Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book

goldneEverything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book
Golden Books, Random House, 2013
          From the forward by the author: “Dear Reader, If you are like most Americans, you grew up with Little Golden Books. … We at Golden Books think there’s a good chance that many of us learned pretty much everything that really matters about life from what we read between those sturdy, gilt-bound cardboard covers. … Our country has faced some hard times of late, and we’ve been forced to look at ourselves and how we’re living our lives. …Maybe this book can help you! After all, Little Golden Books were first published during the dark days of World War II, and they’ve been comforting people during trying times ever since – while gently teaching us a thing or two.”
          What a sweet book!  It is compilation of many illustrations from many different Little Golden Books and recaptioned to gently remind the reader to enjoy life. I loved it – but then I love those little books. Many of the illustrations were familiar to me and it was good to see favorite artists again (Eloise Wilkin, Gustaf Tenggren). But I also ran across some books that were new to me, ones that I’d like to read even all these years later!  It’s a great book to give a friend  – or even yourself – when they’re feeling like life has run them over. We love this book very much and although the copy we read is a library book, we wouldn’t mind having a copy for ourselves!!
4 pawsRating 4 out of 5 paws
simon 2 locReviewer: Simon

Romancing the Ordinary

loc romancing the ordinary 0807Romancing the Ordinary
A Year of Simple Splendor
Sarah Ban Breathnach
The Simple Abundance Press, an Imprint of Scribner, 2002
          From the back cover: “…author Sarah Ban Breathnach takes readers to a new level of personal fulfillment and spiritual awareness as they learn to rediscover and savor the sensual experience of daily life. . . . Organized as a saunter through the year, Romancing the Ordinary celebrates the spirituality of the senses, seasonally and monthly. . . . encouraging [women] to delight in the often overlooked gifts of every day—from the aroma of simmering homemade spaghetti sauce to the sensation of freshly laundered linen against the bare skin. . ..”
          This book offers a reading for each day of the year – and like many other books of its type the writings are grouped together by month. She includes seasonal poems, rituals, and ideas for learning to become aware of who the reader truly is. The author focuses on the here and now, the physical plane of existence, and only touches on the spiritual. Ms Breathnach’s writing style is effortless and beautiful, which really reflects all the love and devotion she put into writing it. She borrows liberally from other writer’s thoughts, including insightful quotes from obscure sources; because of those quotes or mentions in the meditations, I have read several other books on spirituality.
          I picked up this copy up at a thrift store based solely on the author’s name – I’ve read her spiritual writings before and they have always brought a great deal of inspiration. But because I have little time to read I always want to make the most of what I do read.  Unfortunately this book didn’t live up to my expectations or needs. My spirit craves inspirational writings and my spirit was not satisfied with this book. I guess because I’ve read the author’s Simple Abundance three times, I expected to find more spiritual nourishment – but at the end I find I am just as hungry (spiritually) as I was when I started it. That’s not necessarily the author’s fault. Maybe I’m not in the emotional place to indulge in the sensual pleasures of a physical existence. Maybe in another lifetime I was a cloistered monk and find catering to physical/sensual desires a bit too self-indulgent and self-absorbing. Maybe that’s the point of the book. Maybe it’s just simply not the book for me. I can only provide my feelings toward the book and I do not come away anywhere near feeling satisfied or better for having read it.
2 pawsRating: Were I rating based solely on the content, the writing style, and the author’s knowledge of her subject, it would rate out as a 4 out of 5 paws. But because this rating system is entirely personal and subjective, I have no choice but to rate it a 2 out of 5 paws. But don’t let that deter you from reading it. You may well enjoy it!!
IMG_1067Reviewer: Jack
We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge, 2016!
Topic: Read a Romance (this is stretching the topic a bit because we don’t read romances and after all, this book is about romancing yourself!)
Click on the logo below to go to our SRC page!
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How My Cat Made Me a Better Man

how-my-cat-made-me-a-better-man_3028_600How My Cat Made Me a Better Man


Jeremy Feig
MSI Press, 2016


Description from the back of the book: “How My Cat Made Me a Better Man is a hilarious self-help book for guys, bused on the lessons of an edgy cat named Shelley. It’s packed with useful advice on topics like relationships, dealing with stress, and even grooming habits. If you feel like your life is spinning out of control, this book will help you set things right – and keep you laughing along the way.”


I couldn’t agree more! Except for the title – I really think – as a feline – the book should be titled “How I, Shelly, a fabulous feline with silky black fur, Changed My Human for the Better.” Okay, since my title is a little cumbersome, I’ll just move on. I truly enjoyed this book – not only for the humor but for the sage advice the author offers. Here are a few of my favorites:
  • “Don’t let failure—or the potential for failure—stop you from moving forward. Failing doesn’t define who you are.”  (Pg. 42)
  • “The idea of a long-term commitment can be scary. So, don’t think of it as long-term, Instead, look at it as a series of days that happen to be in consecutive order.” ( Pg. 64)

In each chapter the author covers a specific topic and starts out with a “Cat Tale” in which we learn of the cat incident that triggers the lesson. Then we move on to the “Cat Lesson” in which we learn what we are supposed to learn from the fabulous Shelly; and, finally, we read how to put the lesson into action with practical advice. We are also told ways to “Don’t Copy the Cat” – here is my favorite: “In meeting new people, don’t copy the cat. When you meet a new person, it’s frowned upon to climb on their lap and put your butt in their face. This is only acceptable at strip clubs, and even then, it must be paid for.”  (Pg. 45)

Overall, this book is really smart, well-written, and made me laugh-out-loud quite a lot. And even though I’m only a cat, I found quite a bit of valuable information that can be applied to my humans’ lives.  We can always improve and this book is an excellent manual for doing so.

Here’s the final Cat Lesson: “It’s a big world, filled with things to see, do, touch, and feel. Explore it all. Find what makes you happy.”  (Pg. 131.)

This book makes me happy. Read it. Now!!

Rating  4 paws

jackReviewer: Jack
  • I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for a fair and honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.


Author information:
Website:    www.jeremyfeig.com
Twitter:    @JeremyFeig
 (These links are a courtesy. I receive no compensation from their use!)
Author Bio:
Jeremy Feig is originally from a small town in slightly upstate New York. After graduating from New Paltz College, he moved to Los Angeles for TV and film production work before stumbling into a career in digital marketing. Jeremy spends much of his time working on creative projects, usually involving comedy. He’s written numerous screenplays and TV scripts, created original cartoons, and directed quirky short films. Jeremy lives in Santa Monica with his wife, young daughter, and large cat.


I read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge, 2016
Topic: Read a Funny Book
Click on the logo below to go to our SRC page!
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