Paper or e-book, old or new, bought or borrowed, there is something comfortable about curling up to read a good book, isn't there? All the more so if you're reading with the snuggly companionship of your furry friends. With Read a Book Day and the 50th anniversary of UN International Literacy Day celebrated this week, here are some pawesome dog-related book ideas for all sorts of readers. Head to your local library, bookstore, or the (affiliate) links below, and please share your favourite doggy book suggestions with us and our readers in the comments. Happy sniffing!
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz (Amazon | The Book Depository). I bought this book by chance in an airport bookstore before a long haul flight. After sharing some interesting passages with my traveling companion husband, we bickered over who got to keep reading it. We've recommended it to many dog lovers and owners since, and my copy is currently with my mother-in-law who started reading during a recent visit after seeing the TedEd clip on dogs sense of smell and couldn't bear the thought of departing without finishing. Recommended all around! It is intelligent without being painfully academic and strives to show you the world from a dog's perspective without anthropomorphism (a common problem of mine...) through a blend of science and experience. If you're looking to expand your dog-loving understanding of your canine companion, check out the TedEd clip for a teaser and then try reading Inside of a Dog. Tip: If you're looking for pure entertainment, this is not the book for you (read on below, my furfriends!), nor would I recommend it for deep academic detail...besides, it's far too enjoyable for that. Hehe...
Dog Novels (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
There are soooo many of these for readers of all ages, tastes, and dog preferences. Because of this I'd suggest finding something that appeals to your favourites, whether that's a cheery romance, a gripping thriller (as long as the dog is ok!), a true life take, or anything in between. Trouble choosing? Have you ever bought a book solely because of it's cover? Or it's cover dogs? I'm not ashamed to admit that I have....and more than once! There was one slightly sappy romance that I recall years ago solely because it's cover included a Dalmatian (another airport purchase - I was away and missing my baby!) and I have to confess to thoroughly enjoying the light read. I'm also not ashamed to admit that I cried my eyes out reading the well-known Marley and Me by John Grogan (Amazon | The Book Depository), and many other dog tales after. On the classic front, I'm going to be completely biased here and give a shout-out to The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (Amazon | The Book Depository), although the school house Call of the Wild by Jack London (Amazon | The Book Depository) also deserves mention as a classic. On the subject of classics, if you're a vintage fan, you may need to do some extra digging but vintage dog books make great collectibles or gifts. I love the vintage Dodie Smith books that my husband bought for me. What are your favourite dog novels? Share in the comments - I'm always looking for new reads!
Dogs for Kids
Although many of the books above are suitable for more advanced young readers, for the wee ones, I love the Hairy McLairy series by Lynley Dodd (Amazon | The Book Depository). The dogs and I are often greeted by excited wee exclamations of "It's Bottomly Potts!" during walkies. :) We've gifted these cute illustrated books for small children to many family and friends over the years.
If I Could Chew on This by Francesco Marciuliano (Amazon | The Book Depository). Giggle giggle giggle. Poetry as written by the dog - need I say more? Put this on your Christmas shopping list, or ask for you own copy in your letter to Santa. Mixed furbaby households can rejoice in knowing that the cat isn't left out of the poetic giggles with the original poetry book If I Could Pee on This (Amazon | The Book Depository) and dare I say even more in the Francesco Marciuliano series for those who just can't get enough.
Off the Leash: The Secret Life of Dogs by Rupert Fawcett (Amazon | The Book Depository). I've been giggling over Off the Leash posts on Facebook for years. It never disappoints and sometimes it feels like my life is imitating his art and vice versa - like the time Humphrey stopped traffic for a perfectly placed poo mid crosswalk to the giggling, tooting, clapping of his amused prisoners and my profuse blushing apologies. And the bed cartoons...heheh...do you have any idea how much room two Dalmatians can manage to spread into and occupy? :) If you aren't already an Off the Leash Facebook follower, I highly recommend clicking "Like" for regular chuckles in your newsfeed.
Who can resist a cute dog photo? Not me! If you are looking for a pawesome coffee table book or perhaps a gift for a dog-loving friend there are plenty of these on the market to choose from. Personally, I feel photo books are best picked especially for your personal preferences - be that photographer, genre, breed, or even geographic location. As a special recommendation, if you're into dogs, photography, and maybe even a little history, check out Dogs by Catherine Johnson and the very talented dogtographer William Wegman (Amazon | The Book Depository).
What are your favourite dog books? Share in the comments - I'm always looking for new reads and great gift ideas for fellow fur-fans...and I do need to start my Christmas shopping soon!