How do you decide which books to buy versus which to borrow from the library?
If you know me, you know I want All. The. Books.
But that’s not practical or affordable, so I look at library books as novels or quick reads that I likely won’t reference again, and I buy books I plan to reference or reread. Of course, that system isn’t perfect. My house is full of novels and quick reads! 🙂 Also, I’m lucky to get review copies of forthcoming books at various points throughout the year.
So… All. The. Books!
Summer is a big reading period for me. The days are longer, so I can sit outside into the night turning pages. This year, my TBR–to be read–stack is full of dog-related books, so in case you’re looking for some summer reading inspiration, I wanted to pull together the five dog books topping my pile right now!
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5 Dog Books to Read This Summer:
This one isn’t exactly a dog book, but it does have a dog on the cover and deals wholeheartedly with our relationship with nature, dogs included. And she knows dogs. I heard Pam Houston talk about this book on the First Draft podcast, and I basically drove straight to Barnes and Noble to buy it. They didn’t have it, so straight home and Amazon! Here’s one of the reviews: “Deep Creek is a love letter to earth, animals, and the best of humanity.” Doesn’t that sound perfect? A dream book, really! In reading order, this is very next on my list, and I’m dying to dive right in.
I had this book on my Amazon Wish List for ages but felt intimidated by it. So, it languished on the list for a while. Then, earlier this month, an acquaintance struggled with some dog training stuff, and as I looked through my personal library I realized that it had been AGES since I undertook some self-study on Cooper’s behalf. So, I moved it from my Wish List to my cart, and it just arrived yesterday. This one will probably take me the whole summer to get through. It’s dense. Plus, I want to pay super close attention and take lots of notes, so this isn’t one I’ll read in one sitting like the rest. I’m curious: Have any of you worked through this? It’s the updated version that came out in 2016, but I haven’t found a ton of first-person experiences (there ARE a ton about version 1.0 but I’m wondering about the update). Anyway, I’m looking forward to learning from this text!
This is another interview I heard on an NPR podcast–I forget which one–and was so fascinated I immediately ordered the book. You may have heard about these studies, The Dog Project, where neurologists trained dogs to get into an MRI machine so that they could test all sorts of things like self-control and even to gauge whether or not our dogs love us. It’s done comparatively, so if the one part of the brain in a human is the same as one part of the brain in a dog, and if that same section of the brain serves the same function in both the dog and the human, they assume that the dogs’ experiences are similar to the humans’ experiences for that part of the brain. I’m probably not explaining it clearly, but the gist is that the research they did shed so much light on how dogs think and how they experience the world. And, there are HUGE implications for this, like how to work with dogs in shelters who are stressed or how to predict if a puppy will flunk out of service dog training before investing time and money in that dog. This is the book I’m in right now. I think I’m maybe a third of the way, and I highly recommend it to absolutely everyone.
Author Laura Coffey is the outgoing Vice President of the Dog Writers Association of America, and I’m the incoming VP. Our paths crossed at the event this past February in New York, and I was lucky enough to get a copy straight from the author. I’ve actually put this one off a bit because I know I’ll need a full box of tissues to get through this, but I’m ready for it this summer! The photography is stunning, and I’m a sucker for resilience stories. This one will be my read immediately after Deep Creek, and I really look forward to immersing myself in these beautiful stories.
The beach read on my list! I actually received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy before it came out, but it didn’t fit with anything I had in the works so I set it aside because I just knew it would be PERFECT for summer. The premise: a border collie wins the mayoral race in a down-and-out small town. It looks like a fun, light read perfect for poolside. I really appreciate easy page-turners for summer, and I just know this one will tick all those happy boxes.
Non-pet recommendations from my stacks:
If you’re looking for just a good novel, I recently finished Circe and OMG so good. I went back and put a hold on her first book immediately. Also, I downloaded this audiobook upon the recommendation of many, many readers for my drive to and from the Cat Writers’ Association meeting next week… you can get it free with this Audible trial, btw.
There you have it!
My 5 dog books to read this summer with a few extra novels thrown in for good measure! 🙂 I aim to read about three books per month, so I’m still looking for two more to round out my summer list. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
What’s on your to-be-read pile for the coming summer?