Book Reviews on NanaHood

Book Reviews

I love to read but it’s hard finding the time. Because my husband had shoulder surgery I have been home and had more time to read. This week I read two books that I’ve had on my reading table. One has been there a couple of months (sorry Carol) and the other I received this week. I read them both in a matter of days and wanted to share what I found with you!

The first book was written by a former teacher of mine (turned friend) and is about her dog.

Book reviews

This book is a light hearted look at Carol’s attempt to “tame” a willful dog. Anyone who has ever had a dog like Fluffy Sam (and I did…Murphy was his name) will understand. Anyone who has never raised a willful dog will scratch their heads and wonder why she didn’t trade him in on one that would be easier to train. Of course REAL dog lovers will know why she didn’t trade him. She loved him and good or bad, he was hers.

Wanting your dog to act a certain way and getting your dog to behave in that fashion is extremely difficult with certain dogs. Experienced dog trainers would probably tell you that the problem is with the trainer, not the dog. Maybe so, but I am what I am and I did my best with my willful dog Murphy and it didn’t matter. It was his personality and nothing I did was going to change what was ingrained in him.

Fluffy Sam was the same way. Carol had envisioned a sweet, loving, lap dog that would be the Hallmark Dog of the Year. Fluffy Sam had something different in mind.

It’s a fun read with Fluffy Sam winning most of the battles but by the end of the book he wins our hearts as well. Carol’s writing is pure and honest and it’s easy to see that Fluffy Sam hit the jackpot when he ended up in Carol’s house. I wish all dogs could be so lucky.

Carol Perkins is an author, a columnist, a radio talk-show host, and a retired teacher. She and her husband Guy live in Kentucky. They have two children, Carla (Mark) and Jon(Beth) and six grandchildren. Carol is the author of “A Girl Named Connie” available on Amazon.

Book Number Two

Book Reviews

I met Nancy Stordahl via Instagram when I noticed pictures of her dogs. (Yes, I am a crazy dog lady).  I visited her blog and read some of her articles and then read her book, Cancer Was Not a Gift and It Didn’t Make Me a Better Person. 

As someone who has lost their mother and their best friend to cancer this book was a reminder of all the suffering and pain cancer causes. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for the author to lose her mom and then turn around and find out she had breast cancer herself.

Nancy’s journey through her mother’s death and then her own diagnosis, surgeries and treatment is a detailed, truthful picture of living with cancer one day at a time. She is completely honest about the ugliness of cancer.

The best way to describe her account is found on the back cover of her book and it reads, “Originating from personal, unrestrained journal entries, this strikingly frank memoir gives readers a glimpse into cancer’s messy realities including the multitude of emotions that arise when a family is catapulted into the world of cancer chaos. This is truth-telling from not-so-pretty-in-pink perspective, resulting in an honest, realistic portrait of family, cancer and loss that will encourage others facing similar trials to ditch the societal expectations and instead do things their own way.”

Nancy Stordahl is a former educator and now a freelance writer and respected blogger at where she shares candidly about all aspects of her breast cancer experience, BRCA, pink ribbon culture, grief and loss, pets, the under-discussed issues of survivorship and more. She is committed to advocating for those dealing with metastatic breast cancer and the need for more research specific to metastatic disease. She is the author of two books: “Getting Past the Fear: A Guide to Help You Mentally Prepare for Chemotherapy” and “Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn’t Make Me a Better Person: A memoir about cancer as I know it.


  1. Teresa, these are fabulous books reviews! I am very interested in checking out Nancy’s book for sure! I have lost many loved ones to cancer…and it definitely isn’t an all positive feel-good experience like the front people tend to put on for everyone else. It is a long dark journey. I appreciate that Nancy is willing to share that side of it.

    Thank you for sharing your review.


  2. teresak 7 Jan, 2018

    Thanks for commenting Shelbee! Much appreciated!

  3. Hi Teresa,
    Thank you so much for reviewing my memoir and for helping me spread the word that breast cancer is anything but pink and pretty. The other book you reviewed sounds interesting. You know what a dog lover I am! Thank you, Shelbee, for your interest in my book. If and when you should read it, let me know what you think. I am sorry you’ve lost dear ones to cancer. So many families have, which is exactly why, IMO, the sugarcoating needs to stop.

  4. teresak 9 Jan, 2018

    You are welcome!

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