Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Salon... The Dog Days of Summer and Then Some!

The Dog Days of Summer make a landing at Chick with Books this week. What are the "Dog Days of Summer" anyway? Summer is typically referred to as The “Dog Days” of Summer because it’s so hot that it’s not fit for a dog. But where did the phrase really comes from? Well, the Dog Days refers to the period of July 3 through Aug. 11 when the Dog Star, Sirius, rises with the Sun. As a result, the ancients felt that the combination of the brightest luminary of the day (the Sun) and the brightest star of night (Sirius) were responsible for the extreme heat that is experienced during the middle of summer....

The Dog Days of Summer have come and gone, but great books with a doggish theme don't follow the stars, they follow the hearts of the authors who write them and today's Sunday Salon is about some great books with a "doggish" theme.

Oogy by Larry Levin... In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms, and decided to take him home. Heartwarming and redemptive, OOGY is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.

When I read about Oogy it brought tears to my eyes. Animal abuse is a topic that really affects me. Oogy is definitely one of the lucky guys who beat the odds. I'm looking forward to reading this heartwarming story of Oogy and his amazing ability to love after all that he had gone through. Watch the YouTube video of Oogy and see for yourself what an amazing guy he is, and what a wonderful family the Levin's are for adopting him. This book will be released Oct.12th, 2010. *P.S. This Book will be Kindle Ready!

To Fetch a Thief by Spencer Quinn... This is the third book in the Chet and Bernie series featuring a lovable and wise dog narrator, Chet, and his P.I. owner, Bernie. This time the pair "go under the big top to solve the most unlikely missing persons (and animals!) case ever." Here's an short sample of Chet & Bernie from To Fetch a Thief...

We were outnumbered, some big number against two. When it comes to numbers, two is as far as I go, but it's enough, in my opinion. . . .

"Sit," Bernie said.

I sat. Bernie would think of something—he always did. That was one of the things that made the Little Detective Agency such a success, except for the finances part . . .

Chet has smelled a lot of unusual things in his years as trusted companion and partner to P.I. Bernie Little, but nothing has prepared him for the exotic scents he encounters when an old-fashioned traveling circus comes to town. Bernie scores tickets to this less-than-greatest- show-on-earth because his son Charlie is crazy about elephants. The only problem is that Peanut, the headlining pachyderm of this particular one-ring circus, has gone missing—along with her trainer, Uri DeLeath. Stranger still, no one saw them leave. How does an elephant vanish without a trace? At first there's nothing Bernie and Chet can do— it's a police matter and they have no standing in the case. But then they're hired by Popo the Clown, who has his own reasons for wanting to find out what has become of the mysteriously missing duo. After Chet takes a few sniffs in Peanut's trailer and picks up her one-of-a-kind scent, he and Bernie are in hot pursuit, heading far away from the bright lights of the traveling show and into the dark desert night. Some very dangerous people would prefer that Chet and Bernie disappear for good and will go to any lengths to make that happen. Across the border in Mexico and separated from Bernie, Chet must use all his natural strength and doggy smarts to try to save himself—not to mention Bernie and a decidedly uncooperative Peanut, too.

With a wry sense of humor, Spencer Quinn gives us a great mystery with some doggie sensabilities. The Chet and Bernie mysteries are a mix of thrill and light-hearted fun, and I look forward to reading this latest entry into the series. The first book, where we first meet Chet and Bernie is Dog on It, and the second book is Thereby Hangs a Tail, which is coming out in paperback Sept.7th. (Both of these books are Kindle Ready!) To Fetch a Thief will be released Sept. 28th, and will be Kindle Ready!

New Tricks by David Rosenfelt... From the Publisher, Attorney Andy Carpenter is about to represent an adorable Bernese mountain dog puppy, whose owner was brutally murdered, in a custody fight. Few can rival Andy's affection for dogs, and he's determined to keep Waggy from falling into the wrong hands. But this playful pup possesses a valuable secret that some people will resort to violence to obtain. It will take more than Andy's usual courtroom theatrics to save Waggy, including help from the lawyer's golden retriever, Tara. Andy soon discovers that everyone around him is in danger, including his longtime girlfriend, Laurie--and only some high-risk new tricks will save those he cherishes most.

I have never read David Rosenfelt before, but after hearing so much great buzz about this latest book of his, I had to take a second look at the author. New Tricks is David Rosenfelt's 7th book in the "Andy Carpenter series" which are books featuring the defense attorney, Andy Carpenter. Dogs seem to play a part in books one through five, but it looks like book 6, Play Dead, and the latest book, New Tricks, features Andy coming to the actual defense of a particular dog, which eventually leads into a courtroom thriller. New Tricks was published earlier this month, and I look forward to cracking the spine on this book. *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!

A Favorite book of mine with a great doggie narrator that I HIGHLY recommend (If you haven't read it yet!)...

The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein is a wonderful book! All told thru the eyes & nose of Enzo a dog who is part philosopher, part social worker and who on the eve of his death recalls all that he and his family have been thru. His family is Denny, the up and coming race cardriver who is his master, friend & hero, Denny's wife Eve, and little Zoe their daughter. A heart wrenching and yet laugh out loud story that has Enzo learning most of his 'philosophy' from watching TV but is amazingly more human than some people. If you are a 'dog person' you will love this book! Enzo teaches us what the meaning of loyalty, love and hope is. Read more at Garth's Website! And remember that box of tissue's before you start to read!

Other Bookish News this week... Kindle 3's have officially made it into the hands of anxious readers! Initial reports throughout the blogosphere is that it's "love at first sight"! Len Edgerly whose weekly podcast, The Kindle Chronicles, which covers all things Kindle, has a great podcast this week including some great Kindle 3 info. You can follow the link to TKC Episode 110 to listen. (*BTW, my DH Paul provided the Kindle 3 tech tip this week on Len's show!) And I'll be posting my thoughts about this cute little eReader too, which I received yesterday. My first impression is I Love It! Although I had a defective power switch, Amazon immediately issued a replacement and sent it overnight at no charge to me. Now that's great customer service!

Is Nook your preferred eReader? Then check out my Saturday Post about Barnes & Nobles Classic eBooks that are FREE this week for the Nook! This weeks theme is Tales to Read Under the Covers, and includes such classics as Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells.

BTW, next month Banned Book Week comes to Chick with Books! Here's the American Library Associations list of Banned & Challenged Books from 2009-2010. From Sept. 25th - Oct. 2nd I'll be highlighting "Banned Books" and cracking the spine on one to express my freedom of choice. Last year I read Catcher in The Rye, this year I'm leaning towards another coming-of-age story - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Read any good Banned Books lately? Share them here!

Cat Person instead? Stop by Saturday, Sept. 4th when author Helen Brown stops by Chick with Books with a guest post about her insights into dealing with the devastating death of her nine-year-old-son, Sam. Her Book, Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family, is her memoir about the death of her young son and how a small black kitten helped to hold her family together following the sudden accidental death of Sam.

Hope you've found something good to sink your teeth into! Speaking of sinking your teeth into something... this week my "First Lines" post, which is where I share the first lines of great books, came from Murder in Vein by Sue Ann Jaffarian. It's the first book in a new vampire mystery series (a fang-in-cheek mystery) coming out in Sept. Us bloggers just love comments, and we always read what you have to say, so what a thrill and a treat I had when under the comments section Sue Ann Jaffarian left a thank you with a little surprise for her readers! Here's what she wrote:

Thanks so much for plugging Murder in Vein!! I really appreciate it.

Here's the first paragraph from the 2nd book in the series, just to tease you a little:

"The body floated face down in the pool like an inflatable joke, something meant to scare people at parties and on Halloween. But to Madison Rose’s eye, it didn’t look like some plastic gag. It looked real. Dead real."

Thanks for sharing some top secret writing with us Sue Ann! Love the first lines! And can't wait to read the second book! I'll be reviewing the first book for everyone here soon!

So, whether you prefer dogs or vampires, hope you found something great to read today! What are you reading?! Share it all here, I always love to discover new books and authors! Happy reading... Suzanne


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

If you love the doggy type fiction books Suzanne, you MUST read I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson, Stella the dog is amazing.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

My daughter-in-law loves animals. I will share these suggestions with her. I think she will especially be interested in the cat who healed a family.

I finally finished The Three Musketeers. I write about it at my Sunday Salon post today. I'd love to have you stop by!

Suzanne Yester said...

You are so right, Bibliophile by the Sea! Pete Nelson's book was great! I saw him at a very small book reading near me and he told us how Stella is really based on his loyal furbaby who has since passes away. He was hysterical reading some of the passages too!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Readerbuzz! I love that you finished The Three Musketeers! When I read your review, I couldn't believe how long it actually was. I may have to pull out my dusty never read yet copy and give it a shot!

And yes, Cleo is a great story. Send tissues along with the recommendation!

Helen Ginger said...

All the doggy books sound good, but Oogy is one I want to read. It sounds fabulous.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Helen!
Yes, Oogy is on my TBR list! After seeing his video I couldn't resist his amazing personality! How anyone can abuse an animal is beyond me, but how Oogy became this wonderful pet after what he went through is the heart of the story.

Wendy said...

Thanks for posting about all these great doggy books. I have a Rosenfelt book in my stacks to read...I should dig it out. I also loved Racing in the Rain - fabulous book! You might also check out Stay by Allie Larkin which features a dog prominently in the story and was a terrific read. I'm currently reading Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette and there is a greyhound who gets top billing in that novel :)

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Wendy! Thanks for the doggie suggestions. I have heard a little about Stay, but was not familiar with Simply From Scratch. Will be checking both of these out...

Have a safe trip and my prayers are with you and your Sister....

Michelle Santiago said...

Great doggy books! Happy reading!


Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Leslie!
Doggy books always make for good reading!

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