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Good Reads

Garth Stein’s novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, is a beautifully crafted tale of the wonders and absurdities of human life as only a dog could describe them.

Rick Bass’s Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had is a gorgeously written memoir about a remarkable “brown” dog who possessed a genius for the hunt. It is also a powerful contemplation about the natural world and how a dog can unveil its secrets to us, if only we are wise enough to watch and listen. 

Donald McCaig’s Eminent Dogs: Dangerous Men is a book about the fascinating world of sheepherding and Border Collies and how the history of these dogs is infused by character of the people who admire then and who “partner” with them. Part memoir, travelogue, and part investigation into one of the oldest alliances mankind has struck with canines.

Dog Walks Man, a collection of humorous and absorbing essays by John Zeaman, conveys how the routine act of dog-walking can connect us to the joys of the nature. 

Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs by Carolyn Knapp is the seminal book about, as its subtitle proclaims, the bond between people and dogs. A must read for all dog people—affirming that we aren’t alone in our dog-centricity. Knapp explored why dogs matter to us and concludes that we love them for themselves—for their very otherness and dogginess. 

My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley. This book is a lovely, unsentimental and very moving biography of a dog, an Alsatian female named Tulip. Ackerley is charmed and fascinated by her and his descriptions about her behavior and habits are among the more tender “love” stories ever.

Lee Harrington’s Rex in the City is the modern day story about how a young couple learned about the challenges of adopting an abused, untrained dog and bringing him up in a small NYC apartment. The author shares both her pains and her joys of their life with a troubled dog. But readers will be reminded—in a delightful way—that love does indeed conquer all.

HANDS ON
When it comes to advice, we go to the experts.
In Speaking for Spot, Nancy Kay, DVM, provides a road map to help us navigate the complicated terrain of canine health care most effectively.

Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB, has written a shelf-load of books in which she decodes the mysteries of canine behavior. Two we particularly like are The Other End of the Leash, which focuses on why we behave as we do around our dogs and how it affects them, and (with Karen London, PhD), Love Has No Age Limit, a much-needed primer on adopting an adult dog.

If you’ve wondered vets do day-to-day, read veterinary surgeon Nick Trout’s Tell Me Where It Hurts and Love Is the Best Medicine and get clued in.

WHO DONE IT?
Finally, in the belief that sometimes, more is better, we put our paws together for three don’t-miss, dog-flavored mystery series.

David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter is a reluctant attorney whose real passions are dog rescue and his Golden Retriever, Tara. One Dog Night is the most recent entry.

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Submitted by June J. McInerney | June 9 2012 |

I'd like to add my book, "The Basset Chronicles", to your list of great summer reads. It's a delightful collection of stories about Basset Hounds throughout the ages, both Biblical and Modern times: how Bassets were first created, how a brace of Bassets saved the Ark, and a number of tails, er, tales told by "Frankie" in his own words. This book is available at amazon.com, as well as an e-book.

Also, it is not obvious or evident on this site where one can add a suggested selection to the "Listomania", a requested in the Book Review section of the latest issue of The BARk. You need to be more specific.

Thank you,
June

Submitted by Catrina | June 12 2012 |

Thanks Bark, I want to read them all (some I have, like "Inside of a Dog")! Luckily I work in a library.

Submitted by Ellen | June 19 2012 |

I am reading the English version of "FaithfulRuslan" by Georgi Vladimov. The story of how the book came to be is almost as interesting as the book. It is a fiction but based on a real life incident; it tells the story of Ruslan, a Caucasian Ovcharka (Caucasian Sheepdog/Shepherd), bred for guarding prisoners in the camps of Siberia. It is told entirely from the perspective of this dog. It is a rather difficult book to read since it is a translation and it is a very emotional tale. Not a fun book or happy book. It leaves me a little uncomfortable so I only read a little at a time. I do recommend it as a serious read and it helps me with characters in my own developing dog story.

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