Read Anything Good Lately?

It’s a question my father often asks, due to our similar taste in books. A love of history and quirky humour is something the two of us have always shared. Unfortunately for him, my current reading list is much different from my salad days. It now features more canines than Canadian politicians.* My father is not nearly as interested in every aspect of dogdom as I and our book-related conversations have decreased in animation. I kind of miss our old discussions. Since I can’t share my latest dog book discoveries with him without picking up sounds of snoring on the other end of the phone, I have decided to share them with you!

Yay! Don’t you feel lucky?

  • The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love, and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs, Lisa Rogak – This first book actually combines my two passions: dogs and history. It was amazingly well-researched and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the experiences of military working dogs and their handlers. It’s not all good times, but I think I have even more respect now for the people that partner with these dogs in war environments. Even with all our fancy modern technology, there is still nothing out there that beats a dog. My only complaint is that the book is very 20th century US-focussed. I’d love to read more about dogs involved with warfare during earlier time periods.
  •  Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable, Nicholas Dodman (editor) – I won this book about a year ago but I just stuck it on a shelf and forgot about it. Shiva is still pretty young but I still found a lot of the information shared in this book to be quite useful. There were many little tidbits on disease prevention and maintaining a dog’s health throughout her life. I feel a bit more confident in my abilities to handle Shiva’s needs as she gets older. Though the book may have been geared toward owners of senior dogs, that’s where we will all end up eventually, right? I am glad to have it for future reference, if nothing else.
  •  Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs, Caroline Knapp – I loved, loved, loved this book. Seriously. I kind of wish I wrote it actually. Other than the whole alcoholism thing, and the fact I am not nearly as talented, I almost feel like the author’s life could be my own. The book was published long before blogging took off but I am sure every single one of us can relate to the book in some way, in sentiment if not in actual life experience. I anticipate reading this one again. And again.
  • Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew, Edie JarolimThis one hardly needs an introduction. I am sure every one who has even briefly stopped by Edie’s blog knows all about this hilarious book. It’s kind of embarrassing it took me so long to read it. This is one of those books I wish I’d read before I adopted Shiva. It would have made me feel a whole lot better about my lack of skill when handling her issues. Instead of feeling like a clueless idiot, I would have realized just how many other people there are out there who don’t know anything either. Not only is the book funny and honest, it’s full of wicked advice for first-time (and even fifth-time) dog owners. My only complaint? She never wrote a sequel.

Have you read anything good lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. It doesn’t even have to be dog-related. I am always up for something new!

*Not that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King is infamous for seeking advice from his Irish Terrier dogs. Oddly enough, they were all named Pat. Suitable for an Irish dog, I suppose, though not very imaginative. Not that I am one to judge as I call my cat, Cat. In our defence, his actual name is Sabir. We just never use his actual name. He simply looks more like a Cat, don’t you think?

22 thoughts on “Read Anything Good Lately?

  1. Nice post. 🙂
    I can totally get how the interests have changed. I am now totally into dog books, blogs, posts, etc…Glad you shared your latest reads on the post. I’ll have to go check these out.
    Lately, I finished reading Huck by Janet Elder. About a lost little puppy and the journey to find him. Cute read.
    I also just finished reading Oogy by Larry Levin about how one former bait dog on the verge of death was adopted and the lessons he teaches. So good. Inspiring read.
    I’m now reading Secrets of a Working dog by Bella the Boxer. I just won this (cutely autographed by Bella and her helpers Ellen and Patrick Galvin), but it seems like a very cute and interesting read. I can’t wait to read more.
    These are the newest books, but they are my recent reads. 🙂


  2. I loved “Pack of Two,” too–Knapp is so honest. I felt like we would have been good friends. Thanks for the recommendation on Dodman’s book, too; I’ve read several of his books and have always enjoyed his casual and somewhat colloquial advice.


  3. I don’t remember the last time I read a non-dog book… I started to re-read snow crash again but got distracted by “Bones Would Rain from the Sky” by Suzanne Clothier

    Though I supposed I am currently reading a non-dog book…but it’s about cat behavior/training/ethology so it’s not totally off-topic… I’m reading “The Cat Who Cried For Help” by Nicholas Dodman.


  4. I just started “Inside of a Dog” by Alexandra Horowitz but haven’t gotten far enough to form an opinion. I’m a sucker for dog books and science books so when you put the two together and write a book about the science of dogs, I’m all about it!


  5. Right now my kids are always begging me to read what they’re reading. Funny thing is, I find the 10-13 literature more palatable than the 14-18 stuff. It’s all about love and werewolves and mutants and saving the world and stuff like that.

    I have been trying to finish Jonathan Kay’s Among the Truthers for months, but haven’t managed to get through it. Not because it’s not good, but it takes concentration, and at bedtime… my brain is fried.


  6. I have fallen way behind in my book reading because of all the time I spend blogging.

    I have been working on two books for the past month or two, “How I Write” by Janet Evanovich (research for my book writing) and “The Promise of the Wolves” by Dorothy Hearst. This book is the first in a trilogy, I won the second book “The Secret of the Wolves” on BlogPaws, so I wanted to read the first one first. I’m still reading. LOL

    Thanks for the recommendations, I am definitely adding a couple of them to my list.


  7. Read Inside of a Dog (excellent), The Emperor of All Maladies (a biography of cancer – it was riveting!), am reading Steve Job’s bio, Michael J. Fox’s latest book and just finished The Reading Promise. Planning to start The Lost Dogs about the Vick dogs but need to be well prepared.
    I remember when I would send my dad a book; he would call and “yell” at me cause he was up to 3 AM reading it – tehehehe :).
    One of the last memories I have with my parents were the 3 of us at my house here in MO, all reading. No TV, no radio; maybe a fire going.


  8. I read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein from start to finish last night. It was fantastic, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s the story of a family as told by a dog – but not in cheesy cutesy dog format. Honestly, brilliant.


  9. No, I haven’t. It’s pathetic for someone who was brought up on books. These days I just have time for blogs, where I HAVE read some good stuff :), newspapers (online) and my only subscribed mag, Time.

    Thank you for following Georgia’s little drama and your good wishes! Hugs x

    P.S. I like your name for your cat. It’s succinct and obviously fits her.


  10. I don’t do enough reading. Love to read, but I am so slow. Best time for me is the summer, as I sit in my dad’s garden and read.

    I just re-read Marley & Me – does make me cry.


  11. Here are a few…

    A Dog’s Purpose: Very easy read. Basically a dog gets reincarnated and is the narator as he lives with various people and searches for his purpose. Had me laughing, wanting to cry, and mad = great book!

    I have loved all of Jon Katz books (about dogs, his life with his problem child border collies… who he ended up buying a farm and sheep for.)

    Off dog topic, I just finished the Hunger Games series and must say all the hype about them was totally justified. It does not involve zombies etc btw. I have not bothered to read that hyped up mess.

    The Help, another one you probably already know about. Greeeeaaatt book! Finally going to let myself watch the movie soon, hopefully it’s half as good at least.

    Good luck, I hope to read more this year… maybe I can even somehow manage to get a kindle to help with this. Tax money maybe?


  12. I loved Pack of Two … and I felt such a sense of kinship in reading about her bond with Lucille. I enjoyed her writing so much that I read her other (non-dog-related) books as well. It still smacks me in the face a little bit to know that only four years after she wrote this book she passed away. When I heard about her having passed away, it felt so personal to me – as though she was a friend I’d been very close to, even though I’d never met her. Speaking of which, her best friend, Gail Caldwell, also a writer (she and her Samoyed, Clementine, were mentioned in Pack of Two, although Caroline gave them the names Grace and Oakley and recast Oakley as a Malamute) has written a book entitled “Let’s Take The Long Way Home” that chronicles, in large part, her friendship with Caroline. It is not really a “doggy” book, but I really like memoirs, so I enjoyed it very much.


  13. I love reading books but not a Dog-book one but I do read sometimes. Thanks for the list above I will check them all out.



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