Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 18th Blog: Baxter, Man Called Ove, Underground Railroad

Welcome to my first Dog/Book Club Blog!

It is a gorgeous Father's Day here in Boulder, Colorado. It's sunny and very warm. This is how my dog, Baxter, likes to spend hot days:

He likes being on cool porcelain or tile. Here is a picture of him (and me) when we first got him as a rescue dog in January, when he had bald patches, though you probably can't see them in this photo:
He has an illness called lymphangiectasia, which is pronounced as easily as the last name of your random Russian female tennis star. 

That does the dog portion of this blog. I'd love photos of YOUR dogs, so please attach them. I might ask permission for using them on the cover of a future Allie Babcock book.

Book Club-wise, this month my St. John's group will discuss A MAN CALLED OVE at my house next week. My Second Tuesday group discussed THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. I'm the only author in either group, and I sometimes react differently to books than non-writer readers do. I recommend book club books based on the quality of the discussion that ensued. A Man Called Ove was discussed last year in my Tues group, and on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it an 8. All sorts of fun topics arose: the theme of building one's own family after a tough childhood, men's vs women's friendships, thinking about suicide, and grumpy old men. In another two weeks or so, I'll see if I reassess that following the St. J's discussion.

The Underground Railroad I'm giving a 7 to its quality of discussion. What was great about it is we had some really different appraisals of the book. Quite honestly, I had to really struggle to move beyond the author's intentional enormous distortions of the facts; he takes the titular metaphor and makes it real--an actual underground train operating in 1812, which I was okay with, but I lost it when he chose to have a 10-story building in South Carolina in that same year, an entire century off, and had similar distortions in the timing of other historical episodes. So our discussion of that issue of historical fiction vs historical science fiction was interesting. Discussion of the characters was also interesting, as was the level of violence in the book. But here, I run into my personal bias. This was not the type of book I want to read this year. My enjoyment of the discussion was dampened by that fact. Yet it was a book that definitely is chock full of material for fascinating discussion.

Let me know what you think!
Leslie O'Kane


  1. Howdy. How do you attach a photo to a comment?

    1. My apologies. I'd assumed I could have a setting so that followers could attach photos, but there is a huge percentage of spammers on blogs, so only the Blogspot authors can post photos. I will have to screen followers photos, and can then put them in my posts. It would be easiest for me to have your dog photos sent to my Facebook page instead of my Book Club/Dog Blog: Leslie O'Kane Books.