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This weekend I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was a book I discovered through the [ profile] 50bookchallenge community and it's one I'm so glad that I read.

The book takes place in the early 1960s and tells the story of a white woman (Eugenia Phelan, aka Skeeter) and two black women (Aibileen and Minny) who are maids for the rich white families of Jackson, MS. Skeeter, a budding writer, takes an interest in the maids' stories about their work for these white families and begins, in secret, to get together with not just Aibileen and Minny, but other maids as well to tell their stories. It is a really really fantastic read. I was sucked into it from the very first page and couldn't get the story out of my mind.

I highly recommend it to everyone!

Complete 100 list )

I'm currently reading Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel which is not on this list.
crysania4: (Default)
I'm reading this book called The Dog Rules (Damn Near Everything by William J. Thomas. It's a very silly book and I'm enjoying it a lot. But last night I read a chapter and I laughed out loud at it. I know of you will stop reading because it seems sad, but trust me. Read through to the end. It's really quite funny.

Dogcatcher's Blues )
crysania4: (Default)
I'm reading Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs and this anecdote about a Newfoundland's rather unorthodox solution to a problem she was having, really made me laugh. I thought I'd share it here.

Excerpt )

This reminds me of Dahlia's solution to my trying to teach her "drop it." I did as the instructor told us. She had a toy in her mouth and I held out a yummy treat and said "drop it." She leaned forward, sniffed the treat I had in my hand, rushed off to the living room, where she dropped her toy, and then came back for the treat. Quite creative!

Book #16

Feb. 12th, 2009 09:34 am
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Cesar's Way: the Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems by Cesar Millan

I need to start with a bit of a disclaimer about this one. I read this book as a sort of "know thine enemies" thing. I have seen enough of Cesar's show and read enough about his techniques to know I don't agree with him and I find his ideas about dogs sometimes old and out of date, sometimes simply wrong, and sometimes dangerously wrong. But I opted to read the book to give myself a more complete picture of his techniques and so that I'm more informed when it comes to refuting those techniques I disagree with. I did, however, approach it with an open mind and made sure to take notes on the things I agreed with, as well as those things I didn't agree with.

So all that being said, here are my thoughts on the book.

This is long...very at your own peril! )

Too long? Didn't read? Here's the summary.

The good: Recommendations of exercise, give your dogs boundaries and rules, realize your dog lives in the moment, consider your lifestyle and get a dog that matches it, anti-dog fighting and anti-breed specific legislation.

The bad: Based on dubunked dominance theories that were based on a flawed study on captive wolves, recommends walks that do not include enough sniffing and mental exercise for the dog, believes exercise is much more important than affection or discipline (whereas most believe they're all important), believes you have to give exercise, discipline, and affection only in that order.

The ugly: Recommends some horrible techniques like alpha rolls (shoving an aggressive dog down and onto its side), flooding (flooding a fearful dog with the object of their fear), and using treadmills with the dog tied to them and unobserved (could hurt or even kill your dog), does not understand canine body language and often misinterprets clear signals the dog is giving off.

The weird: Too much New Age mumbo jumbo for me, talks mostly about your energy. I kept thinking he was going to bring up crystals and auras next.

The contradictions: Cesar contradicted himself so many times it was hard to take what he said seriously.

Total pages in this book: 320
Total pages read so far: 3953

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