Monday, September 12, 2011

Book #24: Our Lives Have Gone To The Dogs by Audrey Spilker Hagar and Eldad Hagar

"Our Lives Have Gone To The Dogs" is a lovely coffee table book full of uplifting stories about dogs (and other critters) that have been rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed by the book's authors Audrey Spilker Hagar and Eldad Hagar.

Although some of the stories start out sad, describing abandoned or abused animals, the ending is always uplifting. The stories are brief; a synopsis of the time they spent with the animal. The book is full of before and after color photos of the animals that have been in and out of their lives.

The book is self-published, but you would never know it from the quality of it. There are some editing mistakes, but I really enjoyed reading the true voice of the rescuers. I felt like I was sitting down with them and going through photo albums of all of their success stories.

The book is available on their website: It would make a wonderful gift for dog lovers, rescuers, vets or shelter volunteers. The purchase of a book helps to support their cause so even more pets can be rescued and adopted.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book #23: Flip Flop Fly Ball: An Infographic Baseball Adventure by Craig Robinson

My most recent read is yet another gift from my thoughtful friends @kayakgal and @BlueberryCat. They know what a big baseball fan I am and sent me what I believe is the most unique baseball book ever. "Flip Flop Fly Ball" has relatively little text; it is made up mostly of infographics. It was so much fun to read!

In order to make the whole thing even more interesting, the author, Craig Robinson, is English. He didn't even grow up with baseball! I am amazed how he has taken the Great American Pastime and combined it with American pop culture. If he had not described how he began watching and learning about baseball, I never would have guessed that he wasn't American himself.

This book gave such a fresh perspective on the game of baseball. It compared teams, players, stadiums and uniforms in ways I never thought about. A few of my favorite infographics from the book were: A comparison of players homeruns and their involvement with performance enhancing drugs; outlines of each of the Major League fields (I picked out Fenway with no problem!); Green Monster height comparisons; and Kevin Costner's baseball movies vs. his non-baseball movies.

If you are a fan of the game of baseball you really must take a look at this book. It not only looks at Major League Baseball, but Minor League Baseball, Independent Leagues, Japanese Baseball and even the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

On his website,, Craig Robinson mentions that Kauffman Stadium is his favorite stadium that he has never visited. I want to offer Mr. Robinson an open invitation to come to Kansas City and visit the K with me (it could even be for a Yankees game). That way I can tell him in person how spot-on he was with his infographic "Ichiro Is Awesome."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book #22: To The Nines by Janet Evanovich

Here I am, halfway through the Stephanie Plum series and I finally figured out who the bad guy is before the end of the book! Don't worry, I won't give it away, but I'm feeling quite proud of myself.

Janet Evanovich hit the mark once again with "To The Nines". Stephanie is out to find a skip AND the dog he disappeared with. This leads to a trip to Vegas with Connie and Lula. Stephanie thinks she will be safer there since she seems to have a stalker in Trenton. That turns out not to be the case.

In order to keep her safe, Morelli and Ranger take turns as Stephanie's bodyguard. Along the way, a couple of Ranger's Merry Men fall victim to Stephanie's bad luck, but her yellow Escape stays intact throughout the book!

As I always say, you don't have to start at the beginning of the series to enjoy the books, but I highly recommend doing so because they're so good!