Pukka's Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived DogsPukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs by Ted Kerasote

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After the author’s beloved dog Merle died, he set out to find his new dog. In the process he researched shelters and breeders and tried to determine what would make his new dog live for as long as possible. In this book he discusses dog food and vaccinations and dog lifestyles and reproductive health. He shares his findings and conclusions about what makes healthy dogs.

I had a hard time getting through this book. It wasn’t that I necessarily disagreed with what he was saying, in fact I agree on a lot of things, but my brain would go off on rants. You see, I have some of these conversations many, many times a day and I hear the whole range of responses that people have to the suggestions he puts forth here with such conviction. Let’s just say that they generally are not well received even if they will save people money and improve the health of dogs. It is hard fighting old habits. I’m going to write a series of posts over the next week about some of these issues.

Assassination VacationAssassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sarah Vowell traveled around the country to visit sites pertaining to the first three Presidential assassinations. The sites ranged from the places where Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley were shot to their graves to the prisons where their killers were held. Along the way she describes life at the time of each murder and what political and social issues may have played a part.

I think I learned more about Garfield and McKinley from this book than I remember learning in school. I also learned that if you were a President and you happened to see Robert Todd Lincoln around you should probably run the other way. Garfield and McKinley’s memorials are nearby here so I may go check them out sometime.

Mrs. Lincoln's DressmakerMrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Keckley bought freedom for herself and her son from her earnings as a seamstress.  She set herself up as a free businesswoman in Washington D.C. just before the Civil War.  She has in high demand and became the dressmaker and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln when she was First Lady.

This is a historical fiction novel based on fact.  I quite enjoyed her story and am interested in reading the book that she wrote about her life.  At the end of the book there is a mention of a quilt that she made from the scraps of Mary Lincoln’s dresses.  It mentioned that the quilt is the collection of the Kent State University Museum.  That’s near me too so we went this weekend.

I starting thinking that it was odd that I read two books that just happened to have a connection to my area.  It wasn’t until a few hours later when I was lying in bed that it hit me.

The planets are aligning and the universe is finally starting to revolve around me.  That has to be it!  There is no other possible explanation.