01. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tracy · Tags:

Tricks and Games to teach your dog by Sophie Collins, Suellen Dainty, 192 pages, read by Tracy, on 11/20/2014

Who doesn’t want to spend more time playing?! Tricks and Games to Teach Your Dog is the how-to book for dog owners looking to improve their “fun factor” in their dogs’ eyes. Author Sophie Collins, assisted by Suellen Dainty, promise that any owner of a dog—no matter what age, breed, activity level, size or personality—can transform his pooch into an accomplished performer in brief daily five-minute training sessions. In all, the book offers 80 tricks and games, from the tried-and-true rainy-day tricks like “roll over” and “play dead” to out-of-the-box surprises like “lion tamer” and the “commando crawl.” Fully illustrated with color photographs and drawings, Tricks and Games to Teach Your Dog serves as a game plan for busy owners who wish to spend more quality time with their dogs, engaging them in educational games to improve their obedience skills while deepening the dogs’ bonds with their owners. Readers can teach their dogs helpful household tasks, such as the “laundry service,” “fetch my keys” and “answer the door,” as well as games that expand their repertory of manners, such as “say please,” “learning a ‘stop’ signal,” and “dinner time.” The authors emphasize the importance of safety in teaching tricks and games and caution owners to only work with safe objects when teaching fetching or finding games. The book is filled with practical training tips that owners can use throughout their dogs’ lives. Once an owner is confident and aware of his own technique, he will be better prepared to give the dog specific direction and not confuse the dog by giving false cues or misusing body language, tone of voice or hand signals. The level of difficulty in the lessons range from the simplest (“high five” and “stand ten”) to more challenging tricks like “shut the door,” “push the ball” and “freeze.” The unmistakable focus of the book is fun and activity, and no dog (or owner) ever wants to lead a dull, boring existence. To that end, the authors discuss some great fun outings to bring an owner’s play sessions with his dog to an all-time high: camping, volleyball, biking and hiking for starters. And for really adventurous overachievers, the authors provide a brief introduction to the ever-popular obstacle-course sport known as dog agility.

01. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy · Tags:

Dick Francis's Damage by Felix Francis, 400 pages, read by Tracy, on 11/01/2014

Felix Francis is back with another edge-of-your-seat thriller, in the classic Dick Francis tradition.

Undercover investigator Jeff Hinkley is assigned by the British Horseracing Authority to look into the activities of a suspicious racehorse trainer, but as he’s tailing his quarry through the Cheltenham Racing Festival, the last thing he expects to witness is a gruesome murder. Could it have something to do with the reason the trainer was banned in the first place—the administration of illegal drugs to his horses?

Then many more horses test positive for prohibited stimulants, and someone starts making demands, threatening to completely destroy the integrity of the racing industry. In order to limit the damage to the sport, it’s critical that Jeff find the perpetrator . . . but he’ll soon learn he’s up against someone who will stop at nothing to prevail.

09. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Wild Born: Spirit Animals Bk1 by Brandon Mull, 202 pages, read by Kira, on 09/06/2014

In
images Spirit Animals_thumb[4] Animal_spirits_squares_black_detail AnimalSpiritCircle The beginning of the Spirit Animals series.  At the start of the adventure, 4 11-yr olds drink the special honey liquid and are able to call spirit animals.  But Not just any spirit animals appear to these 4, rather the Great 4 Fallen, who died in the old battle with the Destroyer.  Each youth is from a different country on Erdras and from a different segment in society.

 

This is a fast moving, action filled adventure.

30. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

100 Cats who Changed Civilization: History's most Influential Felines by Sam Stall, 175 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/09/2014

100 cats True stories about cats that created laws, inspired their owners or were present at historical moments. Each story is about a different cat and ranges from 1 to 3 pages in length. Quick fun read for cat lovers, history lovers or trivia nuts.

10. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction · Tags:

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy, Randall Wright, Barry Moser (Illustrator) , 228 pages, read by Angie, on 09/09/2012

Skilley isn’t your ordinary cat; Skilley loves cheese not mice. So he becomes the mouser at Cheshire Cheese shop and forms and alliance with the mice. The mice provide him with cheese and he pretends to catch them. Cheshire Cheese is full of interesting characters; Charles Dickens is a regular who is trying to write a new story and can’t figure out an opening line, Maldwyn a Tower Raven is hiding in the attic and a Skilley’s nemesis, Pinch, worms his way into the shop. Skilley and Pip, the mouse who can read and write, must find a way to return Maldwyn to the Tower and save the mice from Pinch. Everything comes to a head when Queen Victoria herself comes to the shop.

This was a delightful story. I loved all the Dickens references (even if I haven’t read Dickens in years) and I loved the relationship between Skilley and Pip. All the characters were really well written and interesting. Great book for kids who like animal characters or just a bit of historical fun.

31. May 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Janet, NonFiction · Tags:

One Kingdom - Our Lives With Animals - The Human-Animal Bond in Myth, History, Science, and Story by Deborah Noyes, 128 pages, read by Janet, on 05/31/2012

Mankind has always wanted to know more about the animal kingdom.  Some animals have been feared, some depicted as gods, some made into pets, and others used for food.  The author tells a story of many animals as individuals or as groups, from the ancient past to the present.  Excellent photographs and drawings clearly show the animal being described.  She brings out many questions that have been asked about the relationship of humans and animals through the years.  General information about the situation is given, but readers are allowed to make their own decisions. She describes their lives in the free world and in zoos.  At the end, she lets the reader feel and see the world as an animal would, to help us understand their feelings and actions.  I found this to be a verywarm, clear description, easily understood by young readers.

22. May 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Janet · Tags: ,

Creatures of the Kingdom by James A. Michener, 396 pages, read by Janet, on 05/21/2012

     Using excerpts from Michener’s books, he writes segments about the animals that were included in the larger stories.  This is a wonderful history of the changes of the Earth through the centuries – the development of land and water features and the beginnings of the animal kingdom – from small to huge, back to medium size, and the coming of man.  Description of each section is so full of information that the reader feels like he/she is actually there, watching the events happening and understanding the feelings of the animals.  One adventure follows two men and a hyena as they explore Africa as friends.  Others told about the lives of a mastodon, an ancesstral bison, a crab, a dinosaur, a salmon, armadillos, the comparison of two hunting dogs – a labrador and a chesapeake – by their competing owners, and several other animals.  All had names and personalities.  I learned so very much about these animals as their stories were told. The last story is told by the author as he visits an old friend who was trying to protect his bird feeder from an invading squirrel, but unwilling to endanger the pest. The squirrel was in no danger.