Monday, September 3, 2012

CBR IV: Book 29: The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service - Beth Kendrick

I read this book in one sitting.  I haven't done that in years.  I finished it in about three and a half hours.  Not that this book was the best book ever written, but I was off work the next day, and I felt like staying up till 3:00 AM to finish it.

The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service is a light and fluffy novel that feels like it was written specifically for me.  The main character, Lara, is a dog trainer(check) who also rescues dogs(check) and her long-term live-in boyfriend has dumped her because he can't handle the chaos of all of the dogs(check plus).  Lara moves in with her successful workaholic mother and becomes the "dog doyenne" to the rich people in the neighborhood.

I feel that this book has a very specific audience.  Dog trainers and/or dog rescuers.  I'm not sure if anybody else would appreciate the realities of some of the situations that Lara is placed in.  Although this is a very light-hearted novel, I'm not sure if anyone outside of rescue would believe that once people found out where Lara lived that they would throw a litter of Pit Bull puppies into her yard, or that puppies from pet stores come from puppy mills and are often sickly or have behavior problems.

4/5 Stars for me, 3/5 for anybody else.

CBR IV: Book 28: The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin

I'm not usually one to read self-help books.  But this one caught my eye on the shelf at Target.  It has a pretty, bright blue and yellow cover, and it promises happiness.  Who doesn't want happiness?

Gretchen Rubin divides her project into twelve subjects and covers one per month: Vitality, Marriage, Work, Parenthood, Leisure, Friendship, Money, Eternity, Books, Mindfulness, Attitude, and Happiness.

Gretchen Rubin is quick to point out that this particular Happiness Project was HER Happiness Project, and doesn't necessarily apply to everyone else.  She encourages everyone to start their own Happiness Project, and has a blog with some tools to help.  I loved how Gretchen Rubin tried to scientifically quantify happiness.  She tried to break it down into its base elements.  There is nothing Earth-shattering in her book, but it did have some good advice.  Think about something that you liked to do as a child, and try to replicate what attracted you to that hobby in the first place.  Gretchen Rubin gets back into Children's Literature and even starts a successful book club. She also attempts to make at least three new friends.  This is something I have struggled with as an adult.  I love the friends that I have, but I haven't made a new friend in at least 3 years.

There is a lot in this book that is admirable, but not be practical for everyone.  Most everyone isn't a stay-at-home mom who can write at her leisure.  Most of us don't have millionaire husbands and rich in-laws who live around the corner and are always willing to babysit.  But don't let that get in your way of starting your own happiness project.  Tackle a nagging task, sing in the morning, and learn to enjoy now.  I know I will.

4/5 Stars.