19 February 2009

Marley & Me

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have such a hard time reading non-fiction. One of my hopes this year is to read more non-fiction, this book was my first attempt. I kept putting off starting this book, finally starting it last sunday because it was due at the library wednesday....I was immediately hooked, reading almost half of it within 24 hours of starting. I did finish it on Wednesday before returning it to the library. I loved this book and the memories it brought to my mind about the dogs in my life...the ups and downs in this book really hit home with pretty much anyone who has ever had a dog in their family. I really liked the way he intertwined their personal lives with everything about Marley...this is reality. Anyone who has had a family pet knows that the pet is a member of the family and most everything that effects one member of the family touches all other members of the family! Marleys antics had me laughing and trying to not to be grossed out. I am very excited to now see the movie, but am prepared to be fully grossed out. This book has me torn even more over having a dog of our own (if ever we live someplace that we can actually have pets). For me, it is all about the companionship BUT I don't want the work that goes along with having a dog. Not to mention that I do tend to gross out easily and that characteristic doesn't bode well with having a dog. So, for now, I will live vicariously through this book and my friends and family that have their own pets!

Now for the quotes:

pg 13: "I was a mutt of indistinct and undistinguished ancestry. My lineage represented more nations than the European Union." boy this statement sounds a bit familiar in even my own genealogy

pg 166: "Our new neighborhood was in one of the few middle-class sections in the city, and its residents liked to joke with a certain reverse snobbery that they were on the wrong side of both sets of tracks. Sure enough, there were two sets of railroad tracks,one defining the eastern boundary of the neighborhood and one the western. At night you could lie in bed and listen to the freight trains moving through on their way to and from Miami." this one is for my hubby, but no, dear, I'm not saying I want to live in florida, too humid, but yes, this would be a good ideal neighborhood for us, huh?!

pg 189-190: "...maybe he held the secret for a good life. Never slow down, never look back, live each day with adolescent verve and spunk and curiosity and playfulness. If you think you're still a young pup, then maybe you are, no matter what the calendar says. Not a bad philosophy for life..." this statement was made on the authors 40th birthday as he realized that in dog years Marley was just over 40 himself. I think this IS a good philosophy for life, after all, AGE IS A STATE OF MIND!

pg 260: "We take it for granted, but it is fragile, precarious, uncertain, able to cease at any instant without notice. I was reminded of what should be obvious but too often is not, that each day, each hour and minute, is worth cherishing." This is a thought the author had while standing in the area where United flight 93 went down in PA on 9/11. I think we would ALL do good to remember this and truly cherish every moment!

pg 287: "Marley had given us a gift, at once priceless and free. He taught us the art of unqualified love. How to give it, how to accept it. Where there is that, most of the other pieces fall into place." Very good way to sum up the book and the experience of having a family pet, imo. Life really can be this simple!

pg 301: "What advice to you have for writers? Take the civil service exam and hope for a job at the post office. No, no, no. Keep a journal and write every day, even when it seems impossible. Read really good writers, and reread the best parts aloud. Write about what you know and care about. Believe in yourself and your voice. And here's what I consider the most important part: Take your finished piece and cut it by 20 percent. Relax, you can always restore the lost text later if it seems just too amazing to deprive the world of. You'll be surprised how seldom you will feel the need. In my own work, tighter is almost always better." As someone who hopes to be a writer at some point in time, I thought this question/answer was something to definitely think about....and, dear husband of mine who happens to now work for the post office, this doesn't mean that YOU, too, can't be a writer, someday!
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