At the Howe, to say we have a soft spot for dogs is an understatement. Ask us about our pets at the Circulation Desk, and we will drone on about our pup’s likes and dislikes, fearlessness and irrational fears; about the crazy things they do, and, more unbelievably, the crazy things they say (through their facial expressions and mannerisms, of course).
You don’t like poetry? Doesn’t matter; Dog Songs will rip you apart and put you back together with sloppy dog kisses. Just as Mary Oliver does with every manner of life, she takes the experience of loving a dog and articulates it in the most profound way. My favorite is “The Sweetness of Dogs.”
Lily and the Octopus is about a man who vows to save his beloved dachshund from an evil octopus (AKA, an evil tumor), a vow that climaxes with a storm-at-sea battle in which dogs talk (IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!!!) and love saves all. Warning — this is a tear-jerker.
Because of Winn-Dixie is a middle grade novel, but, like all Kate DiCamillo’s books, you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy it. It follows the new girl in town whose life changes considerably when she befriends a stray dog in the supermarket. I’m on a Kate DiCamillo kick, in part because Ann Patchett told me to read her books via her book blog, and I read pretty much anything Ann Patchett tells me to read.
— Kelly S.