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NRH Reads

Posted on: December 3, 2020

Books for Dog Lovers

Happy Golden Retriever - Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

2020 has been a crazy year for everyone, to say the least, so why not relax and read some feel-good stories about dogs? In that spirit, here are eight books ranging from funny, to heartwarming, to inspiring, to inevitable heartbreak and back again. Curl up with your furry friend and enjoy!

E. B. White on Dogs by Martha White 

eb white on dogsE. B. White (1899-1985) is best known for his children's books Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. A columnist for The New Yorker for over half a century, White hit his stride as an American literary icon when he began publishing his "One Man's Meat" columns from his saltwater farm on the coast of Maine. In E. B. White on Dogs, his granddaughter and manager of his literary estate, Martha White, has compiled the best and funniest of his essays, poems, letters, and sketches depicting over a dozen of White's various canine companions. A few favorite essays include "Two Letters, Both Open," where White takes on the IRS, and "Bedfellows," with its "fraudulent reports" from White's ignoble old dachshund, Fred. 

This is a book for readers and writers who recognize a good sentence and a masterful turn of a phrase; for E. B. White fans looking for more from their favorite author; and for dog lovers who may not have discovered the wit, style, and compassion of this most distinguished of American essayists.

Available in: eAudiobook



My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley

my dog tulipJ.R. Ackerley's German shepherd, Tulip, was skittish, possessive, and wild, but he loved her deeply. Author Christopher Isherwood describes this clear-eyed and wondering, humorous, and moving book as one of the "greatest masterpieces of animal literature."

My Dog Tulip is a bittersweet retrospective account of their sixteen-year companionship, as well as a profound and subtle meditation on the strangeness that lies at the heart of all relationships. In vivid and sometimes startling detail, Ackerley tells of Tulip's often erratic behavior and very canine tastes and his own fumbling but determined efforts to ensure for her an existence of perfect happiness.

Available in: eAudiobook




Oogy by Larry Levin

OogyIn 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him, and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms and decided to take him home.

Heartwarming and redemptive, Oogy is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.

Available in: eAudiobook




A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz

big little lifeIn a profound, funny, and beautifully rendered portrait of a beloved companion, bestselling novelist Dean Koontz remembers the golden retriever who changed his life. 

A retired service dog, Trixie was three when Dean and his wife, Gerda, welcomed her into their home. She was superbly trained, but her greatest gifts couldn't be taught: her keen intelligence, her innate joy, and an uncanny knack for living in the moment. Whether chasing a tennis ball or protecting those she loved, Trixie gave all she had to everything she did, inspiring Dean and Gerda to trust their instincts and recapture a sense of wonder that will remain with them always. Trixie lived fewer than twelve years; in this wide world, she was a little thing. But in every way that mattered, she lived a big life.

Available in: eBook





The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs are Smarter Than You Think by Brian Hare & Vanessa Woods

genius of dogsThe international bestseller that reveals the amazing mind of your favorite friend: is your dog purposefully disobeying you? Probably, and usually behind your back. Should you act like 'top dog' to maintain control? No, you're better off displaying your friendliness – and not just to your dog. Which breed is the cleverest? That's the wrong question to ask.

These are just some of the extraordinary insights to be found in The Genius of Dogs – the seminal book on how dogs evolved their unique intelligence by award-winning scientist Dr. Brian Hare. He shares more than two decades of startling discoveries about the mysteries of the dog mind and how you can use his groundbreaking work to build a better relationship with your own dog. 

Available in: Print




Travels with Casey by Benoit Denizet-Lewis

travels with caseyA moody Labrador and his insecure human take a funny, touching cross-country RV trip into the heart of America's relationship with dogs.

"I don't think my dog likes me very much," New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis confesses at the beginning of his journey with his nine-year-old Labrador-mix, Casey. Over the next four months, thirty-two states, and 13,000 miles in a rented motor home, Denizet-Lewis and his canine companion attempt to pay tribute to the most powerful interspecies bond there is in the country with the highest rate of dog ownership in the world. 

Travels With Casey is a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with an exploration of a dog-loving America. What does our relationship with our dogs tell us about ourselves and our values? Denizet-Lewis explores those questions and his own canine-related curiosities and insecurities during his unforgettable road trip through our dog-loving nation.

Available in: Print



Off the Leash: A Year At The Dog Park by Matthew Gilbert

Off the LeashOff the Leash is a group portrait of dog people, specifically the strange, wonderful, neurotic, and eccentric dog people who gather at Amory Park, overlooking Boston near Fenway Park. And it's about author Matthew Gilbert's transformation, after much fear and loathing of dogs and social groups, into one of those dog people with fur on their jackets, squeaky toys in their hands, and biscuits in their pockets. Dog-park life can be tense. When dogs fight, their owners – such as the reckless Charlotte – bare their teeth at each other, too. Amid the rollicking dog play, feelings tend to surface faster, unedited. But Gilbert shows how Amory is also the home of enduring friendships. Meeting daily, a gathering of dog owners can be like group therapy, The Office, or a standup concert.

As a TV critic, Matthew Gilbert is well-known by his readership for his humorous and wry writing style. A charming narrative that will appeal to anyone who has ever enjoyed watching a puppy scamper through a park, Off the Leash is a tribute to dog lovers and their pets everywhere, perfect for fans of Marley & Me and Merle's Door.

Available in: Print



Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan

Marley and MeJohn and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house, and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.

Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound steamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, flung drool on guests, stole women's undergarments, and ate nearly everything he could get his mouth around, including couches and fine jewelry. And yet, Marley's heart was pure. Just as he joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Through it all, he remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. 

Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.

Available in:  Print  |  eBook  | eAudiobook



BrandonF News Flash

brandon dogs 2Brandon F. (with supervision from Callie and Ellie)
Adult Services Librarian 




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