Connie’s Book Club - Spring 2013

Connie's Book Club

Connie's Book Club

A Letter to my Dog: Notes to our Best Friends

Chronicle Books, 2012

By Robin Layton, Kimi Culp, and Lisa Espamer

Robin Layton, who at the tender age of 24 was honoured by LIFE magazine as one of the most talented photographers in America, has produced a heartfelt and emotionally compelling book of letters from owner to dog. Missives from us “regular” dog owners (like we could be considered that!) are intermixed with those from celebrities, including Chelsea Handler, Oprah, Tony Bennett, Rosie O’Donnell, and Rumer Willis, and accompanied by lovely photos. Expect to be moved by this disarming book. The love letters lay bare the deep emotional connection we share with our dogs and the many ways in which our lives are entwined. An absolutely lovely book and one that would make a wonderful gift for a dog-loving friend.—SC

The Love Dog

Doherty, Tom Associates, 2013

By Elsa Watson

This fun novel relates the romantic and professional travails of Samantha Novak, a recently fired paralegal who is approached by a Hollywood tabloid to write an exposé on the reality TV dating show “Love Dog.” Desperate for a job, Samantha takes the assignment and manages to work her way in as a handler for the canine star of the show, Apollo the Love Dog, in order to pick up dirty secrets. Uncovering the truth, however, proves harder than she thought when she begins to fall in love with both her canine charge and Mason Hall, the show’s attractive producer. Samantha then has to decide whether to expose the story and become a big-time writer, or quit and protect the interests of Apollo and Mason. A great diversion at the end of a long day.—AT

What’s a Dog For? The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man’s Best Friend

Penguin Press, 2012

By John Homans

Author John Homans has fond memories of his childhood dog running free and doing typical 1950s-dog things. Homans’ dog was like most others at that time, largely unsupervised and free to pursue his own interests. Now an adult with a young son, Homans decides to get a dog that will hopefully fill a similar role in his son’s life. But when they adopt Stella, a Lab mix, she quickly becomes much more than just a dog; she insinuates herself as a member of the family and is treated rather like a human. Wondering what changed between his own childhood and his son’s, Homans sets about researching the history of dogs in an attempt to unearth some truths about man’s best friend. In the resultant book, What’s a Dog For? The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man’s Best Friend, Homans illuminates the evolution of the complex relationship between dogs and humans while entertaining us with his own experiences with Stella. Enlightening and very enjoyable, this book will prove a real treat for any dog lover.—SC

Dancing Dogs: Stories

Ballantine Books, 2012

By Jon Katz

Each chapter in Jon Katz’s
latest offering, Dancing
Dogs, will touch your
heart, relating a story concerning
the special kind
of relationship only possible
with dogs. In “Day
in the Life of Pearl and
Joan,” we meet the perfect
pairing, Pearl and Joan, a human and a dog so in sync and
reliant on each other the line blurs where one ends and the
other begins. In “Puppy Commando,” Helen, a shy 12 year
old, fights to keep Julius, a Beagle she met at a shelter, risking
everything. And on “Gracie’s Last Walk” a woman takes a
difficult last trip with her beloved dog. By the time she makes
it home, she has met a new friend that will end up helping
her on the next leg of her journey. With his enviable gift for
storytelling, Katz shares a set of 16 stories about some truly
special dogs.—SC

Puppyhood

Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2012

By J. Nichole Smith

When it comes to
coffee table books,
Puppyhood tops
the list for irresistible
subject matter.
Photographer J. Nichole Smith trained her lens on puppies at
the ultra-adorable age of six weeks in order to capture a collection
of breeds as babies. Flipping from Keith the Shih Tzu
to Tater Tot the Great Dane reminds you of the remarkable
diversity within the species and the impossible cuteness of
puppies. Like we needed a reminder, but we’ll take some time
out to marvel over pups any day.—SC

Dog of the Week!

Meet: Rizzo