Dear Fahrenheit 451

dear fahrenheit 451

Dear Fahrenheit 451
Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks
A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life

Annie Spence
Flatiron Books, 2017

Excerpt from the dust cover, “If you love to read, and presumably you do since you’ve picked up this book (!), you know that some books affect you so profoundly, the forever change the way you think about the world. Some books, on the other hand, disappoint you so much you want to throw them against the wall. Either way, it’s clear that a book can be your new soul mate or the bad relationship you need to end.

“In Dear Fahrenheit 451, librarian Annie Spence has crafted love letters and breakup notes to both the iconic and eclectic books she has encountered over the years.”

The publisher’s blurb goes on for quite a bit more extolling the wonders of this nonfiction book about books, and deservedly so. The first thing I did when I got the book in my paws was to see what books she wrote to so I could see if I agreed or disagreed with her. Then I realized that she has a larger reading range than I do so very few of the books we both read coincide. But that’s all right, everyone has their own tastes! I did enjoy reading her letters to books she loved and hated; they were quite funny and honest. The only thing I really didn’t like was her liberal use of profanity – and when I say liberal, I mean profuse and abundant use of the s-word, the f-word and the g-d-word. But if those words don’t bother you, then by all means, read, enjoy and pick out your next book to read! If they are bothersome to you, then be warned!!

Rating 3 out 5 paws mainly for the generous use of profanity, not for the content, which is quite enlightening!

Reviewer: loc jackJack

Traveling Light

traveling light

Traveling Light

Max Lucado
MJF Books, 2001

From the dust jacket, “Inspiring, insightful, and sparkling with Max Lucado’s warm humor, Traveling Light guides us through Psalm 23 to show us how to let go of the spiritual weight we were never meant to carry. For example, you would think it absurd for your ten-year-old to lose sleep and fill her days with anxiety because she doesn’t have a pension plan. If such worrying seems unwarranted in a child, it’s just as needless in an adult. Worry has never brightened a day, solved a problem, or cured a disease. Yet we seem addicted to it. How can we overcome anxiety?

“Consider the verse: “He leads me beside the still waters.” He leads me. God isn’t behind us, yelling, “Go!” He’s ahead of us, showing the way telling us what we need to know when we need to know it, giving us what we need when we need it. He helps us the way a father gives plane tickets to his children. When it’s time to board the plane, he stands between the attendant and the children. As each child passes, he puts a ticket in his hand, and the child gives it to the attendant. Each one receives the ticket just when it’s needed. The lesson is this: Meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You don’t have tomorrow’s strength yet. But you do have enough for today.”

This is my second Lucado book and it was a blessing to read it. It provided so much inspiration into Psalm 23. This book has a permanent place at the Library – its one of those books you’ll want to read again and again through the years. It’s even worth reading to kittens, young and old, during family devotional time. Also included at the end of the book are questions for further study and discussion. In this crazy world that we live in, we all need a little reminder that God is for us and not against us and that He is indeed leading us through the madness until we are home with Him once more.

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws

Reviewer:

loc jackJack

When God Whispers Your Name

god whispers your name

When God Whispers Your Name

Max Lucado
Word Publishing, 1999

From the back of the book, “What happens when you let Him open your heart to hope? Listen. do you hear it? Somewhere, between the pages of this book and the pages of your heart, God is speaking. And He is calling you by name. Maybe that’s hard to believe. Maybe you just can’t imagine that the One who made it all things of you that personally – that He keeps your name on His heart and lips.

“But it’s true. In the Bible and in the circumstances of your life, He whispers your name lovingly. Tenderly. Patiently but persistently. Let the stories in this classic book remind you of the God who knows your name.

“Some stories are from the Bible. Some are drawn from everyday life. Most are about people who are lost…or weary…or discouraged – just like you. if you let them, they’ll tell the story of your life. So listen closely as you turn these pages. Listen for the Father’s gentle whisper that can erase your doubts, your sorrow, your weariness, your despair. It really is your name that you hear, and the Voice that calls is more loving than you ever dared dream. Listen. And learn to hope again.”

This is a good book to read when you’re feeling especially doubtful about the future or hopeless about your presence circumstances. The author’s easy writing style lets you eyes flow gently across the page, gleaning the wisdom you need. The chapters are basically essays, or perhaps even short sermons on the wonderful nature of God and His love for you and for me. There is some discussion material for each chapter at the back of the book, so it would make for a great Bible study group reading/discussion. I really like the way Lucado writing is broad enough to be inclusive for both scholars and laypeople alike.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws – it’s a re-reader!

Reviewer:

loc jackJack

Poetry From Scratch

poetry scratch

Poetry from Scratch
A Kitten’s Book of Verse

Jennifer McCartney
The Countryman Press, 2016

From the back of the book, “Poems by cats. About cats and things that cats care about. Cats. They’re temperamental and aloof. They don’t come when they’re called. They don’t fetch balls. They scorn any attempt at love and affection. So is it any wonder that cats are terrific poets? Here you’ll find both angst and attitude, humor and hubris, with poems like “Feed Me”:

I’d like to file a formal complaint:
(The Ritz this certainly ain’t)
My dish has been bare
Since nine past a hair!
Madam, soon I’ll lose all restraint.

“This collection of purr-ty good poetry offers something for every cat lover.”

Ha, ha!!! So funny – these poems are great. I wish I had written them because the author has captured the feline so perfectly in her poetry (actually, the cat’s poetry dictated to their human secretary). There’s haiku:

Haiku of Shame
 
Returned from the vet
Plastic cone embarrassment
Please, please kill me now

There’s also classic poetry as it was originally written before being stolen by humans:

O Captain! My Captain!
 
O Captain! My Captain!
Our fearful trip to the vet is done:
My body has weather’d every shot,
the prize you sought is won;
The house is near, the birds I hear,
The neighbor’s dog exulting.
While follow eyes the steady keep,
this Honda Vessel grim and daring:
                But O scratch! Scratch! Scratch!
                         O the bleeding drops of red,
                                Where o’er the steering wheel my Captain lies,
                                    Fallen cold and dead.
As punishment.
For taking me to the vet.

Funny, right? And so true. If only I could get out of the pet carrier!

Rating 5 out of 5 – Accompanying the outstanding poems are wonderful pictures of cats and kittens, mostly tabbies, but beautiful nonetheless!!

Reviewer:

loc jackJack

The Handmade Marketplace

handmade marketplace

The Handmade Marketplace
2nd Edition, Updated and Revised

Kari Chapin
Storey Publishing, 2010, 2014

This book covers the ins and outs of turning your craft items into money. The author covers setting goals, branding, basic business practices, basic marketing – which includes advertising and publicity, and social media. It is full of advice and lots and lots of testimonials of other crafters who have been successful at both online and brick and mortar sales.

I found the book to be very readable and informative. All the testimonials got a little annoying for me, but that’s a personal thing. It really boils down to whatever you put into your business is what you’ll get out of it.

Rating 3 out of 5 paws, mainly due to the testimonials that go on and on and on. Maybe if the pertinent information was all in one place and the quotes from successful folks were in different parts of the book instead of mixed in together – you’re reading info that’s really good, turn the page and wham! there’s another testimonial to wade through before going on with the info – then I would have liked the book more.

Reviewer: loc jackJack