Ah, August. Here in Connecticut, August is shorthand for "hazy, hot and humid" as well as "cram in every last bit of summer before the school year starts". If you're looking for a handy read to take along on one of those last-minute trips during the dog days of summer, here are some suggestions. (Note: No puppies were harmed in the writing of this post.)
Must Love Dogs, by Claire Cook. Likened to the romantic comedy of greats like Susan Isaacs and the late Nora Ephron, Must Love Dogs is both sweet and outrageously funny. When divorced pre-school teacher Sarah decides to get back into the dating pool for the first time in over a decade, she is more than a little hesitant. It's the man's personal ad, which includes "loves dogs", that catches her eye. And yet the man she meets at the cafe, holding the promised yellow rose, is the last person she ever expected. With a supporting cast of characters full of hijinks, this really is a great summer read.
The Dixie Hemingway Mysteries, starting with Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, by Blaize Clement. Dixie used to be a Florida sheriff's deputy, until tragedy struck and her world crashed down around her. Now her days are taken one day at a time, full of pet treats and walks, and the only mysteries she's solving have to do with a mess on the floor. At least, until one of those messes turns out to be a dead man face-down in a dog's water bowl. When local police are stumped and the investigation grinds to a halt, Dixie starts to do a little digging of her own, with chilling consequences. A mystery series with heart, and plenty of treats. Also, if you're looking for more pet mysteries, try those by Esri Allbritten, Spencer Quinn or Laurien Berenson.
The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. If you haven't read this already, and really even if you have, this is a must-read. I've talked about it here before, but I'd be remiss if I let this opportunity pass by without mentioning it again. If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's novel gives you a pretty good idea. from the frustration of not having thumbs to the unconditional love of an owner. Steadfast, silent and loyal, Enzo is race car driver Denny Swift's best friend, through ups and downs both personal and professional. If ever there was a book about what it means to be a friend, this is it.
Can't take the heat? Get reading! I'll have Three on Thursday to keep you cool through the last of the summer's heat.