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Culture: Reviews
Every Dog Has a Gift: True Stories of Dogs Who Bring Hope & Healing into Our Lives
Jeremy P. Tarcher; $23.95
Anyone who lives with and loves dogs knows there’s no better way to unwind from a hard day or combat life’s large and small setbacks than with a canine cuddle session. Dogs pick up on our emotions and, in their own ways, offer solace and diversion.   This ability, which we value so highly in the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives, is of even more significance during extraordinary times and...
Culture: Reviews
Movie Review: Sweetgrass
Men, dogs, 3,000 sheep and 150 miles
Anointed as the “first essential movie of this young year” by the New York Times, Sweetgrass holds promise for appearance on our next decadal list. This cinéma vérité documentary, made by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, follows—and perhaps is engulfed by—a herd of 3,000 sheep as they, their shepherds and assorted dogs make their way 150 miles up into Montana’s mountains to their summer...
Culture: Reviews
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Harper, 336 pp., 2008; $23.95
I must admit that when a review copy of the novel The Art of Racing in the Rain arrived on my desk, I wasn’t optimistic. Strike one, it is not only written in a dog’s voice, but the dog narrates the story in retrospect as he nears death. Other than in the hands of a master storyteller—Paul Auster in his compelling novel Timbuktu, or E.B.White in the enchanting Charlotte’s Web—such a species-...
Culture: Reviews
Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat
Free Press; $16.99
Feed Your Pet Right is an invaluable overview of the invention, production, distribution, marketing and regulation of pet food. This handy paperback covers everything from the “big picture” (nutritional standards, labeling lingo and industry structure) to consumer tips (for example, on the label, every ingredient listed after salt is negligible in amount). Food, supplements, treats, chews and...
Culture: Reviews
Scent of the Missing: Love & Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $26
In a dog book, I look for great information, a wonderful story about the relationship between humans and dogs, and anecdotes that are funny, insightful and memorable. Rarely do all three components come together, but Susannah Charleson’s memoir has the whole package. Beautifully written, informative, charming in every detail that chronicles the life and work of Susannah and her dog Puzzle, and...
Culture: Reviews
One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Helmand
Thomas Dunne Books; $24.99
When a Western soldier goes off to war in a hard-bitten country like Afghanistan, he prepares himself for heat and dust, danger and hostility. He is expected to put his emotions on hold, trust no one, get the job done and get out. But if he is an animal lover, with a couple of pampered hounds waiting back home, it is impossible for him to ignore the hungry packs of dogs who linger outside every...
Culture: Reviews
A Modern Dog's Life: Discover How to Do the Best for Your Dog
The Experiment; $15.95
Paul McGreevy’s love of dogs shines through in A Modern Dog’s Life: He loves the smell of dogs’ feet (and advises readers to take a sniff), advocates hu-mane training methods and takes an uncompromi s ing l y strong stand against choke chains. Readers will enjoy McGreevy’s many practical suggestions. To make sure clients positively reinforce their dogs, he tells them to “make your dog’s tail wag...
Culture: Reviews
Let's Take the Long Way Home
Random House; $23
Intensely moving, without a hint of sentimentality, Let’s Take the Long Way Home — part memoir and part biography of a friendship — should be read and cherished by Bark readers. Gail Caldwell is a fiercely private, independent, talented writer (with a Pulitzer Prize for criticism) and a dog enthusiast. So, when a dog trainer commented that she reminded her of another Cambridge writer who also had...
Culture: Reviews
Editor’s Picks for Notable Dog Books in 2010
Dog books are getting better and smarter. This year’s bumper crop is testimony to the unflagging popularity and importance of canines in our lives. From stories of incredible courage and redemptive come-backs, to moving memoirs and spot-on training guides, these ten standouts, with a few memoirs also noted, are definitely worth your attention.   Dog Walks Man by John Zeaman is a contemplative...
Culture: Reviews
I Thought You Were Dead: A Love Story
Algonquin Books; $23.95
“I thought you were dead,” Stella says to Paul when he returns home from a bar, on page one of Pete Nelson’s new novel. Delivered by an aging, arthritic Labrador/Shepherd mix, the line displays the dry wit and dog logic that makes Stella and, by extension, much of this novel a delight.   At the center of the story is Paul Gustavson, a writer in Northampton, Mass., whom we follow over the course...

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