National Dog Day: A Book List for Dog Lovers

Today is National Dog Day – a holiday that makes my dog-loving heart soar – despite the fact that I am still, somehow, only an imaginary dog owner. 🙁

Doglessness is tough. Ask any kid who has longed for a furry friend. Which is why today, I’m celebrating National Dog Day with a dog-centered book list. (Think of it as a gateway imaginary dog friend for those of us who can’t or don’t have the real thing).

I’m including some of my favorites, both old and new, because as any dog-lover knows, a dog friend stays in your heart forever.

Natinal Dog Day | Wish | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

Barbara O’Connor’s WISH is one of my favorite middle grade novels. It’s one of those books that I wish I had written – and Barbara is one of those authors I wish I could write as well as. Kid me would have adored this book.

Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite.

But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is, until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

From award-winning author Barbara O’Connor comes a middle-grade novel about a girl who, with the help of a true-blue friend, a big-hearted aunt and uncle, and the dog of her dreams, unexpectedly learns the true meaning of family in the least likely of places.

National Dog Day | Henry Huggins | www.patricibaileyauthor.com

This is a classic. Beverly Cleary’s first novel about life on Klickitat Street, HENRY HUGGINS pulled me in as a child and has stuck with me my whole life. When I think of the friendship between a kid and a dog, I think of Henry and Ribsy.And that scene in the street at the end? I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I refer to it far too often for far too many hard choices. Beverly Clearly followed up this book with two more great Henry Huggins books, Henry and Ribsy and Ribsy, but this one is my favorite.

Just as Henry Huggins is complaining that nothing exciting ever happens, a friendly dog sits down beside him and looks pleadingly at his ice-cream cone. From that moment on, the two are inseparable. But when Ribsy’s original owner appears, trying to reclaim his dog, Henry’s faced with the possibility of losing his new best friend. Has Klickitat Street seen the last of rambunctious Ribsy?

 

National Dog Day | Rules of the Ruff | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

I read Heidi Lang’s RULES OF THE RUFF in ARC form and discovered I have a unrealized dream of being a dog walker. How did I not know that was a job when I was twelve? And why is it not my job now?

Twelve-year-old Jessie is in for a long, lonely summer at her aunt and uncle’s house. Her uncle is clueless, her aunt is downright frosty, and worst of all, her cousin Ann thinks Jessie isn’t cool enough to hang out with anymore. But Jessie is industrious, and—not content with being ignored all summer—she convinces Wes, a grouchy neighborhood dog walker, to take her on as his apprentice. Sure, dog walking turns out to be harder than she expected, but she has Wes’s dog-walking code, the Rules of the Ruff, to guide her, and soon, she’s wrangling her very own pack like the best of them. But when Monique, a charming rival dog walker, moves to town, she quickly snatches up most of Wes’s business—and Jessie decides she isn’t going to take this defeat with her tail between her legs.

 

National Dog Day | Where the Red Fern Grows | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comThis book breaks all my rules about animals and media, but I can’t keep myself from putting WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS on this list. The first time I read this book, I was working as a student-teacher in a seventh grade language arts class. I cried as I read it in my studio apartment when I prepared for our novel circles, and I cried again with my group of students as we read and discussed it one chilly winter afternoon. [Spoiler Alert:  It will break your heart, and is my only exception to my Does the Dog Die rule.]

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.

 

National Dog Day | Beacuse of Winn Dixie | www.patriciabaileyauthor.comA student introduced me to Kate DiCamillo’s BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE and I am forever in her debt. (Thanks, Casey <3) A near perfect story about a girl and the dog who helps her make friends is a masterpiece of heart-felt story-telling. We should all be rescued by a dog like Winn-Dixie at least once in our lives.

The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket—and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.

Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship—and forgiveness—can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

What are your favorite dog-centered books? Please, share in the comments below. We can all use more imaginary dog friends. And, if you’re in a position to help, check out the National Dog Day website to learn more about ways to celebrate and rescue organizations, or make a donation to your local animal shelter or dog rescue.

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My Year in Books 2019

My year in books

2019

This is my Goodreads Year in Books for 2019.

I had a goal of reading a book a week/4 books a month – one poetry collection, one middle grade or YA novel, one work of fiction/memoir/essay that was not kidlit, and one nonfiction work. It looks like I managed to do it. 🙂 I enjoyed the variety – and especially liked the monthly poetry read – so I plan on setting the same goal in 2020.

TOTALS

I read 18,011 pages across 75 books Img bookstack 96


The Autobiography of a Jukebox by Cornelius Eady

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SHORTEST BOOK
75 pages
The Autobiography of a Jukebox

by

Cornelius Eady
LONGEST BOOK
610 pages
Flight Behavior

by

Barbara Kingsolver
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
AVERAGE LENGTH
240 pages

MOST POPULAR
2,083,108

people also read

The Alchemist

by

Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A Map for Wild Hearts by Andrea Hannah
HIGHEST RATED ON GOODREADS
A Map for Wild Hearts: How to Make Art Even When You’re Lost

by

Andrea Hannah
4.88 average

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Ruby in the Sky by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo
My first review of the year
 
A lovely book that tackles a number of complex issues in a real and heartfelt way. Ruby Moon Hayes is a character that’s easy to root for, and her frustration, sadness, and eventual compassion feel very true to life. The author does a wonderful job of showing just how hard standing up (for yourself and for others) can be – and how necessary it is for all of us. Great friendships form the heart of this story that’s all about finding and using your…more
MY 2019 BOOKS
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Holdfast by Kathleen Dean Moore
Ruby in the Sky by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo
 
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky
Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney
Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
In the Next Galaxy by Ruth Stone
Maybe a Mermaid by Josephine Cameron
 
Love for Imperfect Things by Haemin Sunim
Letters From the Emily Dickinson Room by Kelli Russell Agodon
On Being 40 by Lindsey Mead
The Astonishing Maybe by Shaunta Grimes
When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd
Composed by Rosanne Cash
Counting to Perfect by Suzanne LaFleur
One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant
A Brief History of Time by Shaindel Beers
I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav
Story Genius by Lisa Cron
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
Moist Meridian by Henry Hughes
Deep Creek by Pam Houston
Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle by Hilda Eunice Burgos
The Anxiety Toolkit by Alice Boyes
Sasquatch and the Muckleshoot by Adam Gidwitz
Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
The Subject Tonight Is Love by Hafez
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods
Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen by Niki Lenz
Medical Medium by Anthony William
The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles
Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz
 
At This Distance by Bette Lynch Husted
The New Codependency by Melody Beattie
Far Away by Lisa Graff
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Grace of Necessity by Samuel Green
Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett
Top of My Lungs by Natalie Goldberg
The Beautiful No by Sheri Salata
Goodbye, Mr. Spalding by Jennifer Robin Barr
Aspire by Ole Carlson
The Autobiography of a Jukebox by Cornelius Eady
Transitions by William Bridges
Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice by Brené Brown
Postcards from Venice by Dee Romito
Nate in Venice by Richard Russo
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Aimless Love by Billy Collins
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Burnout by Emily Nagoski
A Map for Wild Hearts by Andrea Hannah
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Men, Women, and Worthiness by Brené Brown
After the Ark by Luke Johnson
Someplace to Call Home by Sandra Dallas
GMC by Debra Dixon
Scarcity by Sendhil Mullainathan
Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
The Tools by Phil Stutz
My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
Bite Every Sorrow by Barbara Ras
My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder
The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz
My last review of the year
So, that’s my 2019 Year in Books. What about yours? Please let me know what you read (and loved), so I can add it to my To Read in 2020 pile.
PB | www.patriciabaileyauthor.com

 

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