Sunday, July 12, 2009

IT'S RAINING CAT'S AND DOG'S....BOOKS!:Reviews and Giveaway






According to Hachette Book Group, ROBERT LUDLUM'S THE BOURNE DECEPTION by Eric Van Lustbader, describes the authors since Ludlum died in March of 2001. Name one other book from the Jason Bourne series that is mentioned in the article on the Hachette site here! Then come back here to get to the original CLUE ONE post so you can post your answers there. If you haven't started the scavenger hunt for these 6 audio books, you can still enter by starting at CLUE ONE!

On top of my daily posts, I keep a list of all the CLUES so anyone can catch up as there are SIX clues in all and you need to have done all six in order to be eligbible for a win of one, or all six, audio books. Good luck hunting!

and now.....



Once in nine lives, something extraordinary happens...

The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a recently broken heart. Then Gwen’s veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who’d been abandoned. It was love at first sight.

Everyone warned that Homer would always be an "underachiever," never as playful or independent as other cats. But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo, a tiny daredevil with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease and leapt five feet into the air to catch flies in mid-buzz. He survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center, and even saved Gwen’s life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night.

But it was Homer’s unswerving loyalty, his infinite capacity for love, and his joy in the face of all obstacles that inspired Gwen daily and transformed her life. And by the time she met the man she would marry, she realized Homer had taught her the most important lesson of all: Love isn’t something you see with your eyes.

Homer’s Odyssey is the once-in-a-lifetime story of an extraordinary cat and his human companion. It celebrates the refusal to accept limits—on love, ability, or hope against overwhelming odds. By turns jubilant and moving, it’s a memoir for anybody who’s ever fallen completely and helplessly in love with a pet.(from Description)


Move over DEWEY! Gwen Cooper's book and miraculous cat will make even a person who doesn't care for cats want one. This blind cat was thought to be unable to do much but showed everyone in so many ways that it was not true. Whether chasing away a burglar or living though the attack of 9-11, Homer was a cat aptly named. His journey is one that is classic and amazing all wrapped up in one. So many people could learn from this cat. Learn to persevere and not allow his challenges to stop him from doing what he wanted to do. While Gwen Cooper only loved Homer for the cat he is, others told her how special Homer was and that is what convinced her to write about him. Those cat lovers out there will enjoy this book.


Cancer is very serious business. Even the word itself conjures up many images and thoughts, none of which are warm, fuzzy, or the least bit pleasant. British humorist Miles Kington manages to absorb his unexpected and definitely unwanted diagnosis with a stiff upper lip that hints at a bit of a smile.

Miles, the writer, is always on the lookout for the next good idea for his new book. First, he gets the urge to write another book, then he comes up with the idea for the book itself. At the age of 66 he is given a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, a generally fatal cancer. He queries his oncologist, who thinks that writing a personal journal about living with cancer would be good therapy. Then he begins to brainstorm one final book, and all sorts of ideas --- interesting, useful and a few downright bizarre --- spill forth in many letters to his literary agent, Gill. The reader is left to assume what Gill’s replies might be.

Miles decides that the book 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE by Patricia Schultz needs a rewrite by someone like him who knows he does not have time to see all those places. So why not come up with a much shorter and more realistic list? How about a book of what to do on the way, or once you get there? Surely just ticking off a list of exotic places seen is not what travel should be about.

Though his elderly father-in-law will go down in history as the man who did not assassinate Colonel Guaddafy, Miles believes that a patient who has a terminal disease might be just the one to rid the world of a truly evil person. What is there to lose? He doesn’t ruminate upon this unusual thought too long before he is off on another tangent. What about a book about Niagara Falls written from the perspective of many people, some famous, some not? What about a book about all the infrequently asked questions about cancer? How interesting would that be? Surely not a bestseller. If he’s going to cash in on this cancer thing, he has to come up with a better idea.

Miles muses about creating a television program, a documentary of sorts, about looking over and clearing out all the accumulated paper clutter (which he refers to as “the great mess”) before one shuffles off this mortal coil. Perhaps a book that explains how to do all the things one wanted to learn to do but never did get around to, like yodeling or whistling with two fingers in one’s mouth or executing a graceful cartwheel. Then there’s always a child’s book about cancer, a board game about death…the possibilities seem endless.

Miles worries that his beloved dog, Berry, who will now surely outlive his master, has absolutely no idea what is happening to him. How does one explain death to a dog? What if Berry insists on being taken for a walk at the very moment that Miles is drawing his last breath?

Readers of HOW SHALL I TELL THE DOG? will gain a true appreciation of the author’s wit, courage and grace. Although living with cancer will never, ever be funny, Miles Kington has taught his audience that it is possible to enjoy some lighthearted moments along the way.


I found HOW SHALL I TELL MY DOG to be a memoir written with humor in what had to have been a courageous battle. I would never have imagined how the author could keep this writing style so light and even funny but if you really read between the lines, you could tell how the death Kington was facing was something he was doing in a way that only those who walk in his shoes might be able to understand. I could not. I have a family member in the last stages of cancer and can't imagine this kind of humor BUT also am constantly amazed at how my family member finds humor in things we do on a daily basis even though he is aware of his critical condition. I did so enjoy the reference to Berry as pets really do play an important part in our lives. In a situation such as this, Berry was quite astute and aware of what was going on and I felt like Berry was a source of comfort as well as humor. I liked the book but did find the humor a little different and not sure if it was British humor I just didn't get or if it had something to do with my own personal state of mind at this time.
A gasoline tanker truck is “stuck” in the Midtown Tunnel. New Yorkers are panicked . . . . Is this the next big attack? Alex, an artist, and Ruth, a former school teacher with an FBI file as thick as a dictionary, must get their beloved dachshund, whose back legs have suddenly become paralyzed, to the animal hospital sixty blocks north. But the streets of Manhattan are welded with traffic. Their dog, Dorothy, twelve-years-old and gray-faced, is the emotional center of Alex and Ruth's forty-five-year-long childless marriage. Using a cutting board as a stretcher, they ferry the dog uptown. This is also the weekend that Alex and Ruth must sell their apartment. While house hunters traipse through it during their open house, husband and wife wait by the phone to hear from the animal hospital. During the course of forty-eight hours, as the missing truck driver terrorizes the city, the price of their apartment becomes a barometer for collective hope and despair, as the real estate market spikes and troughs with every breaking news story. In shifting points of view—Alex’s, Ruth’s, and the little dog’s—man, woman, and one small tenacious beast try to make sense of the cacophony of rumors, opinions, and innuendos coming from news anchors, cable TV pundits, pollsters, bomb experts, hostages, witnesses, real estate agents, house hunters, bargain seekers, howling dogs, veterinarians, nurses, and cab drivers. A moving, deftly told novel of ultrahigh-urban anxiety. (from Amazon Description)


I loved this book the most. Jill Ciment tells the story of an elderly couple in New York City living in a 5th floor walk-up. Their dog, Dorothy, is a precious dachshund who they adore. She is about 14 years old and the night before they are having an open house to show their apartment so they can sell it, she becomes ill. Alex and Ruth want to move to a building with an elevator as their apartment is five floors of tough climbing, especially at their age!

Dorothy has evidently hurt her back and in the cold, New York weather, they place her on their cutting board and cover her to take her far away to the emergency animal hospital. Getting a taxi that will get them there quickly is difficult as a tanker truck has jack-knifed and turned over in the tunnel stopping all traffic in and out of Manhattan as the driver ran away and is suspected as a terrorist.

The story develops around that incident in that if people are scared, they are likely to offer less for the apartment and with the showing of the condo to some superbly described characters by Ciment, there is the phone calls back and forth with the hospital where Dorothy has to have a risky surgery to see if she will ever walk again. I loved when the chapters alternated from Dorothy's point of view to the narrator as Dorothy described what was happening from her dog's eye view.

How the story ends would be a spoiler so I will stop there....but does Dorothy survive the surgery? Do Alex and Ruth sell their apartment and get into a new elevator installed building? Does the terrorist really follow through on an attack? It is an easy read but sweet and enjoyable and very cleverly written. I would like to read more by Jill Ciment after reading this book.

I have one copy of each book to give away.
If you would like one, comment below with
your email address so I can contact you if
you win.
U.S. residents ONLY this time!
No P.O. Boxes, please

As stated, just one comment with your email
address and the name of the book you would like.
Deadline to enter is 6 PM, EST, July 18

Thank you and good luck.


bermudaonion said...

I love books with animals, so they all look good to me, but I'd like to be entered for Heroic Measures. milou2ster(at)

Beth said...

I would love either of these books! Thanks for the chance.

holdenj said...

I'd really like to read Homer's Odyssey.

JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com


Misusedinnocence said...

I'd like to be entered for any of them. :)

Dixie said...

All of these titles sound like wonderful books, but If I must narrow it down, I'd love to read How Shall I tell The Dog?
The author sounds like a remarkable person.


Kristen said...

I love animal books. I'd like either Heroic Measures or How Shall I Tell the Dog (I already have the other one ::grin::).

whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

MJ said...

I agree that they all sounds good. Please enter me for How Shall I Tell the Dog? I lost my Mom to cancer in February. She had a 3 legged rescue cat named Cammie. She fretted and worried about her so. Cammie is now living with my niece and has adapted well. We moved her favorite chair, her bird feeder and all sorts of other stuff with her. All according to Mom's directions!!!
I really think I could relate to this book!!!



Debbie said...

I would love Homer's Odyssey. I am a cat person!

Wrighty said...

I think they all sound really good too. I'm also an animal lover. Any of them would be great but if I had to chose I would pick Homer's Odyssey. Thanks for another fun contest!


ChristyJan said...



dag888888 said...

I would like to be entered!

Thanks for a great blog, Bingo!


EllyBean said...

These books look like fun reads!

ellybean (at) connected2christ (dot) com

g.g. said...

I'd like the kitty book about Homer if possible..that would be great as I have two cats...thanks!

Rebecca N. said...

I would be thrilled to win any of these books, as they all sound like wonderful reads! If I have to choose though, I believe my first choice is HOMER'S ODYSSEY. Thanks so much for your blog and all you do!

Carol said...

I would love to read HOMER'S ODYSSEY!
I love cats! I really enjoyed DEWEY so I know I will like this, too!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT

kalea_kane said...

I would absolutely love to win Homer's Odyssey! I have heard such amazing things about this book and loved your review. I am also a crazy in love with cats kind of gal! :)

Thank you so much, Karen!


LoveMyCoffee said...

I LOVE books with animals in them. All of the books sound wonderful, but if I must choose it would be Heroic Measures or Homer's Odyssey.
Thanks for the giveaways!


Dina said...

Heroic Measures! aitmama (at) gmail (dot) com

sharon54220 said...

All of the books sound great. I would have to choose Heroic Measures. Great reveiws as usual.

Shawna said...

Count me in on ALL of these book I would like to read any and all of them
Shawna Phillips

Matt Gladden said...

how do I tell the dog looks like a good book

matt dot glddn at gmail dot com

catss99 said...

homer's odyssey looks great!


Chadwick said...

"HOMER'S ODYSSEY" sounds great. I'd love a copy! Thanks again for offering this!

Madeleine said...

I'd like to win either one of these books with a preference for Homer's Odyssey


Cindy said...

All 3 of these books look great! My first choice is Homer's Odyssey!

Thank you for a great blog and super giveaways!