The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Oh Katherine Applegate, why do you torture us so and make humans out to be complete jerks???  Because, my friends, sometimes we are when it comes to animals.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

This message will stay with you forever. FOREVER!

The message in here is not pedantic so readers who hate books that they think are teaching them a lesson will love it. Who doesn’t love animals, right? On the surface, The One and Only Ivan is a sweet tale of Ivan and his friends at the Big Top Mall. But underneath, readers will understand that animals have feelings, deserve respect, and that humans can be cruel (and sometimes nice).

Why was I weeping over a giant Gorilla?

Because Ivan.

Did you cry too?

Adult Fiction Books

Towne Book Center Book Club Unsaid by Neil Abramson

This month’s book club pick is Unsaid by Neil Abramon.


I’ll admit I was a little skeptical at first about the book.  Based on talk from other bookclubbers, I wasn’t sure if I would like it.  A veterinarian who comes back as a dog? Been there, done that. I love dogs and dogs in books but after reading Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain, I wasn’t sure if the topic could be done properly.  To be sure, there were parts of Stein’s books that I loved; like the dog constantly asking for THUMBS!! But there was too much car racing talk to suit me. Anyway, I jumped in to Unsaid.

It was nice. Nicey nice. Not knock your socks off great, but a nice, gentle book club read.  If you love animals, you’ll appreciate being on this side of the fence after you watch your pets function after you’ve left them.  The author tries to include a little Temple Grandin ala Autism/Asperger spectrum, animal activism, animal testing, breast cancer, loss of a spouse, and law all in one book.  That’s alot to accomplish.

The author really makes you think about when is a sentient animal a person or a non person?  Not an argument I want to get into, for sure, but one that makes you think.  If you’re like me, you might jokingly say “dogs are people too!” knowing that they’re not.  But a chimp? A Monkey? I dont know.  If you know anything about me you know I love all animals except snakes and primates. Their human like qualities give me the willies. They ARE cute though, except when they fling poo at you. I don’t like the idea of them suffering through lab experiments and suffering.  I’m not even a big fan of the zoo or the circus.  But I digress…

Three cute doggies, a pig, two horses, 6 cats, and a bereft husband.  What more do you need?