Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

All Over the Map by Laura Frasier-  This is the book that I wanted EAT PRAY LOVE to be. The author is a world travelling freelance journalist who is wondering if she is very going to find a man that she wants to settle down with. When she is assaulted while on assignment, she finds herself afraid to be alone and to travel. If she can’t do those things, what does she have left? 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volumes 1 and 2 – These are my brother’s Christmas presents but I have to read them first to make sure they are good. We are both huge Buffy geeks. After the show ended the writers continued the story in graphic novel form. These books each have four of the comics. Only suitable for true fans because if you don’t know the series you will be totally lost.

Star Island by Carl Hiaason- The joy of his novels is the crazy characters. Ann is an actress who works as a double for pop star Cherry Pye when Cherry is too stoned to make appearances. Ann is saved from a car wreck by a homeless former governor. Then it gets confusing but the characters make it worth the ride. Where else are you going to find a seven foot bodyguard who lost a hand to a barracuda and replaced it with a weedwacker?

On Writing by Steven King – Audio – This book is part memoir – part writing class. The beginning is the story of how he became a writer. The second part goes over what he thinks the most important parts of writing fiction are. Both parts are good but end up feeling a bit disjointed.

Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli- This is the second book in the ‘single women in their 40s traveling the globe’ genre this week. In this book the author, who works in public radio, is invited through a friend of a friend to help professionalize Bhutan’s only radio station. Bhutan has been kept purposely cut off from the outside world. They are just starting to be exposed to Western media. The author loves the country but realizes that she is being asked to help speed the decline of the traditional culture.

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant – I couldn’t put this book down but it was a really tough read. For non-U.S. readers, Michael Vick is a NFL quarterback. He went to jail in 2007 for animal cruelty for dog fighting. The case was huge in the U.S. both for the prosecution of a football star and for the unprecedented effort to rehabilitate the dogs. As part of his sentence Vick was ordered to pay close to $1 million for the care of the dogs.

The first few chapters are just brutal as the treatment of the dogs is explained. He tells from a dog’s point of view how they live in a dog fighting setup and are tested to see if they will fight. Then he tells in detail how Michael Vick and his friends tortured and killed the dogs who didn’t fight.

The 51 dogs are rescued after a random drug bust leads to a search warrant for the house. From there it is a jurisdictional and bureaucratic nightmare as the local leaders try to find ways to avoid charging Vick with a crime. Eventually the feds take over the case. The dogs are moved to foster programs and sanctuaries around the country. Then the real work started. The dogs were not aggressive but many were incredibly fearful. Several have now become certified therapy dogs and others have been successfully adopted into new families. This is a great read of any dog lovers, just be prepared to be all teary in those first few chapters.

Waking Up in Dixie by Haywood Smith – Howe is a banker in a small Southern town. He has emotionally abandoned his marriage. His wife Elizabeth stays with him because she has no where else to go. Howe has a stoke that puts in him a coma for six months. When he wakes up he has lost all his inhibitions and the filter on his mouth. He decides to win his wife back and to use his knowledge of the secrets of the small town to force people to “do the right thing.” This is a light, fast read that was a good change of pace from the previous book.