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5 Books to Read for National Dog Day

5 Books to Read for National Dog Day

5 Books to Read for National Dog Day

Header photo by Kathleen Virginia Photography.

Tomorrow is National Dog Day and dogs are one of the few things I love more than reading. My own dog, Huxley, is named after Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World. As a rule however, I don't read books about dogs. There is too high of a chance that a dog will die in the book and I am not emotionally prepared for that. Reading tends to affect my mood - if the book is scary I'm on edge; if the book is happy and cheerful I'm happy and cheerful; if a book is tense then I'm tense. So if a book is about dogs dying, then I'm sad and often crying. Which is not fun for me or my family who has to deal with me. So here are 5 Books to Read for National Dog Day, none of which I have read.

1. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

From the publisher:

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.

2. A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

From the publisher:

A Dog’s Purpose―the #1 New York Times bestseller―is heading to the big screen! Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House RulesDear JohnThe 100-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. The family film told from the dog’s perspective also stars Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Peggy Lipton, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, Pooch Hall and Dennis Quaid. A Dog’s Purpose is produced by Gavin Polone (Zombieland, TV’s Gilmore Girls). The film from Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media will be distributed by Universal Pictures. Screenplay by W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon and Audrey Wells and Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky.

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog's Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

Bailey's story continues in A Dog's Journey, the charming New York Times and USA Today bestselling direct sequel to A Dog's Purpose.

3. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan

From the publisher:

Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.

John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.

Marley grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, and stole women's undergarments. Obedience school did no good -- Marley was expelled.

But just as Marley joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley remained a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.

Marley & Me is John Grogan's funny, unforgettable tribute to this wonderful, wildly neurotic Lab and the meaning he brought to their lives.

4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

From the publisher:

Where the Red Fern Grows is a beloved classic that captures the powerful bond between man and man’s best friend. This edition also includes a special note to readers from Newbery Medal winner and Printz Honor winner Clare Vanderpool.

Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.

Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past.

5. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

From the publisher:

One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie. Featuring a new cover illustration by E. B. Lewis.

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