Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. –Groucho Marx *
A popular stereotype about librarians is that we’re all cat people. Books like Dewey: the Small Town Library Cat that Touched the World do little to disabuse people of this notion.
I’ve got nothing against cats, but I’m a dog person. I even like reading about dogs. Luckily, there are many wonderful dog-centric books, both fiction and non-fiction at the library. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst is an odd and oddly captivating story. When Paul’s wife falls from a tree and dies, the only witness is their Rhodesian Ridgeback Lorelei. In his grief, Paul tries to teach Lorelei to speak so he can learn whether her death was an accident or suicide.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewsi follows the plot of Hamlet, but in Wisconsin and with a mute protagonist and his family’s special (fictional) breed of Sawtelle dogs. You don’t have to be a dog lover or a Shakespeare lover to be drawn into this thrilling family saga.
In Travels with Charley: in Search of America novelist John Steinbeck chronicles his 1960 cross country road trip with his beloved French poodle, Charley, and his truck, Rocinante. I fell in love with old Charley and with Steinbeck’s eloquent account of his journey across the changing American landscape.
In Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment, an elderly couple puts their Manhattan apartment on the market the same weekend that their beloved daschund Dorothy undergoes emergency surgery all while living in a city that is paralyzed by fear of a possible terrorist attack. There are many lovely, quiet moments amidst the drama.
I picked up Temple Grandin’s Animals Make Us Human for the dogs. But Grandin’s unique perspective as an autistic researcher and her insights into the emotional and psychological lives of animals were so fascinating, I stayed for the cats, horses, and other animals she explores in this book.
Have you read any doggone good books lately?
* This quote, and many more, can be found here.