And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who gave me book suggestions! I now have a nice long list of "to reads" that should keep me busy for a long time to come.

And the "winner" of The Art of Racing in the Rain CDs is Min! Please email me (see my profile) with your mailing address, and I will get these out to you.

Since we're on the topic of books, and since Cassie so kindly asked for my book suggestions, here's a list of 5 of my favorite books. I don't know if they're truly my favorites, since I'm sure I'm forgetting some--but these are 5 that are fairly fresh in my mind.

a collage of my 5 favorite book covers
These are in no particular order.

1. The Glass Castle - I love memoirs and biographies, and this one is as fascinating and bizarre as they come. It's incredible to me that the author turned out to be as "normal" and capable as she did, given her dysfunctional and poverty-stricken-by-choice parents. From cooking macaroni & cheese for herself at the age of 4, to seeing her elderly mother "dumpster diving" on the streets of New York, this book is stranger than fiction.

2. Here If You Need Me - I have read this book over 5 times, and I will probably re-read it again at least 5 more times. Kate Braestrup is a chaplain for the Maine State Troopers, accompanying the rangers or staying with family members when someone is lost out in the woods and might never be found. The author talks about what a privilege it is to be with people in their happiest and saddest moments in life, and she provides comfort in an uplifting and unimposing way, yet without being overly religious or pat.

3. Kira Kira - This is actually a kids' or young adults' book (Ro, I like those, too), but I might have to say it's at the top of my top 5 list. A fictional story but with elements of the author's own life, the book is about two Japanese sisters that move to Georgia, where their parents work in chicken processing factories. It's randomly funny and deeply sad at the same time. Having moved to the United States at the age of 2 (I was born in Korea), I could relate to many of the cross-cultural challenges these characters had to face.

4. What the Dog Saw - I love everything that Malcolm Gladwell has written, but this is his latest book. "What the dog saw" is a reference to Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer. The author has a chapter on what a dog is seeing when being "whispered to" by Cesar Milan. The book is about so many interesting things, like why there are lots of different kinds of mustards but only one ketchup.

5. A Big Little Life - I figured I had to have at least one true dog book on my list, and I consider this book one of the better dog books out there. The famous author Dean Koontz adopts a career changed dog named Trixie from Canine Companions, and this book is his loving tribute to her. It's WAY better than Marley & Me or The Art of Racing in the Rain, though of course, since Cabana is a career changed dog, I'm sure my opinion on this book has a bit of bias. ;)

dot dill  – (May 26, 2010 at 1:48 PM)  

My absolute favorite "dog" book is Bones Would Rain from the Sky by Suzanne Clothier. She speaks of her love and relationship with dogs in way that mirrors my own (only she says it way better). She's a well-known postive trainer and seminar speaker. She has recently re-worked the entire puppyraising and advanced training program at Guiding Eyes for the Blind to include kinder, gentler, and very effective training techniques. I love her chapter on death and dying, I've quote it many times in offering sympathy to friends who have recently lost an animal companion.

JackDaddy  – (May 26, 2010 at 1:54 PM)  

I always look at the last chapter in any dog book and that lets me know if I can read it or not! :)

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (May 26, 2010 at 2:32 PM)  

Thanks, Dot, I will definitely look into the book you suggested.

JackDaddy, if that's your criteria, I'm afraid you shouldn't read A Big Little Life. :(

Heather and Ellie  – (May 26, 2010 at 3:08 PM)  

Oh, I LOVED a Big Little Life! I totally forgot about it when I was suggesting dog books....
It was so good, but yes, very very sad at the end.

Cassie (and Dagan - cheering Poppy on at GDB!)  – (May 26, 2010 at 9:45 PM)  

LOVE A Big Little Life!! Love love love it! But, I cried like a baby! The dog books always get me, but the PIT / CC connection made it that much more of a teary experience for me.

Our library recently added the Ramona Quimby books to their selections for downloading. I had a great time listening to all of those again. :)

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (May 27, 2010 at 9:33 AM)  

Ha ha! I love Ramona Quimby, and all the Beverly Cleary books. We can't forget about Ribsy as a dog book either.

Beverly Cleary's autobiographies are wonderful, too--A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet.

Mango  – (May 27, 2010 at 12:52 PM)  

We read that what the dog saw book. In fact we read everything by that guy. He is great. Thanks for the tips. Always looking for a good read (although I tend more towards picture books myself).

Slobbers,
Mango

Cassie (and Dagan - cheering Poppy on at GDB!)  – (June 15, 2010 at 10:24 AM)  

Im about 30 minutes into "What the Dog Saw." I now want the Showtime rotisserie. If the husband asked for it right now, I would say yes. Who knew the book would be such a great commercial ;)

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