Monday, November 19, 2012

"Buddy: How A Rooster Made Me A Family Man" by Brian McGrory

This Thanksgiving my bird will be a rooster, not a turkey!

No, I'm not eating the rooster, I am reading "Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man" by Brian McGrory. I was lucky to receive a review copy from the marketing department at Crown Publishing.

I probably should wait to post on my blog until after I read this book, but I know I am going to love  it! Why keep this new release (November 2012) under wraps until I read it - you could buy your own copy before I finish mine.

This is more than a bird story, it is a memoir that goes to the heart of the author's life, his childhood, and his beloved dog. Be ready for some tears and laughs.

I am borowing a few words I found on two great book blogs, Feathered Quill Book Reviews and The Relentless Reader . You can click on the blog names and read their full reviews. I suggest you bookmark these sites too, as they are a great source for book information.

Here is what these reviewers had to say about the book:

Buddy is the story of Brian McGrory, who after finding himself divorced and then losing his best friend, Harry the Golden Retriever, finally came to the realization that Harry’s veterinarian, Dr. Pam Bendock, might just be his soul-mate. But dating, and later marrying Pam, will force many changes on Brain, a diehard city boy. Pam lives in the suburbs, has two young girls, a couple of dogs, rabbits, and yes, a rooster named Buddy. While the other animals easily accepted Brain, and Pam’s daughters slowly came to appreciate their step-father, Buddy insisted Brian was an intruder and the rooster needed to protect "his flock.” ..... there is a fair amount of storytelling revolving around other characters such as Harry, the author’s beloved dog who introduced him to his future bride Pam.  Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Brian McGrory's life changed drastically after the death of his beloved dog, Harry: he fell in love with Pam, Harry's veterinarian. Though Brian’s only responsibility used to be his adored Harry, Pam came with accessories that could not have been more exotic to the city-loving bachelor: a home in suburbia, two young daughters, two dogs, two cats, two rabbits, and a portly, snow white, red-crowned-and-wattled step-rooster named Buddy....Brian McGrory's love for his wise and faithful Golden Retriever Harry is beautiful to read about. Their bond is incredible. I read the passage of Harry's death with very watery eyes.The Relentless Reader 

Intrigued? I certainly am. I love memoirs, dogs, and now I'm probably gonna love a rooster.  Probably gonna want some chicks for my back yard. Zoning won't let me, but the thought will stay in my mind!

Brian McGrory is a longtime Boston Globe columnist and an award winning journalist.


I hope you have a grand Thanksgiving. Check out "Buddy" and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Karen Fisher-Alaniz "Breaking the Code: A Father's Secret, a Daughter's Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything"

Available on Amazon where you can check out their 'Look Inside' feature and on Barnes & Noble.

This review is part of the author's continuing blog tour with Women On Writing (WOW)

A perfect read over Veteran's Day Weekend. This review is part of the author's tour with Women on Writing (WOW). Read the author's interview on The Muffin and follow her blog tour. Visit the author's website and enter a raffle through Dec. 7th and a chance to win a double-signed copy of her book. Bookplates will be signed by both Karen and her 91 year old father. Visit Twitter at #breakingthecode to see more reviews and contest.

Author's father 1945

A truly heart endearing memoir of a daughter who sets out to unravel her fathers past when he was stationed in the Pacific during WWII. On his 81st birthday, her father placed two old notebooks on her lap, with more than 400 pages of letters he'd written home to his parents. What started out as a simple quest to transcribe these letters, became a healing process for both, as the author discovers her father was a Japanese code breaker,  a secret he has kept from his family over all the years. Father and daughter began a nine year journey of healing and reaffirming their relationship. The author watched as her father painfully tried to bring back memories, often in pieces, that she has put together. The chronology of the book does not necessarily reflect the chronology of how his memories came back, yet the story is whole on what transpired during the war and in later years.

"I always knew my father had been in war. But as a child it was of little importance to me. I had bicycles to ride, friends to play with, and trees to climb.

He would tell us stories about the war. He was in the Navy and stationed at Pearl Harbor a few years after it was bombed in 1941. He spent his days working in an office. On liberty he went to the movies  or exploring with friends. These were the stories he told, which were never terribly interesting."

The stories were boring to young children. They were safe stories that didn't hurt anyone and didn't require answering questions. The author and her sister were tired of hearing them. Only later would the discovery of her father's secret life, his heroism, and the stress that followed him all his years after his service time, come to light.

This book is not only a personal story for the author and her father, but a look at history during WWII, presented in a way that is easy to read and highly informative.

I loved the layout of the book, the old photographs, and naive illustrations, bring the flavor of the period to life. The author has a way with narration, and dialog, that keeps the reader involved.

Author Karen Fisher-Alaniz

Karen's Father Murray Fisher

Daughter and Father at a recent book signing.

( 3 photos from author's Amazon page)