Monday, October 28, 2013

What to read next - Dog Books!

It's time for my latest recommendations on what to read next! Normally, the list is full of variety, but this time I'm going to zero in on dog books. While it's not hard to find books that feature dogs, it does seem hard to find ones that are really memorable, so I want to share the ones I've come across over the years that have stuck with me.

I loved Donald McCaig's Nop's Trials, but it's not available on Kindle. If you have a dog book favorite, feel free to mention it in the comments below!


1) The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein
My all-time favorite dog book and one of my top 5 favorite anything books. In this novel, we get the dog's perspective as race car driver Denny Swift struggles with his wife's illness, her loss and the threat of losing his daughter to over-controlling in-laws. What makes this story so engaging is Enzo's (the dog's) erudite insight into the happenings in Denny's life. He's loyal, endearing and sometimes opinionated. Stein makes Enzo a totally believable and likeable character and it's impossible not to become totally invested in his life. If you only ever read one dog book, read this one.

2) A Dog's Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron

 A close second to Stein's book, A Dog's Purpose follows one dog's soul through several lives as its coul is reincarnated. With each cycle, the dog learns something new about him/herself, people, and life in general. This is a very touching book. For those who've owned several dogs and discovered the unique differences among them, this story gives an insightful perspective to how a dog's mind works and the uniqueness of different breeds.

3) A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, by Ann M. Martin

Martin's book is appropriate for younger readers, but adults will also enjoy it. A Dog's Life follows the stray-born pup named Squirrel as life takes her through many twists and turns and different homes.

4) Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo

Another great children's book,  Because of Winn-Dixie is about a dog (Winn-Dixie) who helps 10-year old Opal overcome life's previous disappointments by helping her make new friends.

 5) Where We Belong, by Catherine Ryan Hyde

While the dog in this story isn't the focus, it does feature very prominently in that autistic Sophie discovers an immediate connection to her. Hyde is one of my favorite authors. Her stories are simple, profound and strike a cord that resonates with all of us. There's often an underlying theme of the adolescent-parent relationship that's on shaky ground and some unusual friendships.

6) Jack: A book about a dog where the dog doesn't die at the end, by Ray Braswell

I had to include something humorous. This one had me laughing out loud - I was glad for that, because I was on a long cross-country trip, so sitting in the airport passed much more quickly. This isn't a story, really. Just a running commentary from a dog's perspective that'll provide a few snorting laughs.

Happy reading,

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