Groucho Marx said it best: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
If you want to compile a summer reading list and are ready to admit this won't be the year you read War and Peace, why not choose some volumes that are — with apologies to Dostoevsky — fun, light, and engaging to read.
For those who consider a furry companion their best friend, I recommend you select from this list of books about dogs. I've read them all; most made me shake my head in recognition, some made me cry, some made me laugh, some I simply hoped wouldn't end.
I hope you get as much pleasure out of reading these books about dogs as I have:
Knapp was an intense journalist confronted by a number of personal problems in a short time: Her parents died, her relationship ended, and she'd given up drinking. Solace came in the form of Lucille, an eight-week-old shelter puppy she adopted. Knapp writes movingly of her own human-animal relationship and reaches out to experts and others for their insights on this sacred bond.
If you find meaning in the phrase "God is dog spelled backward," this book should appeal to you. A series of dog-human encounters leads to a deeply satisfying and spiritual conclusion.
Being in the presence of a patient, loving dog is akin to having a live-in shrink. Katz, who's written several books including a paean to his stolid Labrador retrievers, gets thrown for a loop when he agrees to take on the training of a border collie named Devon. Smart as they come, Devon is a handful. Earning his trust, and starting to trust him is a learning experience for both.
Taciturn, fussy J.R. has little genuine human contact in his life. The German shepherd he adopts becomes a focal point of this life. In quiet prose and with great powers of observation, the author describes the animal and their relationship. Some readers may find the book slow going. If you're looking for a page turner, this isn't it. But if you want something to savor slowly, try it.
This picture book is a cherished volume in my library. Not only does Shaff capture the emotions of the dogs she photographs, but Blount pens sweet and true verses that seem to know what's on the dog's mind. He enhances my favorite spread of a guilty-looking hound with the words: "Expensive shoe, expensive shoe, I ate it 'cause it smelled like you."
Another picture book, this one celebrates the gray muzzles of dogs who have lived long. While many people want to bring a puppy into their home, nothing compares to the patience and serenity of an old dog. Author Weingarten and photographer Williamson introduce us to a variety of aged dogs and their owners. Every one is different, but in their love for their companion, every one is the same.