The best books about inspiring dogs

Michael Konik Author Of Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures
By Michael Konik

Who am I?

Michael Konik is the author of 13 books of fiction, poetry, and journalism, including Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventure, an LA Times best-seller and the inspiration for the Animal Planet series Ella & Me. Surrounded by dogs since toddler age, Konik is currently the owner of Benji, a Golden Doodle, and Billie, a magnificent mutt.


I wrote...

Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures

By Michael Konik,

Book cover of Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures

What is my book about?

Part travelogue, part valentine to a beloved pet, Ella in Europe chronicles writer Michael Konik's magical six-week journey through Europe with his dog, Ella. An homage to the friend who has "licked away my tears when I'm sad, hopped on her hind legs when I'm happy, and snuggled me when I'm lonely," here is the story of a bond unlike any other-and an extraordinary dog who stole her way into one man's heart.

The books I picked & why

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Stepdog: A Memoir

By Mireya Navarro,

Book cover of Stepdog: A Memoir

Why this book?

Eddie, the four-legged title character, seems determined to destroy his owner's relationship with a new love. But every dog, even the naughtiest, worst-behaved has the magical canine ability to mend broken hearts. This memoir is a kind of romantic comedy between an unwanted “intruder” and Eddie the Protector, who learns to trust and make nice.


The Incredible Journey

By Sheila Burnford,

Book cover of The Incredible Journey

Why this book?

More than 50 years after original publication, this children's book still makes certain dog-loving adults (like me) weep with joy. Separated from their owners, a pack of three animals – two dogs and a cat – demonstrate the loyalty and courage that convinces even those who don't own dogs why they're our very best friends.


The Call of the Wild

By Jack London,

Book cover of The Call of the Wild

Why this book?

Those of us who own small, fluffy mops of cuteness sometimes forget that our sweet little pooches descend from wolves. This classic tale introduces a domesticated dog, the heroic Buck, into his natural environment, where the reward is survival, not chewy treats. Bravery, perseverance, cooperativeness – these are qualities all canines possess, even in the face of freezing cold and human cruelty.


The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me

By Jon Katz,

Book cover of The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me

Why this book?

Enlightening and touching, whimsical and wise, this story of one man's transition to country living is populated by a menagerie of farm animals and a challenging border collie named Orson. It's said that there are no bad dogs, only bad dog trainers. This books reminds us that the dogs who share our lives serve as mirrors, reflecting our best and worst qualities, gently teaching us we can be better humans if we're willing to be more like dogs.


Dog Years: A Memoir

By Mark Doty,

Book cover of Dog Years: A Memoir

Why this book?

No matter how dark and hopeless we sometimes feel, dogs are always there to lick away our tears. This poignant memoir highlights the salutary power in a dog's unconditional love, offering heartfelt insights into why dogs, of all the animals, have so much to teach, and so much to give, even when all seems lost.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, cats, and sled dogs?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, cats, and sled dogs.

Dogs Explore 252 books about dogs
Cats Explore 122 books about cats
Sled Dogs Explore 7 books about sled dogs

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Glass Castle, The Lord of the Rings, and Watership Down if you like this list.