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

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The Internet is Like A Puddle by Shona Innes

Published: January 2015Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Five Mile Press
Illustrator: Irisz Agocs
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

The Internet is Like a Puddle attends to the wonderful aspects of electronic communication as well as gently discusses some of the possible pitfalls of sharing, chatting and using data. There is a need to be mindful of those who are naive to the potential problems without denying them the wonderful opportunities. The Internet is Like a Puddle describes ways to stay safe and enjoy learning and chatting time on the Internet and to keep life balanced.

In an age where toddlers can be more proficient navigating the internet than a lot of 40-year-olds, this book is a great introduction to the joys and pitfalls of using the internet. Innes looks at how the internet lets us do great things and we can access these things in many different ways whether it is on the computer or on phones. She compares the internet it to a puddle, fun to play in, can be used to play games and have fun, but puddle can be deceptive and tricky. This is a great analogy which works in teaching about water safety as a side benefit.

It’s a great educational book that clearly and simply explains how it’s easy to get in too deep when using the internet and how the deeper we go the more dangerous it can become. Innes always compares it back to stepping in puddles, and how that too can be dangerous without an adult there with help and guidance.

Agocs illustrations are cute animals playing in nature and with technology, with pictures matching with words for easy comprehension. This is a nonfiction book that reads like a story. It’s a great book for kids teaching them about using the internet for fun and in moderation. Innes never wants to deter children from playing on the internet, it’s impossible to avoid and can have many benefits; instead, she is trying to teach about safety in terms kids can understand. This is a must-read for all parents in this day and age where children have such easy access to the internet and when it’s so easy to get into trouble.

You can purchase The Internet is a Puddle via the following

Booktopia |  Amazon

Book Depository

Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford

Published: 28th September 2016 Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Allen & Unwin
Pages: 294
Format: Paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.

Fight Like A Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.

I had been hearing so much about this book when it was published and I was eager to get my hands on it and experience it for myself. Reading it was all I hoped it would be and more, I filled its pages with Post It’s marking of important and wonderful quotes. I also got to meet Ford at the Newcastle Writers’ Festival which was amazing, as was listening to her in her sessions.

Fight Like A Girl is a book that everyone should read, every girl and every woman, but also every man. So many of my own experiences are laid out in this book. The fact that I can agree with so much of Ford’s words should be worrying, but it’s not. They’re a comfort because it reminds me that I’m not being paranoid or silly when I hold me keys in my fingers walking back to my car late at night, it reminds me I’m not overreacting when I feel uncomfortable having a stranger talk to me at the bus stop when he’s a little drunk, worried what he’ll say and what I’m safe to respond with. It makes me think of all the times I’ve placated a thought to save hurting a man’s feelings and not stood up for something out of fear of personal verbal attack. It’s reminded me that the passion and the fight I feel inside me is one that many women out there are feeling and that it’s ok to feel this way.

Ford addresses many issues and “societal norms” I suppose we could call them through her chapters and she is unapologetic in her words and opinions. Mixed in with her own experiences it’s actually a humorous and enlightening book at times that looks at how society has been constructed to see women as the lesser and the weaker, the one in need of defending and the one who is not only walked over and shut down by the patriarchy, but happy to have it happen.

It’s not all agreement and scoffs at how men are and how childish they can be when their ways of life are challenged. Parts of this book made me sick to my stomach and it makes me angry and sad, but more importantly, it flames the fire I’ve been stoking for the past few years. The feminist I’ve been since my second year of uni and the one who’s gradually doing a little more than fuming internally and sharing Tumblr posts, cheering in the tags.

This is a book for everyone. To quote Ford, it “is a love letter to the girls”. There are some tough topics being discussed in here, but they’re important, and this book is important because if someone doesn’t want to listen to (or believe) a women’s experience from her own mouth, you can always throw this book at them instead.

You can purchase Fight Like A Girl via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Amazon | Dymocks | Allen & Unwin

Angus and Robinson’s Bookworld | Fishpond

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Don’t Hit Me! by Vanessa de Largie

Published: 19th March 2015Goodreads badge
Publisher: 
Booktrope
Pages: 88
Format: Paperback
Genre: Non-fiction
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Australian actress and author Vanessa de Largie is a survivor of domestic violence. Don’t Hit Me! is the true diarised account of her time living with an abusive man. The story is conveyed through poems, journal entries and fragments of lyrical prose. The book is a snapshot of domestic violence in real time. Raw, poignant and brave – it’s a tale that will stay with you.

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

For a very short book with very little writing, this book says a lot. Vanessa de Largie’s story is unfortunately one that’s not unique, but the way she has told it is.

The poems, journal entries, and collection of thoughts are raw, honest, poetic, and real. De Largie tells readers at the start this is not a story that unfolds as a normal story would, but unfolds as a story that did. Moments of her life are displayed on the page, there for everyone to see, and it highlights the life of a victim, without the long narration, reflection, and the chronology and increasing severity some other books have.

What is wonderful about this though is that this short 88 page book filled with fragments of de Largie’s life portrays a much bigger picture that any complete story would have. The life of an abuse victim is there in short verse and paragraphs of a moment, and the pain within and the struggle to live each day, hoping for a moment of freedom, even for a short while screams off the page.

Even in these short fragments you get caught up in de Largie’s world, you’re there with her, beside her, seeing her pain, it’s incredible. You sense her mood, her retreat within herself, her strength and determination to stay alive, and the darkness that offered her a way out.

Telling a story of this nature like this is unconventional but it is no less powerful. This is a snippet and snapshot of moments in de Largie’s life with an abuser and a wonderful expression of the empowerment of being free. I think bringing the issue of domestic abuse to light in such a brilliant way is commendable and one I hope highlights not just the life of the abused, but offers inspiration for those who think they don’t have the strength.

You can purchase Don’t Hit Me! via the following

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

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