Good Reads

Reading is a great way to educate, inform and entertain yourself. It stirs your imagination. You can travel the world, become one with nature even go back in time, into the future or to places that exist only in the mind. If you use the Library, you can do all this for free. 

Of course, it's a great way to learn about our pets. The following list of books I've deemed "good reads".
So take a look, pick a book and experience something new:

An Unlikely Cat Lady: Feral Adventures in the Backyard Jungle by Nina Malkin
Nina is an author, Brooklyn native and a different type of 'crazy cat lady' since she doesn't fit the profile of the usual suspects one considers a candidate for feeding neighborhood cats. Detailing the circumstances that brought her to care for feral cats by managing a colony, the book is a snapshot of one person's development from a neophyte to a veteran feral caretaker. A must read for anyone contemplating the role of feral caretaker.

A Dog Named Boo: How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other - and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way by Lisa J. Edwards
Lisa, a certified professional dog trainer, publishing professional, wife and pet parent to 2 cats and 2 dogs, adopts Boo, abandoned with his siblings, the runt of his litter and the dunce of his obedience class giving him a shot at life and a chance to shine as a therapy dog with some surprising changes in her own life. A genuine warm-hearted look at how our pets affect us in unexpected ways.

A Street Cat Named Bob And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen
James, a street musician struggling to pull his life together, encounters a cat in need of a helping hand. Bob helps James in some surprising and unexpected ways. As their trust in and affection for each other grows, Bob and James become not only a familiar fixture on the streets of London but best buddies and family. A great book on so many levels: the life of a stray, the human struggle for a place in the world and a need for companionship whether you are human or feline.

Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul: Stories of Feline Affection, Mystery and Charm by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marty Becker, D.V.M., Carol Kline and Amy D. Shojai.
A heartwarming and uplifting book if ever there was one, this feline edition of Chicken Soup is chock full of stories covering the entire spectrum of feline/human interaction. There are sad tales of letting go, brave tales of rescues and most of all, tales of remembrance all honoring the unique relationships people have with their cats. A book to read, keep and reread over and over.

The Dog with the Old Soul: True Stories of the Love, Hope and Joy Animals Bring to Our Lives by Jennifer Basye Sander
This is a collection of animal stories written by those who experienced them that goes beyond the usual tales of dogs and cats to include horses, birds, grey whales and moose, containing stories of love and rescue, tales of bravery, uplifting tales and some heartbreaking ones. I laughed and cried all through this collection. It is unique beyond the usual warm and fuzzy feel good animal stories we all cherish so much. Originally my recommendation for a Valentine's Day gift, this collection makes a great gift for any occasion. 

The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the End of Their Lives by Jessica Pierce
Bioethicist, wife, mom to 1 daughter and pet parent to 3 dogs, Jessica covers all aspects of caring for an aging furry family member in this very touching book.  Part personal journal written during her dog Ody's final 10 months, this book is filled with not only a day-by-day account of caring for a declining animal but copious research, facts, thoughts, feelings, issues pertaining to all areas related to aging, illness, death and the 'what happens after' discussion of the various modes of handling the remains ending with the final journal entry made a year after Ody's passing.  A must-read for anyone wishing to understand what they will face as their beloved pet(s) age.

The Rescue at Dead Dog Beach: One Man's Quest to Find a Home for the World's Forgotten Animals by Stephen McGarva
This is one of the most important books concerning animal cruelty I've ever read. It is a heartbreaking tale of one man's efforts to give a second lease on life to family pets he found abandoned on a tropical beach. This book was definitely a hard read, very upsetting yet extremely hopeful. It proves the efforts of one or a few persons can make a difference. If you read this book I guarantee you will never look at any pet the same way again. A call to action if ever there was one Dead Dog Beach will make you realize anything you do to help a stray makes a difference.

The World According to Bob:The Further Adventures of One Man and His Streetwise Cat by James Bowen
The sequel to A Street Cat Named Bob, continues the tale of Bob and his human companion James through more ups and downs of their life together - illnesses, inclement weather, encounters with other animals and people - some friendly, some not and some downright dangerous. There is the upside as well with interviews, newspaper articles about the duo and finally a genuine offer to write a book which culminates in publication, a book signing and a whole new life for Bob and James. As heartwarming as the first book, I could not put this down but needed to reach the end to find out the twists and turns as life changed for them. I have one criticism of this book: a section of color pictures of Bob and James should have been included. Otherwise, the book is a bittersweet read with an ending filled with hope and promise.

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