A compassionate and humane canine tale.

ANOTHER GOOD DOG

ONE FAMILY AND FIFTY FOSTER DOGS

A writer’s account of how becoming a foster “dog parent” changed her life.

When a beloved hound Achterberg (Practicing Normal, 2017, etc.) had kept for 17 years died, the loss “left a gaping hole” in her family’s “collective heart.” Seeking to heal from loss, the author turned her home into a way station for canine rescues. In this heartwarming memoir, Achterberg lovingly describes the ups and downs of her first two years rehabilitating 50 dogs for new lives in “forever homes.” She begins with the story of Galina, a traumatized beagle who shrank from human touch. Under Achterberg's care, Galina soon grew into a “wonderful distraction” the author found difficult to give up. She continued to foster, knowing that another dog would only bring more challenges to a five-person household. Despite feeling unsure she had the “emotional and mental room” for more than one rescue, she brought home a puppy and, later, a large coonhound. Achterberg soon realized that her job was not only teaching her to look past former dog owners’ cruelties, but also to forgive inevitable doggie “accidents” like chewed shoes and bathroom mishaps. Other lessons followed. In fostering a pit bull, Achterberg learned to move beyond social prejudice and love dogs for their individual personalities. In fostering a dog who had just given birth to nine puppies, the author became aware that the process of weaning pups was much like weaning her own half-grown children from maternal care. The dogs tested both her and, at one point, the patience of a long-suffering husband who, in a moment of anger, told her to choose between him and the dogs. Yet fostering—and ultimately saving—rescues also gave her a renewed sense of purpose. Illustrated with photographs of some of Achterberg’s many fosters, this book blends insight and entertainment to tell an unforgettable story about seeking, and finding, life purpose through caring for abandoned dogs.

A compassionate and humane canine tale.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68177-793-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

INTO THE WILD

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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