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Pet Lovers

Great Reads for Dog Lovers

It’s January, the perfect time to snuggle up under a blanket with a great read. If you are a dog lover, there are a lot of wonderful books out there, so grab your tea, light the fire, and enjoy (all of these picks are available at amazon.com)!

The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel, by Garth Stein

Review from Publisher’s Weekly: If you’ve ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein’s third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny’s old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny’s bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Amazing Gracie: A Dog’s Tale by Mark Beckloff

Product Description (from Amazon.com): Gracie was a deaf and partially blind albino Great Dane with a delicate constitution and a penchant for small miracles. Dan is the man-sad over the loss of his last dog and trapped in a dead-end job-who adopted her. Three Dog Bakery is the burgeoning and much-publicized chain of canine bakeries that, inspired by Gracie, Dan and his friend Mark founded. A love story, AMAZING GRACIE describes how Dan saves Gracie, the loneliest pup in the litter, then how, over the next ten years, Gracie saves Dan and Mark, teaching them the real meaning of happiness. There’s the moment of meeting, when Gracie gets to her feet like a clumsy foal and nuzzles Dan’s nose. Gracie’s romance with the pint-size Boston Terrier next door. And the eureka moment (born of Gracie’s anorexia-inducing dislike for commercial dog food): Dan teaches himself to cook and within three days begins baking the dog cookies that will transform their lives. AMAZING GRACIE is a dog-lover’s treat.

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Review from Publishers Weekly: A tail-wagging three hanky boo-hooer, this delightful fiction debut by newspaper columnist Cameron (8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter) proposes that a dog’s purpose might entail being reborn several times. Told in a touching, doggy first-person, this unabashedly sentimental tale introduces Toby, who’s rescued by a woman without a license for her rescue operation, so, sadly, Toby ends up euthanized. He’s reborn in a puppy mill and after almost dying while left in a hot car, he’s saved again by a woman, and he becomes Bailey, a beloved golden retriever, who finds happiness and many adventures. His next intense incarnation is as Ellie, a female German shepherd, a heroic search and rescue dog. But the true purpose of this dog’s life doesn’t become totally clear until his reincarnation as Buddy, a black Lab. A book for all age groups who admire canine courage, Cameron also successfully captures the essence of a dog’s amazing capacity to love and protect. And happily, unlike Marley, this dog stays around for the long haul.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava by Jay Kopelman

Review from From Publishers Weekly: The news from Iraq keeps getting grimmer, but Iraq veteran Kopelman and journalist Roth (The Man Who Talks to Dogs) tell a tale of radiant joy about Kopelman’s efforts to safely transport Lava, the stray dog his Marine unit found in the wreckage of Fallujah, back to the U.S. Though the premise sounds cloying, Kopelman and Roth eschew sentimentality. They don’t hesitate to detail the corruption of the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. military bureaucracy or the extreme hardships of the Iraqi people. Kopelman’s nagging qualms about keeping the dog in violation of military orders throw into relief his efforts to repress his guilt over working so hard to save a dog amid so much human suffering. Most bracing are the frank descriptions of the war’s moral vacuum, where terrified men and women—like the dogs that Iraqi insurgents strap with bombs and send charging into the enemy—are driven to commit unspeakable acts they cannot possibly understand. The story of Lava’s journey out of Iraq is exciting, but it’s to Kopelman and Roth’s credit that it’s not nearly as harrowing as the story of what the dog left behind. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote

Review from Publishers Weekly: Humorous, jubilant and touching by turns, this story of the relationship between man and dog is informed by the author’s grasp of animal research and his attachment to Merle, a stray dog he adopted. A Labrador mix, Merle first appeared while the author was on a camping trip. Kerasote (Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age), an award-winning nature writer, decided to take his canine friend home to rural Wyoming. This chronicle of their 13 years together is interspersed with studies by animal behaviorists that strengthened Kerasote’s desire to see Merle as a responsible individual rather than a submissive pet. Merle set his own eating schedule (though not without early mishap), refused to hunt birds (although not elks) and, according to the author, possessed a range of emotions and sentiments similar to those of humans. Kerasote tends to anthropomorphize Merle’s every look and movement, but this narrative is entertaining and Kerasote’s strong love for Merle and enthusiasm for life in the wild will win over many readers. Kerasote’s joyous relationship with Merle is balanced by a bittersweet account of a close relationship the author had with Alison, a neighbor and fellow dog owner. Kerasote’s last weeks with the dying Merle are beautifully rendered. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


10 Responses to “Great Reads for Dog Lovers”

  1. [...] Rachael Ray Blogs: Great Reads for Dog Lovers blog.rachaelray.com/index.php/2011/01/08/great-reads-for-dog-lovers/ – view page – cached Great Reads for Dog Lovers Posted by Pet Lovers on January 8, 2011 | No [...]

  2. jayne brooks says:

    One of the GREATEST books I’ve ever read!!!

  3. Donna says:

    I’m fostering a little dog that I found and a friend had read the book so I named him Enzo.

  4. tt says:

    Get A Dog’s Purpose…best book i ever read!

  5. Patricia Worden says:

    Amaxing Gracie, From Baghdad with Love and A Dog’s Purpose.. just finished them each… great books!! am about to read Artof Racing in the Rain!! Another good one is Rescuing Sprite!!!

  6. Rajiv Jasani says:

    I am writing here for the first time and wish to draw your attention to this particular lady who spends most of her time with animals ( her 6 dogs ) at home and the street dogs ….her day begins and ends with taking care of all the pups who are either abandoned or whose parents have been killed or taken away by the Dog hunters from the Corporation ….she takes the pups in and gives them a place to be all happy and snuggly in , she provides food and stuff all the year around ….can anyone please tell me where I could get to get these books so that I can buy them for her , at least if not anyone else I think she deserves them as a gift …..its always nice to do something for oneself but its even nicer to do something for another …..

  7. linda says:

    Thank u for the wonderful recommendations. Dog lover heaven!

  8. Glenda says:

    Loved “the Art of Racing in the Rain”, and turned all my friends on to it.

  9. rose says:

    “Oogy a dog only a family could love” by Larry Levin is a must read for dog lovers. (Non fiction.)
    I appreciate the recommendations for good dog books.Thanks!

  10. Alice says:

    Read Dewey the Library Cat. You would like if even if you are not a cat lover. True story.

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