Lori M. (ripley) - , - Reviews

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A Blizzard Year
A Blizzard Year
Author: Gretel Ehrlich
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
Review Date: 9/5/2015

A beautifully written coming-of-age story. While intended for the YA group, this is a book that anyone who appreciates writing about nature, small communities, farm life, etc. would enjoy. A modern day equivalent to the "Little House" books if you will. The story follows Timmy, a modern day girl living on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, during her 13th year. It is a journal of sorts; her thoughts and reflections on family and friends, animals, hard times, her life on a cattle ranch that she truly loves, and her feelings when all that is important to her is threatened by forces beyond her control. Each chapter is a reflection on a month of the year and begins with a few paragraphs about life on the ranch during that month; what mother nature brings to bear, the life cycles of animals and people, the joys and burdens of that particular time of year, what she looks forward to and what she dreads. These passages are short, sweet and exquisitely written. I find myself wanting to read just these chapter intros again. The main body of the work is well written and the characters voices ring true. Well worth the time if this type of narrative is what you enjoy.

The Dogs Who Found Me : What I've Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind
Review Date: 8/29/2009
Helpful Score: 5

An enjoyable and quick read. I laughed to myself a few times because it seemed as if the author spent quite a bit of time trying to avoid some of the dogs who found him, but that is something most of us who find a lot of animals has done. The author seems authentic and honest and writes the same way. He is never overly sentimental about the animals and is frequently quite honest about the future awaiting some of the unwanted, yet this book has a lot of heart. There is also some good practical advice about dogs; finding them, loving them, helping them. And it will probably change the way you look at pitbulls forever.

Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story of the Collyer Brothers and My Uncle Arthur, New York's Greatest Hoarders (An Urban Historical)
Review Date: 8/29/2015
Helpful Score: 15

The Collyer Brothers were infamous in Harlem in the early 1900's. Eccentric and very private (paranoid), they were the stuff of legend and myth, routinely covered in the newspapers and whispered about on street corners. Living in an old brownstone and filling it with anything and everything they could find, there was plenty for people to talk about.

This book could easily have been a scandal piece, written as a criticism and meant to demean the subjects. Happily, that is not what this book is. The author presents the story of the Collyer Brothers alongside the story of his own Uncle Arthur, the family "hoarder" and eccentric, who shares many of their same proclivities. The book is written with much affection and respect, and gives you a real feel for these people and who they were. The hoarding aspect really isn't the centerpiece of this story; it is really just a short history of a few people at a particular time and place, and the quirks and eccentricities that affect their lives and those around them. It also an interesting short history of Harlem in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

A quick and enjoyable read.

A Moose for Jessica
A Moose for Jessica
Author: Pat A. Wakefield
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
Review Date: 6/17/2007
Helpful Score: 1

One October morning in 1986 a bull moose wandered out of the Vermont woods into a pasture where three beef cattle browsed. Two cows ran off immediately while the third stood her ground. Her reward was, for the next 76 days, the constant and thorough attention bestowed on her by the gentle but confused moose. The saga of the ``love-sick moose'' (as he was to be termed by national and international press) is well told in this photographic essay. The text weaves the natural history of moose into the story of the unusual ``courtship'' between species. It also tells the story of the people who became involved: the visited farmer's support and defense of the wild animal and the human response to the rare event. The text, based on the farmer's log, is supplemented by over 50 quality, full-color photographs. A book that is funny and touching, and full of reverence for nature.

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