The Complete Dog Training Manual book cover

Who’s a good boy?

The Complete Dog Training Manual
Sessions
1977

This poor book looks like it has barely survived its 40 plus years. Pages were yellowed and falling out of the book. There was also a crunchy feel to the binding. Pick it up and dried glue crumbs are everywhere. This should have been weeded on condition probably in the 1990s.

One of my gripes of animal training books of the 70s and 80s is the lack of really stylish photography. Dogs and cats are cute and can bring up take a so-so book up a notch or two. Even with the black and white photography, I think there could have been better photos. Example: the woman pulling the leash on the dog. At first look, I thought she was poking the pup with a stick. Without that caption, I wouldn’t have understood the photo. Regardless, as dog training books go, this doesn’t look too bad. The author never updated this manual but he did have a more specific training book for watchdogs and a medical manual for dogs.

dating game cover

The Dating Game for Christian Teens

The Dating Game
Miles
1975

If you are old enough you probably looking at the cover and expecting the book to be about the actual Dating Game. Similar font and general look. However, this Dating Game is directed at young people. Although the author is self-professed biblical fundamentalist, it isn’t as bad as some books in this category.

If this was 1975, and you were looking for a Christian teen dating book, this would probably be fine. Themes and topic aside, these materials age because the references and examples. Today’s teens (and their parents) probably wouldn’t understand or relate to any of the references. By the mid 1970s the Dating Game tv show was more or less relegated to re-runs and was kind of outdated reference for a teen book in 1975.

working couple cookbook

Smash the Patriarchy in the Kitchen

Working Couple’s Cookbook
Treadwell
1971

This little cookbook is a groovy salute to shared cooking responsibilities. From the back cover you can see that the authors consider this a big step in the women’s lib movement. I don’t think this book will make a serious dent in gendered chores around the house. This book has nothing special as far as recipes go, it’s more about the division of duties in making a meal. Sharing cooking duties is good for your relationship. It’s almost quaint.

how can I understand my kids? book cover

I don’t understand my kids

How can I understand my kids?
Bridging the generation gap
Wagemaker
1978

Short answer: you can’t.

I have decided that one of the most popular subsets of parenting books is the understanding/I want to kill my teenager books. Parenting books are kind of a Hail Mary for surviving the drama of teens. Every generation goes through this. The themes are similar, kids don’t listen to parents and all their abundant advice/demands/standards. Kids complain that parents are basically clueless. Both sides are correct. Can this be solved with some scripture and this book? I doubt it.

Although a Christian themed book,  it wasn’t overly judgmental and it did put much of the burden of communication on the parents. The examples are interesting, but again assume white, upwardly mobile families with lots of resources and choices. How can they be real problems if you have resources and choices?

middle age cover

The Prime of Life?

Middle Age
The Prime of Life?
Fiske
1979

I like how the title is phrased as a question.

Fiske was an academic and published several articles and books on aging. This book is geared to a non academic audience. If I remember correctly, age discussion was a topic of mainstream popular psychology. Gail Sheehy’s Passages was a 1976 publication that was  a wildly popular that also talked about adult life changes.  I actually remember reading Sheehy’s book back in college.

When I picked up this book, I immediately thought this was a less interesting version of Sheehy’s book. Fiske had some serious research credentials and unfortunately her book suffered from poor book design and some less than awesome photos/illustrations. Please take a look at the last 2 pictures on the page. Now I am wondering what will happen if I get too stressed.

must be magic cover

Friday Fiction: It Must Be Magic

It Must Be Magic
Woodruff
1982

The eighties live again in this teen romance. Kerrie, a rather bookish high school junior has a not so secret crush on Mike Price. During the annual “Genie Week”, Kerrie’s friends arrange it so that her “genie” for the week is Mike.  (I am still trying to figure out the educational value of girls getting a high school boy as a genie to do their bidding for an entire week.) Kerrie gets mixed up because it seems that Mike likes her. But is he only doing that because he has to? Kerrie is convinced that no one likes smart girls so she must be completely wrong to expect him to actually like her. She is not one of the cool kids. Of course, hijinks ensue, and I will leave it to you to guess how this ends.

Mary

easy vests cover

Double your fashion statement

Easy Reversible Vests
Doak
1994

If you look back on the books we have posted about sewing and knitting, vests seem to be the fashion accessory. I honestly don’t get it. I love quilts and quilting, I just don’t want to wear one. The only person I can think of that pulled off the vest look was Diane Keaton in Annie Hall.

And yet I bring you another vest book. This time you will really get your money’s worth with the whole reversible thing. If they were actual quilts instead of a “fashion statement” I would be all over the color choices and techniques. I think I am going to say that the quilted vest needs to be retired as a concept. (Right next to the fancy sweatshirts) Make a lovely quilt for the guest room instead.

MTTC test review

Teacher Test

Michigan Test for Teacher Certification
REA Editors
2005

Test preparation materials are extremely popular at every library I have worked at. I have been amazed at the vast subjects that need test preparation. Libraries are often the only places to get this type of information. The cost of prep materials, as well as prep courses are often outside a student’s budget. In Michigan, teachers are required to be certified before student teaching. I am not up on the latest details of the test, but I have seen my fair share of students looking for this material and other test preparation items.