Update: So, I've had my new puppy home for nearly a month, (she's almost 11 weeks old at this point) and I've followed Dr. Yin's book almost to the leUpdate: So, I've had my new puppy home for nearly a month, (she's almost 11 weeks old at this point) and I've followed Dr. Yin's book almost to the letter and I can now FULLY attest that this is a MARVELOUS resource! Ember, (my pup) is so well behaved! She's almost totally housebroken, (no accidents in the house for almost two weeks now - knock on wood!), she sits, has nearly perfect recall, knows her name, fetches, knows "drop it", will obey "leave it", has no fear of plastic bags, thunderstorms, fireworks, or cars. She greets other dogs with a happy readiness, looooves meeting strangers - from children to adults, and is fairly good at heeling on my right side on our daily walks. Her default behavior when nervous or unsure is to sit and wait for me to instruct her.
So far, no spastic puppy issues, just a marvelously well behaved pup, and everyone who meets her says the same thing! I'm so proud of my puppy, and honestly, I'm a weensy bit proud of myself because it's been a great deal of work, but Emmy and I are so beautifully bonded in just one short month together which was a side benefit I hadn't really given much thought to prior to starting the plan. In fact, most of the time all I have to do is point and Emmy picks up what I need from her as if we were connected telepathically. This isn't the case all the time, of course, but she's so used to getting her cues from me that it's incredible how often she simply intuitively understands what I need from her. This has been especially helpful in the kitchen when I'm cooking and Emmy is patiently sitting on a little square of carpet, waiting for me to acknowledge her or reward her for simply sitting and not getting underfoot. For that alone this book is worth its weight in gold!
Now, I will also restate that to follow this plan it has taken a LOT of work - we have little mini 10 minute training sessions throughout the day for a total of about an hour of specifically directed training time - but truthfully, I'm training her for much of her awake time. I also brought home a dog from a breed known for their extra high energy, (I'm down 3 pounds just from trying to keep up with her!) :) But this has been work and effort that I'm happy and more than willing to put in, because my schedule is so tight, and I have a great deal to accomplish in the next few months and chasing after a pup who won't listen or mind isn't an option. Again, I can't recommend this book enough. It's been an invaluable resource, a life saver, really, because without it, I'm quite certain I never would've brought home a new puppy for fear that it would be too distracting, and knowing my sweet, adorable, lovely little pup as I now do, that would've been quite heartbreaking.
So, if you're willing to put in the time and follow the steps I can assure you that Dr. Yin's method really, really, really works!!!
Original review posted 6 weeks prior to bringing puppy home:
I genuinely enjoyed this book and learned SO much! It's been 14 years since I had a puppy in the house so I'm diligently preparing for another in May, and studying up on all of the best techniques to ensure that the new relationship between me and my pup will be as seamless as possible. I want to be the very best human to my pup that I can possibly be, and I want her to have all the proper coping skills that she'll need to confidently exist in this world.
Dr. Yin's primer provided a manageable, step-by-step process to make ME feel confident about bringing home the new pup, and raising a well behaved, balanced, and most importantly CALM puppy into adulthood, and help to hedge off those bad habits we associate with most young dogs. I'm on a few breed-specific pages on Facebook, and it's amazing to me how many of the members are throwing their hands up in frustration when their dogs display just awful behavior, (jumping on guests, destroying the furniture, biting, getting underfoot in the kitchen, stealing food, hogging the bed, etc., etc.) and I can see the huge difference early training and guidance makes. And you can easily see that difference from the posts of those folks who have model canine citizens compared to those who settled for 6 weeks of puppy obedience classes but never followed that up with continued training, that the problems aren't the dog's fault, they're not "breed specific" per se - the humans just didn't really have a good enough base themselves to be able to guide their dogs into adulthood. I do plan on enrolling my pup in at least two puppy classes, and then into agility, but I know that's not ALL I need, and this primer from Dr. Yin was exactly what I was looking for to serve as the base for that plan.
Specifically, I loved the book for all the photos, the sage advice, the easy to follow steps, and I DEFINITELY loved it for the schedule she puts near the end. It's nice to know that I won't be getting up at 2:00 a.m. and 4 a.m. to take the puppy out for a potty break if I stick to Dr. Yin's schedule...I might actually be able to sleep in those first important early weeks! So incredibly helpful.
Now, I will say that while this primer is perfect for me, (I work from home) I'm not sure that it's the absolute perfect fit for a busy working person who will be out of the house 9 to 10 hours at a time. This book is really dedicated to those folks bringing a new puppy into the home who have the advantage of being around a bit more, however, if you were to bring your new pup home, and take a week off simply to get the basics down, then I think this book would still be a wonderful resource. And while this book is specifically targeted to puppies, there's still PLENTY of awesome guidance for anyone who's adopting an older pup and wants to help that dog with the transition into the new home.
This book was so interesting, but I must confess, I'm not a devotee of Shakespeare, and I suspect many of the themes in this book parallel King Lear aThis book was so interesting, but I must confess, I'm not a devotee of Shakespeare, and I suspect many of the themes in this book parallel King Lear and Midsummer Night's Dream, which I'm only somewhat aquatinted with. I'm also not a seasoned reader of dystopian novels, so I thought the book quite refreshing for its setting and plot. Throughout the book I found myself pondering many of the post apocalyptic settings and wondering how I'd fare in a world without all of the modern nuances we take for granted. Overall the book was a solid story, and a good read.
Synopsis: A troupe of traveling performers and musicians make their way steadily up and down the west coast of Michigan 20 years after a pandemic has wiped out 99% of the world's population. Their connections to the past and each other are interwoven by a single performance of King Lear, in Toronto, the night before the pandemic crosses international boarders and becomes unstoppable. ...more
Paula Hawkins debut was really nicely done. Every character felt authentically flawed, and it was terrific to see that she chose not to make any one cPaula Hawkins debut was really nicely done. Every character felt authentically flawed, and it was terrific to see that she chose not to make any one character particularly likable, or saintly even in effigy. Hawkins stuck to the fault line for each of the story's voices, and it was wonderfully consistent. I expect many more very good things from her!...more
Swooning with love for for this book. I could, and no doubt will, praise it for days. It's as moving as a slow tour through the Louvre. The artistry aSwooning with love for for this book. I could, and no doubt will, praise it for days. It's as moving as a slow tour through the Louvre. The artistry and simple delicacy of Doerr's prose... One sentence to utterly destroy you. The next to gather up the ashes and recreate you. His talent so ruinous to those of us who ungainly punch our keyboards.
I absolutely marvel at Doerr's style - so beautifully and patiently crafted; each word placed just so, like an entomologist putting together his butterfly collection with tweezers and stick pins. It's painful, breathtaking, brutish, heartwarming/heartbreaking and, in the end, displays a frankness of stark truth so real that it's hard to look at anything the same way ever again. And that he draws us in through the senses of a blind girl - so genius and perfect in its ability to become so much more tactile, haunting, and permanently affected.
The story of Marie-Laure LeBlanc and Werner Pfennig is endlessly spiraling, in constant motion up and down and around, like a staircase in a six-story house, or a snail shell gliding up the slippery wall of a grotto, or a doodle from a brain-injured young man, or a whirlpool that captures a submarine, or even a whole galaxy out beyond the moon. This book is always spiraling, and Doerr sets actual spirals throughout the story like an eager father placing eggs about the house the night before Easter. The effect is hypnotic and engrossing. I found I could put this book down when I needed to, when it became too stark, too real, too hard, but I couldn't let go of it for long and read the last several chapters late into the night, hoping to the end for a moment graced by peace.
Be warned that there are multiple POV's here, and if you don't like the back and forth then this is not a book for you, but for those of us who covet that particular style, Doerr is a master. He playfully shrugs off the usual rules of construction, (linear timeframe) and instead plays with time like a restless god with an hourglass.
All The Light We Cannot See is emotionally wrenching, but brilliant enough to forgive the heartbreak. I understand that it took Doerr ten years to write. Truthfully, I'd gladly wait ten years for a book this good. I'm so moved from the experience. Such a lovely, lovely work of art and I cannot recommend it enough.
Synopsis: Marie-Laure, a blind Parisian girl, and her family are caught up in the terrible throws of WWII while across the battle lines a slight boy named Werner, possessed of white-blond hair and the kindest, gentlest of hearts is indoctrinated into a world of madness. Doerr draws Werner and Marie-Laure closer and closer to one another, bound by coincidence, happenstance, and destiny. Their intersection is devastating for it's sheer innocence, beauty, and eventual and unavoidable tragedy. ...more
Sometimes it's simply impossible to accurately rate a book by an author you've read extensively simply because there's a point of saturation3.25 Stars
Sometimes it's simply impossible to accurately rate a book by an author you've read extensively simply because there's a point of saturation where the rhythms and tempos and timbers of the author's voice go from being delightfully entertaining, to something perhaps a weensy bit less so.
I enjoyed this book, yes I certainly did, but there were things that kept pulling me out of the story - Butcher's extensive exposition to slow the intense pace of the story down is so artfully done in most of his other books, however, here it didn't work as well for me. Also, the number of times he was willing to break his own rules kept tugging at my mind, and causing me to fall out of the story and into that rather foggy in-between state of, "What the what?"
And yet, oh, THAT ENDING! I loved it. For me it completely saved the story. And until the final ten pages, I was honestly worried about the story being salvaged. But Butcher made it all work in those final pages, because, he really is the MASTER of urban fantasy! So, if I could honestly rate Ghost Story, I might start off on the low end of the scale of 2.0 but through the book I'd shift that scale back and forth from 2.0 all the way up to 3.5 at times, and then at the end the needle would come to rest firmly on 4.5 along with a resounding shout of "Well Done!"
But I'm tasked here to give it an "overall" rating, and I believe I'd firmly settle it in at 3 & 1/4 stars. It was definitely a worthy read, I did enjoy the ride more than I didn't, and I've heard glorious things about Skin Game, which I am absolutely looking forward to, and will be tucking into shortly.
Synopsis: From the get go we learn that Harry Dresden has, in fact, been murdered, and his ghost is now haunting Chicago, which has seen it's fair share of changes since his demise, most of them not for the better. Hampered by his current, "condition" Harry is in a race against time to find out who murdered him, and who now threatens those he still holds dearest. Hang on for the twist at the end - it's made entirely of awesome. :)...more
Whoa. Like, WHOA! The title says it all, my friends. THIS is the book where everything changes.
And here's what I have to say about that; as a writerWhoa. Like, WHOA! The title says it all, my friends. THIS is the book where everything changes.
And here's what I have to say about that; as a writer I know how hard it can be to tread the line between writing what you know fans want, and what you - the creator of these characters and this world - want. Sometimes that's the same thing. Sometimes, it's not. It takes a sort of deep-seeded courage to close the door on that kind of pressure, especially when your series is a HUGE commercial success, and follow the direction that's in your heart, and Butcher does this so unflinchingly that it's a marvel to watch. A marvel.
I find myself tipping my hat to him over and over again. Such creative genius, and such risk taking are so RARE in this business. I swear, if Butcher were a TV channel he'd be HBO. Or Netflix. Or what would come of the marriage between HBO and Netflix! ;)
Changes, I believe, also stands out as one of the best written of the Dresden files. It's tight, folks. Really, really brilliantly crafted, and what an evolution in just 11 books! Just loved it. Really, really loooooved it!
Synopsis: Harry learns that he's a father in the same sentence that he learns his daughter, Maggie, has been kidnapped by the Red Court Vampires. Susan, his longtime love, teams up with Harry to get their daughter back, but it seems the whole world is against them, and one by one all the creature comforts that Harry holds dear begin to flake away until he's stripped bare and left with the most terrible of choices. His life will never be his own to command again, that is, if he somehow manages to live through the next three days...
I was, (obvs) a very avid reader as a kid. I devoured books. But as an adult my taste in books became far more selective, and I'm an admittedly pickyI was, (obvs) a very avid reader as a kid. I devoured books. But as an adult my taste in books became far more selective, and I'm an admittedly picky reader. I hate that I'm a picky reader. I hate that I have so many books that are in my DNF pile. I've just never been the type to push through something I'm not enjoying. Most series I start out loving I stop loving about the fifth book in, and I tend to stop reading them altogether once they pass the eighth or ninth installment. Again, I hate that I'm like this. I'd much rather fall in love with a series and read it straight through. I haven't done that since I was little.
Except for this series. Pessimist that I am, I keep waiting for that, "meh" moment, but each and every book continues to delight and fascinate me. I can't fully convey how excited I am that I'm actually having such a rich and rewarding experience reading the Dresden files, especially when I've just completed the ELEVENTH book in the series! There isn't a single book I didn't like. Not one. Most of them I hugged after reading. Srsly. Butcher is just so easy and fun to "listen" to. I love Harry's voice, I love Butcher's imagination, I love the twists and turns and humor. These books are becoming a guaranteed moment of entertainment for me. Worth their weight in gold for just that.
Turn Coat was awesome. Like, AWESOME! I loved it. Madly, deeply, loved it. And, even though some of my favorite characters were affected in ways that made me sad, I can see the need for Butcher to take these turns, and it simply makes the overall story arc more compelling.
So, in this installment, Harry is obligated to help his longtime nemeses, Warden Morgan, who's been accused of a murder he didn't commit. Harboring Morgan means certain death for Harry. Not helping him means certain death for Harry. All of this happens while the real killer - a traitor to the White Council - is still out there pulling the strings, and sending the most horrendous of nightmares chasing after Harry.
Oh! This BOOK!!!! *swoons* *hugs iPad* Ding, ding, ding! We have a new favorite in the Dresden File collection! I loooooooooooved this installment. ChOh! This BOOK!!!! *swoons* *hugs iPad* Ding, ding, ding! We have a new favorite in the Dresden File collection! I loooooooooooved this installment. Chock full of twists, turns, and interesting mysteries - some of which are not solved by the books end in trademark Butcher fashion, which means we readers get to wonder and guess at the bigger picture. It's a technique I so admire - that ability that Butcher has to create a tunnel vision for Harry that is both believable, and intriguing without leaving one feeling slighted when the answers to bigger questions remain unanswered. It makes us feel more connected to Harry, I think, and I love it!
Overview: Harry is having another bad day - there's a blizzard overtaking Chicago, Gentleman Johnny Marcone has been kidnapped by someone with mad wizarding skills, Mab, the Winter Queen has tasked Harry to rescue Marcone, (and she's not taking "no" for an answer), and the Summer Queen is sending various minions after Harry, intent on killing him before he even has breakfast.
Harry's world continues to expand without ever feeling crowded, and I absolutely LOVE the interplay between all of the various contingents and their intersection at one lone wizard's basement apartment. SO good!!!...more
Another awesome Harry Dresden tale! Oh, I so, so, soooo love this series, for so many, many, many reasons. I love it for its consistency to4.5 Stars!
Another awesome Harry Dresden tale! Oh, I so, so, soooo love this series, for so many, many, many reasons. I love it for its consistency to enthrall and entertain. I love it for the ever broadening world that Butcher keeps expanding like putting together a giant puzzle by starting from the innermost piece. I also love that Butcher's writing started out very good, with a clear strong voice, and continued to be clear and strong until about two books ago when the writing itself got tighter. Sharper. More consistent. And more nuanced. The way he's grown in both style, depth, and range of imagination is incredibly inspiring. Love it!
And the cast of characters continues to delight and entertain me. Butcher's bad guys are at last showing more subtle shades of gray, and it's wonderful to see that, as it makes the plots so much more interesting.
This series is such a pleasure to read. Such a sincere pleasure. What divine escapism and hours of entertainment. Cannot wait to dive into the next installment!...more
I know I've been crushing on the Dresden Files like some tween consumed by Bieber fever, but I gotta say that this series continues to travel the roadI know I've been crushing on the Dresden Files like some tween consumed by Bieber fever, but I gotta say that this series continues to travel the road from freaking fabulous to downright brilliant! Proven Guilty had me at hello. Srsly. Butcher keeps expanding Harry's universe in measured, dazzlingly smart and subtle ways, which allow the reader to ease into this fantastical world like someone shoving Alice aside to step directly through the looking glass. I'm such an admirer of the length and depth and width and expansiveness of Butcher's imagination, which, through each successive novel, continues to delight and surprise me. Even more brilliantly, as much as Butcher reveals, he keeps hidden, and subtle nuances are left to tantalize the reader into hoping they'll be answered in the next installment. It makes me wonder if Butcher himself isn't perhaps part Sidhe... ;)...more
Another winner for Butcher! Ahhh, to see the extraordinary evolution of Harry Dresden's character is a wonderful thing to experience! Butche4.5 Stars!
Another winner for Butcher! Ahhh, to see the extraordinary evolution of Harry Dresden's character is a wonderful thing to experience! Butcher's imagination never lessens - especially not in this installment! I love the breadth and depth of Harry's world, how the space that he occupies and inhabits continues to expand like an ever-widening universe full of strange, wondrous, deadly, horrible, and beautiful things. The character of Butters totally stole my heart, and Mouse simply endears himself to me with every page he occupies.
I also love the really daring choice Butcher has made to continue to expose a slightly darker side to Harry. He's not all good, and that means, he's getting even MORE interesting with each new book! I both love and hate the choices Butcher is making with Harry's character. I love them from the perspective that they help to give more dimension and understanding to Harry, but hate them because they cause me to sit on the edge of my seat and worry for Harry's future. SO good! :)
Teensy distractions like a bit too much exposition in the first half of the novel kept taking me out of the story, and Butcher seems to have the same troublesome habit that haunts every first draft I write - word echoes - but overall the book was so sharp, so well plotted, so fabulously entertaining that these were easily overlooked and I truly loved the book. ...more
I really thought this story was going to be a dud, I mean, when Harry got himself involved in the making of a porno I was all, "Oh,...this won't be goI really thought this story was going to be a dud, I mean, when Harry got himself involved in the making of a porno I was all, "Oh,...this won't be good." But, despite the setting, Butcher still pulled out a pretty brilliant mix of interwoven connections and deceptions and I was truly entertained. Harry continues to endear himself to me, and I'm so digging the complexities of his life starting to unfold and unravel. I find myself tensing before every amazing fight scene, especially the confrontation with the Black Court vamps. So great. So fun. So awesome. And I am so hooked! ...more
Oooooo, Butcher has introduced some EXCELLENT new twists and turns here! I love that Susan is back, and in amazing kick-ass form. Such a great choiceOooooo, Butcher has introduced some EXCELLENT new twists and turns here! I love that Susan is back, and in amazing kick-ass form. Such a great choice for her character, but it's such a bummer that the vampire thing is keeping these two apart! Great, great, great action here. As always. Butcher does that so very well. Pages flew by and I held my breath a lot. Just a bucket of awesome sauce!...more
My absolute favorite so far. OH, THIS BOOK! Harry really became fully fleshed out as a warm, flawed, charismatic, flirtatious, impatient, white hat-weMy absolute favorite so far. OH, THIS BOOK! Harry really became fully fleshed out as a warm, flawed, charismatic, flirtatious, impatient, white hat-wearer with grey accents. In this book, Butcher is also truly finding his stride with the supportive cast, who're also at last fully fleshed out, and well-rounded. Summer Knight had more heart and soul than any of the previous Dresden Files, and I loved it. LOVED it! So great, so fun, so suspenseful, so seductive, so faaaaaabulous! I just love that the series is getting better and better as I go along - what amazing depth Butcher has for visuals and creative scope.
Again I have to wonder what took me so long to pick up this series? So glad I finally listened to everyone who recommended Butcher to me. And it's on to the next book! Whoooop!...more
Hmmmmm....this Dresden File was quite interesting. Interesting indeed. But, I will admit that at times I was a wee bit confused. *shrugs* Maybe it's mHmmmmm....this Dresden File was quite interesting. Interesting indeed. But, I will admit that at times I was a wee bit confused. *shrugs* Maybe it's me, but I had a hard time figuring out what was going on in a few sections of the book, and that pulled me out of the wonderful tension that Butcher is just SO good at creating. I still enjoyed the hell out of the book, however, and I still marvel at Butcher's wonderful talent, and above all, I still had a hard time putting the book down. All signs of a fabulous read! My favorite part was perhaps the very end - where Butcher avoided leaving things all neat and tidy like. It left a perfect sort of moody foreshadowing on the end, and I loved that. It also made me immediately purchase the next book. Smart man, that Jim Butcher! And now...to the next Dresden File! Tally ho!!!!!!...more
You know what I loved about this book? That it was more intense, more suspenseful, more complicated, and just...more GOOD than the first book. :) AndYou know what I loved about this book? That it was more intense, more suspenseful, more complicated, and just...more GOOD than the first book. :) And I lurved the first book. LURVED it. Now, having said that, Storm Front and Fool Moon are not perfect books. There are things to criticize, for sure, but I figure there's enough criticism in the world, (criticism, it seems, is the new black), so instead, I'mma just revel in the fact that I love the world Butcher creates in Fool Moon. I love that he can take a scene and make it so bleak, so dark, so twisted, so peek-through-your-fingers-until-it's-over intense, and then promptly ratchet THAT shit up another notch. Or, for the next 100 pages. 0_0
To be able to take a scene to its extreme, most suspenseful, most intense points and hold it for page after page after page is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and Butcher does it so deftly that he makes it look as easy as jumping over a small puddle. I greatly admire his style, his wit, and his ability to keep the action going, and going, and going. It's an amazingly refreshing thing to be immersed in something that literally makes the heart beat faster. What a great, great ride. And now that I've jumped off THAT roller coaster, I'm on to the next in the series. Tallyho! ...more
Oh, I so loved this first book in the series of the Dresden files - a book so many people have recommended to me! Great, great, GREAT pacing and absolOh, I so loved this first book in the series of the Dresden files - a book so many people have recommended to me! Great, great, GREAT pacing and absolutely marvelous world-building. Jim Butcher's imagination is fantastic, just superb! I'm already on to the next in the series, and I am looking forward to spending more time with Harry!...more
Loooved this book! I'm a huge fan of quirks in human behavior and discovering patterns that are counterintuitive or contrary to conventional wisdom. TLoooved this book! I'm a huge fan of quirks in human behavior and discovering patterns that are counterintuitive or contrary to conventional wisdom. To that end I think I've found a kindred spirit in Gladwell. There was so much to dive into here, such a wonderful compilation of interesting facts, historical anecdotes, and meaty substance to ponder. Loved every page as it totally held my attention from beginning to end and long after I've finished reading it I'm still thinking about many of the examples of those who've overcome odds due to their ability to think completely outside the box. Great book. Just great!...more
Morgan Rhodes has written a masterful book that kept my breath baited, my nails neatly trimmed, and my heart racing. Looooooved it. I'm a fan for lifeMorgan Rhodes has written a masterful book that kept my breath baited, my nails neatly trimmed, and my heart racing. Looooooved it. I'm a fan for life. :)...more
I met Megan very briefly at a conference last year, and remember her as such a cute, sweet, generously kind woman, with that affect of looking far youI met Megan very briefly at a conference last year, and remember her as such a cute, sweet, generously kind woman, with that affect of looking far younger than she actually is. So, when I began this book, recommended to me by so many friends in the book biz, I had the preconceived notion that she would be as sweet and adorable in her writing as in real life.
WRONG! Dare Me isn't sweet, adorable, or in any way cute, but that doesn't mean it isn't amazing. Like...seeeeriously amazing.
It's told in that delicious style that's so hard to master if you don't already have a predilection to write like this - a sort of half-consciousness, like a dream where you feel totally awake but unable to really make sense of the disturbing things happening around you, and even after coming fully awake the dream haunts you and shapes your thoughts for days after.
I had the feeling midway through of looking through the eyes of a seal pup, navigating the murky and treacherous shark-infested waters of a cheerleading squad, caught between a Great White and a Tiger Shark. If the seal is smart and quick enough, it might survive by driving the two sharks toward each other, and in the ensuing battle escape unscathed.
Addy Hanlon is our seal, and she's caught between her psychopathic BFF, Beth and a narcissistic cheerleading coach. It's a tense, twisty psychological mystery with plenty of murky water to swim through and an ending we should have seen coming if not for the distraction of all those gnashing teeth.