Our favorite beach, lake, and backyard reads
By Patrick Cullen
Baseball, barbeque, and beach season is in full swing. Summer is officially here. In the spirit of our Get Leashed seasonal tradition, we’ve put together a summer reading list for all the pet lovers out there. While the styles vary, each book on this list in some way features our favorite four-legged friends. Whether you’re looking for something poignantly intellectual, classicly Americana, a light, pool-side read, or a curated style guide by our favorite Shiba Inu, Bodhi, this list has something for you.
Read our reviews below and then click on an image for a link to purchase!
André Alexis – Fifteen Dogs
Dive head first into the canine experience by getting as close as possible to their way of thinking. This novel takes us on a ride through the lives of fifteen dogs given linguistic skills and intelligence. Ever wonder whether dogs are inherently happier than humans? This book gives an emotional, entertaining account of the possibility that they are.
John Steinbeck- Travels with Charlie
Another classic brought to you by another great American author. Best known for those high school English staples, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck also wrote for the dog lovers of America in Travels with Charley. In this reflective novel, Steinbeck recounts an epic 10,000 mile cross-country road trip he took with his poodle, Charley. The author bonds with his canine companion and also tackles some larger, existential questions, as classics tend to do. It won’t be for everyone but you’ll know if it’s for you.
Julie Klam – You Had Me At Woof
Julie Klam was pushing thirty, working a less-than-satisfactory, part-time job, and living alone but constantly wishing she’d meet “the one.” The answer to her problems came in a dream–but not one of a prince charming. Julie dreamt about a Boston Terrier and a short time later went out and adopted her pup, Otto. New York Times Bestseller, You Had Me At Woof, is Julie’s account of all that she was able to learn about life and love through her time with Otto and their journey to “overcome the stereotype of a single, dog-owning woman.” Her writing has been called funny and accessible, and this book is a great read for anyone looking to put into words their love of dogs and is especially lovely for prospective adopters needing to be reassured that a dog is much more than an answer to loneliness.
Jennifer Arnold – Through a Dog’s Eyes
Another New York Times Bestseller, Through a Dog’s Eyes: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness will make you rethink the capabilities and needs of your animal in addition to the relationship you two share. The author, Jennifer Arnold, worked for over two decades training service dogs and developing an exceptional training method. She works to break the myths that dogs are domesticated wolves fighting for their pack, domesticated animals needing a firm owner to make them submissive, or silly, four-legged babies just looking for attention and cuddles. A great perspective from a proven source that any owner would benefit from reading.
Carol Anshaw – Lucky in the Corner
Fern is a college-aged student still struggling to find her own identity in light of her mother’s decision to leave her father for another woman years before. Throw in the start of a new love interest, (who comes with baggage of his own), her cross-dressing uncle who hosts card games at a local club and is her only confidant, and oh yeah, her relationship with her dog, Lucky, and you’ve got an unstoppable summer read. This spirited, engaging, and wise story presents Lucky as the one constant in Fern’s disorderly life. As Fern nears the end of her quest for identity and self-value, Lucky is essential in affirming her newfound surety in her own responsibility and compassion. Filled with emotion and interesting character interplay, Lucky in the Corner is sure to keep you hooked.
David Fung and Yena Kim – Menswear Dog Presents: The New Classics
Finally, after much anticipation, we present the headliner of our spring reading list. We’ve been following Bodhi, the “Shiba Inu with Steeze,” as our Jon Nelson puts it, since he exploded onto the fashion and social pet scenes, making a name for himself through his exquisite taste in men’s clothing, lady-killing good looks, and ability to ignore a taunting squirrel or scrap of food for the sake of the shot. His book, published on May 1st, was written by his married owners who have been along for Bodhi’s wild ride. The book is full of fashion advice, covering various levels of formality, settings, and types of clothing and accessories. Coming down directly from the man (dog) himself, shown decked out on every page to endorse his tips, this is a must-have for men who still don’t know how to tie a tie or have questions regarding what’s appropriate to wear to an interview. It’s time to step it up gentlemen and the Menswear Dog is here to help. Thank god.