A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron – Book Review


From the best-selling author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey comes A Dog’s Way Home.

A Dog’s Way Home is the story of Bella. Bella, a mixed breed mutt, was born under an abandoned building – and that was when life was easy. Since then it’s been a rollercoaster ride for Bella and her person, Lucas.

Follow along with Bella as she faces the ups and downs of cats, dogs, and humans. She finds herself on the most important journey of her life; to get back to her person and her purpose.

W. Bruce Cameron’s books are probably not going to be literary classics, but they are guaranteed to make you smile as you read them. All of his dog books are fast reads, perfect for a day when you need to cheer yourself up. You will laugh. You will cry. And you will absolutely fall in love with the amazing dogs in Cameron’s novels.

And if you don’t like dogs, then please go think about your life choices for awhile.

Because dogs rule.


Book Review – Dietland by Sarai Walker

Dietland by Sarai Walker

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“I’m every American woman’s worst nightmare. It’s what they spend their lives fighting against, it’s why they diet and exercise and have plastic surgery—because they don’t want to look like me.” 
― Sarai Walker, Dietland

Are you fat? Read this book. Are you skinny? Read this book. Are you female? Are you male? Are you human? Read this book. Are you a feminist? Read this book? Are you not a feminist? Read this book and learn something.

This novel follows the life of Plum Kettle. She is scheduled for a weight loss surgery, and is looking forward to it so much that she spends her free time online shopping for her “skinny” clothes. With a closet full of things that aren’t even close to fitting, her regular uniform is her ankle length black skirts and long sleeve black shirts – even in the sweltering heat of summer.

Plum’s life changes when a mysterious woman wearing bright tights and combat boots starts following her. Between the punk stalker and the news of a dangerous anarchist causing damage around the world, Plum heads down a dark, winding road with no place to turn around.

This is Sarai Walkers’ debut novel, and I will probably cry if she never publishes another.

Book Review – The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

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Have you ever wanted to sit down with Carrie Fisher, sip on a glass of iced tea, and hear her juicy stories about Harrison Ford? Have you ever imagined staring at her in awe as she reads her poetry from when she was just nineteen years old and still had her entire crazy life before her? Or is that just me?

Well, if that is what you are looking for then read The Princess Diarist. This memoir is like the best gossip fest ever! And I don’t even like gossip!

"I wish that you could love me more so I could love you less." 
- Carrie Fisher

It was a treat to read her her story and her truths. There are entries from journals that she kept while filming Episode IV, including poetry and personal memories. There are a lot of emotions on the pages of this book, but what young woman could resist a scruffy looking nerf herder?

Call his indifference a mystery
Call his arrogance intellect
All you've got to lose is your heart
And a little self-respect
-Carrie Fisher

Yea, me either, Carrie.

Story Time – Silver Rock by M.D. Parker

Write on the Road spent a few days drycamping in a ghost town. The spirits that resided there inspired M.D. Parker to share their story.

Silver Rock by M.D. Parker

She moved through the doorway with a small bundle of wood in her hands. The morning was cooler than she expected, and the fire needed stoking. Maria knelt down pulling open the heavy iron door. She tugged on her dress to keep the hem from catching under her sandaled feet. Only a little, she thought. Just enough to warm the water and take away the morning chill. The day would soon be warm enough. She closed the iron door and stood, wondering, if today would be the day he came back. Miguel still had not come home.

She loves him through his faults. Miguel is heavy with the drink, but no one works harder than he. She looks around the house. She should try more, she thinks. The wood is chipping and the whitewash she spread along the wall is cracking. She notices a dark stain near the door, like ground in charcoal. She fetches a bucket from outside the door. She returns with a small amount of water and lye soap to scrub it away, but there is no stain. Confused, she looks around before setting the bucket down and gives up trying to remember what she was looking for.

She can’t remember how long they’ve been there, but she can remember the man in his horseless buggy. She’d heard they were becoming very popular in the cities and soon they would be everywhere. She didn’t believe it. His horseless buggy couldn’t make it up the hills like her horse could. He had walked up the last hill to tell her that she would have to leave. The claim belonged to her husband and she was not entitled. Yes, entitled was the word he used. She knew the English, but the man in his fancy suit and horseless… “automobile” is what he called it, he used lots of words she was not familiar with. She chased him away with the rifle Miguel left standing by the door.

Maria cared very little for the fancy man, but she never wanted to hurt him. She just wanted to scare him; make him go. She had to keep everything ready for when Miguel returned. He will take care of the fancy man, and she will take care of their home. That was the deal when they came to the hills outside of Silver Rock, and everything had been going fine until the day…

She would not think of that day. She had work to do, right after she relieved herself. She stepped with care across the rough ground; just a few feet from their door to the outhouse. The sun, not fully over the mountain, did little to light the path.

The day passed, as so many others had, while she waited for Miguel. She filled their water from the hand pump over the well. She made herself some food and had some put away for Miguel. She tended to the plants in her makeshift garden that was bordered by rocks she had placed in concentric circles. She brushed off her dress and set to preparing the oil lamps as the sun touched the western hills. The moon already showed itself, full and bright, as it chased the sun away.

She heard them coming. A rumbling sound. They were following the same track that had been laid down by the uncountable trips with their wagon, hauling what Miguel had pulled from the mine on their way into Silver Rock to get the goods they needed. It came into view. Another horseless buggy, of sorts.

It was strange though, closed in like a carriage of painted metal. Not open like the fancy man’s. She watched as they stopped so near to her home. The wheels looked nothing like the ones on the fancy man’s. His had spokes like a wagon. These were solid and of the shiniest metal, like they were made from pure silver. How rich must the owner be to afford such extravagance? She grabbed the oil lamp from the mantel and turned for the door.  Stopping only a foot past the rifle. She raised the oil lamp to get a better view beyond the shadows thrown long by the setting sun and the rising moon. She could not help her mouth falling agape as people climbed from the carriage.

A man got out first first from the front of the carriage and looked around as if not seeing her. He wore denim of a quality she had never seen. A thin shirt hung over his torso, like an undershirt but with pictures painted on it. The woman that stepped out next was the reason for her shock. She looked like a harlot; a half naked working girl. She wore no dress. Her legs bare, her bottom covered only by some kind of tight fitting pant that ended high upon her thighs. She too wore a shirt with painted pictures, the front low enough to show hints of the breasts it barely covered. harlot or no, she felt a tinge of wonder if her own legs had looked like that before age had taken the youth from beneath her dress.

They both moved and spoke as if she was not there. Ignoring her as she called out to them. This man in his fancy carriage and his harlot companion had no business around her home. They continued to speak with no regard to her. They spoke in clear English, but some words she did not know. She continued to wonder at the woman who seemed so comfortable being so near to naked.  

Maria stepped out farther toward them, forgetting the rifle by the door.

“You see the burn marks? I told you she did it.” The man said to his companion, pointing just behind Maria.

“She must have been so sad,” the woman said.

Maria turned to see what the man was pointing at and saw the charcoal colored stain she had meant to clean up that morning. The two of them walked right passed her, straight into her home stepping with care.

Pare! No se puede entrar! She said too fast, forgetting her English.

“Did you hear that?” The woman was looking around.

“Hear what?” The man answered with his eyebrow up mocking the bare-skinned woman.

“Something, I’m not sure.”

He’s laughed then, “Don’t tell me you believe the stories about her ghost now?”

Maria reached for them. The man’s shoulder was closest to her. A startled half scream slipped past her lips as her hand passed through his shoulder like a wisp of smoke from a pipe. The man turned around and his face fell slack as he stumbled. Then it all became a blur. It happened so fast.

He screamed and the woman did not move but met Maria’s gaze, eye to eye. Maria shook away the shock, realizing she must have missed his shoulder, she had meant to grab him, to tell him to get out of her home. They had no right. She stepped forward yelling at them. Her Spanish and English mixing in her tirade.

Pare! Get out of my home. No entrar. LEAVE!

The man scrambled and stumbled as he tried with desperation to bring his feet under him. The woman broke the ice holding her feet to the ground and grabbed the man by his painted picture shirt. He swung his arms as he stood. Maria stepped in closer holding the lamp at him, shaking it with all the fury that masked her own fear. The man’s arms struck the lamp. Maria saw the flutter of a disturbed smoke trail as her hold on the lantern broke.

She screamed.

She heard the the glass on the lamp break as it found the hardened floor. The man’s eyes grew larger than the full moon inside their sockets.

LEAVE!

They tried to run from her. They tripped and stumbled as if climbing over something she could not see. Maria felt hot.

Panic stabbed at her mind, breaking her fury as she began to understand what happened to the lamp. Its oil splashed as it broke. Her dress ignited as the tiny flame found a new home. She screamed, not for them to leave, but for help, as the flames swirled around her.

The heat. The pain. All so fast.

She saw them fall through, more than run, out the side door. The one that opened toward the well pump. She flapped her arms against her dress, but the oil spread. She ran out the front door. Her body dropped to its knees. Her mind blank except for the pain. The heat. The smell.

Miguel?

Help me…

Por favor, Miguel.

Miguel did not come and the world fell darker than the night should be. The man and his harlot ran to their carriage. Through the flames that covered her eyes, she saw the wheels of silver rolling over the rocks.

She moved through the doorway with a small bundle of wood in her hands. The morning was cooler than she expected, and the fire needed stoking. Maria knelt down pulling open the heavy iron door. She tugged on her dress to keep the hem from catching under her sandaled feet. Only a little, she thought. Just enough to warm the water and take away the morning chill. The day would soon be warm enough. She closed the iron door and stood, wondering, if today would be the day he came back. Miguel still had not come home.


Read more in M.D. Parkers first collection. 
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Book Review – Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

If you want to feel better about yourself as a parent, you should read this book. It gives you some pretty descriptive detail about how to be the shittiest parents possible.

Fourth of July Creek takes you back to the early 80’s, and introduces you to the Pearl family. This family is extremely religious, and heavily lean on conspiracy theories to keep themselves thoroughly crazy as they live in the wilderness, completely off-grid. A CPS worker, Pete Snow, gets wind of the family and shows up to try and help – and it eventually leads to ATF and the FBI searching for the family – and for Pete.

Maybe the conspiracies aren’t just theories anymore.

Even though this type of story is normally not my thing, the novel was good. The characters are colorful, giving you an in-depth look into some pretty serious cuckoo birds, and some pretty intense assholes.

My full opinion – worth the read, but probably only once.  

 

Book Review – Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Book Review

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Another suspenseful thriller by the author of Gone Girl. Dark Places is the story of Libby Day who confronts her traumatic childhood memories of the murder of her mother and two sisters.  Libby begins her own investigation into the murders, and into the possibility that her brother is innocent of the crime.

Flynn is a great storyteller. She creates interesting and flawed characters that the reader can really connect with. I would recommend, both, Dark Places and Gone Girl.  

“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.”
― Gillian FlynnDark Places

“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”
― Gillian FlynnDark Places

“But I was born bent out of shape. I could picture myself coming out of the womb crooked and wrong. It never takes much for me to lose patience. The phrase fuck you may not rest on the tip of my tongue, but it’s near. Midtongue.”
― Gillian FlynnDark Places

 

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