Books multiply like bunnies around the Bark editorial office, distracting us from our duties with their beautiful covers, interesting themes and flat-out wonderful writing. Here are some that made it onto our reading list in 2008, as well as a few we’re keeping an eye out for later this year.
FICTION & MEMOIR
The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming, by Shreve Stockton (Simon & Schuster, $23). The blog that became a book—a year in the life of an intrepid young woman who moved to Wyoming, took in a coyote pup and raised him to adulthood.
Dog Years, by Mark Doty (Harper Perennial, $13.95). A prize-winning poet and memoirist, Doty explores the complicated landscape of love and loss.
Howl: A Collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit, assembled by the editors of The Bark (Three Rivers, $14.95). A lively compilation of humor and tail-wagging wit from some of the funniest, most sophisticated writers around.
Labrador Pact, by Matt Haig (Viking, $23.95). Mortality is left to the dogs in this bittersweet story of a canine who gives his all for his family.
The Lost Dog, by Michelle de Kretser (Little, Brown, $24.99). A man’s search for his dog in the Australian bush is the framework on which the author hangs a complex tale of relationships, aging and trust.
The New Yorkers, by Cathleen Schine (Picador, $14). Set in the microcosmic world of a New York neighborhood and its eccentric citizens; the dogs are the stars of this show.
Wolf Totem, by Jiang Rong (Penguin Press, $26.95). Winner of 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize, a fictional take on China’s marginalization and diminishment of Mongolian tribes and the sweeping landscape and animals they honor.
Dog Park Wisdom: Real-world Advice on Choosing, Caring For, and Understanding Your Canine Companion, by Lisa Wogan and Bev Sparks (Skipstone Press, $18.95). Packed with dog-savvy folks’ advice and tips for all aspects of a happy life with dogs—from choosing a puppy to why you should wear a belt at the dog park.
Dog Walker’s Startup Guide: Create Your Own Lucrative Dog Walking Business in 12 Easy Steps, by J.D. Antell (Novus Markets, $24.99). Combine business with pleasure—everything you need to know to replace your day job with one that’s much more fun.
Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces, by Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing (HSUS, $21.95). A how-to—and why-to—add dogs to the workplace; case studies lend support to their premises and step-by-step advice shows you how to make it happen in your office.
Positive Perspectives 2: Know Your Dog, Train Your Dog, by Pat Miller (Dogwise, $21.95). Miller gives us tools (and hope) in this comprehensive and well-organized primer on positive training, informed by her pragmatic and educated point of view.
Tales of Two Species: Essays on Loving and Living with Dogs, by Patricia B. McConnell, PhD (Dogwise, $12.95). An expert on the interior lives of dogs, McConnell covers all the bases in this new collection of her Bark columns.