Nose to Tail by Louise Harding

Published: 30th November 2017
Goodreads badgePublisher: Ocean Reeve Publishing
Pages: 207
Format: Book
Genre: Non-Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Note: I received a copy of this book for review

Do you dream of owning a loving, obedient, well-mannered dog? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by your dog’s bad behaviour? Do you want to train your dog and don’t know where to start? Now there is a book for you. Champion trainer Louise Harding will be your own personal expert, coaching you and your dog. 

Imagine if you could unlock the secrets of a master trainer and make training easier and fun for you and your dog. This book will show you how and help you communicate and nurture a strong life-long bond with your dog.

What I liked about this book was that it went beyond being a simple training guide for your dog. Harding also provides really helpful information about matching up the right kind of dog with the right owner. She includes some great information about different breeds of dogs and their bred capabilities and personalities and informs readers that there is more to buying a dog than just finding it cute when it’s a puppy.

The book starts before a dog is even bought as Harding asks the reader to think about why they want a dog, is it the right suit for their home or lifestyle. She then progresses through the stages of helping you find which dog would suit your needs and finding one with a compatible personality. There are personal stories and examples, and Harding includes an interesting history of the different breeding groups of dogs and what they have been bred to do through history.

This is the holistic approach to dog training Harding intended. She makes readers understand that any dog can be trained, but so much of their behaviour connects with their instincts, their breed, and the environment they live in just as much as how often you ask them to sit, stay, or heel. As she says, you can’t change the breed characteristics, but you can control what you want them to do.

This book reinforced and reassured me that I’d trained my dog correctly, which is always a comfort, but I was also interested in the histories and the personality checklists to understand the kind of dog I had (food fiend and a busybody, no real surprises there). This is a very helpful book whether you have a new puppy, or have brought home an older dog. Harding covers everything from first dogs, second dogs, or even how to manage a rescue dog that may be having trouble adjusting. There’re guides to sleeping arrangements and toilet training, plus step by step instructions on teaching the sit, stay, come etc commands, with advice on how to get your dog to pull them off successfully. Harding mimics what the trainer said when I took my own puppy to training class; you need to set your dog up for success. Put them in environments where they will succeed and don’t make things harder for them with distractions or confusing commands. If you do that you will be on the way to a well-trained dog.

There are also wonderful resources that can help with your research into the best breed for you, there are also questions to ask breeders or shelters about the dogs they’re selling, as well as guides to picking the best dog walking service or kennel if you should need to use them. Harding insists it’s never a bad thing to ask questions of a seller because it’s all about making sure you get the best for your dog and for you.

This book is not all about just buying the right breed and correct training procedures; Harding includes all the fun stuff as well like giving treats, playing with toys, and taking dogs out to explore the big wide world. If you’re looking at getting a dog or need help reining in one you already have, this is a great book to help guide you. It’s easy to understand, simple and with clear instructions but also covers a range of topics and scenarios you will encounter when you own a dog.

You can purchase Nose to Tail via the following

Nose to Tail website | A&R Bookworld

Amazon | Amazon Aust


And the winners are…

The time has come to announce the winners of my blogiversary giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered, I was amazed by the number of entries I had for my humble little anniversary. Thank you too to all the people who left me some amazing books in the comments on my post. I will definitely have to read all the ones I haven’t read, a fair few have been sitting on my TBR list for far too long. But enough of that, back to the reason why we’re here!

Both winners were drawn via Rafflecopter and I’m very pleased to announce that the winners are



Laura Scriven

Winners have been notified by email. Congratulations!


Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me

Top Ten Tuesday is an original and weekly meme created by The Broke And The Bookish in 2010 but has since moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018.

Topic:  Books That Surprised Me
(in a good or bad way)

Since it can be books that surprised me in a good or a bad way I’ve split the list down the middle. Naturally, the good surprises are the best, but some of the bad ones were bad. Granted, they weren’t all horrible, evil DNF disasters, they just weren’t what I was expecting when I started reading. They just weren’t what I thought they were going to be like when I started reading them.

Books that Were A Good Surprise

Bro by Helen Chebette

The Wrong Girl by Zoe Foster

The Weight of a Human Heart by Ryan O’Neill

The Once and Future King by T. H. White

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty


Books that Were A Bad Surprise

Second Life by S. J. Watson

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

The Farmer’s Wife by Rachael Treasure

Faking It Gabrielle Tozer

P is for Pearl by Eliza Henry-Jones

Published: 19th February 2018Goodreads badge
Pages: 304
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Note: I received a copy from NetGalley

Seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn P. Pearson has become very good at not thinking about the awful things that have happened to her family. She has also become used to people talking about her dead mum. Or not talking about her and just looking at Gwen sympathetically. And it’s easy not to think about awful things when there are wild beaches to run along, best friends Loretta and Gordon to hang out with – and a stepbrother to take revenge on. 

But following a strange disturbance at the cafe where she works, Gwen is forced to confront what happened to her family all those years ago. And she slowly comes to realise that people aren’t as they first appear and that like her, everyone has a story to tell.

I loved the comfortable feeling of this book. I connected with the feeling of the small town and the familiarity with all the residents there. It was a different kind of story that had a lot of focus on the characters and who they were rather than any big events. I liked that what looked like key plot points came to nothing and you realise Jones has a different direction in mind for the story.

What I also liked were the slow reveals and the shifting focus, it is also a great exploration of mental health and how that is dealt with at all ages and stages of life. Jones doesn’t delve too deeply into this, it is very much shown from the outside, but that in itself is an interesting point of view.

I enjoyed the surprises and their reveals that were impactful but didn’t feel like Plot Twists. They weren’t suddenly thrown in your face but they developed gradually which I liked. It felt natural and it felt like a realistic moment of discovery rather than a sudden change in the story.

The characters are pretty wonderful as well. I liked the relationship Gwen has with her friends and the people in town. It has a great small town feeling and the friendships and the support the community provide to one another is heart-warming but doesn’t come across as cheesy.

There isn’t a great exploration of other characters, but at the same time it’s not their story and you forget to notice it sometimes. You know who they are, and Jones gives you enough that you understand their lives and who they are, but Jones doesn’t go into huge depths. This is Gwen’s story after all and Jones keeps it revolving around her.

There is a natural feeling to the way Jones writes. Conversations are natural, more information isn’t provided between characters just so a reader understands, and the events and actions of the characters are intriguing and fascinating without being unnatural or fanciful.

It says in Jones’ acknowledgements that she first wrote this book when she was 16, whether that accounts for the tone this book sets or just that she can tell a young adult story well I’m not sure. I was drawn into Gwen’s story and came out the other side satisfied and content which is never a bad way to feel at the end of a book.

You can purchase P is for Pearl via the following

Booktopia | QBD

Amazon | Amazon Aust

Boomerang Books | BookWorld


Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is an original and weekly meme created by The Broke And The Bookish in 2010 but has since moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018.

Topic:  Favourite Book Quotes

“Maybe our favourite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting” – John Green

The thing about book quotes is that you can find great ones that offer life advice, are funny, quirky, profound. So many have been written about books, reading, libraries and librarians. I could include so many but I suppose that’s why Goodreads has the quotes page where you can add as many as you please. Choosing ten was tricky but also easy. I had the quotes I immediately reached for and others I had to think about whether they were my favourite or merely just wonderful. A list of wonderful book quotes is a whole separate thing altogether not to mention quotes by authors but aren’t actually in a book.

In no particular order, these are the ten I decided to add to the list.

  • “Every swear word in the Devil’s dictionary curled around my tongue.” – Scott Monk, Boys ‘R’ Us

This line has always stayed with me from this book. It’s very clever and I really want to use it one day.

  •  “Take no heed of her…she reads a lot of books.” – Jasper Fforde, The Well of Lost Plots

All ten of these quotes could be from Fforde’s books. They are witty, true, and fabulous. All the things and I had a very hard time limiting my selection of them. but this is a great quote that I have adopted. It’s flippant and meant to be a dismissal but I like it all the same.

  • “Thomas Edison’s last words were “It’s very beautiful over there”. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”  – John Green, Looking for Alaska.

This quote has such a profound meaning for me. Alaska is a stunningly beautiful and underappreciated book and Hank Green’s song about it only enhances this. It’s not so much what the quote is saying, but what it represents.

  • “Even the dead need caring for.” Gareth P. Jones, The Thornwaite Inheritance

For a strange children’s book, I was struck by this quote. It stood out to me and even inspired some of my writing.

  • “We lie to protect our children, and in lying we expose them to the greatest of harms.” – John Connolly, Nocturnes

From a book of creepy short stories about monsters and unknown things, this was an interesting quote to find. It certainly made me think about the truth to it.

  • “Loved with obsessive devotion, hated with barely controlled fury” – Heather McCollum, Siren’s Song

I also have to include “The bravest warriors scream inside while fighting for what’s right” as a second from that book because that is an amazing quote as well.

  • “I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. If we’re supposed to ignore everything that’s wrong in our lives, then I can’t see how we’ll ever make things right.” – A. S. King, Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

I have so many emotions about vera Dietz. Every paragraph there is another wonderful quote or life lesson to take hold of. It’s a beautiful book.

  • “Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Such a wonderfully absurd book. I am also a fan of the poem, The Walrus and the Carpenter which has resulted in me adding “the walrus said” in my head whenever anybody says the phrase “the time has come.”

  • “Do I have to talk to insane people?” “You’re a librarian now. I’m afraid it’s mandatory.” – Jasper Fforde, The Woman Who Died A Lot

I always love finding fun quotes about librarians. There’s always the Important ones and the ones about how treasured they are, but I like the ones that make us sound dangerous, or powerful, or just a reality of our day that yes, sometimes people are just a tad bit trying.

  • “We should be angry. Because if we aren’t, we aren’t paying enough attention.” – Clementine Ford, Fight Like A Girl

I have a dozen or more Post-Its sticking out from this book with excellent quotes but I love this one because it sums up a lot of things and makes an excellent point about the state of the world.


So there’s my ten. Now I need to go reread some books that I have been reminded of their excellence whilst formulating this list!




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