Dog lovers like us love playing with dogs, cuddling with dogs, going for a walk with dogs, hanging out on the couch with dogs, and, sometimes, even reading about dogs! While there are many amazing books about dogs, here are some that have touched many hearts and are sure to be around a long time.
The Call of the Wild
Published as a book in 1903, this novel was first serialized in the Saturday Evening Post. It’s about Buck, a dog who’s taken from his home in California and sold to become a sled dog in Alaska and must adapt to a new way of live that’s much harsher than the one he’s used to. Jack London wrote it based in large part on his own experience in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. London’s 1906 novel White Fang was also set in the Yukon at that time and is told from the point of view of the titular wolfdog, White Fang.
1956 children’s book by Fred Gipson is worth a read even if you’re already past your school years. It takes place in Texas in the 1860s and follows the growing bond of 14-year-old Travis Coates and the dingy yellow dog that shows up on the farm one day. Even if you haven’t ever read this book, you may already know the heartbreaking end. It’s sniff one of the best sniff tearjerkers sniff ever. Sorry, I must have something in my eye…
The Hundred and One Dalmatians
Another children’s book, this story is probably best known now from Disney’s 1961 animated movie adaptation and the 1996 live action version. Dodie Smith’s charming 1956 book is about Dalmatians Pongo and Missis who live with their owners, Mr. and Mrs. Dearly, in London. The villain is, of course, the fur coat-obsessed Cruella de Vil who wants a coat made of Dalmatian fur. It’s up to Pongo and Missis to save themselves, their litter of 15, and other Dalmatian puppies de Vil got her hands on.
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
This 2005 memoir by John Grogan was a popular New York Times bestseller before it was turned into a successful movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. The “world’s worst dog” of the title is Marley, a rambunctious and unruly Labrador Retriever that Grogan and his family can’t help but love. This book was so popular, it was even rewritten in other versions for younger audiences to enjoy; Bad Dog, Marley! Is a picture book for little kids and Marley: A Dog Like No Other is for older kids.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Another relatively recent New York Times bestseller, this 2008 novel by Garth Stein spent 156 weeks on the New York Times best seller list It’s told from the point of view of Enzo, the dog at the center of the story. He believes that a dog who is “prepared” will come back in the next life as a human. To prepare for this, he learns about humanity close by the side of his race car driver owner, Denny, as he goes through both good times and hardships in his life.