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I had always considered cats low maintenance, essentially self-sufficient. This was a requirement to me, as I'm not home very often, and when I am, I can't spend too much time on cat duty. This was the reason I opted for cats over dogs. I was raised a dog person. But dogs require attention several times a day. Sorry, can't do it...
Well, with all that happened in the past year, I found that cats, while generally low-maintenance, have periods nonetheless in which they need special care and attention (even if, like Emma, they don't really want it). Thus, being a person in the education mode, I decided I needed to learn more. It just so happened that one of my book clubs was offering the ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats, so I ordered it.
This has been a gem of a book. It is complete, concise yet filled with information, well organised, colourful and picture-ful, durable (slick coating on the covers and a finish on the pages means the cats can walk across with dampened paws and not destroy the book, useful when it is opened when I attending their needs).
The first section discusses how and when to bring a cat home. It addresses such issues as cats and kids, preparing the home for a cat, your own readiness, and which kind is most appropriate for which environment. It also discusses what to do when welcoming your new friend into the home. Food, vet care, litter (to box or not to box, ah, that is a question!), and how to introduce new cats to other cats is discussed.
The second section is a reference guide to cat breeds. In addition to specific breeds organised alphabetically (Abyssinian to York Chocolate) it talks about coat palettes and patterns, colourations, paw and toe issues, and special needs. The breed section identifies special grooming and dietary needs, lap- and kid-friendly breeds, energy, and of course, wonderful photographs of representative cats for each breed.
Section three gives a bit of biological and physiological information, about cats, as well as (if it is possible!) some insight into the psychological functioning of cats. Are they really that smart? Are they really that clean? It addresses mating habits and catnip addictions, too!
The fourth section has been the most important to me, Taking care of your cat. It discusses briefly everyday feeding and care, but then has a good section on potential health concerns, what to do in the case of injury and illness, gives home nursing tips (important with Emma), and how to deal with both the beginning and end of the lifespan, which, with new kittens in the bedroom and a declining Emma in the living room, I was dealing with both ends of the spectrum.
This is an excellent one-volume reference to cats, useful for anyone who cares for cats. The appendices have glossaries, telephone numbers and resources, and recommended readings to continue a feline-related education.
But, if you just pick this one up for the pictures, it would be worth it for that too. And you might just learn something along the way--always a plus.
By the way, our cat has stayed with friends several times when we were out of town, and I have found it useful to loan them _Aspca Complete Guide to Cats_ along with the kitty. It is an entertaining read for the sitters and puts my mind at ease.
If you already have a cat and want more in depth reading, I recommend _The Character of Cats: The Origins, Intelligence, Behavior, and Stratagems of Felis Silvestris Catus_ by Stephen Budiansky, which I found fascinating.
This book is a great investment for anyone!
For more Ellman, I highly recommend his collection of essays, "a long the river run."
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The type is small about font '8'. This is the only problem.
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Moe lets his fellow Minnesotans do much of the speaking which lends great authenticity to the tale. This is a heroic story of grand sacrifice during the unit's unique moment in history. It also offers an informative telling of life on the road with the Army of the Potmac during the first three years of the war.
(Moe describes being enthralled by a painting of the 1st Minnesota's heroic charge that hangs in that state's state house as a youth. It helped create a mental image that led to his writing the book. It also gave me the idea to tell a similar story of bravery via a painting in Delaware's state house. Next January, the State of Delaware will hang an oil by Bradley Schmehl in Legislative Hall in Dover, DE. The painting will depict the 2nd Delaware advancing through the Wheatfield during the Battle of Gettysburg, an action that helped secure the flank of Gen. Sickle's Corps during a time when it was threatened with being rolled up and opeining the Union center).
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Richard saves the would-be record producer from tripping over themselves for years by providing a very comprehesive insight into this interesting profession. This is by no means a book on the glamour of the industry, but a practical guide that will leave you knowing whether you've got what it takes or don't think it's for you. Short of handing you a production deal, Richard has given you as much information to get a producer started that can be found between the covers of a book.
I would highly recommend this book to anybody considering record production. Kudos to Richard Burgess.
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In the nicest possible sense, this book isn't exactly what the title claims. All to often discussions of change management tend to concentrate on the people side of things and ignore the less glamerous topics such as re-tooling, revised administrative and reporting procedures and so on.
So, just to keep the record straight, this book is primarily concerned with the personnel aspects of change, with all other aspects of the overall process taking a very secondary part in the proceedings.
And now, on with the review:
One of the ways I judge a book like this is by the number of highlights I've made (makes it so much easier to refer back to the key points).
Sometimes I'll go through an entire book and be lucky to have half a dozen highlighted passage.
NOT here, though.
Without a hint of exaggeration I found numerous points worth highlighting in every one of the eight reprinted articles.
Of course this is not entirely surprising given the list of contributors, which includes such "leaders of the pack" as John Cotter ("Leading Change"), Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos ("The Reinvention Roller Coaster"), and Jerry Porras (Building Your Company's Vision").
I'd also like to commend the article "Managing Change : The Art of Balancing", by Jeanie Daniel Duck, (which ended up with highlighting on nearly every page!).
So, whilst the material is not exactly new (the various items appeared in the Harvard Business Review between 1992 and 1998), I'd suggest this well-chosen set of articles is as important now as when the articles were first published.
There are articles from such leading authorities on change management as John Kotter (Leading Change), Paul Strebel, and more. Each article opens with an executive summary, helping you decide if you want to tackle that article then and there, or move on to another that fits your interests of the moment.
Sooner or later, change is about people altering the status quo, and those in charge often turn a blind eye to the fact that leadership is singularly the most important issue when an organization has to implement major changes. This is followed closely by teamwork, of which there won't be any without leadership.
Inside the covers you'll find the collected knowledge, opinions and counsel of those executives and consultants who have dealt with change at all levels. If your schedule doesn't permit you to leisurely meander through hundreds of pages to find a few workable ideas upon which to build some change solutions, then this collection should be highly recommended for you.
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