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Tag Archives: reading

Homer’s Odyssey [Book Review]

I picked up this book in the States last summer at Barnes and Noble.  After going through a period of time when I missed my own pets back at home, I decided to feed my sorrows and finally read this book.  Now, here is my review.  Enjoy!

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Title:  Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

Author:  Gwen Cooper

Synopsis: “The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a recently broken heart. Then Gwen’s veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who’d been abandoned. It was love at first sight.”

ISBN: 0385343981

Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

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 My Review:

Everyone loves a good pet tale.  Whether it is about a naughty dog or a curious cat, stories about animals are both entertaining and emotional.  And Homer’s Odyssey, a true-life account of a naughty and curious kitty, is no exception.

After adopting an eye-less kitten who nobody wanted, Gwen Cooper realized her life had suddenly changed.  When she was not blind-proofing her numerous homes, she was making sure Homer, the newest addition to her now three-cat family, was not getting into too much trouble.  But, sure enough, Cooper had her work cut out for her, and realized quickly that though Homer was blind, he was more than a normal, curious cat.

Filled with chapters of Homer’s antics, Cooper takes you on a journey from kittenhood to the elder cat years of twelve.  The different stories of Homer’s adventures are engaging, and whether Homer is annoying his two cat sisters, or making friends with practically every human he meets, his shenanigans are quite entertaining.  Two chapters though really stuck out to me.  The first consisted of Homer literally saving the life of the author from an intruder, and the second of the harrowing ordeal the author and her cats endured during 9/11.  Both of these chapters were two of many which portrayed how much Homer truly impacted Gwen Cooper’s life.

The writing itself is captivating, though I did have a few issues with the author.  At times Cooper came across as a know-it-all and slightly self absorbed, but to be fair, this is a memoir about her life and experiences.  However, throughout the whole book she preached how important her cats were to her, especially Homer, and it seemed her entire life revolved around the care of her cats; throughout the the 9/11 chapter, she was more concerned about her cats’ safety than that of her own.  So, it honestly surprised me when she ended up falling in love with a man who did not like cats to begin with.  Though her future husband did eventually warm up to her three kitties, I was still a little taken aback by how unperturbed Cooper was by what I would consider a huge flaw.

All in all, Homer’s Odyssey was a compelling and sentimental read.  It made me smile at the mischief of my own cat, and forced me to examine how important my own pets are to me.  We all need love in our lives, and whether you are a cat-person or a dog-person, this book is for everyone.

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Purchase it at Amazon.com here:  Homer’s Odyssey

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Has anyone read this book?  If yes, what was your take on it?  If not, do you plan on reading it?  Let us know in the comment section below!

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*Note: The synopsis and photo were taken from Goodreads.com.  The review above is written by me.  © Kalie Lyn 2013*

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A Primate’s Memoir [Book Review]

I picked up this book at a garage sale about a year ago for a dollar – what a deal, right?!  I began it before NaNo, but due to the frenzy that entails when writing a novel in a month, I left it alone during the month of November.  I finally finished it before the New Year, and I am very excited and ready to share my review with you.  Enjoy!

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Title: A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life Among the Baboons

Author: Robert Sapolsky

Robert M. Sapolsky

I just had to add this picture of the author! He’s amazing!

Synopsis: “Over two decades, Sapolsky survives culinary atrocities, gunpoint encounters, and a surreal kidnapping, while witnessing the encroachment of the tourist mentality on the farthest vestiges of unspoiled Africa. As he conducts unprecedented physiological research on wild primates, he becomes evermore enamored of his subjects — unique and compelling characters in their own right — and he returns to them summer after summer, until tragedy finally prevents him. By turns hilarious and poignant, A Primate’s Memoir is a magnum opus from one of our foremost science writers.”

ISBN: 0743202414

A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons

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 My Review:

This is the true story of one man’s life among the baboons of Kenya.   Scientist Robert Sapolsky had only prepared to study the mental and physical behaviors of the baboons, but instead he found a life of adventure and formed his own primate family.  From developing close bonds with the baboons, to learning the way of the Masai people (and often messing with them), Sapolsky takes readers on his more than twenty year journey through Africa.

Naturally hilarious and honest, A Primate’s Memoir is an exciting and entertaining read.  His writing is quick and to the point, and his witty, often sarcastic humor makes this book that much more enjoyable.  Each chapter contains a unique story, and whether he is being kidnapped and shot at, or playing a “wizard” in the Masai village, Sapolsky’s true-life tales never disappoint.

The chapters highlighting his time with the baboons were a personal favorite.  Sapolsky describes each member of his primate troop as if he were describing close human friends, and even admits to developing a baboon crush, along with a special human-baboon friendship.  However, it is not all fun and games, and his research of the baboons is detailed throughout, allowing the reader an in-depth look into the exhilarating, yet tiresome days of a scientist.

A Primate’s Memoir is a funny, clever, and ultimately heartbreaking account of Robert Sapolsky’s experience in wild Africa.  Highly recommended, this is definitely a book for animal lovers and science enthusiasts alike.       

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Purchase it at Amazon.com here: A Primate’s Memoir

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Has anyone read this book?  If yes, what was your take on it?  If not, do you plan on reading it?  Let us know in the comment section below!

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*Note: The synopsis and photo were taken from Goodreads.com.  The review above is written by me.  © Kalie Lyn 2013*

Link of the Day: Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Weird Christmas Traditions

The Huffington Post: 12 Weird Christmas Traditions (for the 12 Days of Christmas)

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Yes, the 25th of December may have passed, but the Christmas spirit is still in the air.  In Joey Green‘s new book, Weird and Wonderful Christmas, he highlights the often strange yet fascinating customs and traditions of cultures around the world.

If the Christmas spirit is still with you, check out the link above along with the book, which I am excited to add to my TBR list!

Happy Thursday All!

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Link of the Day: Bizarre Christmas Stories

The Huffington Post: 15 Weird Christmas Books

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I loved Christmas books as a child, and I still do!  While some of my favorites were simple and cheery such as ‘Noel’ and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’, I must say that some of these weird Christmas books could become my favorites as well!

With these bizarre titles, Christmas stories may never be the same again.

Happy Tuesday All!

🙂

Link of the Day: Gifts for the Bookworm in Your Life

Gifts For Bookworms

The Huffington Post: Gifts for Bookworms: 10 Clever Ideas for Writers and Readers

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Christmas is coming, so why not splurge on a little bookworm gift ideas for your friends, family, or even yourself!

Some of these are pretty neat, and I’m already looking to get the “642 Things To Write About” writing prompt book for myself (yes, for myself), so take a look to see what you can find!

Happy Wednesday All!

🙂

Link of the Day: ‘The Casual Vacancy’ Becomes a TV Series

The Casual Vacancy Bbc

The Huffington Post: ‘The Casual Vacancy’: BBC Orders Series Based on J.K. Rowling Book

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Wow, Rowling is one lucky girl!  She is the only Brit to be on the US rich list, and she is the 2nd richest woman, after Oprah, with her billion-dollar fortune.  Now, her newest novel, ‘The Casual Vacancy’, is being turned into a TV series after only being released since September 27th, 2012.

I have not read it yet, but I may keep up with the TV show as the casting is throwing out some potential big names including Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, and Nicole Kidman.

Have any of you read J.K. Rowling’s newest book, ‘The Casual Vacancy’?  If yes, did you like it?  Would you watch the TV series?

Happy Monday All!

🙂

Quote of the Day: Robertson Davies