Wolf at the Door by Barbara Corcoran

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I picked this book up at our library’s used book sale, it’s a children’s/juvenile which I love to read every once in awhile!

I love books about wildlife and wolves in particular.  This story is about a young girl who has to move into a secluded house with her family when her dad gets a new job.  She’s reluctant at first, but on the way to the new house she spots a small sign that says Zoo and begs her mom to stop.  They happen upon a dilapidated house and animals that are half starved in cages, including a young wolf.   Her mother promises they will be returning in a week.

When that day came, her mother decides that they are going to take the wolf home with them to save it from it’s current demise.  They also open the cages of some rabbits to set free.  Soon the young girl gets a random phone call and in the blink of eye, she now is caring for a whole pack of wolves.  These wolves are now becoming a controversy to local farmers and others, it becomes the young girls goal to keep these wolves protected at all costs.

A great story for young readers!

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House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

Don’t let the cover fool you, the story is slightly creepy but not as creepy as I had hoped.  I have read Brendan’s book “The Storm King“, which came out this year and liked it, so thought I would read this story.

House of Echoes is in fact a thriller, but not how I had hoped.  The story is about the Tierney’s and their two young sons that are hoping to start over.  Ben and his wife inherit land in a village called Swannhaven, which is in a remote part of upstate New York.  They leave everything behind and decide to restore a huge estate to turn into a hotel of sorts.  The house is creepy, the town is creepy and the people in the town are creepy.

Then Ben starts to uncover the secrets of the town and their home.  Strange things start to happen.  Their oldest son Charlie starts to venture into the woods near by and sees someone or something deep within them.  This ‘thing’ in the woods is what had me going along with the creepy town and home, but as I was nearing two-thirds of the book, I still was left in the dark.  The story seemed to go on and on about things I really didn’t feel mattered to the story or maybe they did, because the ‘thing in the woods’ wasn’t what I was expecting it to be and I was almost disappointed.  I felt that the story had troubles focusing on what it really wanted to be told, leaving you with the feeling of unsatisfaction.  The writing was good, I just think the author would have picked something to focus on in the book, it would of made it a lot better.

 

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

”She approaches the button box with as much stealth as she can muster. When she’s within a few feet of it, the image of a wild animal asleep in its lair flashes in her head, and she thinks: The button box doesn’t just give power; it is power.

‘But I won’t,’ she mutters. Won’t what? ‘Won’t give in.’”

I enjoy reading books by Stephen King, this one caught my because of the the cover.  I decided to listen to it on audio and was surprised that it’s actually a really short story.

This is a strange short story…..but what do you expect….it’s Stephen King! There are only three ways up to get to Castle View, two roads and the Suicide Stairs.  Everyday in the summer, Gwendy Peterson takes the stairs.  One day as she reaches the top, a stranger calls her over to a bench he is sitting on.  He’s an odd looking fellow dressed all in black and on his head, a little black hat.

The strange man presents Gwendy with a box with many buttons, to which he explains to her what will happen when she pushes each one.  The buttons themselves have power beyond anything she can conceive, but with that power comes great responsibility. The man is cryptic in his explanations, which makes one wonder if even he knows the true power of all those buttons. The black button can not be pushed under any circumstances. The red button is a wild card. Each of the other buttons are tied to specific geographical regions. If the button that gave out chocolates weren’t so mouth watering amazing, a smart girl like Gwendy would have excused herself and broke into a fast trot back to the life that the fates had already strung for her……

I don’t know how Stephen King put so much tale into a short amount of time, but it was strange story that you’re just going to have to read/listen to!

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This wasn’t my favorite book that Ruth Ware has wrote, but it was good enough that I had to stay up late into the night to find out what happens in the end.  My all time favorite that I’ve read from her is “In a Dark, Dark Wood“!

One morning a woman is walking her dog by the coast, when her dog finds what appears to much, much more than a stick……opening up an old missing persons case file.  The next morning, Fatima, Thea and Isabel receive a text that they hope would never come from Kate….saying “I need you.”

The girls had met at a boarding school and became extremely close.  They would play a game called “The Lying Game”, whom each would win points for being the most convincing in a lie as long as they don’t ever lie to each other.   Soon their little game turns into something more sinister and the girls are expelled from their school surrounding the mysterious death of Kate’s father, who just happens to be the school art teacher as well.

There are several twists and turns in the story that will keep you reading at a pretty good pace.  It’s not as ‘chilling’ as her other books, but it still is a great story.  The ending will shock you, but it’s almost fitting in a way.

 

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is an utterly amazing story of the rise and reign of the most famous Yellowstone wolf, O-Six and the people who loved her.

Wolves were once abundant in North America until they were hunted to almost extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920’s.  In recent times, conservationist have brought wolves back to the Rockies.

In this book, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, and alpha female.  She is uncommonly powerful, a kind and merciful leader, an intelligent fighter and mother….all of which caught the eyes of wolf watchers as unusual for a female wolf to hinder all of these characteristics.

O-Six raises her pups, protects her pack while the challenge of hunters lingering in the woods who compete with the wolves for elk, cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and other Yellowstone wolves who all want control of the Lamar Valley.

I loved Nate’s vivid writing.  I felt as though I was right there in the heart of Yellowstone, running with O-Six and watching from afar as her story unfolds.  Once the story started, it was hard to not finish in one sitting as the hardship and triumphs of this amazing creature plays out.  O-Six’s story pulled at me emotionally and I learned quite a bit about the nature of these beasts of the wild.  This book will make you want to travel to Yellowstone, to see the natural beauty and wildness in one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.  Highly recommended read!

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I had planned for the weekend to do a lot of relaxing, which includes READING!  I picked up this classic at the library, thinking it would be fun to read a book that I read when I was younger but somewhat forgot the premise of what happens in the book…I’m glad I did!

I’m a huge dog lover, so I know that when I pick up a dog related book that I’m either going to tear up because it gets sad or tear up because there’s unrelenting compassion for the animals.  This one had me at both!  Take some time this summer and pick up an old classic, they are usually quick reads, but they remind us of many memories and qualities that we had hoped for ourselves when we read these books when we were young!

Where the Red Fern Grows is a story about a boy named Billy who dreams about owning his own hound dogs.  His family doesn’t have a lot of money, so no matter how hard he tries to convince his parents to buy him the dogs, it’s just not possible.  Billy comes up with his own plan and after two whole years of working and saving his money, he finally has enough to buy his dogs he’s always wanted.  It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.

Soon Billy and his dogs become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of the two dogs and Billy’s enthusiasm is unbeatable.  Tragedy strikes and Billy learns that you can still find hope in troubling times.  Billy’s love for his dogs is unbreakable in this story, a highly recommended read for EVERYONE!

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My two hounds and I reading “Where the Red Fern Grows”

Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin by Diane Lang, Stephanie Laberis (Illustrations)

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a GORGEOUS children’s book!  The story takes us on a journey though the animal kingdom from mammals all the way down to millipedes, teaching with beautiful illustrations about how all creatures are connected!

I loved how the story had a rhyming direction as you follow along and look at all of the creatures with fur, feathers and fins and how they are all connect in some way.  There is so much diversity in the animal kingdom and I feel this book explores and demonstrates this in a fun way with the pictures that are eye catching and colorful.  I highly recommend adding this book to your collections, no matter your age!

Find me on Instagram to see a video of the embossed cover art @asimpletasteforreading, it’s amazing!