What I’m Reading: Unsaid


I just finished up the audio book Unsaid: A Novel by Neil Abramson.  I had downloaded it some time ago but hadn’t gotten to it.  At any time I typically have 10 books on my MP3 player…this one just got overlooked.

When I first started listening I almost quit.  The story starts with the main character in “heaven” or in “limbo” between earth and heaven.  That type of story didn’t appeal to me..but I listened a little longer and soon I was hooked.  I actually very much enjoyed it.

Here’s what Amazon has to say about the book, “In this explosive debut novel, Neil Abramson explores the beauty and redemptive power of human-animal relationships and the true meaning of communication in all of its diverse forms.

As a veterinarian, Helena was required to choose when to end the lives of the terminally ill animals in her care. Now that she has died, she is afraid to face them and finally admit to herself that her thirty-seven years of life were meaningless, error-ridden, and forgettable. So Helena lingers, a silent observer haunted by the life she left behind-her shattered attorney husband, David; her houseful of damaged but beloved animals; and her final project, Cindy, a chimpanzee trained to use sign language who may be able to unlock the mysteries of animal communication and consciousness.

When Cindy is scheduled for a research experiment that will undoubtedly take her life, David must call upon everything he has learned from Helena to save her. In the explosive courtroom drama that follows, all the threads of Helena’s life entwine and tear as Helena and David confront their mistakes, grief, and loss and discover what it really means to be human.”

If you don’t want to know what happens when an animal is put to sleep or are really sensitive to animal testing you might not like this book.  These topics are addressed throughout the book.  Amazon readers give it 4.6 stars.  I would give it about the same.

What I’m Reading: Farm City


I just finished up listening to the audio book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter.

I had seen this book several different times via my on line library-I almost checked it out and then didn’t.  I find with non-fiction authors, I either love them or hate them.  I was a little leery about this book.  Then one day my MP3 player ran out of battery when I was sewing.  There I was…no book to listen to.  I grabbed my smart phone and decided that I’d go on the on line library and grab the first book that looked remotely interesting.  Well the first book that came up was Farm City…so Farm City it was.  I clicked download and was listening in just a few minutes.

I was pleasantly surprised…I really liked it.  Being it’s a memoir, it’s written in first person-a plus for me.  Novella is such a treat to listen too…I love that she knows she a little eccentric and just goes with it.

Here’s what Amazon had to say about it, “When Novella Carpenter–captivated by the idea of backyard self-sufficiency as the daughter of two back-to-the-earth hippies–moves to a ramshackle house in inner-city Oakland and discovers a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door, she closes her eyes and pictures heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop.

What starts out as a few egg-laying chickens leads to turkeys, geese, and ducks. And not long after, along came two 300-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals aren’t pets. Novella is raising these animals for dinner.

An unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmer’s tips, and a great deal of heart, Farm City offers a beautiful mediation on what we give up to live the way we do today..”

The book honestly was fun to read but I have to say a few things…if you don’t feel comfortable with someone explaining their feelings about raising their own meat, and reading the description of the killing process, you’ll hate this book.  She does it in a heartfelt way but still, it’s there.

I found myself laughing, smirking, and say “WOW” more than once.  The style of her writing it just fun.

When I was writing this blog post I learned that Novella has a blog.  You can see more about that here.

Amazon readers give the book 4.4 stars…I agree.  I’m off to see if my online library has any other books by her.

I am thankful for technology and my on-line library.  Books are such a huge part of my life.  They always have been.  I was so sad when life got busy and don’t always have time to read more than a chapter a night.  In the old days I was know to read until 2 am.  Not anymore….  Technology and my on-line library has allowed me to stay in touch with my love of books.  As much as I love my audio books and my Kindle, I still prefer reading a regular good old book in paper form…but I can’t always have that so I am thankful for anything that allows me stay close to books.  I have to say if I could only have one hobby, I think I just might pick books over quilting….I love books that much!!  Today I am thankful for the technology that lets me stay close to books.

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