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Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: Family, Friendships, and Faith in Small-Town Alaska
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Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: Family, Friendships, and Faith in Small-Town Alaska

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,037 Ratings  ·  197 Reviews
The Alaskan landscape so vast, dramatic, and unbelievable may be the reason the people in Haines, Alaska (population 2,400), so often discuss the meaning of life. Heather Lende thinks it helps make life mean more. Since her bestselling first book, "If You Lived Here, I d Know Your Name," a near-fatal bicycle accident has given Lende a few more reasons to consider matters b ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (first published May 18th 2010)
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Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
With the ascent of Sarah Palin on the national scene, Alaska has enjoyed a resurgence of interest, so the timing is perfect for Heather Lende's Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs. Lende writes for a small local newspaper in Haines, Alaksa, and handles the obituaries. She shares the stories of some of her neighbors, including a feisty 57-year-old whom she visited as a hospice volunteer. The woman had everything organized for her death- her will, insurance, sister's phone number- she even p ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely follow-up to "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name." It seemed a little more personal (especially regarding her serious accident) and a little less structured around others' lives and deaths, but its essential nature was the same. There are a lot of exquisite moments, and I hope she writes more books.
D. Thrush
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because my sister-in-law lives in Haines, Alaska, the small town that Heather Lende writes about in this and her first book. I’ve visited this town and life is certainly different. The winters are harsh and many of the things the rest of us take for granted are not so readily available. Like our choice of supermarkets or having a hospital close by. When the writer was literally run over by a truck, she had to be airlifted to a trauma hospital in Seattle. And here is the next coi ...more
Barbara Rice
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure why I liked this book less than "If You Lived Here I'd Know Your Name." It might be because Lende referred over and over and OVER to her accident (which was a terrible one, being run over by a truck) while she talked about other people and their misfortunes. Not that she isn't entitled to talk about it, it being her book, but after a while I started thinking there had to be a way for her to write about empathy and sympathy without constantly bringing up her own woes.

Still, it made
Pamela Barrett
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heather Lende is the author of the best selling Memoir “If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name” which was about her life in the small town of Haines, Alaska. Right before her first book release, she was riding her bicycle and got hit by a truck. Very scary, and she came close to dying. Interestingly, death is something she is familiar with because she is the town’s obituary writer. The essays in this memoir are about her long recovery, and how it has had an effect on her faith, and her observation ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksiveread
This book and the author's previous book have been sitting on my shelf for God-knows-how long after I picked them up off a sale porch table of an independent iconic bookstore that closed in the last coupla years!

It's the ture story of "bad breaks and small miracles". The author has contributed to NPR, The New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor, among others.

She and her husband moved to small town Alaska in their 20's and raised their family there.

This particular book came about after s
I really enjoyed this book, which was like curling up in front of the fire with a homemade quilt, warm cup of tea, and your dog at your feet. I loved the many variations of faith presented in personal stories of family and friends. This book made me want to return to my roots in the Pacific Northwest and live a healthier way of life. Highly recommended.
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I liked the pace, the readability of this book. I like how the author connected the theme of daily life to the larger questions. I like how thoughtful the author is, which inspires me to be more thoughtful.
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A devastating bicycle accident makes Heather even more introspective and appreciate of her life, family and friends.
I especially appreciated the moving tribute to my cousin Madeleine - one of Haines' most loved residents - who recently died of cancer.
Shelly Hicks
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book very much. I agree with Erin(another reader). It's an excellent mix of wisdom compassion and common sense.
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Heather Lende is an obituary for the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska. She is also a former contributing editor at Woman's Day, a columnist for the Alaska Dispatch News, and author of Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-town Obituary Writer (2015), a memoir of faith, family, and community Take Good care of the Garden and the Dogs (2010), and NY Times bestseller, If You Lived H ...more
More about Heather Lende...
“I wonder if to be human is to know that we can't ever banish pain and ugliness from the world, only learn from it and create something beautiful and good out of it ...” 4 likes
“It is often said that there are no atheists in foxholes. It seems to me that shelled bunkers would be full of skeptics. In the middle of a war it must be harder, not easier, to believe in a good God.” 1 likes
More quotes…