The best books for people who love dogs

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m passionate about dogs. Besides being a novelist, I write and blog about dogs for a living. Save a few grief-filled months here and there, there’s never been a time in my life when I didn’t have at least one dog, each one just as special and beloved as the last. My current special beloved is a German shepherd named Dixie, a big, goofy girl who loves belly rubs and tug-of-war almost as much as food and cuddles. Dogs also make the stakes feel higher when there’s an element of danger involved. Sure, go ahead, kill off the main character. Just don’t harm the dog and everything will be fine.


I wrote...

Gone to the Dogs

By Jeanie Nicholson,

Book cover of Gone to the Dogs

What is my book about?

When pet sitter Reagan Dunn finds herself falling for her client’s fiance, her Christian ethics make her choice clear – until her client displays all the red flags she wishes she’d seen before marrying her abusive ex.

A surprise encounter with her client’s fiance, Josh Baker, ignites the sparks Reagan thought she’d never feel again. Knowing Josh is off-limits, Reagan's determined to do her job and leave once it's finished. But her client, Deirdre Banks, sets off alarms that remind Reagan far too much of her abusive ex-husband. Drawn into a reluctant friendship with Josh, Reagan falls in love with his extended family and with the small town of Redbud, Oklahoma and with Josh. She can’t let him throw away his future by making the same blunder she did.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Rilla of Ingleside

Jeanie Nicholson Why did I love this book?

The last book in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables series, this volume focuses on Anne’s children as they grow into adulthood during the tumultuous years of World War I.

With Anne’s youngest daughter Rilla as the central protagonist, Rilla of Ingleside is the poignant story of a young woman coming of age at a time when people thought the world might be coming to an end.

Rilla grows from a spoiled and flighty young teen to a capable and level-headed young woman as she watches the young men in her community – her brothers included – march off to war.

While it’s not central to the story, a highlight of this book is Dog Monday, the little yellow dog belonging to Rilla’s eldest brother, whose loyalty as he patiently waits at the train station for his master’s return knows no bounds.

Although it’s the final book in a series, it can be read as a standalone book.

By L. M. Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rilla of Ingleside as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

It's 1914 and the world is on the brink of war. But at almost fifteen, Anne and Gilbert's youngest daughter, Rilla, dreams only of her first dance and getting her first kiss from the dashing Kenneth Ford. Soon, however, even far-off Ingleside is engulfed by Europe's raging conflict, as Rilla's brothers Jem and Walter both enlist, and Rilla finds herself caring for an orphaned newborn.
   As the conflict spreads, the Blythes wait anxiously for word of their absent sons, and a bad omen leads them to conclude that something terrible has happened overseas. Have Jem and Walter been lost, like…


Book cover of Flush

Jeanie Nicholson Why did I love this book?

Flush is an experimental novella by Virginia Woolf that relays the biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beloved cocker spaniel.

Told from the titular Flush’s point of view, Woolf mixes imagination with research, drawing largely from Browning’s own poems about the dog for inspiration, as she portrays the pup’s inner thoughts as he goes from a carefree country puppy to the city dog of a reclusive poetess, and back to the country as the Brownings marry and flee London for the Italian countryside.

This is a story fraught with dangers and full of triumphs and sweet moments that will warm the hearts of any dog lover.

By Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Steele (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flush as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Virginia Woolf's biography of Elizabeth Barrett Brownings spaniel was what she called 'a little escapade', begun to 'ease my brain' in the wake of The Waves (1931).


Book cover of The Darkest Evening of the Year

Jeanie Nicholson Why did I love this book?

Any Dean Koontz fan knows that the author loves dogs golden retrievers in particular.

His books often feature loyal and empathetic pups, often with unnatural or even preternatural intelligence, and this book is no exception.

The story opens with protagonist Amy Redwing on what is anything but a typical rescue of a golden named Nickie from its abusive owner a golden who, Amy quickly realizes, is also anything but typical.

The dog also has a strange effect on Amy’s lover, Brian, who has been plagued with harassment from his psychotic ex-wife and her threats to harm the mentally disabled daughter he fathered. Responding to a particularly insidious threat, Amy and Brian risk everything to rescue the girl, with Nickie in tow.

In true Koontz fashion, the dog’s true nature becomes clear as she becomes instrumental in rescuing both lives and souls from destruction.

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Darkest Evening of the Year as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fast-paced and emotionally devastating suspense novel from the bestselling author of Velocity,The Husband and The Good Guy

Amy Redwing recklessly risks everything in her chosen field of dog rescue. When she confronts a violent drunk in order to rescue Nickie, a beautiful golden retriever, Amy has no misgivings. Dogs always do their best, and so will she. Whatever it takes.

Riding shotgun nervously is her friend and lover, Brian, an architect who would marry her if only she were not so committed to these crazy ... heroics! He blames her work for her refusal to marry him. But everything…


Book cover of Drums of Autumn

Jeanie Nicholson Why did I love this book?

The fourth book of the series that spawned the hit TV show Outlander is notable for a number of things, not the least of which is the debut of Rollo, a wolf/Irish wolfhound hybrid who’s won in a game of dice by the Frazers’ nephew, Ian Murray.

Quickly becoming Ian’s shadow, Rollo goes on to be a constant presence throughout the series, sometimes intimidating, sometimes exasperating, and often comforting to those under his watch.

Rollo is a very good dog and a definite highlight of this dramatic series that’s a wild mash-up of historical and science fiction.

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Drums of Autumn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE FOURTH NOVEL IN THE BESTSELLING OUTLANDER SERIES.

How far will a woman travel to find a father, a lover a destiny? Across seas, across time - across the grave itself.

It began in Scotland, at an ancient stone circle. Claire Randall was swept through time into the arms of James Fraser whose love for her became legend - a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Two decades later, Claire travelled back again to reunite with Jamie, this time in frontier America. But Claire had left someone behind in her…


Book cover of Where the Red Fern Grows

Jeanie Nicholson Why did I love this book?

You may have been slightly traumatized by this book (or the movie it inspired) as a kid in grade school, but don’t let that stop you from revisiting this autobiographical tale of a young boy and his loyal coonhounds.

Set in eastern Oklahoma in the foothills of the Ozarks, the book follows young Billy as he works odd jobs and saves toward his dream of owning a pair of dogs who can accompany him on raccoon hunts.

When he finally obtains Old Dan and Little Ann, the dogs touch his life in unexpected ways, becoming loyal and loving companions as well as the best hunting dogs around. But a tragic turn of events give Billy a taste of adulthood and reveal the divine hand of Providence at work in his life.

It’s a tear-jerker, but it’s a must-read for dog lovers.

By Wilson Rawls,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Where the Red Fern Grows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Read the beloved classic that captures the powerful bond between man and man’s best friend. This edition also includes a special note to readers from Newbery Medal winner and Printz Honor winner Clare Vanderpool.
 
Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.

Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements…


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A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains: A Memoir

By Victoria Golden, William Walters,

Book cover of A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains: A Memoir

Victoria Golden Author Of A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains: A Memoir

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Story teller Book fav swapper Movie buff A writer’s daughter Escapee from Beverly Hills

Victoria's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Four years old and homeless, William Walters boarded one of the last American Orphan Trains in 1930 and embarked on an astonishing quest through nine decades of U.S. and world history.

For 75 years, the Orphan Trains had transported 250,000 children from the streets and orphanages of the East Coast into homes in the emerging West, sometimes providing loving new families, other times delivering kids into nightmares. Taken by a cruel New Mexico couple, William faced a terrible trial, but his strength and resilience carried him forward into unforgettable adventures.

Whether escaping his abusers, jumping freights as a preteen during…

A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains: A Memoir

By Victoria Golden, William Walters,

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARDS

WINNER, DA VINCI EYE AWARD FOR COVER DESIGN, ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARDS

HONORABLE MENTION, ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARDS, E-BOOK NONFICTION

FINALIST, NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS, E-BOOK NONFICTION

FINALIST, NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS, MEMOIRS (Overcoming Adversity)

HONORABLE MENTION, READERS' FAVORITE BOOK AWARDS, GENERAL NONFICTION

From 1854 to the early 1930s, the American Orphan Trains transported 250,000 children from the streets and orphanages of the East Coast into homes in the emerging West. Unfortunately, families waiting for the trains weren’t always dreams come true—many times they were nightmares.

William Walters was little more than a…


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Interested in dogs, Colonial America, and the Ozarks?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, Colonial America, and the Ozarks.

Dogs Explore 402 books about dogs
Colonial America Explore 52 books about Colonial America
The Ozarks Explore 18 books about the Ozarks