Connie’s Book Club - Winter 2012/2013

Connie's Book Club

Connie's Book Club

A Fistful of Collars

Atria Books, 2012
By Spencer Quinn

From New York Times bestselling author Spencer Quinn comes A Fistful of Collars, the fifth installment in Quinn’s highly regarded Chet and Bernie Mystery Series. In this comical whodunit, canine extraordinaire Chet and human Private Investigator Bernie are back at it, this time seeking out up-to-no-good Chad Perry, a movie star with a questionable past. Assigned to follow Chad’s every move while he’s in town filming a Hollywood movie, they track the star’s dark past back further than they would have expected. The human-canine duo never fails to captivate readers while they sniff out clues and stake out culprits. Adding a humorous feline twist is Chad’s cat, who has taken a liking to disturbing the pair’s every move and goes about complicating the investigative process. A mesmerizing mystery and as entertaining as the last, A Fistful of Collars is the perfect page-turner for any mystery lover looking for a fun, suspenseful read.—SI

Do Dogs Dream?

W.W. Norton & Company, 2012
By Stanley Coren
Ever wonder why your dog barks, or whether he feels afraid, depressed, or proud? Stanley Coren, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia, dog aficionado, and acclaimed author of numerous best-selling titles such as The Intelligence of Dogs, explores these and other queries in this comprehensive guide to our canine companions’ behaviour. Coren’s 50-year career as a dog researcher makes him uniquely positioned to offer unique insight and answers questions on topics such as how dogs perceive the world and communicate, if they really think and have feelings, and how they learn, while dispelling commonly held myths. Written in an enjoyable, easy-to-read Q & A format, Coren’s newest book uncovers the answers to dog owners’ most frequently asked questions in a way that we can all understand and enjoy, giving valuable and entertaining insight into a dog’s social, emotional, and mental life. A compelling must-read for all dog owners and an excellent gift.—NS

An Echo Through the Snow

2012, Forge Books
By Andrea Thalasinos
Get lost in Andrea Thalasinos’ debut novel, An Echo Through the Snow, a story of survival, healing, and the transformative bond of love that can be formed between dog and guardian. Switching between two stories, one past and one present, Thalasinos weaves together two transfixing tales of the overcoming of hardship and loss. In the present-day story, set in rural Wisconsin, a desperate and lost Rosalie Mackenzie comes across Smokey, a Siberian Husky who is in desperate need of a home and companionship. Recognizing broken pieces of herself in Smokey, Rosalie rescues the dog, setting in motion a series of events that effectively change her life. The second narrative neatly dovetails with the first when Rosalie discovers the tragic history and sufferings of the little known Chukchi people of Siberia circa the early 1900s, a story that comes alive through the travails of the young Chukchi woman at the center of this tale. Thalasinos paints a vivid picture of stark Wisconsin and Alaskan winterscapes, and in doing so draws surprising parallels between the two. The poetry of the landscapes, the interwoven stories, and the rich emotional connection between Rosalie and her Huskies make the novel a historic, inspiring and uplifting race to the finish.–SI

The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs

Random House, 2012

This gorgeous anthology
of essays, short pieces,
poems, fiction, and cartoons
published in The
New Yorker is the ideal
gift for any dog lover. The
book begins with a foreword
by New Yorker staff
writer, best-selling author,
and speaker Malcolm Gladwell, followed by four categorized
sections: Good Dogs, Bad Dogs, Top Dogs, and Underdogs. An
impressive number of talented contributors have made this
collection varied and complete. Highlights include a fascinating
look at canine police on Long Island, a retrospective piece
on the life and work of canine star Rin Tin Tin, and a moving
story by Roddy Doyle. From dog images and illustrations to
essays and poetry, there is so much to enjoy in this must-have
for your coffee table. Absolutely loved it!—NS

Dog Dreams

Gingko Press, 2011

Michael Wertz

Known for his bold, bright
use of colour and his work
with the Oakland Museum,
Converse, and the New
York Times, among many
others, multi-media artist
Michael Wertz puts his
unique style to great effect in his fun illustrated board-book,
Dog Dreams. In it, Wertz imagines what dogs dream, from
Scooby’s wish of a shoe shop for cats to Tracy’s rooftop tap
dancing reverie, bringing the canine dog-naps to life with
graphics that pop in a 1960s-hued blue and red palette.
Originally printed in a limited letterpress edition at the San
Francisco Center for the Book and now available through
Gingko Press, Dog Dreams is an imaginative and funny book
inspired by Wertz’s own dog, Olive. Sure to please kids and
adults alike.—RF

Dog of the Week!