Edmonds Booktalk: Books for the ‘dog days’ of summer

The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer “diēs caniculārēs” or “dog days.” The name came about because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. To find Sirius, draw a line through Orion’s Belt and extend that line toward the horizon. There, you’ll spot Sirius, the sky’s brightest star… then back inside to read!

Just in time for the dog days of summer, new dog books offer great ‘tails’: [first part of this list from The Washington Post]:

  • “Pug Actually” by Matt Dunn.
  • “London’s Number One Dog-Walking Agency: A Memoir,” by Kate MacDougall.
  • “What Is a Dog?: A Memoir” by Chloe Shaw.
  • “Dog Days: A Novel About Love, Loss, and What It Is To Be Human” by Ericka Waller.
  • “Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family” by Melissa Shapiro with MimEichler Rivas.
  • “The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People, Lost and Found” by Rick Bragg.
  • “Woodrow on the Bench: Life Lessons from a Wise Old Dog” by Jenna Blum.
  • “A Dog’s World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World Without Humans” by Jessica Pierce and MarcBekoff.

And even more. Some new, some new favorites, and some of our all-time favorites: [all listed on our website, here, including a link to The Washington Post article.]

  • “The Finders: A Mystery (Mace Reid K-9 Mystery #1)”, by Jeffrey B. Burton. The first of a fast-paced new mystery series featuring a heroic golden retriever cadaver dog named Vira and her handler. Now in paper.  “The Keepers: #2” is a new hardcover.  Susan and Elaine both wholeheartedly recommend the first one. [Vira is quite a special dog!]
  • “How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World’s First Talking Dog” by Christina Hunger. A true story and guide to teaching your dog to talk from speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, who has taught her dog, Stella, to communicate using simple paw-sized buttons associated with different words.
  • Spencer Quinn for adults: Chet and Bernie mystery series. The first : “Dog On It.” Starring P.I. Bernie Little and his dog Chet. It is told mostly from Chet’s point of view, so if he gets distracted by an interesting and/or delicious smell… that’s all we know about…. It is really well done. And hilarious at times. Bonus: the cases they need to solve are quite good and the secondary characters are also fantastic. Susan and Elaine both highly recommend the series!
  • Spencer Quinn for kids [ages 8 to 12]: Bowser and Birdie mysteries. Dog detective Bowser teams up with eleven-year-old Birdie to solve mysteries on the Louisiana coast. “Woof” is the first in the series.
  • “Breaking Creed (Ryder Creed Novel #1)” by Alex Kava. First in a thrilling series featuring a marine turned K9 rescue dog trainer. He partners with FBI agent Maggie O’Dell. Really well done mystery/thrillers with dogs as the heroes. Susan and Elaine like these very much, too!
  • “Devoted” by Dean Koontz. Mr. Koontz often has dogs play an integral part in his stories. They are often very special dogs. His newest book is a great example: A uniquely gifted dog with a heart as golden as his breed, Kipp is devoted beyond reason to people. When he hears the boy who communicates like he does, without speaking, Kipp knows he needs to find him before it’s too late. Staff recommended.
  • “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein.  This perennial staff favorite sets the bar high. Meet Enzo, the unforgettable canine narrator of this bittersweet and transformative story of family, love, loyalty, and hope.  Highly recommended.
  • “Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs” by Jennifer Finney Boylan. A memoir of the transformative power of loving dogs
  • “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know” by Alexandra Horowitz. This lively and absorbing book helps dog owners to see their best friend’s behavior in a different, and revealing, light.
  • “Inside of a Dog: Young Readers Edition: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know” by Alexandra Horowitz. The information will surprise and delight young readers as scientist and dog-owner Alexandra Horowitz explains how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human.
  • “Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond” by Alexandra Horowitz.  In thirteen thoughtful and charming chapters, this book affirms our profound affection for this most charismatic of animals–and makes us “see canine companions in new ways” (Science News).
  • “Our Dogs, Ourselves — Young Readers Edition: How We Live with Dogs” by Alexandra Horowitz. Coming August 17, 2021.
  • “The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances” by Ellen Cooney.  A novel of a young woman discovering that rescue can find even the most hopeless among us and that friends come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds. Staff recommended.
  • “The Friend” by Sigrid Nunez.  A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and a dog. A penetrating, moving meditation on loss, comfort, memory…Nunez has a wry, withering wit. –NPR
    Winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction.
  • “Dog Songs: Poems” by Mary Oliver. This is a celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet’s relationships to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work.

Edmonds Bookshop Events

Write On the Sound 2021 is online, Oct. 1, 2 and 3, 2021

Registration opens Aug. 9. All kinds of information on their website, here.

Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

We are still doing Zoom meetings for Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

Zoom meeting Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021 – 9-10 a.m.: “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell.
“Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare’s life … here is a novel … so gorgeously written that it transports you. –The Boston Globe

More information about the book and the club is here.

Send us an email here to register your email for book club membership. We will send you an invitation with a Zoom Meeting link as each book club meeting is scheduled. Once you accept the invitation it will show up in your calendar.

Aug. 19, 2021. Third Thursday Art Walk! 5-8 p.m. Welcome back to live Third Thursday festivities!

Edmonds Bookshop is featuring Krister Eide: Fantasy and Children’s Book Illustrator, whose current passion project is an animal version of Jules Verne’s classic, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Other projects include the race to build fantastic flying machines and being trapped on a mysterious island. The work is both digital and traditional, using oils and other paint media. All kinds of great information about the artist here: kristereide.com.

Recent book releases of note:

“All the Devils Are Here: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #16” by Louise Penny. Now in paper!

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Now in paperback. Chosen for Indie Next.

“Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir” by Natasha Trethewey. Now in paperback. Chosen for Indie Next.

“Golden Girl” by Elin Hilderbrand.

For Young Adult Readers “Instructions for Dancing” by Nicola Yoon.

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Chosen for Indie Next.

“The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris.  Chosen for Indie Next.

“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston. Chosen for Indie Next. In paperback.

“Legends of the North Cascades” by Jonathan Evison. Staff favorite and local author. Chosen for Indie Next.

“The Sweetness of Water: A Novel” by Nathan Harris. Oprah’s latest Bookclub choice. Chosen for July Indie Next.

“The Maidens” by Alex  Michaelides. A great review at Publishers Weekly, here. Bonus content: PW talks with Alex Michaelides, here.

“Songs in Ursa Major” by Emma Brodie. Chosen for Indie Next.

“The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict. A Good Morning America Book Club Pick. Chosen for July Indie Next.

For Young Adult readers  “Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow Trilogy #3)” by Rainbow Rowell.

“Falling” by T.J. NewmanStaff recommended x 2!  Chosen for Indie Next.

“Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship” by Catherine Raven. Chosen for Indie Next. Staff recommended.

“This Is Your Mind on Plants” by Michael Pollan.

“The Jane Austen Society” by Natalie Jenner. In paperback. Staff recommended.

“Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi. A Today Show #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick! Now in paperback. Staff recommended.

“Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman.  In paperback.

“The Paper Palace” by Miranda Cowley Heller. Chosen for July Indie Next, here.

“The Cellist: Gabriel Allon #21” by Daniel Silva. Staff recommended author & series.

“The Final Girl Support Group” by Grady Hendrix. They made it through the worst night of their lives…but what happens after?

Some books of note being released in August:

“Afterparties: Stories” by Anthony Veasna So. A debut story collection about Cambodian-American life-immersive and comic, yet unsparing. Aug. 3, 2021.

“The Perfume Thief” by Timothy Schaffert. A 72-year-old, queer American expat perfumer with a criminal past, who, with her 20-year-old roommate and a French singer, outmaneuvers the Nazis in WWII Paris. As always with Schaffert’s tales, the characters and their backstories are delicious and the story line is over-the-top.  Aug. 3, 2021.

“The Coldest Case: Bruno, Chief of Police #16” by Martin Walker. An anonymous skull, an unsolved murder, sinister rumors from the Cold War era of espionage–Bruno’s investigation into a long-standing cold case finds him caught between an enigmatic winegrower and a menacing Communist organization from the past. Aug. 3, 2021.

“Something New Under the Sun” by Alexandra Kleeman. A novelist discovers the dark side of Hollywood and reckons with ambition, corruption, and connectedness in the age of environmental collapse and ecological awakening–a darkly unsettling near-future novel. Aug. 3, 2021.

“The Turnout” by Megan Abbott. A revelatory and mesmerizing new novel set against the hothouse of a family-run ballet studio. Aug. 3, 2021.

“The Husbands: A Novel” by Chandler Baker. A thriller that asks: to what lengths will a woman go for a little more help from her husband? Aug. 3, 2021.

“All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler” by Rebecca Donner. Historians identify Mildred Harnack as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance, yet her remarkable story has remained almost unknown until now. Aug. 3, 2021.

“Holdout” by Jeffrey Kluger. When evil forces are going unchecked on Earth, a principled astronaut makes a spilt-second decision to try to seek justice in the only place she knows how–the International Space Station. Aug. 3, 2021.

“Billy Summers” by Stephen King. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong? Aug. 3, 2021.

“In the Country of Others” by Leila Slimani. A woman in an interracial marriage whose fierce desire for autonomy parallels her adopted country’s fight for independence. Aug. 10, 2021.

“The State Must Provide: Why America’s Colleges Have Always Been Unequal — and How to Set Them Right” by Adam Harris. Aug. 10, 2021.

“Burning Man: The Trials of D.H. Lawrence” by Frances Wilson. An electrifying, revelatory new biography of D. H. Lawrence, with a focus on his difficult middle years. Aug. 17, 2021.

“All In: An Autobiography” by Billie Jean King, Johnette Howard and Maryanne Vollers. An inspiring and intimate self-portrait of the champion of equality that encompasses her brilliant tennis career, unwavering activism, and an ongoing commitment to fairness and social justice. Aug. 17, 2021.

“The Last Mona Lisa” by Jonathan Santlofer. Santlofer, a painter and veteran thriller writer, takes us back to August 1911, when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre and went missing for two years. The truth about what happened is elusive, the chase nail-biting, the women beautiful. Aug. 17, 2021.

“God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning” by Meghan O’Gieblyn. A strikingly original exploration of what it might mean to be authentically human in the age of artificial intelligence. Aug. 24, 2021.

“The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois” by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. The 2020 National Book Award-nominated poet makes her fiction debut with this magisterial epic that chronicles the journey of one American family, from the centuries of the colonial slave trade through the Civil War to our own tumultuous era. Aug. 24, 2021.

“Seeing Ghosts: A Memoir” by Kat Chow. An intimate and haunting portrait of grief and the search for meaning from a singular new talent as told through the prism of three generations of her Chinese American family. August 24, 2021.

“The Guide” by Peter Heller. A heart-racing thriller about a young man who, escaping his own grief, is hired by an elite fishing lodge in Colorado, where amid the natural beauty of sun-drenched streams and forests he uncovers a plot of shocking menace. Aug. 24, 2021.

“The Madness of Crowds: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #17” by Louise Penny. The Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request. He’s asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university. While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture. Aug. 24, 2021. More information and to pre-order, HERE!

“A Slow Fire Burning” by Paula Hawkins. A gripping, twisting story of deceit, murder, and revenge. Aug. 31, 2021.

We will keep posting our favorite reads, along with links to all kinds of book-related interesting things! In all the places: on our website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You may pre-order any forthcoming title by visiting our website.

Stay safe. Do your best to stay sane. And as always: Happy reading!

— By Elaine Mattson

Edmonds native Elaine Mattson has worked at The Edmonds Bookshop off and on since she was 12 years old, and has also worked at a book wholesaler, a book publisher, and for the book publishing division of a large local software company (yes, that one). “I was raised a book lover [thanks, Mom!],” Mattson says. “We got book lights by our beds as soon as we were old enough to read. And then I probably got in trouble for reading too late the very next night. And I still read too late!




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