Imagine if an ancient tribe of Native Americans called the N’Watu had gone underground into a cave near the town of Beckon, Wyoming centuries ago. OveImagine if an ancient tribe of Native Americans called the N’Watu had gone underground into a cave near the town of Beckon, Wyoming centuries ago. Over time, they adapted to a cave-dwelling way of life, and remained anonymous until discovered by Jack Kendrick, an anthropologist. While this scenario of evolved cave-dwellers may sound similar to the movie, The Descent, I assure you that it’s not. The plot to Beckon by Tom Pawlik differs quite a bit.
After losing several members of his original group of explorers, Jack is joined by Elina Gutierrez, a police officer looking for her cousin, and George Wilcox, who wants to cure his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease — only to stumble on a drug called Perilium that has more interesting effects. I can’t say much more without revealing the major plot points that drew me to this novel, so I can only recommend that you read it yourself.
Beckon is fast-paced and the plot unravels well, revealing interesting tidbits a little at a time before the giant reveals that explain everything. The various plots (those of Jack, Elina and George) come together nicely at the end. While I do wish that the back story behind each character was a little more intricate, I do understand that too much background would have interfered with the quick pacing of the action. If you love a good, imaginative suspenseful sci-fi novel, you’ll enjoy Beckon.
Dr. Diane Pomerance is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist, as well as the director of the Pet Grief Counseling Program for the Texas SPCA, so it coDr. Diane Pomerance is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist, as well as the director of the Pet Grief Counseling Program for the Texas SPCA, so it comes as no surprise that her book, Our Rescue Dog Family Album, is a love letter to all of her dogs, past and present.
This oversized book (it’s a slim hardcover that is approximately 8.5 by 11 inches) is set up like a scrapbook. It begins with her first rescues, Yorkshire Terriers named Jasper and Reggie, and continues on through the present describing her current pets: 21 dogs, over half of which are Malamutes or Malamute mixes.
The book is broken down in what are known as “spreads” (former yearbook staffers like myself are well-versed in the lingo) designed with multiple pictures of each pet and a little background as to how she and her husband rescued the dog. It ends with a listing of her favorite quotes matched up with additional pictures of her pets, and it makes me want to start a giant scrapbook of all of my cats!
If you love baseball as much as I do, you’ll find Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game interesting.
The book traces theIf you love baseball as much as I do, you’ll find Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game interesting.
The book traces the origins of the game, starting with the baseball clubs in New York in the 1830′s, all the way up to the 1930′s and the first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame (Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson, just for the record.)
John Thorn clearly spent a great deal of time going through old records and accounts of the beginnings of the sport, since Baseball in the Garden of Eden is thoroughly researched and well-written. It is not a light “beach read”, but is worth reading if you’re interested in the history of sports.
Author Leigh Brill was born with cerebral palsy, which is a neurological disorder caused by brain abnormalities that affect muscle control. After yearAuthor Leigh Brill was born with cerebral palsy, which is a neurological disorder caused by brain abnormalities that affect muscle control. After years of not asking for help or even uttering the name of the disease, she finally admitted to herself that she needed a hand (or a set of paws). Brill contacted Caring Canine Companions and was given (after both went through a training period) an assistance dog — a Labrador named Slugger.
Brill goes on to describe her life after receiving Slugger, including going to graduate school, meeting her husband, and suing a company that wanted to hire her — as long as she left Slugger at home. (Which is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act.)
I’m not going to go any further into this well-written, heartwarming and sometimes funny book, lest I give away the ending (one warning: it made me cry) but I will say that in seemingly giving away part of her independence by obtaining Slugger, Brill gained it back tenfold in the form of confidence and began speaking out about service dogs and how they help those with disabilities.
It should come as no surprise that I only watched the movie Top Gun for the airplanes. In fact, even if the movie had no plot and only consisted of fiIt should come as no surprise that I only watched the movie Top Gun for the airplanes. In fact, even if the movie had no plot and only consisted of fighter planes zipping around the sky for 90 minutes, I’d still watch it. So, when I was given the opportunity to review the book, Top Gun Days: Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America’s Best Fighter Jocks by Dave “Bio” Baranek, of course I jumped at it.
And trust me, this book completely fulfilled my every expectation. The book follows Baranek throughout his career: from his start as a Navy pilot through his stints teaching other pilots at the esteemed TOPGUN training school. It even details his involvement in Top Gun, the movie.
This book is full of fighter pilot lingo and cool details, and is an absolute must-read for airplane nuts like myself. Let’s put it this way, if you go to an air show every year and can’t drive near an airport because you spend more time looking up at the sky than watching the road, then this book is for you! Actually, if you loved the movie and want more information from the real deal, then you’ll also love this book!
The protagonist of Stay, by Allie Larkin, Savannah “Van” Leone has a problem – the man (Peter) that she’s in love with just married her best friend, JThe protagonist of Stay, by Allie Larkin, Savannah “Van” Leone has a problem – the man (Peter) that she’s in love with just married her best friend, Janie. It’s more complicated than that however, not only is Janie from a privileged family, but Van grew up in her carriage house. Her late mother, Natalie, was the housekeeper for Janie’s family (and also Diane, Janie’s mother’s best friend.) Yes. Her life is complex and not free of drama.
And it didn’t help any when, rather than drunk-dialing or drunk-emailing Peter, Van wound up drunk-dog-purchasing. Instead of the cute puppy that she thought she was ordering, the $6,000 (oops) dog that arrived from Slovakia was 100-lb purebred German Shepherd who only understands commands given in Slovak. Yikes.
Do you need me to mention that her condo association doesn’t allow dogs over 50 lbs, and that she has exactly 30 days to either move out or find a new home for Joe, the aforementioned German Shepherd? I’ll give that one a double-yikes.
Needless to say, a cute vet and his quirky elderly friend manage to save the day.
Now, before you go and write this book off as chick-lit, let me just say that it’s well-written. Every word in this book was delicately put into place, giving it depth. Each character might sound like a cliché, just based off of the quick descriptions that I gave them above, but they are not: every character in this book is multi-faceted and the drama that takes place only solidifies them as seemingly real people. By the time this book ended, I almost expected to run into them downstairs.
I only hope that the author comes up with an equally good sequel, because Stay left me wondering what happens to Van and Co. next!