I liked it so much.  Basically, it’s the feline version of “Marley & Me” – the happy parts, the funny parts, the sad parts, and everything in between (hope I didn’t spoil it for anyone).

A sick little kitten, Dewey Readmore Books (yes, that is his full name), is found in a library book return and adopted by the library director, Vicki Myron.  Rather than taking him to her house, she makes him a home in the library and he becomes the resident “library cat”.  Vicki tells tales about Dewey’s antics and his relationships with other library workers and library patrons.  He actually becomes famous and people from all over come to their little town in Iowa to visit the cat who has created a special place in the hearts of everyone he meets.  The story isn’t all about Dewey; Vicki talks a lot about her small, Midwestern town and the public library system as well.

“Dewey” made me both laugh and cry… you can take a wild guess of the ending.  My mom’s previous cat, Dusty, had passed away not too long before I read this book so many of the situations made me think of her.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this book, like “Marley & Me”, turns into a movie someday, although I’m not sure they could find a cat actor that has the personality of Dewey (or the tolerance to deal with a bunch of humans and movie cameras).  If you read this book, make sure you have some Kleenex handy – I sure needed it.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.
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