Tag Archive: non-fiction



Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and ComfortableGood Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable by Nicholas Dodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My dog, Kali, is getting quite old. Her back legs don’t work very well anymore. She can’t get up on furniture or up or down stairs to go outside. She has cataracts, so she can’t see very well. Because of the leg issue, she is incontinent. She was urinating everywhere, even in my bed. She can’t control her bowels well. As much as we love her, this part of her life is difficult for all of us. We finally have a little bed at the end of my bed, so she doesn’t fall. We have wall-to-wall piddle-pads to catch her boo-boos. She gets baths nearly daily as she walks through her boo-boos and gets pooh all over herself and the floor.

I am lucky that there are four of us in this house to watch and care for her and the problems that come up. But we all know what is next in this flow of life. I needed someone to help me know what to do. I’m finding old age is a series of milestones like infancy. Watching the achievements fade is as painful as seeing the accomplishments in the beginning.

But here we are. So this book helped me. A veterinarian writes it, so the advice is given with experience and understanding of what the dog’s parents are going through. I wish we could put diapers on Kali, but she barely puts up with the baths. We need to be patient and give her love while we can. It breaks my heart. I remember when she was too much. Running, jumping, no keeping her quiet. Now it seems we have almost a different dog.

I plan to reread this book as she progresses. It is very useful. Our nearest vet is an hour and a half away, and she can’t handle the trip for little things. It will be the big issue that will take us all over that hill. It will be a very sad drive. Thank you for such a helpful book.

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In PiecesIn Pieces by Sally Field
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have always loved Sally Field. I was quite young when she did the Gidget and the Flying Nun. I always wished I could fly. I was much older when Sibil came out. I read the book and loved how Ms. Field acted the part. But aside from the roles she played, I felt her a person I would like to get to know. I know there was more to her than the girlie comic of Gidget and the Nun. Much later, Norma Rae and Steel Magnolias proved it.

But what of her person? How did she feel? Sally read her autobiography so you could feel her pain or joys.

I highly recommend this in audio form. I was lucky to find it on Libby. Oh, and have Kleenex for the ending. At three in the morning, as I finished, I was a sloppy mess!

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Astrophysics for People in a HurryAstrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe.”
– Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Though I felt like a total ignorant fool while listening to this book, I thoroughly loved it. I listened to this man’s great voice at my bedtime read. Neil deGrasse Tyson keeps the subject educating while inserting enough humor to keep a person listening.

I think this would be a good book to own while listening to the Audible remember to take notes and get ready to research like crazy.

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Ali in WonderlandAli in Wonderland by Ali Wentworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Humor makes the reading difference. I had just read Mean Baby by Selma Blair when I picked this up from Libby. Both were read by the authors. Both covered many of the same types of life situations. But I have to admit I could handle this far easier. I think because Ali had found the humor in the situation, it made it easier not to get triggered by the author’s circumstances. That is not to say one is better than the other—just my ability to handle the essays.

The other reason I think this went down more effortless for me was that I felt more familiar with Ali Wentworth. I like watching her on the talk shows and even listening to her podcasts. So I encourage others to read both books. Just know as you enter that this is humorous, even some laugh-out-loud moments. That could be a bad thing if you aren’t in the mood to laugh. 🙂

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Ali's Well That Ends Well: Tales of Desperation and a Little InspirationAli’s Well That Ends Well: Tales of Desperation and a Little Inspiration by Ali Wentworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even COVID19 has nothing on the humor of this fine lady.

I have enjoyed Ali Wentworth on Kelly and Ryan’s show as she is on there as a co-host or guest often. She speaks her truth humorously and always makes me feel we could be friends. I like her take on everything. When she mentioned she’d written a book, I found and put it on hold on Libby.

Even though it was her experience with the virus and her family’s, as scary as that can be for some of us, Ms. Wentworth found the lighter side and shared it with us.

I enjoyed this so much that I have already picked up another of her books on Libby and have her podcast lined up on Audible.

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Worn StoriesWorn Stories by Emily Spivack
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After watching the Worn Stories on Netflix, I decided to look this up. I found it on Libby as a Kindle version.

I wish I had found it as an Audible version or paper copy. Text-to-Speech doesn’t stop for pictures. I didn’t feel like stopping the stories just to look at the pictures of old clothes that held no meaning for me. It works better as a show as you see the person talking and their story with their memory clothing. The Kindle version makes it a dry story with no personality.

AND I’m not too fond of short stories. Ever. I wanted a lot more depth. I could deal with each story being a book unto itself.

Don’t we all have those favorite bits of clothes that bring us memories and comfort? I sure do.

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Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical ExaminerWorking Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, don’t read this book before going to sleep. Or you won’t, especially from the part about 9/11 on. Still, it is such an engaging read. And the narrator, Tanya Eby, made the book lively, even though much of it is about death.

If Grey’s Anatomy has taught me anything about the life of a potential surgeon, it is the lack of sleep and how dangerous that lack can be for the doctor and the patient. It is that lack of sleep and trying to be a young mother that the author, Judy Melinek, realized she needed a different path, even though this path was nearly finished for the author. But all that training did lead her to be a Medical Examiner in New York.

We Americans hide from sex and death. We can talk of taxes until the cows come home. But of the two topics, death seems the least discussed. And that is too bad. We need to know about that part of life for ourselves and our loved ones.

If you are a writer, this book can be quite the reference. I can see many ways the book can be used to write a mystery or lend credence to a fatality in the novel.

I highly recommend this book, especially in audio form. I was lucky to pick it up from the library on Libby.

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A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War IIA Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Juliet Stevenson (Narrator) kept this story alive. I felt I was right in the moment with Virginia Hall as she attempted to end the war on her own, seeing that few men could do what this poor, disabled woman could.

This book was written very well. I often find nonfiction biographies boring and stilted. The author was able to write this with the urgency of a fictional spy thriller.

In this day of women losing rights, this will strengthen your determination to keep everyone free. This was a true American who happened to be a woman. Please read it if you have the chance.

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Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still CouldMidnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could by Adam Schiff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Midnight in Washington was not a good book to read before going to sleep. It was a Libby (library) audio in the author’s voice, so I wanted to neither keep myself awake on reliving the horror of January 6th or miss parts of the story by falling asleep as the recording continued. So I settled on listening while busy with my hobbies, keeping my hands busy but my mind engaged in the reading.

I saw the author, Adam Schiff, on several talk shows and knew I wanted to hear his account of what had happened. I was surprised and pleased to see he included an autobiography. Meaning you were seeing what happened from his point of view.

I felt the book was honest and fair to others as it occurred to the author.

It is interesting having read this before the hearings we are listening to today. I feel more engaged and understand more. I highly recommend this book, especially in Adam Schiff’s calming voice.

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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal FreedomThe Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Our church is using this book for discussion. I was happy it was a quick, easy read. I picked up the Audible version. I liked it very much, and I am sure after listening to the discussions, I will have learned so much more than my quick read. I will be listening to it a few more times and maybe have a notebook ready as I think I glossed over some parts. If I do pick up a lot more, I will come back and revise my review.

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