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Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: A True Story of Bad Breaks and Small Miracles

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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(8)

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(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

a terrific inspirational biography

Anchorage Daily News columnist Heather Lende was riding her bike when a Chevy pickup ran over her with one of the tires rolling over her lap. She has slowly healed encouraged by a retinue of health practitioners, family, and friends. This memoir focuses on healing in ...
Anchorage Daily News columnist Heather Lende was riding her bike when a Chevy pickup ran over her with one of the tires rolling over her lap. She has slowly healed encouraged by a retinue of health practitioners, family, and friends. This memoir focuses on healing in her hometown of Haines, Alaska where the townsfolk encourage their favorite columnist to return from the near dead to the living; her late battling mom acting from the grave as her model. The residents are a hearty eccentric group with people like Wilma praying with her feet and others as charming in a frontier way just like her. Realizing the irony of when she was nearly fatally hurt, Ms. Lende muses about musing over her tour of If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name and wondering if she should re-label her tour Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: A True Story of Bad Breaks and Small Miracles. This is a terrific inspirational biography due to the wonderful look at the residents of Haines.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on May 14, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

BookHounds

This book explores small town life in Alaska and how the author recovered from being hit by a truck. She reminisces about the people she has helped, the people who have helped her and the loss of her mother. It is really an anthology of Heather Lende's columns from v...
This book explores small town life in Alaska and how the author recovered from being hit by a truck. She reminisces about the people she has helped, the people who have helped her and the loss of her mother. It is really an anthology of Heather Lende's columns from various sources. I had thought this book would be about gardens and dogs and found that the title comes from her mother's last words before her death. There are a few mentions of both dogs and gardens, but not as much as I hoped. Most of the stories reflect back on life and the lives of people who have touched Lende's heart in a very Christian way. It is not so much religious as it is spiritual since Lende explores the meaning of life and death.

I found the stories about the community that is shared in the small town of Haines, Alaska to be fascinating. Lende explores the meaning and connection between each resident and how they all pull together after her accident. She even knows the person who hit her while she was bike riding and never blames him. I did enjoy reading about her recovery but some of the other chapters were a bit too religious for me.

posted by BookHounds on May 28, 2011

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    BookHounds

    This book explores small town life in Alaska and how the author recovered from being hit by a truck. She reminisces about the people she has helped, the people who have helped her and the loss of her mother. It is really an anthology of Heather Lende's columns from various sources. I had thought this book would be about gardens and dogs and found that the title comes from her mother's last words before her death. There are a few mentions of both dogs and gardens, but not as much as I hoped. Most of the stories reflect back on life and the lives of people who have touched Lende's heart in a very Christian way. It is not so much religious as it is spiritual since Lende explores the meaning of life and death.

    I found the stories about the community that is shared in the small town of Haines, Alaska to be fascinating. Lende explores the meaning and connection between each resident and how they all pull together after her accident. She even knows the person who hit her while she was bike riding and never blames him. I did enjoy reading about her recovery but some of the other chapters were a bit too religious for me.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a terrific inspirational biography

    Anchorage Daily News columnist Heather Lende was riding her bike when a Chevy pickup ran over her with one of the tires rolling over her lap. She has slowly healed encouraged by a retinue of health practitioners, family, and friends. This memoir focuses on healing in her hometown of Haines, Alaska where the townsfolk encourage their favorite columnist to return from the near dead to the living; her late battling mom acting from the grave as her model. The residents are a hearty eccentric group with people like Wilma praying with her feet and others as charming in a frontier way just like her. Realizing the irony of when she was nearly fatally hurt, Ms. Lende muses about musing over her tour of If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name and wondering if she should re-label her tour Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: A True Story of Bad Breaks and Small Miracles. This is a terrific inspirational biography due to the wonderful look at the residents of Haines.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Great Read!

    This book is well written and inspiring! Heather Lende has a way with words and her story is truly inspiring and uplifting! Love reading about living in an Alaskan community. Very interesting!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Alaskan Anne Lamott

    With the ascent of Sarah Palin on the national scene, Alaska has enjoyed a resurgence of interest, so the timing is perfect for Heather Lende's Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs. Lende writes for a small local newspaper in Haines, Alaksa, and handles the obituaries. She shares the stories of some of her neighbors, including a feisty 57-year-old whom she visited as a hospice volunteer. The woman had everything organized for her death- her will, insurance, sister's phone number- she even paid all her bills and packed up her belongings so that no one else would have to do it. Lende's mother had a different view of death. Her mom had lived for twenty years with chronic lymphatic leukemia, but she never spoke of her impending death, even when her husband asked if she had anything she wanted to say to him or her children. All she said was "take good care of the garden and the dogs." The year before her mother died, Lende was riding her bike when she was struck by a pickup truck. She was severely injured, and had to go to a nursing home in Seattle to rehabilitate. Her time there was eye-opening, and many people will recognize her experiences. I liked how her faith came into play, and each chapter opens with a short verse, many of them from the Book of Common Prayer. Lende shares her faith, and her writings about trying to live her faith I found similar to Anne Lamott's book, Grace, Eventually, which I loved. We also see how life in Alaska is unique. Lende skins and guts goats, eats bear tenderloin, grows much of what they eat, and keeps hens for eggs. She describes an elaborate adoption ceremony with the local Tlinglit tribe, filled with food, gifts and songs that is fascinating, as is her story of how the entire town helped to raise a huge totem pole carved by a local person. She said that her goal is to "give readers a window into a specific time and place and by being so local and personal, tap into emotions they may have too." She succeeds in writing this lovely book.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    I had read Lende's previous book "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name" and enjoyed it. I would give that one 3 stars but this one gets 5 stars. As Lende was anticipating a book tour for "If You Lived Here . . ." she was run over by a pickup truck and seriously injured. The story of her recovery, the death of her mother together with life in a small town in Alaska is so engaging. (I'm glad I know I don't want to live in a remote small town having grown up in North Dakota because otherwise I'd be tempted to move to Haines.) Her faith journey reminds me a little of books by Anne Lamott--not so much her humor but her honesty and the non-threatening tone--I wouldn't hesitate to give a copy of this book to those I know who are non-believers.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Greece

    *he vanished as well, not saying a word*

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Heather's transparency is so refreshing! I felt like I knew her by the end of this book. And I definitely want to go visit her corner of Alaska and experience it for myself! Uplifting and inspirational!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed the stories about small-town Alaska.

    This is my introduction to Heather Lende. I look forward to reading her first book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Wonderful

    Love this writer! She makes everyday experiences seem great fun..She would make a great friend I'll bet

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Sparrow

    She looked away sorrowfully and picked at the fabric of her sleeves. "Alright... well, I'll be around..." She evanesced.

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    Loved this book!

    Loved this book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Interesting!

    As someone who would love to go back to Alaska, I enjoyed reading about the loves of many interesting people in the state. I loved the details about traditions that I knew no background about.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    Kax to spirit

    Im at res three

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Check this one out for sure

    This is a great follow-up to her first memoir. Lende is honest, forthright sweet and tough in all the right places. She writes a slice of life book that does not disappoint! I hope she is ready to write another one. I want to know what happens to her family and her Haines family. Great read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2011

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    Posted October 11, 2014

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    Posted June 13, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2011

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