Dog lovers – our 2015 Reading Picks

Love ’em or hate ’em, dogs can generate themes for some compelling stories. Here is a recommended list of fiction. We have these titles in the KSS Library. If you have other ‘dog eared’ titles to share, jot a comment below.
Visit for links to reviews and suggestions from our list.

House Broken
by Sonja Yoerg (Goodreads Author)
4.4 of 5 stars 4.40 · rating details · 87 ratings · 55 reviews
In this compelling and poignant debut novel, a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family.…
For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.
Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: January 6th 2015 by NAL Trade
ISBN0451472136 (ISBN13: 9780451472137)
other editions. None found (GoodReads, Literateowl)


The Story of Edward Sawtelle
by David Wroblewski
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 · rating details · 66,157 ratings · 11,916 reviews
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family’s traditions, but (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Ecco (first published January 1st 2008)
original titleThe Story of Edgar Sawtelle
ISBN0061374229 (ISBN13: 9780061374227)
edition languageEnglish
charactersEdgar Sawtelle, Gar Sawtelle, Trudy Sawtelle, Claude Sawtelle, John Sawtelle, Mary Sawtelle, Almondine, Essay
settingMellen (United States)
Wisconsin (United States)
Pusan , 1952 (Korea, Republic of)
literary awardsJohn Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize (2008), Sakura Medal Nominee for High School Book (2010), Indies Choice Book Award for Best Author Discovery (2009), Puddly Award for Fiction (2009), Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize Nominee (2008)


Marley and Me
by John Grogan
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 · rating details · 275,637 ratings · 12,018 reviews
John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and 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 quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through … (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published 2005 by William Morrow; 1ST edition
original titleMarley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
ISBN0739461192 (ISBN13: 9780739461198)
edition languageEnglish
charactersJohn, Jenny, Patrick Grogan, Marley, Conor Grogan
settingUnited States
literary awardsPuddly Award for Nonfiction (2007)


Adult Fiction a Narrated by a Dog:

The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 · rating details · 251,615 ratings · 25,812 reviews
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. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 2008)
original titleThe Art of Racing in the Rain
ISBN1554681723 (ISBN13: 9781554681723)
edition languageEnglish
charactersEve, Enzo, Denny Swift, Zoë
settingSeattle, Washington (United States)


by Virginia Woolf, Trekkie Ritchie (Introduction)
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 · rating details · 1,833 ratings · 164 reviews
This story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel, Flush, enchants right from the opening pages. Although Flush has adventures of his own with bullying dogs, horrid maids, and robbers, he also provides the reader with a glimpse into Browning’s life. Introduction by Trekkie Ritchie. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Paperback, 204 pages
Published October 4th 1976 by Mariner Books (first published 1933)
original titleFlush: A Biography
ISBN0156319527 (ISBN13: 9780156319522)
edition languageEnglish
charactersRobert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, Flush, Miss Mitford
settingEngland , 1842 (United Kingdom)


Merle’s Door- free thinking dog.
by Ted Kerasote
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 · rating details · 12,354 ratings · 1,415 reviews
While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote met a dog—a Labrador mix—who was living on his own in the wild. They became attached to each other, and Kerasote decided to name the dog Merle and bring him home. There, he realized that Merle’s native intelligence would be diminished by living exclusively in the human world. He put a dog door in his house so Merle could live both outside and in.A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable dog and his relationship with the author, Merle’s Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine, bringing to bear the latest research into animal consciousness and behavior as well as insights into the origins and evolution of the human-dog partnership. Merle showed Kerasote how dogs might live if they were allowed to make more of their own decisions, and Kerasote suggests how these lessons can be applied universally. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published July 2nd 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2007)
original titleMerle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog
ISBN0151012709 (ISBN13: 9780151012701)
edition languageEnglish
charactersMerle, Ted Fielding


Classics not to be forgotten

James Herriot’s Dog Stories
by James Herriot, Victor G. Ambrus (Illustrations)
4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 · rating details · 4,234 ratings · 194 reviews
James Herriot is one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. The warm and joyful memoirs of his life as a country vet in Yorkshire have endeared him to countless readers around the world, and many of his most memorable tales featured man’s best friend.
Here are the complete dog stories from his much-beloved memoirs: a handsome collection of tales, available for the first time in trade paperback, that will warm the hearts of dog lovers around the world. Featuring a special introduction by the author and his own accompanying notes to each specially illustrated story, this tribute from man to dog is a volume no Herriot fan will want to be without. ((GoodReads, Literateowl)


Call of the Wild
by Jack London
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 · rating details · 12,666 ratings · 199 reviews
Of all Jack London’s fictions none has been as popular as his dog stories. In addition to The Call of the Wild, the epic tale of a Californian dog’s adventures during the Klondike gold rush, this edition includes White Fang, and five famous short stories – B tard, Moon-Face, Brown Wolf, That Spot, and To Build a Fire. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 20th 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1906)
original titleThe Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories
ISBN0192835149 (ISBN13: 9780192835147)
edition languageEnglish
charactersBuck, Spitz, John Thornton, White Fang, Bâtard
settingAlaska (United States)


Big Red
by Jim Kjelgaard, Carl Pfeuffer (Illustrator)
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 · rating details · 12,977 ratings · 131 reviews
From the moment Danny sees the beautiful Irish setter, he knows Red is the dog for him. Fast and smart, strong and noble, Red is the only dog Danny wants by his side. Soon, neither boy nor dog can stand to be apart. Together Danny and Red face many dangers in the harsh Wintapi wilderness that they call home. But the greatest test of their courage and friendship will come from an enemy more cunning than any they’ve known before–a bear who is the undisputed king of the wilderness, a savage killer called Old Majesty. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 1st 1992 by Yearling (first published 1945)
original titleBig Red
ISBN0553154346 (ISBN13: 9780553154344)
edition languageEnglish
seriesBig Red #1


*****And for the little ones, you have to read…
by Norman Bridwell (Illustrations)
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 · rating details · 46,823 ratings · 364 reviews
Emily Elizabeth describes the activities she enjoys with her very big red dog and how they take care of each other. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Cartwheel (first published 1963)
original titleAn Itchy Day
ISBN 059044297X (ISBN13: 9780590442978)
edition languageEnglish
seriesClifford the Big Red Dog
other editions (32)



Girl Called Fearless – Linka

Whether student or teacher, YA lovers will enjoy Linka’s book #1 A Girl Called Fearless.

-Catherine Linka

-Catherine Linka

Avie Reveare has the normal life of a privileged teen growing up in L.A., at least as normal as any girl’s life is these days. After a synthetic hormone in beef killed fifty million American women ten years ago, only young girls, old women, men, and boys are left to pick up the pieces. The death threat is past, but fathers still fear for their daughters’ safety, and the Paternalist Movement, begun to “protect” young women, is taking over the choices they make.

Like all her friends, Avie still mourns the loss of her mother, but she’s also dreaming about college and love and what she’ll make of her life. When her dad “contracts” her to marry a rich, older man to raise money to save his struggling company, her life suddenly narrows to two choices: Be trapped in a marriage with a controlling politician, or run. Her lifelong friend, student revolutionary Yates, urges her to run to freedom across the border to Canada. As their friendship turns to passion, the decision to leave becomes harder and harder. Running away is incredibly dangerous, and it’s possible Avie will never see Yates again. But staying could mean death.

Romantic, thought-provoking, and frighteningly real, A Girl Called Fearless is a story about fighting for the most important things in life-freedom and love.

 Gripping, memorable, and heartrending. An ordinary girl becomes extraordinary in her fight for freedom.-C.C. Hunter, New York Times bestselling author, Shadow Falls series “Breathlessly written and terrifying in its implications, Linka’s debut is not only a thriller but a warning.”-Gennifer Albin, author of Crewel “Linka’s world-building is detailed and thought-provoking, recalling aspects of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.”- Horn Book Review

In a darkly patriarchal dystopian future America, one girl finds the strength to fight for both love and revolution. A mere 10 years ago, Scarpanol, a hormone used in American beef, spread cancer in 50 million women, wiping out generations like wildfire. Now, the Paternalist Movement controls the government, and teen girls are sold as wives under Contracts. Sixteen-year-old Avie Reveare lives a sequestered life under the care of her father, the CEO of Biocure Technologies, and her watchful bodyguard, while sneaking longing glances at her former best friend, student-turned-activist Yates. But it isn’t long before Avie’s sold for $50 million to Jessop Hawkins, a major supporter of the Paternalist Movement rich enough to save her father’s company from ruin. When Avie realizes her true feelings for Yates, it isn’t long before she’s spurred to flee to Canada, the only nearby country that welcomes girls breaking their Contracts. But the roads toward freedom are neither smooth nor short. Linka weaves a believable, disturbing dystopian future and never shies from violence or tragedy. Avie evolves into a bold protagonist at a brisk but authentic pace. Though Yates isn’t very compelling, the romance quickly takes a back seat, letting the revolution and the tense escape plot shine. A deftly plotted portrait of the evolution of a teenage girl into a dystopian heroine. (Dystopian romance. 14-18)(Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2014)

Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. By Susan Cain.

What a fabulous non-fiction book that provokes the mind without the preaching or patronizing tones. Loved it. Cain’s well researched book emphatically provides examples of how we have evolved to devalue the contemplative well thought out expressions. We replaced the meditative with the charismatic and the loud over the quiet.
Check out this amazing TED Talk:
Susan Cain: The power of introverts