"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, April 25, 2024


West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge

Book Beginnings quote (from Prologue): 
Few true friends have I known and two were giraffes, one that didn't kick me dead and one that saved my worthless orphan life, and your worthy, precious one.
Friday56 quote:
Because if ever I could claim to have seen the face of God, it was in the colossal faces of those giraffes.
Summary: This summary piece from the back of the book was so good I thought I'd snip it out so you could see and read it instead of writing a similar summary myself:

Review: I've seen this book on the blogosphere for several years and was delighted when my book group selected it for our April meeting. I didn't know at the time of selection that the story of two giraffes making their way across the country by truck in 1938 was based on an actual event. Though the book is a novel, with made up characters, it is based on fact and some of the people mentioned in the book were real. One prominent person who really lived was the first female Head Zookeeper, Bell Jennings Benchley, of the San Diego Zoo.

All the gals in the book club loved the book saying that it struck the exactly right tone. It told two stories really. The first and obvious story was the trip of the giraffes who started their journey very precariously by being trapped aboard a ship when a hurricane hit off the East Coast of the USA. The second story was the story of the dust bowl and the Great Depression. Woody Nickel was a dust bowl orphan who was just trying to get to California, when he was tapped to drive the giraffes across the country with a zookeeper. Stories about people's lives during such desperate times emerged as they made their way from state to state aiming for San Diego. Headlines taken from newspapers served as chapter dividers so that readers could get a feel for how much energy and excitement these two, rare beast caused in the lowdown lives of people along the way.

Unfortunately for me I decided to listen to the audiobook and didn't have a print copy to switch to when I found the audio recording to be too much -- too loud, too dramatic, and almost always at a level 10. The narrator, Danny Campbell, sounded like he was 100+ years old. His voice honestly sounded super old. It was a good choice since Woody Nickel was 105 at the time and writing down reflections of his trip and life. But it was just tough listening to the voice for the 12 hours it took to finish the book. Oh well. I survived. My book club friends all made fun of me since I always brag about how good the audiobook was each month. This month I had the opposite experience and had to complain about how bad it was. 

I truly loved the ending. I was blubbering big, wet tears. It wrapped up almost perfectly.

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As many of you know Freda over at Freda's Voice hosted #Friday56 for many years. On September 7th she told us she was going through some personal stuff and could no longer host. I've attempted to reach her but have had no reply. So I will host The Friday56 until she comes back. Help me communicate with past participants so they can figure out where and how to find me, please post this post's URL on your blog. Don't forget to drop a comment on my post also! Thanks.

Also visit Book Beginnings on Friday hosted by Rose City Reader and First Line Friday hosted by Reading is My Super Power to share the beginning quote from your book.


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*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
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