Monday, December 17, 2012

February 2013 #ReadPawty

Sorry the last #readpawty was a bit of a bust. My fault entirely. *embarrassed* I promise to do better next time. I set an alarm so I wouldn't forget when it is.

"So when is it?", I bet you're asking yourselves. The next #readpawty is Tuesday, February 12, at 8 PM ET. The book that was chosen is Julia's Cats by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson. There were several requests for it, plus I thought it would be a nice short book to read over the holiday season.

After reading other pals book reviews and comparing them to mine, I realize how bad I am at reviewing books. But since this is a book club blog, we really should be posting reviews of the books we read. So I'd like to once again invite you to submit reviews to the blogs not only of books we've read for #readpawty, but other books you're reading, too. Send your reviews with all pertinent pictures and links to pumpkinpuddy at pumpkinpuddy dot com, and I'll format them and post them. This is your blog. Please don't be shy about contributing to it!

Have a great holiday season everyone! See you in February (if not before)

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm So Embarrassed!

My pals, I have to hang my head in shame. I totally forgot about #readpawty tonight. I know we were gonna move it back to Tuesday's starting next time, but I guess we're starting this time. So I'll see you all tomorrow, Dec 11 at 8PM ET for #readpawty. I promise not to forget again. *slinks off*

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

December #Readpawty

Howdy all! Wasn't last #readpawty pawsome? @Seabasscat is going to write a review of 'Kitty Cornered' for his blog and is going to let me post it here, too.

I don't know what happened to the poll I had on the side, but I do remember from the last time I saw it that the concesus was that we stick to animal books.

The next #readpawty will be Monday, December 10. There were a lot of good suggestions for books for next time. As usual, most of them were cat books. @GizmoGeodog suggested a dog book: 'I'm Listening With a Broken Ear', so I thought we'd give that book a try. If you have Amazon Prime and a Kindle, you can borrow it for free! You can also borrow it via or For those you don't need a Kindle, just a Kindle app. I'm sure there are similar sites for Nook.

A lot of people wanted to read 'A Street Cat Named Bob', and a lot of us have already read it. So I thought we could discuss that next time, too. I really enjoyed it and when I get chance, I'm going to post a review.

We also discussed moving #readpawty back to Tuesdays. I'd like to know how pals feel about that. It would definitely make things easier for @mariodacat. If pals decide that Tuesday is better, we'd make the change in February.

Speaking of February #readpawty, there have been lots of requests for us to read Julia's Cats. It's a nice short book and I think that would be a great one to read over the holidays for February. Maybe we could find another really short book (not about cats) to pair with it.

I guess I'm leaving you all with a lot to think about, so I'll stop now. See you on twitter!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Book Review - Zina's Jade by Robin Bisha

Happy Sunday everyone! Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the book Zina's Jade by Robin Bisha. For those who don't know Robin, she's mom to several cats, including my pals @CheshireK and @NutmegTorby. She also helps @CheshireK with his blog, Cheshire Loves Karma.

Zina's Jade center's around Zina, a woman with unusual powers, but who doesn't really know she has them. It is a journey of discovery. She's trying to find her way in the world, but her mother (and, she thinks, her father) are pressuring her to be who they want her to be. Her whole life has been mapped out for her.

Then Zina meets a mystic who gives her a special stone, and her journey begins. She's betrayed by someone she trusts, and the same mystic and a spiritual guide help her heal and find her true self. What she learns about herself is amazing.

I had a bit of a hard time getting into the book when I first started reading it. Zina's Jade is written almost entirely in the third person like it's a narration, except for when there's dialog. Then it relaxes. It felt rather stiff and formal and so it took me a little longer to get into the story. But once I did, I was hooked. The book ends just when Zina's story is really getting started, leaving me wanting more of the story. I'm hoping this is just the first in a series. I'd like to find out what happens to Zina now that she's really found herself. I give this book 3 paws up.

Zina's Jade is available in both paper and ebook at Have a great week everyone!

Review reprinted from Adventures of a Suburban Kitty.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

October #Readpawty

Hi everyone! @pumpkinpuddy here. I don't know about you, but I thought the last #readpawty was pawsome. It's amazing how much we found to talk about. For a book that was so hard to read, it turned out to spark the most discussion!

Not only did the regulars show up for #readpawty, but some new pals showed up too! I hope they'll join us next time. After all, the more, the merrier!

Picture courtesy of
The next #readpawty will be Monday, October 8th. The book will be 'Kitty Cornered: How Frannie and Five Other Incorrigible Cats Seized Control of Our House and Made It Their Home' by Bob Tarte, suggested by @SeabassCat. It's available as a regular book and an ebook.

Some pals were wondering about suggesting books that have nothing to do with animals. So I've created a poll and put it in the sidebar. Comments on the subject are welcome, too.

I'd like to see more book reviews in the #readpawty blog. So anyone that's writing reviews, would you mind if we run your review here, too? The review would link back to your blog of course. Or if you don't have your own blog and would like to post a review here, let me know.

See you at the next #readpawty (if not before). Happy reading!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Temple Grandin - Animals Make Us Human

It's funny how you never hear of something, and then you're hearing it all the time. Our book for #readpawty tomorrow night is 'Animals Make Us Human' by Temple Grandin. I'd never heard of her before. Mom's a member of the local PBS station. About a month ago, the PBS station sent out an invitation to the members to meet Temple Grandin in person. They were premiering a new documentary about her that was a partnership between the station and Colorado State University, which is where Ms. Grandin teaches. Then I started hearing the name coming up in conversations with people whose kids are autistic or have Asperger's Syndrome. Suddenly, Temple Grandin was everywhere! And with good reason.

'Animals Make Us Human' is about some of the animals we've domesticated either as pets or farm animals, what makes them tick, and how to give them all a better life. I'm not sure how the book's title relates to it's content, but that's not important. What is important is how Temple Grandin, her special view of the world, and her drive to make a difference has changed the face of the livestock industry in this country. In this book you get a glimpse of why this is so important.

Ms. Grandin explains how the different natural behaviors and characteristics of each animal can be used to give that animal a better life, treat it more humanely, and in the process, actually improve production in our nation's food supply. Or, if it's not a food animal, how to train and care for our companion animals in a way that works better, makes more sense, and is better for everyone involved (humans included).

Example - Mom never knew before that cats don't respond to avoidance training, only to positive reinforcement. Or that wolves (and probably dogs) don't live in packs, but in families. In that context, Ms. Grandin's observation that what we've traditionally thought of as the dominance structure in dogs and wolves 'packs' isn't so much about who's the boss but who are the mom and dad. Stuff like that makes a huge difference in how we train and relate to the animals in our lives.

Temple Grandin is an amazing woman. She's autistic, and grew up in a time when kids like that usually wound up in institutions. But because of the family she grew up in, she was nurtured, educated, and helped to be the person she is today. Her family focused on what she could do, not what she couldn't. And this world is a much better place because of it.

One facet of Ms. Grandin's autism is that she thinks in pictures more than in words. One day it occured to her that animals think the same way. Their world is very concrete - they only know what their senses tell them. Their world consists entirely of what they see, smell, taste, hear, and touch. They don't really have abstract thought. So she started looking at their world the way they do. The insights this gave her changed her world, and theirs, for the better. Ours too, really.

Ms. Grandin's written many books, both about livestock handling and behavior; and about autism. She's a strong advocate for early intervention and giving autistic children as much as they can handle in their lives so they can become self-sufficient. She travels the country and speaks tirelessly about the things she's passionate about.

The name of the documentary is 'The World Needs All Kinds of Minds'. It most certainly does. The world of animals would be a much poorer place without hers.

Please join us on twitter tomorrow night at 8PM ET for our discussion of 'Animals Make Us Human'. Use #readpawty to join the discussion.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anipal Bookclubs - Proposal

Did you know that there is another anipal bookclub, #AnipalBC ? It was originally started by @Oz_the_Terrier and is now being coordinated by @theGObros. I believe that GO comes up with a title and the anipals read it. they don't have a regular meeting like #Readpawty, but discuss it on Twitter when there they bump into each other. I googled anipalBC and found twitter references, but no blog.

After the April #readpawty, there was interest from AnipalBC to merge with readpawty. I said that we look forward to our meetings to chat about books and would like to keep our format. It was proposed that we have 2 books, one of general interest and one related to anipals in some manner.

I can see this working. We keep our meeting, discuss whatever book(s)we want then on to have our book chat afterparty. Everyone is invited. We can also talk about whatever book(s)whenever we find each other on line. No pressure to get any book completed. The AnipalBC seems to have a lot of dogs while readpawty is mainly cats with occasional dogs popping in. This would be a great way to get more folks involved with a great interchange of ideas.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment so we can all see or contact me privately if you would rather.


August #Readpawty

The book for August is "Animals Make Us Human" by Temple Grandin. I wanted to get that book choice out early. Although this is a fascinating read, Temple is a bit dry and can take a while to get through.

Here are links for the book:

Barnes and Noble

August #Readpawty will be August 13 at 8 pm ET.

Be there with bells on your collar! I think a cooling nip and watermelon feast will be in order!

June #Readpawty

For June we have decided to try something different. Before I forget, meeting will be June 11 at 8pm ET.

Anipals are encouraged to read a book, any book. Write a paragraph about that book and send it to me before June 9. maggietkat at yahoo dot com. I will post all the synopsis ASAP for all to read. We will discuss the books we have read.

Do not be concerned if you don't get a book read. You can participate in the discussions!

If we all read a different book, then we will have lots of recommendations for the next book we pick up. I think it is a great idea, proposed by our very talented Pumpkinpuddy.

See you all then!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Book for April 9 Discussion

I am choosing the first book in a new series, the Magical Cat series. It is "Curiosity Thrilled the Cat" by Sofie Kelly. I have to say that I liked the book, and so did CheshireK. And I have read the second with the third one is purchased pending the release.

having said that, we are a wide variety of readers. So, there are 2 things I want to know about, the inclusion of ferals and attributing magic prowess to a cat. I hope this will be an interesting discussion April 9.

Here is more onformation about the author on her blog.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Be There Feb 20 for The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie!

You have exactly 4 days left to pick up the book "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" by Allan Goldstein. It will take you less than a day to read this wonderful book because it is THAT good. You are hooked within the first paragraph, and you read and read and read until your eyes can't stand it! Here is my review in the AnipalTimes.

If you can't make #readpawty, then either leave a comment here, or let me know by email/dm any of your thoughts. I had told the author a month or so ago that we were discussing his book Mon the 13th, and he emailed me Tuesday to find out why there weren't any comments! I remembered to tell everyone but him that the pawty was postponed. Obviously the author definitely wants to hear from us because he checked the AT, this blog AND Twitter!

Allan writes all sorts of things, so make sure you check out his blog because he tells you where to find everything.

Hope to see you all Monday!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Bztat's Book Launch Pawty

Bztat is having a book launch pawty we'd, jan25 from 6-9 ET. Please join us for prizes, food, and fun!