Friday, August 24, 2012

A Dog Is Listening

A Dog Is Listening: The Way Some of Our Closest Friends View Us by Roger A Caras on Amazon

A Dog Is Listening CoverThis is the second of Caras' pair of books about most people's most familiar household companions, domestic felines and canines. For the title, the author picks up on the very very well-known phenomenal acuity and range of dogs' hearing. The book design is identical to that of A Cat Is Watching, and in this book also, I love the line drawings featuring snippets of dog anatomy for each chapter heading. Chapter 12 describes and lists members of each (at the time of writing and publication, 1992) American Kennel Club-recognized groups of dogs: Terrier; Non-Sporting; Herding; Sporting; Hound; and Working. As someone who loves dogs but doesn't know them the way I almost instinctively "get" cats, I especially enjoyed and appreciated the history, anecdotes, and stories in the book. Similar to A Cat Is Watching, this book give the reader a sense of what's it's like to live with dogs who adore you rather than with cats who demand to be worshiped. A Dog Is Listening fully is worth any animal lover's acquiring, reading, and re-reading.

my amazon review: dogs in the household

A Cat Is Watching

A Cat Is Watching: A Look at the Way Cats See Us by Roger A Caras on Amazon

A Cat Is Watching cover A Cat Is Watching was the earlier of Roger Caras' pair of books about most people's most familiar companion animals, domestic felines and canines. He writes from lifelong knowledge—sometimes specifically about the Cats of Thistle Hill Farm. Caras' stories and observations are engaging, and even as someone who has lived with cats and known cats for a long time, I learned some new information. B&W photographs and drawings enhance the book and I love the chapter headings that each feature a line drawing of part of a cat's anatomy! Including an extensive index also was a smart move. This is the kind of book you might enjoy on a rainy afternoon or evening or carry to the beach for some pleasure reading. A Cat Is Watching definitely is worth finding at the book shop or yard sale, or borrowing from the library more than once.

my amazon review: felines and friendships

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's a dog's life

It's a dog's life by Mark Stern on Amazon

It's a dog's life coverQuite a while ago I picked up this socialist dog's book and decided it needed a review and a blog. Mark Stern's illustrations are fresh and fabulous! Author Stern follows and narrates the experiences of Patch, a dog whose days progress from true happiness with his simple life in the hood to the production and marketing by someone else of a great idea he has dreamt of.

The "someone else" overdog then It's a dog's life backco-ops Patch's entire existence, along the way setting up himself and his expansively growing company in superfluous luxury—no surprise?! Eventually Patch escapes from being an enslaved cog – and worse – in the means of production and returns to "the true joys of life: fresh air, grass and trees," alongside his sweetheart Honey.

Call it a cautionary tale, a cogent example of "I told you so," or a vision of a more just society that features "what's really important," It's a dog's life is enough to make a human think, think again, and reconsider their own dreams and priorities.

my amazon review: from happiness, to utility, to happiness...