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Author: Joni B. Cole
Website: http://www.jonibcole.com/
Reviewed By: Anne Holmes for the NABBW

This fun little book is a collection of twenty-eight personal essays. Despite its title, it is not a dog book, and only the title essay concerns the author\’s dog Eli, a Chihuahua mix.

No, this is a book about people, and its scope is personal. In it author Cole shares her most private thoughts: her worries that her husband is not her “best friend”; her obsession with her previous book\’s rank on Amazon.com; her shock, after friend-ing her high school crush on Facebook, only to discover that he is an aggressive poster of right-wing rants… (should she “unfriend” him, or not? Which action will have the worst consequences?)

The Author\’s Note at the front of the book is quite enlightening as to what you will find inside. She says, “I have changed the names and identifying features of some individuals to protect their privacy, and because I don\’t like it when people are mad at me. Beyond that, these stories are true, albeit my truth, which is sometimes warped.”

Right away I had empathy for the author, because it seems that this book is likely to resemble one I would like to write about the people I\’ve met in my lifetime, were I ever to make the time to start writing.

I enjoyed the book immensely. Perhaps my favorite chapter was the one titled, “A Vermonty State of Mind.”In this essay Cole frets over the fact that though she and her family have lived in Vermont for over fifteen years, she still feels that she is somewhat of a Vermont “misfit;” an outsider, because she doesn\’t “have fortitude and get excited over raising chickens.”

Haven\’t we all felt this way at one time or another in our lives? I know I\’ve spent almost ten years living in Galena, Illinois, a small town known for Civil War generals, beautiful, unglaciated scenery and wonderful B&B\’s, yet I do all I can to avoid the tourists who are the lifeblood of the town.

By the end of this friendly, honest book, you will know a lot about Joni Cole, her family – AND her bad dog. Plus, you\’ll feel like you just have spent a very relaxing time reading a big packet of fascinating letters from a very good friend. And what could be bad about that?