Tuesday, October 28, 2014

THE BOOK OF BARKLEY REVIEW

Recently, I've been immersed in gardening books and bee books and flower books...to be honest I was getting homestead overload and it was time for something different.  So I had the pleasure of getting a book that has been a very moving read.  

The Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever
This is the book (click link below to be taken to the book purchasing options).  

It's called The Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever.  The author is L. B. Johnson and I believe this is her first published book.  And wow, what a read it is.

One thing I was immediately struck by is her beautiful writing style.  I love reading authors that have such a way of using words to so vividly describe moments in life.  Her style takes my mind to a different place when I'm reading.  As a lover of the written word, this book made me very happy and I often found myself rereading a paragraph, not to understand, but to just see again the lyrical way with words.  If I ever ventured into writing a book, I'd love to have just half of that ability.

Here is a sample I transcribed for you: 
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"It is a bond between him and me.  For me, it is not a substitute for something lacking in my life, but an outlet for the warmth I harbor in my soul, seeking a place for the waters of my emotion to go when all else is damned up.  He's my confidante; he's my fashion critic (jeans and t-shirt again? Well, if you insist), he's a soft-hearted Kleenex if I cry.  

Now, he was getting older, grey abundantly showing up in that black hair.  Yet still, when woken by my soft snore from the office bed he'll move away from the heater, to my side as swift, as strong as ever, even as he slows.  He looks at me with brown eyes more humorous and honest than anyone I know, soft paw on my arm, content simply to be by my side because I'm there.  Like the rest of my friends, his needs are simple, his demands of me only warmth, faithfulness and time to go out and play."
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It is truly the rare author that can write, in just a few short paragraphs, words that will have you laughing, crying, laughing again and then thinking to yourself "wow, that was profound".  L.B. is that kind of author.  The book chronicles the life of her beloved black lab, Barkley.  From rambunctious puppy to wise and gentle old man, L.B. writes through the eyes of Barkley and along the way, teaches us the meaning of living...indeed the meaning of loving.

Barkley...star of The Book of Barkley
They always say the love of a pet is unconditional and this book follows that in every colorful, wonderful and yes, sometimes painful, detail.  You don't have to be a dog person to enjoy this read though.  When we lost our cat Sydney at the end of last year, after almost 20 years, we struggled to put into words what he meant to us.  Dog...cat...the love of a pet is universal.  Thank you L.B. for helping us hear the words we longed to put down in print.

Barkley
Get this book for yourself, or with the holidays coming, it would truly make a great gift for that animal lover in your life.  

Click the links below to pick up a copy via Amazon.

23 comments:

Janie V said...

My brother in law has a black lab just like that. I am so going to get this for him for Christmas. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What a great review. I'm not even a dog person and it sounds like a good read.

Bryan in Tampa said...

I LOVE black labs.......they are amazing companions.

Delores said...

Another book for the 'must read' pile.

Dawn McHugh said...

we have just adopted a black lab she is a retired assistance dog, and looks just like the dog Barkley I will have to look at adding that book to my collection

Texas Rose said...

The unconditional love of a beloved animal is one of life’s greatest gifts. This sounds like a wonderful book that honors that. Great review!

FionaG said...

You're right about her writing. I was starting to tear up have way through the paragraph. On the side, I do love the lounge chair he is 'lounging' on.

JenniferT said...

Black labs are THE best dogs. I might just have to pick this up for Christmas.

Ian's Girl said...

Oh, you must hunt down Beverly Nichols' gardening books. Oldies but goodies! Get the trio that has Merry Hall in it.

He loved cats!

Midnite Baker said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your book review. May have to find this book. Thanks for sharing. M

LBJ said...

Thank you so much for your review of the book. I hope more people get to know Barkley, so those stories are not forgotten.

1st Man said...

Awesome, he will love it I'm sure.

1st Man said...

It really was. Very moving, very funny and very touching. Thanks for the kind words.

1st Man said...

I have a friend who has two labs and yes, they are great companions. (love that word)

1st Man said...

I think you'll like it. It's a quick read too (though I took forever to get to it, ha).

1st Man said...

Awww, that's awesome! What a great thing to adopt a retired dog like that. May she give you much love and joy!

1st Man said...

They do love us unconditionally don't they? I like the way you put that, it really is one of life's greatest gifts. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Ha, the book is a tear jerking but it's also uplifting in a way as well. And yes, doesn't he look like the king of the world there? Ha. ;-)

1st Man said...

They are sweet dogs. Definitely grab a book if you can. (side note, I don't get anything out of it, ha, just a fan recommending a book I enjoyed). ;-)

1st Man said...

I will have to look for that, thank you for the heads up. I'm always looking for new books to enjoy. And cats and gardens sound like fun.

1st Man said...

There are several links up there to find a copy. Hope you do and enjoy it. And thanks for the kind words. :-)

1st Man said...

Oh my gosh! This is the author everyone! Thank you for taking the time to check in and comment. That's a great way to put it, everyone needs to know Barkley and he'll always have a place in the hearts of people around the world. That's what you call a legacy. Thank you again, and thank you for such a wonderful read.

Brigid said...

1st Man - just a heads up. The Book of Barkley has been reduced to $4.99 for Amazon Kindle for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season, with 100% of the proceeds going to support animal rescue. Please spread the word - LB