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Amore by Laura Wolf
Andromeda on the Street of Ducklings by Judi Hendricks
Another Dawn by Sandra Brown
Another Perfect Day by Steven Popkes
Bad Manners by Chris Manby
The Bamboo Confessions by Lauren Weisberger
Bounty by Rand B. Lee
Busy Horsies by John Schindel and Casi Lark
"But Wait! There's More!" by Richard Mueller
Childrun by Marc Laidlaw
Church of the Dog by Kaya McLaren
Click edited by Arthur Levine
Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James
A Day in the Life of my Great Brit Book Tour by Adriana Trigiani
Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
The Dinosaur Train by James L. Cambrias
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
El Tigre by John H. Manhold
Five by Julianna Baggott
Flip and Flop by Dawn Apperley
The Fourth Watcher by Timothy Hallnan
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
A Grave Mistake by Stella Cameron
The Great Waldo Search by Martin Handfold
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I Know a Woman by Quinn Dalton
Leaving a Light On by Claire LaZebnik
Lifetime Loser by James Ross
Moving Day by Cindy Chupack
An Open Letter to Earth by Scott Dalrymple
Persistence of Memory by J. M. Snyder
Poison Victory by Albert E. Cowdrey
The Political Prisoner by Charles Coleman Finlay
Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Regent's Knight by J. M. Snyder
Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace
Simplexity by Jeffrey Kluger
Smoky the Baby Goat by Mary Elting Folsom and Veronica Reed
There's a Cow in the Cabbage Patch by Clare Beaton and Stella Blackstone
The Truth About Nigel by Jennifer Weiner
The Two-Month Itch by Sarah Mlynowski
Voodoo Dolls, C-Cups and Eminem by Melissa Senate
Yoga Babe by Lauren Henderson

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Church of the Dog: 08/19/08

Imagine if Pollyanna grew up, became an art teacher an moved to a ranch run by an elderly couple. That's the gist of Church of the Dog by Kaya McLaren.

Set in Oregon farm country, Church of the Dog follows the lives of Edith, Earl, their grandson Daniel and their mysterious guest Mara O'Shaunnessey who can astral project herself into dreams and sometimes heaven. The novel is told in the voices of the four main characters, though it later settles on just Daniel and Mara.

The chapters are divided up by season and the book covers a year and a bit of Mara's stay on the ranch and the way in which she changes it. Although the ranch is the central setting of the novel, Mara's classroom, Daniel's home (the "ugliest house on the street" (page 25), the church and the Grand Canyon also have important roles in this unusual and sometimes hard to follow story.

With such potentially different narrators, I was surprised at the sameness of their voices. Earl and Edith make sense for their sixty year marriage but Daniel and Mara should have sounded more different than they do. I found it difficult at times to distinguish who had taken over telling the story and would have to flip back to see which names was listed.

Fans of Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom will enjoy Church of the Dog.


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