4-Day Weekend, 7-Book Paradise

I took an extra day off this holiday weekend, and am absolutely loving it. As we speak, I’m blogging from a Caribou coffee house. Yes, you heard me. Caribou. Not Starbucks. I know, but the Minnesota conversion is happening. I can’t stop it. And the coffee is good!

So, I’ve been buried in literature and not-so-literature over the weekend. Here’s my reading list… Somehow, they all have a thread of canine love woven throughout… It was not my intent,  but was my reality. Enjoy!

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle — A beautifully written novel. Just stunning. As an animal lover and a dog owner, the story was even more poignant for me. I found myself tied more closely to the story line, simply by having watched Daphne in her last years of life, and Samson and Chloe in their puppy years. But the real connection here is the way David Wroblewski weaves human drama and trauma across his characters, all joined by the breeding of a particular type of dog, is riveting. The story centers on a tight-knit family of three (including a mute teenage son), their own breed of dogs (which strives for intelligence, reasoning and emotion, rather than physical perfection), and an extended family of characters that are related through both bloodlines and business. It’s haunting, yes, but just beautiful.

Every Demon Has Its Day — This was a borrow from Chris, and written by Cara Lockwood. It’s a cute, amusing, and an incredibly fast read. What it lacks in depth, it makes up for in imagination. Modern day battles of good and evil — with evil lurking where else but the local DMV, my fav — that deals with believers and non-believers, a talking French Bulldog, a reluctant and less-than-skilled prophet, and a clumsy ghost of an ex-husband who gets murdered by a balding demon to kick the story off. It’s really quite a cute little story with a lot of whimsical dialog.

Heroic Measures — Another borrow from Chris, this little novel packs a punch. Jill Ciment sets the novel on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and weaves in an aging Jewish couple putting their 5-floor walk-up on the market. It sounds a little bland until the author weaves in a bomb scare in the Midtown Tunnel, a back injury on their 12-year old Dachshund that requires surgery, and a bidding war on their apartment and the one they want to buy — all in the span of two days. The couple is adorable, and the view of Manhattan and its take on terrorists, the real estate market, and pets through their eyes is perfect.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (books VI – VIII) — Cut me some slack. And yes, I also have David Archuletta on my iPod. Shut up. But I love this little series. It was written well before any of the more recent Twilight or True Blood series, and has enjoyed a cult following of its own for years. The series is set in the 1980’s, and every time Laurell K. Hamilton describes one of Anita’s outfits, I swear someone I worked with at Disney wore it — right down to the high top Reeboks and baggy socks. Love it. You’re wondering where the canine thread flows through this book? Her romantic interest is a werewolf, of course.

Dead in the Family — Charlaine Harris’ latest Sookie Stackhouse novel didn’t glue me to my seat, but it did entertain me. I think I waited so long for it, that when it hit the shelves, I just blew through it. I knew all of the characters, was waiting for something new to be introduced, and kind of guessed where it was going before it got there. I won’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but I will say it didn’t wow me. And I wanted it to. Bummer. Guess I’ll have to see what they do to the series on latest season HBO, right?

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