Book Review: Lessons from a Dog, Patrick Moberg (2014)

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Do your dog a favor & pick up a “Mutts” treasury instead…

two out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Goodreads’ First Reads program.)

“Take naps.” “When someone kindly prepares food for you, devour it smiling like it’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten.” “Let your friends know you miss them.”

Lessons from a Dog is a cute little gift book, filled with wit and wisdom from our canine friends. Illustrated with simple yet adorable drawings, some of the advice found in Lessons from a Dog is pretty great – “Your presence can help a friend more than you may know.”; “Bark as big as you feel, but know when you might be outmatched – and, if you’re really passionate, don’t let that stop you.” – and I was ready and eager to give it a smiley four-star rating. And then I spotted the page celebrating dog sledding, and my heart sank.

(More below the fold…)

Book Review: Stranded in Space, C.J. Atticus (2013)

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Robots, Unite!

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through a Goodreads giveaway.)

Jpeg is a very naughty robodog. While his human is away at school, Jpeg sneaks out of their home at the space station. He delights in chasing mailbots, haranguing the hallway clock, and wreaking havoc at the StellarAir Terminal. Fed up with his antics, Master Johnny threatens to send Jpeg to the ever-dreaded Obedience School. But his fellow robots have another idea: teach Jpeg a lesson by launching him into space.

I must not have realized that this was a chapter book when I entered the Goodreads giveaway, since this isn’t my usual fare: I don’t have kids, nor do I look after children in any capacity. That said, I gamely read it cover-to-cover in about an hour’s time (in between cuddles with my perfectly organic rescue dogs) and enjoyed it well enough. The art by Dr. Angelika Domschke (a chemist!) is absolutely adorable, and I’m sure that children will love to read all about Jpeg and his interstellar adventures. (Dogs and robots, what’s not to love!?)

Since Stranded in Space – the first book in The Stellar Life of Jpeg The Robot Dog series – ends before Jpeg has finished his journey of self-discovery, the lessons he’s meant to internalize remain unclear. Obedience to authority? (But, shades of grey!) Compassion towards his fellow ‘bots? (How about widening one’s circle of compassion to include all sentient beings, not just those who look the most like you?) That bigger hard drives are always better? (Okay, can’t argue with that!) All of the above? I guess we’ll have to meet Jpeg inside the maw of the Zam Debris Sweeper to find out!

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)