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The Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz/ Katz buys a farm in upstate New York and lives there with three border collies, a donkey and some sheep. Katz’s clear writing style and introspection is also present in this book and he frames The Dogs of Bedlam Farm like he does A Dog Year; a human can learn a lot from animals and they can change your life. Amazing Gracie: A Dog’s Tale by Dan Dye / Gracie is a deaf and almost completely blind Great Dane puppy who helps two men find happiness and is the inspiration behind their bakery for dogs. Like in Katz’s book, dogs in Amazing Gracie are agents of change and the inspirational tone is balanced by the difficulties many characters in the book encounter. Good Dog. Stay by Anna Quindlen / The Pulitzer Prize-winning author reflects on the loss of her dog, a black lab, and what he taught her about living life and growing old. Like Katz, Quindlen struggles with losing her canine companion and she watches him decline in health but the book also celebrates her dog at the same time, so Good Dog. Stay has a bittersweet tone. Quindlen’s introspective writing style helps readers understand her relationship with her dog and how he has affected her. Mostly Bob by Tom Corwin / Corwin, on the death of his dog Bob, wrote a letter to him as a tribute to his life. Corwin shared the letter with his friends and they convinced him to publish the letter. He did, in a unique, flip-book style. The tone of the book is neither sappy nor overwhelmingly dark. Corwin celebrates the life of his dog but he doesn’t gloss over his death and his clear and simple writing style conveys his emotions and his love for Bob. How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind by Stanley Coren / Coren, a psychologist and dog behavior expert, sheds light on why dogs act the way they do and goes on an in-depth journey into the mind of dogs. He also provides practical advice for dog owners and shatters myths about canines. Like A Dog Year, in which Katz doesn’t give his dogs human attributes, Coren’s book has a sensible tone. Coren includes personal information about his own dogs in his book, so his writing style can be warm and open. The Hidden Life of Dogs by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas / Thomas observes her many dogs in order to found out more about their inner life and how they dogs relate to each other. There is a similar setting in both books because Thomas and Katz take their dogs to the countryside and observe them as they adjust to a natural setting. Also, is an observant tone in both Thomas’s and Katz’s book because the authors want to observe how their dogs act out their instincts and how much they change when they encounter new surroundings and other animals. Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men: Searching Through Scotland For a Border Collie by Donald McCaig / A man who owns a ranch travels to Scotland and attends numerous sheepdog trials to find a border collie to bring back to his ranch. McCaig’s and Katz’s books are very similar because they both focus on border collies and their intelligence, personalities, abilities and how they are “hard-wired” to herd sheep. Also, both books have similar settings because the authors in both books travel to sheepdog and herding trials. Dog: A Short Novel by Michelle Herman / Herman’s book is about a detached and lonely college professor whose life is turned around when she gets a dog. The characterization of the main human characters in both books is similar because they have issues they work through with the aid of their dog and they often feel like their life is a mess. Also, Herman and Katz’s books do not have a sappy or sickly sweet tone, though they can be called “inspirational” novels. Dog is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World’s Oldest Friendship by The Bark Editors / This unique book is a compilation of essays written by famous authors that appeared in The Bark magazine and the essays, short stories and commentaries cover a wide range of topics from “dog culture,” such as the intricacies of the human/dog relationship. One of the issues that Katz uses to frame his book is how he relates to his dog and how his dog relates to him on a very basic, instinctual level and this topic is also often discussed in Dog is My Co-Pilot. Katz’s book and Dog is My Co-Pilot share a characterization of dog; they are amazing creatures and worth studying, forming relationship with and writing books about. A Dog’s Life by Peter Mayle / This unique autobiography is [supposedly] written by Peter Mayle’s dog, Boy. Though Mayle’s and Katz’s book don’t take place in the same setting, they both take place in beautiful and isolated locations. Both books have a lighthearted tone, with Mayle’s book narrated by a charming dog, and at times A Dog Year can also have a light tone when he’s writing about his dogs’ antics.
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