Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nothing Like Books For the Holidays!

What’s better than giving books as gifts? Nothing! So, I’m going along with my fellow bloggers’ idea of mentioning their favorites this week. And, okay, a plug here for the wonderful works of those great fellow bloggers of mine. Cozy mysteries give hours of fun and are priced a whole lot more reasonably than many other kinds of gifts.

So what other kinds of books are there to give? Name it! Among my favorites, of course, are those dealing with animals.

I like the Animal Instinct Mysteries by Gabriella Herkert, for example--so much so that I’ve given a cover quote. Her protagonist is in the legal field, an investigator, and her assignments always seem to involve animals. So far, you can find CATNAPPED and DOGGONE on store shelves.

Speaking of cover quotes, if you’re a cat person, a great new book is Sandy Robins’ FABULOUS FELINES: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cat. It’s a detailed and delightful study on how to take purrfect care of your kitty. And, yes, I provided a cover quote for it as well.

More generally and dealing with health issues, I really like veterinarian Dr. Karen Halligan’s WHAT EVERY PET OWNER SHOULD KNOW. It has all sorts of great hints about pet health, safety, exercise and general care.

If you have any favorite animal-related books to add to my list, please let me know!



Sheila Connolly said...

I had to stop and think about that question. While many books feature a pet (cat or dog), seldom do they play an active role in the story, except as sounding boards for the frustrated protagonist. But what about books like Charlotte's Web? And I once reduced a cabin full of summer campers to tears when I read them The Snow Goose one night (and bless me but I can't even remember the story--just the response). A generation wept over the death of Old Yeller (is that a spoiler?)

Drat, none of these is cheerful. But they do move us.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I like Tamar Geller's The Loved Dog. It's well-researched, and a useful educational tool for all of us who are baffled by our pets. I'd like a copy of the book about Alex the Parrot for Hannukah. (Santa, are you listening? Oops. That was a real mixed culture heads-up, right?)

Terri Thayer said...

I love Rita Mae Brown cat mystery series. The cats (and sometimes the dog) gets involved in the mystery and figures it out. Fun!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Marion Moore Hill and I did a panel on this at Magna cum Murder. My rescue dog Gracie in Paper, Scissors, Death is a character in the book. She has a personality and a part in the action. I think of Gracie as one of my "people" when I write, and consciously give her scenes and space.

Kate Hathway said...

I have to second Joanna's mention of The Loved Dog, by Tamar Geller. It is one of the best books about dog training I've read in thirty years. I recommend it most highly to all of the clients at my vet's, as well as readers here. The introduction has the best explanation of how to understand housetraining issues ever!
As for fiction, I really like the Sister Jane Foxhunting mysteries by Rita Mae Brown. The animals have a part in the story, but not in an in-your-face obnoxious way. For kids, I still think the classics from Jim Kjelgaard (Big Red, etc.) as well as the horse stories of Marguerite Henry and Walter Farly. Even if the are dated, it's not a bad idea to introduce kids to a different time and place - it might give the good ideas!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Let's not forget the classics like Black Beauty and Greyfriars Bobbie. (I saw the statue of Bobbie in Edinburgh. It's still revered there.)

But prepare for buckets of tears.

Just what every holiday wouldn't be without...crying kids.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'd imagine Marley and Me could be added as well. I plan to read it before I see the upcoming movie, but I haven't been able to bring myself to read it so far because I heard it, like some of the others mentioned, had an unhappy ending.

I'll have to get a copy of The Loved Dog--it sounds great!

And, like you, Joanna, in my mysteries Kendra's Lexie is one of the main characters. My real Lexie helps tell me what the fictional one should be up to.

Thanks, everyone.


Terri said...

I love Laurien Berenson's Melanie Travis series. They all revolve around the dog show world.

And for non mystery -- I have to throw in the Misty of Chincoteaque series. I read them so many times when I was younger.

Janie Emaus said...

I'm with you on Marley and Me. I'm not ready for a sad book right now. And the only books which come to mind involving animals are your Kendra books. Those are my favorite!


Linda O. Johnston said...

Those are excellent ideas, too, Terri.
And, Janie, Kendra and I thank you!!

Kate Hathway said...

I'm a day late to add this, but there's a cute book called Harry, the Tale of a Dirty Dog, by Gene Zion, that would be great for little kids (especially boys who hate taking baths!). And Joanna, there's a scrapbooking kit made especially to commemorate our best-loved doggy friends, called (what else) My Dog Scrapbooking Kit. It's from

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