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 – Hunger by Roxane Gay

“Even the happiest moments of my life are overshadowed by my body and how it doesn’t fit anywhere. This is no way to live, but this is how I live.”

Roxane Gay, a best-selling author, a college professor, and a feminist woman of color and size, has a lot to hunger for. Education. Success. Love. Affection. Acceptance. And food.

In the book Hunger – A Memoir of (My) Body, Roxane is brutally honest about all aspects of her life as a fat black woman. She wasn’t always fat, but she doesn’t have to think too hard about how she got there – because it wasn’t an accident. She used food to build her body into her own personal fortress.

This book delves deep into personal trauma, and all the things that come after…like life. Roxane Gay has a story to tell about her body, and she tells it superbly. 

Book Review – Dietland by Sarai Walker

Dietland by Sarai Walker

[amazon_link asins=’B00VS9KDQ8′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’writeontheroa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9378fcaf-8234-11e8-a1ae-692af9c978da’]

“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

[amazon_link asins=’0399185798′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’writeontheroa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’627f8af1-7433-11e8-9252-e9ca6b203369′]

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.

Book Review – Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

“It should not be denied...that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led west.” 
-Wallace Stegner, The American West as Living Space

Into the Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, an affluent young man who had been given all he could have ever needed or wanted financially-including a trust fund that he gave to the organization OXFAM, a charity committed to fighting hunger. Just over two years later Christopher’s alter-ego, Alexander Supertramp, died of starvation in the Alaskan Wilderness. While the end of his life was tragic, his thirst for life and adventure was not. 

The book is the result of Krakauer following in Alex’s footsteps through America. Alex made many friends along the way, and found a sense of family in complete strangers that he could never find with his own biological family.

He wanted nothing more than to be free. To live by his own intelligence and will. He wanted to go into the wild.

“I now walk into the wild.” 
―Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

If you are travelers like we are at Write on the Road, then I must insist that you read this book. You will feel the emotional journey of Chris McCandless on a different level than the average person. You will be able to understand that wanderlust, and the desire to wake to a new view every single day.

If you don’t travel full time like we do, then I still must insist that you read the book. Find your own wanderlust. Feel the passion to see new horizons. Eat new food. Try the local beers. Hike new mountains.

Become a tramp…

“...make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” 
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

[amazon_link asins=’0385486804′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’writeontheroa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’818bcd37-6b87-11e8-95c3-070914a05111′]

Book Review – Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher

Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher

[amazon_link asins=’1439194009′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’writeontheroa-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’58ccddd4-6398-11e8-9038-5fc7c131d222′]

I read this book in a fast, almost panicked, pace. Fisher has had a lot of experience with drug addiction, and her writing shows it. There are letters and intimate thoughts from the minds of cocaine addicts. It’s can be hard to keep up with the thought process of a cocaine addict…speed up or give up.

“Remember what it was like when you’d be getting ready to jump rope and two people were turning it, and you were waiting for the exact right moment to jump in? I feel like that all the time.”

The novel is really enjoyable and very funny. It gives you a raw look into drug addiction, therapy, and relationships. And while the book is not an autobiography, the movie-in-my-mind that played while reading had Carrie Fisher as the protagonist. You can see her in the words…and between the lines.

“I know I’m going to get old and be one one of those crazy women who sit on balconies and spit on people and scream ‘Get a haircut!’ I know this, and I don’t really fear it. I’d just like to move toward it with as much grace and dignity as possible.”

Postcards from the Edge. Go ahead and give it a speed read! All the cool kids are doing it.  

 

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 – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Book Review

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel that takes place in the future in what used to be the United States. The novel shows us a future that the majority of women have fought quite hard to prevent. The land is ruled by men and religion. Most women are infertile (according to the men), so those that are fertile are trained to become handmaids.

“And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.” Genesis 30:1

The handmaids live with a Commander, and their wife, and are forced to have sex with the commander every month during their most fertile time. This story follows Offred, a handmaid to Commander Fred, and his wife, Serena Joy. Offred used to be known by another name, and used to be known as a mother and a wife. Offred yearns to find her way back to her daughter and her husband – if they are even still alive.

The Handmaid’s Tale is terrifying – and touching. In a world where your choices are taken away, would you make a final choice for yourself anyway?

 

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

 

BRAKE ASSIST

Book Review – Finding Alice by Melody Carlson

Book Review – Finding Alice by Melody Carlson

Finding Alice is about a young woman attending college that starts to show symptoms of schizophrenia. She quickly learns that of the worst things about being crazy is that you really have no idea that you are crazy.

With the “help” of her family and the exorcisms from her local church, Alice runs away just to feel safe. She spends time living on the streets before she finds a kind woman who offers her a place to stay, which is a turning point for Alice and her “friends” that live inside her brain.

The book is pretty good. It gives the reader a decent insight into mental illness, which is something that we should all try to understand. It does seem to lean toward being a religious story, but with strong opinions against hallelujucination. I may read other books by Melody Carlson, but probably only if I find them in a thrift store. Good to pass the time, but I don’t want to spend full price.