Top Dog Books

Subject Guides Books Reading Lists Top Dog Books

Fiction and nonfiction about dogs, selected by Forbes Library librarians. January 2011.


  • The Art of Racing in the Rain: a novel by Garth Stein
    Evaluating his life on the eve of his death, atypical canine Enzo considers the sacrifices his master, Denny Swift, has made in his pursuit of becoming a professional race car driver; the painful custody battle between Denny and his in-laws, and the dog's own efforts to preserve the Swift family.

  • Bride & Groom: a dog lover's mystery by Susan Conant
    On the eve of her wedding to her veterinarian lover, dog trainer Holly Winter becomes caught up in an investigation into a serial killer who appears to be targeting female dog lovers, a case complicated by Holly's discovery that she may be next on the killer's list of potential victims.

  • A Nose for Justice: a novel by Rita Mae Brown
    After a water-rights standoff in Nevada escalates into murder and Mags Rogers' great-aunt, Jeep, becomes a prime suspect, it is up to Mags; her wire-haired dachshund, Baxter; and Jeep's German Shepherd mix, King, to sniff out the real killer.

  • To Fetch a Thief: a Chet and Bernie mystery by Spencer Quinn
    When the elephant star of a traveling circus goes missing along with her trainer, canine detective Chet and his human partner, Bernie Little, follow the missing elephant's scent out into the desert, where some dangerous people would prefer that Chet and Bernie disappear.

  • I Thought You Were Dead: a love story: a novel by Pete Nelson
    As Paul Gustavson's life falls apart he is anchored by Stella, an adoring dog who listens to his every complaint.

  • Dog Tags by David Rosenfelt
    Dog-loving lawyer Andy Carpenter plunges into a high profile murder case in which a rogue German shepherd police dog may be the only hope for its owner, an Iraq war vet and former-cop-turned-thief accused of murder.

  • Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, and Lani Diane Rich
    Three women--Abby, Daisy, and Shar--and their dogs become caught up in a battle against an ancient goddess who has seized control of southern Ohio as part of a plan to regain her powers and enslave all humankind.

  • Nose Down, Eyes Up: a novel by Merrill Markoe
    Living rent-free as a handyman in the L.A. summer house of a wealthy retired couple following his nasty divorce, forty-seven-year-old Gil is baffled by his relationships with women, including his current girlfriend Sara, an animal communicator, who teaches him how to converse freely with his four dogs.

  • Dog: a novella by Michelle Herman
    When single, childless, and cynical J. T. Rosen, a college professor and poet, adopts a puppy, she forges a connection with the dog that takes even her by surprise.

  • Sight Hound : a novel by Pam Houston
    In his endeavor to teach his human, Rae, about the power of love over fear, wolfhound Dante simultaneously impacts the lives of Rae's housekeeper, her therapist, two veterinarians, fellow dog Rose, and Stanley the cat.


  • Marley & Me: life and love with the world's worst dog by John Grogan
    Follows the life story of an exuberant Labrador retriever who gets into perpetual trouble and experiences a range of inspiring adventures, from shutting down an entire beach to guarding a seventeen-year-old neighbor after a stabbing attack. RKTD.G893m 2005

  • Dogs I Have Met: and the people they found by Ken Foster
    Foster introduces us to injured California pit bull Jimmy, among others, as well as to one woman who opened her house to 55 stray dogs. RKTD.F814d 2008

  • James Herriot's Dog Stories by James Herriot
    Tells the stories of fifty dogs and their unique relationships with their owners. RKTD.H435j

  • Dog Days: dispatches from Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz
    The author continues his odyssey from suburban New Jersey dog lover to owner of Bedlam Farm in rural, upstate New York, profiling the four dogs and other animals who share his life, and capturing the experience of life with animals.' RKTD.K159d 2007'

  • Merle's Door: lessons from a freethinking dog by Ted Kerasote
    Describes how the author adopted a wild dog by installing a dog door so that the dog could live both inside and outside, in a study of the human-dog partnership, animal consciousness and behavior, and how dogs might live if they can make some of their own decisions. RKTD.K458m 2007

Category: Reading Lists

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