dogbookA trip to the beach is not just a chance to soak up some sun and dig your feet in the sand; it is also a place where you can relax and finally catch up on your pleasure reading.  Even if you are not headed to the beach, these books are a good addition to your summer reading list.

While individual tastes in books may differ, the DogWatch Hidden Fence team loves good beach reads, especially those that feature our favorite subject – dogs!  So for this week, we are sharing with you our favorite dog-themed books.  Check out our list below, and visit our own Amazon store to purchase any or all of the titles!

The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkinson

A tragic yet redemptive tale of love and loss, Parkinson’s novel is a best-seller and a New York Times Notable Book.  The book centers on Paul, a linguistics professor who is mourning the recent death of his wife Lexy.  Lexy’s death was ruled an accident, but Paul is suspicious.  To find out the truth, he attempts to train his Rhodesian Ridgeback Lorelai – the only witness to his wife’s death – to speak.   This emotional mystery is sure to draw you in and keep you engrossed until after the sun sets.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

This novel is not just about a dog – it’s narrated by one!  Our storyteller is Enzo, a lab mix owned by an aspiring racecar driver.  Enzo is there for the ups and downs of his owner’s career.  He is also a steady companion who is frustrated by his inability to communicate with his human best friend.  For those of you who yearn to know what your dog is thinking, Stein offers an engaging, imaginative glimpse into a dog’s mind and heart.

Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, by John Grogan

You’ve seen (and loved) the movie.  Now read the book that started it all!  (As is often the case, the book is even better than the movie.)  Grogan tells the humorous tale of a Marley, an overly energetic Lab with a serious obedience problem.  Perfect for families, and for those who have experienced a lovable dog that just won’t listen (i.e. most dog owners).  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll give your dog a big hug when you’re done.  A classic beach read not be missed.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski

Stephen King “flat-out loved” this book, and said that he “didn’t want it to end.”  A modern-day retelling of Hamlet, the novel is set in Wisconsin farm country.  Edgar Sawtelle, born mute, has a special bond with his family’s dogs.  He plays a key role is his family’s business of training and breeding their own special (fictional) breed.  All that falls apart, however, when Edgar’s father dies.  He suspects that the person responsible is his uncle – and new stepfather – Claude.  A number one New York Times bestseller and an Oprah’s Book Club selection, this book is a must-read new spin on a classic.

One Good Dog, by Susan Wilson

This novel tells a story of one man and one dog’s redemption.  Adam March is sentenced to perform community service as a result of a split-second act of violence.  While working at a men’s homeless shelter, he meets a pitbull named Chance.  Chance is also recovering – he escaped a life of forced dog-fighting.  Like Enzo in The Art of Racing in the Rain, Chance narrates his own story.  A powerful read that will affect you long after you’ve read the last page.

For more recommendations, including non-fiction works and books for young adults, check out our Amazon store.  Also, we encourage you to share your dog-themed summer reading recommendations here on our blog, or via Facebook and Twitter.  Happy reading!

Photo by Alice Jamieson via Flickr.