Librarians blog about the books we love right now.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Creatures - All Great, Some Small
I tend to shy away from animal rescue stories. Having been in the animal shelter business, I am painfully aware of how many of the stories end. In A Small Furry Prayer : Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life, Steven Kotler relives unrelenting loss - he dug seven graves in seven weeks during one bad stretch at Rancho de Chihuahua - but also celebrates the compassion and kinship connecting us all.
With Steven, it all started when he fell for a girl who loved her dogs. After being evicted from their house the L.A. couple with "no other option but the just plain dumb," compiled their wish list, emptied their savings, bought a run-down property in rural New Mexico and opened a rescue for special needs dogs. What follows is part memoir, travelogue, sociological study (of humans and hounds), love story, spiritual journey, history lesson and all heart.
What drew me to Broken : A Love Story : Horses, Humans, and Redemption on the Wind River Indian Reservation by Lisa Jones is the lovely soft-eyed grey horse wearing a black halter on the cover. The spell was broken one page into this brutal and beautiful profile of Stanford Addison, a quadriplegic Arapaho, and the people and horses he gentles. In the four years she spends in Addison's circle, Jones discovers that on the reservation living is hard and dying is easy.
Journalists by day, both of these authors are excellent writers. Periodically you may have to look away, but even after you turn the last page you will be unable to walk away from these people and animals.