Whether your heading to your favorite beach, vacation home, or just to your backyard, Summer 2021 means getting back to the activities you may have missed out on last year.  

Here are a collection of books about our favorite topic – DOGS – that pair perfectly with sunshine!


How Stella Learned To Talk Book Cover

How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World’s First Talking Dog by Christina Hunger

 A speech-language pathologist and author, Christina Hunger tells an incredible true story about breaking down the walls of human-canine communication. 

When Christina begins to draw connections between her day job and her new puppy, Stella, she begins to wonder if there could be a better way to communicate with her pup. She tries out her theories through a series of language-based tests with communication devices. After a few years of breakthroughs, Stella develops a system of creating near-complete sentences for daily communication. This book is one part how-to guide, one part memoir, and all parts interesting.

Max the Miracle Dog: The Heart-warming Tale of a Life-saving Friendship Book cover

Max the Miracle Dog: The Heart-warming Tale of a Life-saving Friendship by Kerry Irving

From author Kerry Irving comes an emotional, touching, true story about love, survival, and second chances.

When an avid cyclist, Kerry, is forced to give up his favorite hobby due to an injury, he develops deep psychological issues. During a shopping trip, he has a chance to meet with a friendly, homeless spaniel named Max. Kerry instantly makes a connection with the dog and brings him home. In this true story, the two form a strong bond and give each other exactly what the other needs.

How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery book cover

How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery

National Book Award Finalist, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery has traveled the world and spent time with some of the most amazing animals on earth.

In this memoir, she reflects on encounters with thirteen specific creatures and what they have taught her about life. The themes explored include love, passion, coping with loss, gratitude, and more. These stories all find their way back to the central theme: how to be a good creature.

When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship by Martha Teichner book cover

When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship by Martha Teichner

Long-time CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, and multi-Emmy-award-winner Martha Teichner delivers a story about love, loss, and being in the right place at the right time.

When Martha ran into an old acquaintance in an early morning dog walking group, she was told the story of Carol; a woman dying of cancer and searching for a new home for her dog, Harry. Harry, a bull terrier, was the same breed as Martha’s dog, Minnie. The four developed a profound bond that displays how deep relationships with dogs can touch our lives.



A Dog's Courage book cover

A Dog’s Courage: A Dog’s Way Home by Bruce Cameron 

The second novel in the “A Dog’s Way Home” series, follows Bella, a once lost dog now happily living with her family. During a weekend camping trip, Bella gets lost amid the largest wildfire in United States history. During her search for her family, she stumbles upon two defenseless mountain lion cubs and takes it upon herself to care for them. Facing danger at every turn, Bella must now protect the cubs and find her way home.

This fast-paced adventure is a page-turner that dazzles and excites. An incredible tale that always finds a way to return to the central theme of family and love. Like all of W. Bruce Cameron’s novels, this is sure to warm the heart of any dog lover.

I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin book cover

I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin

What do you get when you combine two former best friends, one giant dog, one stolen VW camper van, and a two-thousand-mile road trip? This hilarious and heartfelt new novel from best-selling author Ann Garvin.

Former college roommates and estranged pals Samantha and Holly reunite to help their best friend Katie. Katie, who is hospitalized with cancer, needs them to travel across the country together to pick up her diabetic Great Pyrenees dog at a rescue. Will they mend their broken friendship, or become even more at odds? What hilarious misadventures and strange characters will they meet along the way? Pack this delightful novel for your next road trip, and find out!

Pug Actually: A Novel by Matt Dunn book cover

Pug Actually by Matt Dunn

Doug is a pug-turned-matchmaker in this charming story about relationships and unbreakable bonds. Doug desperately wants his rescuer, Julie, to find love and be happy. Doug knows that Julie’s current lover, the already married Luke, will never be the right choice. Her friend Tom, on the other hand, is perfect for her, and everyone can see it except for them. Doug navigates the hilarious and many times awkward world of human relationships, and through loyalty and love does what he can to make sure his human is happy.

This entertaining novel won Parade’s “Best Canine Book” of Summer 2021, and was named PopSugar’s “Best Book Of June”!


Good Dog: A Collection of Portraits by Randal Ford book cover

Good Dog: A Collection of Portraits by Randal Ford

Featured on magazine covers worldwide, including Time Magazine, and commissioned for national brands such as Anheuser Busch, L.L. Bean, Yeti, and Pepsi, photographer Randal Ford explores the wide world of canines.

From rescues to show dogs and everything in between, Ford captures the essence of man’s best friend. This book is a collection of 150 funny, heart-warming, awe-inspiring, relatable portraits that is sure to bring joy to any dog owner.

Children’s Books

The Not-So-Scary Dog Alanna J. Propst, Michelle Simpson book cover

The Not-So-Scary Dog by Alanna J. Propst, Michelle Simpson

For ages 4 and up, this short story follows a young boy who is terrified of dogs. When he gets invited to a birthday party where he knows a dog will be present, he and his mother decided to devise a plan to help him overcome his fears. This book introduces the concept of exposure therapy and dealing with phobias to little ones and help them to understand how they may overcome their fears.

Do you have your own favorite dog-themed book to recommend? Share your feedback with us in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Have a wonderful summer and happy reading!