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Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#1 by Tanaya
» 18 Jun 2017, 17:13

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "My Dad, My Dog" by Sheila Hermel.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by Tanaya
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My Dad, My Dog is a memoir by Sheila Hermel.

Hermel got her first dog, Barney, as a gift from her father when she was a wife and mother to three young children. It is an event that she credits as having changed her life forever. Throughout the book, she draws parallels between her father and Barney, the relationship she has with them, and the special place they hold in her heart. Both now passed away, the book is a means for her to reflect on the time she had with them and share fond memories with readers.

Sheila Hermel is a delightful writer, as she shares the highlights and challenges of raising Barney. Early on, she establishes how much her dog meant to her: “He awakened my soul to a level of pure joy and love that I’d never known before and will forever cherish.” The parallels she draws between her father and dog are nicely handled. Both Barney and her father came from hard beginnings, and she often worried about their emotional well-being. She recalls things she wondered about when Barney was still a puppy, like what his parents were like. She also shares how she worried about her father, particularly in the face of his declining health.

There is overall a good balance between funny memories, like holding a marriage ceremony for Barney and his “wife”, and inevitably sad themes that are a part of life. She shares how Barney’s personality developed over time and initial challenges in dealing with his misbehavior. The book contains eighteen very brief chapters. There are some instances in which the author fills us in on details from her early life. There were also some attempts to put memories into narrative form, with quoted dialogue. Overall, the book is very fast paced. There are also lots of family pictures in the middle of the book, which is a nice touch.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. What I liked most about it was the humor, such as when Hermel recalls that they used to have a battery-operated dog placed at their window that would produce a bark when someone knocked on the door. Once they got Barney, she states: "But now, we had a real dog with a real bark!" What I liked least was the feeling that I didn’t really get to know her dad as well as I knew the dog. She tells us a lot about her father, but perhaps the issue for me here was that it seemed like more telling than showing. It would have been nice if particular instances with her father were more flushed out. I would have appreciated greater access to their close, personal interactions in order to enjoy their relationship as much as they both clearly did. I also wanted to know more about what is was like being raised by her father as a child, along with her sister. However, I did enjoy just how much the author clearly loved and admired her father, listing for us the qualities that made him so wonderful. He would stop by her house before her kids went off to school; then he and Sheila would spend quality time together. It would have been nice to “see” interactions such as these.

I would recommend this book to any dog lovers, particularly those who may be trying to cope with the loss of a pet. It can be helpful to think about those good times and cherish the love that pets bring us.

******
My Dad, My Dog
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#2 by Marthaliz
» 19 Jun 2017, 05:05

This book seems to be very interesting from the review. We see how Hermel was happy leaving with her dad and the dog which was like a child to her. I would really recommend this book to any pet lover.
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#3 by Nicholas MWITHIRWA
» 19 Jun 2017, 06:55

The book is very interesting.i recommend is book
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#4 by boaz kiprop komen
» 19 Jun 2017, 07:22

it explains the feeling hammel had for the dog Barney. a bet lover would love this book .
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#5 by kandscreeley
» 19 Jun 2017, 07:56

Sounds like a really interesting book. It's amazing the lessons that pets can teach us. I've never drawn a parallel between my pet and my father, though. That would be unique. I love the use of humor. Thanks!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#6 by Tanaya
» 19 Jun 2017, 08:01

Yeah, it's amazing the connections she was able to make. She's a very analytical person.
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#7 by Rosemary Okoko
» 19 Jun 2017, 11:42

Her dad and dog were her true friends. She must be missing them. Writing a book about them is a good way to deal with it. Nice review.
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#8 by Tanaya
» 19 Jun 2017, 11:56

Thanks!

-- 19 Jun 2017, 11:56 --

Thanks!
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#9 by Mtembezi99
» 19 Jun 2017, 12:40

Nice book..
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#10 by Chrys Brobbey
» 19 Jun 2017, 13:23

The trio of dad, dog, and daughter look like a trinity. It's refreshing that she has shared such cherished memories with readers. Kudos for a good review.
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#11 by Tanaya
» 19 Jun 2017, 17:18

That's a good way to put it
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#12 by Iammotolani
» 19 Jun 2017, 20:27

This book is fascinating. I feel the connection among the three.. .i recommend this book
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#13 by JuliaMamohale Molapo
» 20 Jun 2017, 02:47

The review of the book is appealing to the emotions such as love,regret that one losses something of great value.
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My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#14 by nareadyns
» 20 Jun 2017, 02:54

Great review!

Sounds like a nice book. And I love dogs.
So I will definitely get one.

I felt touched by the parallelism between the dog and the dad, it's how important gifts are in our lives.

Thanks
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Re: Official Review: My Dad, My Dog by Sheila Hermel

Post Number:#15 by Adams safia
» 20 Jun 2017, 03:59

very interesting recommending to all pet lovers
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