100 books like Dog Is Love

By Clive D.L. Wynne,

Here are 100 books that Dog Is Love fans have personally recommended if you like Dog Is Love. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself

Meredith May Author Of Loving Edie: How a Dog Afraid of Everything Taught Me to Be Brave

From my list on dogs who make us better humans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent the last 21 years in the company of a golden retriever, all through my career as a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer – and ever since I left the paper in 2015 to write memoirs. I wrote a memoir for an Iranian child soldier, a memoir about my childhood beekeeping with my grandfather in Big Sur, and it was only a matter of time before I turned to my dog for inspiration. After two perfectly happy golden retrievers, Edie’s extreme anxiety baffled me: I hired trainers, behaviorists, specialist veterinarians, read everything I could on the canine brain, tried CBD oil, and even a pet psychic to understand her emotions.  

Meredith's book list on dogs who make us better humans

Meredith May Why did Meredith love this book?

Put a golden retriever on a book cover and I’m sold. From the opening scene, when Julie has a panic attack in her New York kitchen, I was pulled into this heart-cracking memoir about a young woman haunted by unresolved childhood trauma. She tries all the usual methods to combat depression, from therapy to Zoloft, yet the magic pill is found in the love of a golden retriever named Bunker. Having something else to take care of helped Julie get outside her own head. I felt a kinship with Julie; that sometimes the way a dog looks at you with such love in their eyes is the only thing that can make up for the ways we weren’t seen as kids.

By Julie Barton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An honest and deeply moving debut memoir about a young woman's battle with depression and how her dog saved her life

A New York Times Bestseller

"Dog Medicine simply has to be your next must-read." -Cheryl Strayed

At twenty-two, Julie Barton collapsed on her kitchen floor in Manhattan. She was one year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie's incoherent phone call, her mother raced from Ohio to New York and took her home.

Haunted by troubling childhood memories, Julie continued to sink into suicidal depression. Psychiatrists, therapists, and family tried to intervene, but nothing reached her until…


Book cover of Free Days with George: Learning Life's Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog

Meredith May Author Of Loving Edie: How a Dog Afraid of Everything Taught Me to Be Brave

From my list on dogs who make us better humans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent the last 21 years in the company of a golden retriever, all through my career as a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer – and ever since I left the paper in 2015 to write memoirs. I wrote a memoir for an Iranian child soldier, a memoir about my childhood beekeeping with my grandfather in Big Sur, and it was only a matter of time before I turned to my dog for inspiration. After two perfectly happy golden retrievers, Edie’s extreme anxiety baffled me: I hired trainers, behaviorists, specialist veterinarians, read everything I could on the canine brain, tried CBD oil, and even a pet psychic to understand her emotions.  

Meredith's book list on dogs who make us better humans

Meredith May Why did Meredith love this book?

This has to be the coolest story of reinvention – man gets unexpectedly dumped by his wife, moves to a California beach town, rescues a 140-lb neglected Newfoundland, and teaches him how to surf with him on his longboard. Man and dog are both traumatized, and the scenes of their slow dance around one another in a tiny apartment are so sweet and awkward, like the slapstick 80’s sitcoms I grew up watching. I love stories like this that make me believe in fate, that Colin and his dog George were destined to give each other a second chance. When they start winning dog surf competitions, I was cheering out loud. It’s quirky, brilliant, and badass all wrapped in one. 

By Colin Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Free Days with George as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller..!!  A heartwarming, true story about George, a rescue dog who helps his owner rediscover love and happiness. Marley & Me meets Tuesdays with Morrie and The Art of Racing in the Rain--get your tissues ready, animal lovers!

After Colin Campbell went on a short business trip abroad, he returned home to discover his wife of many years had moved out. No explanations. No second chances. She was gone and wasn't coming back. Shocked and heartbroken, Colin fell into a spiral of depression and loneliness.
Soon after, a friend told Colin about a dog in need…


Book cover of Lily and the Octopus

Dianne Wolfer Author Of The Shark Caller

From my list on books with an important octopus character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love wild empty beaches, traveling to unusual places, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. These interests combined one year when my family spent Christmas at a remote dive resort in Papua New Guinea. I was fascinated by the colourful reef creatures, nudibranchs, coral, anemones, reef sharks, and octopuses. Then I heard about the ancient practice of shark calling…I write across genres and researched anthropomorphism in children’s literature for my PhD, with The Shark Caller and The Dog with Seven Names being my linked creative works. I live near the ocean in southwestern Australia, am a bookworm, and a full-time author of 25 titles (and counting). 

Dianne's book list on books with an important octopus character

Dianne Wolfer Why did Dianne love this book?

This book made me laugh and cry, and all the emotions in between.

Dogs and anthropomorphism are two of my favourite things, so I was totally on board from the start. The characters jumped off the page into my imagination. Beautifully written, Lily and the Octopus is a true-to-life story with enormous heart. The octopus character is compelling and creepy.

By Steven Rowley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lily and the Octopus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Intelligently written, finely observed and surprisingly moving, this is a book you'll find hard to put down' GRAEME SIMSION, author of The Rosie Project

Companions come in all shapes and sizes.
Companionship lasts forever.

Ted and Lily -
Enjoy long walks.
Watch films together.
Have been known to share a pizza.
Love each other fiercely.
Have been inseparable for 12 years.

But there is one more twist to come in this tail ...
A charming, heartfelt and unforgettable novel about life, love and long walks, perfect for fans of Marley and Me and The Art of Racing in the Rain.…


Book cover of Gizelle's Bucket List: My Life with a Very Large Dog

Meredith May Author Of Loving Edie: How a Dog Afraid of Everything Taught Me to Be Brave

From my list on dogs who make us better humans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent the last 21 years in the company of a golden retriever, all through my career as a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer – and ever since I left the paper in 2015 to write memoirs. I wrote a memoir for an Iranian child soldier, a memoir about my childhood beekeeping with my grandfather in Big Sur, and it was only a matter of time before I turned to my dog for inspiration. After two perfectly happy golden retrievers, Edie’s extreme anxiety baffled me: I hired trainers, behaviorists, specialist veterinarians, read everything I could on the canine brain, tried CBD oil, and even a pet psychic to understand her emotions.  

Meredith's book list on dogs who make us better humans

Meredith May Why did Meredith love this book?

This is a book about finding unconditional love with a dog when you never got it at home. Lauren and I both had aloof mothers. Mine was lost in post-divorce depression and hers to alcohol and pills. For daughters like us, the unconditional love of dog isn’t just nice, it’s vital. Lauren takes her 160-lb English Mastiff to college, and afterward to a micro-apartment in New York, making every ridiculous accommodation she can for her giant dog. But when Gizelle gets sick, Lauren creates a bucket list full of steak dinners and winter beach visits to make sure her most loyal friend has the best life possible of what remains. This book reminded me that dogs have such a grace about how they love us, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if more of us humans could love that bravely? 

By Lauren Fern Watt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gizelle's Bucket List as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A dog story that doesn't fail to amaze.' Miranda Hart, bestselling author of Peggy and Me

'I laughed and cried. Everyone reading this will be touched by Lauren's amazing bucket list adventures with her dog Gizelle.' James Bowen, bestselling author of A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob

'An inspirational and uplifting experience that will make you feel anything is possible.' Elle

Throughout the milestones of her life, Lauren's big beautiful English mastiff Gizelle had always been there for her.

She was there through the choppy waters of her first relationship, and by her side through…


Book cover of Cormac: The Tale of a Dog Gone Missing

Kat Albrecht Author Of Pet Tracker: The Amazing Story of Rachel the K-9 Pet Detective

From my list on lost dog recovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kat Albrecht-Thiessen is a police detective-turned-pet detective and is the founder / director of the Missing Animal Response Network (MARN). Since 1997, Kat has worked search dogs trained to find lost pets. She is widely known as the leading authority on lost pet recovery training. Kat is a regular speaker at animal welfare conferences. She and her search dogs have appeared on Animal Planet and articles about her work have appeared in People, Reader’s Digest, Parade and many other publications. In 2005, Kat launched the first-ever pet detective academy and since that time has trained over 800 volunteer and professional pet detectives from across the world.

Kat's book list on lost dog recovery

Kat Albrecht Why did Kat love this book?

This is a well-written story about a dog named Cormac, a Golden Retriever, who went missing from his home due to fireworks and the extensive search his guardian made in his attempts to recover his best friend. The owner following leads that came in and how he recovered his dog are an amazing read.

By Sonny Brewer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Cormac -- a dark-red Golden Retriever who has always been afraid of thunderstorms and lightning flashes -- runs away one stormy night while his master is away. So begins a strange adventure that lands Cormac in the back of a red pick-up truck driven by a mysterious woman, takes him to a series of dog pounds and rescue shelters, and ultimately brings him to the suburbs of Connecticut. Meanwhile, his owner, devastated and trying to juggle his family and his new novel, becomes determined to solve the "dog-napping" case, watching his small-town community come together in search of his lost…


Book cover of Devoted

Heather Gudenkauf Author Of Not a Sound

From my list on thrillers and mysteries about dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of my fondest memories have been of curling up with the family dog and reading a good book. This started as a child with our golden retriever OJ, and continues today with Lolo, our sweet but spoiled German shorthaired pointer. Dogs are such wonderful companions, always up for anything: hiking, exploring, car rides, sitting on the couch, and lounging. It’s no surprise, then, that not only do I love reading books featuring dogs I’ve also included a canine sidekick in each of the nine thrillers that I’ve written. I hope you enjoy this dogged list of mysteries and thrillers as much as I have. 

Heather's book list on thrillers and mysteries about dogs

Heather Gudenkauf Why did Heather love this book?

My first experience with a Dean Koontz book was Intensity and wow, did that thriller live up to its title. The same goes for Koontz’s, suspense-packed Devoted – the perfect descriptor for Kipp, a loyal golden retriever who has that magical innate ability dogs seem to have of communicating wordlessly with their humans. At the beginning of the book, we meet Woody, an eleven-year-old non-verbal child with autism who is confident that his father’s untimely death was no accident, but an evil entity that is now after him and his mother. While Woody’s terror grows, Kipp begins his tireless search for Woody, knowing that he could be the only one who can deliver the boy to safety. 

Told with Koontz’s signature page-turning suspense, Devoted is a heart-tugging, immersive thrill-ride, best experienced with your canine best friend snuggled up right next to you. 

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One boy with the power to save the world. One man with the will to destroy it.

The chilling, unputdownable new standalone thriller from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense.

'The master of our darkest dreams' The Times

A mother, a boy, and a desperate battle against the night.

Woody Bookman hasn't spoken a word in his eleven years of life. Not when his father died in a freak accident. Not when his mother Megan tells him she loves him.

For Megan, keeping her boy safe and happy is what matters. But Woody believes a monstrous evil is behind his…


Book cover of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

Samuel Sanders Author Of Your Next Big Idea: Improve Your Creativity and Problem-Solving

From my list on reshaping your perspective through nonfiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

The whole concept of Your Next Big Idea is to change your perspective on how people come up with ideas. It is easy to count yourself out as not creative, but creativity and the ability to generate ideas are something that can be taught. You just need to refresh your perspective on how to look at the topic. These books do the same things for other categories in nonfiction, rethinking kindness, working, play, and changing people’s minds. These are skills that anyone can apply to any field of work (like with Your Next Big Idea) and can change how we act for the better!

Samuel's book list on reshaping your perspective through nonfiction

Samuel Sanders Why did Samuel love this book?

This is a light read around the most recent research around play. It is so easy to drown in work as adults, but it is critical to make time to play! This book is a reminder of all the benefits we get by being free and playing. It is a fun, interesting read with great anecdotal stories.


By Stuart Brown, Christopher Vaughan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Play as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives

We've all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish…


Book cover of Watchers

Peggy Webb Author Of Black Crow Cabin

From my list on books about crime that transcend the genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a small farm in Mississippi and discovered the wide world through a movable feast of books provided by the Bookmobile. The hayloft was my favorite reading spot. I could look across the lake to imagine myself in WWII Paris, the frozen tundras of Alaska, or anywhere beyond the pastures where Daddy’s cattle grazed. I fell in love with words when I was eight years old, a dreamer spinning stories inspired by the ones I read between the covers of my beloved books. I still love words and hear their music as they flow onto the pages of the thrillers I currently write.

Peggy's book list on books about crime that transcend the genre

Peggy Webb Why did Peggy love this book?

I confess: I love the book because of the dog, Einstein. But I also love it because Koontz shines a spotlight on the downside and potential harm of technology and spins a classic tale of good versus evil.

I have never forgotten this book, and I read it on publication in 1987. The story is fascinating and different. But it stayed with me because of the quality of the writing and the unexpected use of magical realism. A dog who understands language? Wonderful. And he was a major character, another surprising bonus for me.

I’m a fan of Dean Koontz because his suspense novels always deliver a great story and always rise above the genre. 

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Watchers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The No.1 bestselling classic from Dean Koontz, the master of chilling suspense, that will thrill fans of Stephen King and the Odd Thomas series.

They escape from a secret government project: two mutant creatures, both changed utterly from the animals they once were. And no one who encounters them will ever be the same again.

A lonely widower, a ruthless assassin, a beautiful woman, a government agent.

Drawn together in a deadly hunt, all four are inexorably propelled towards a confrontation with an evil beyond human imagining.


Book cover of Dog Years: A Memoir

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

From my list on inspiring dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Michael's book list on inspiring dogs

Michael Konik Why did Michael love 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.

By Mark Doty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives?

When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care, to join Arden, the black retriever. As Beau bounds back to life, the two dogs become Mark Doty's companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days - their tenacity, loyalty and love inspiring him when all else fails.


Book cover of A Matter of Breeding: A Biting History of Pedigree Dogs and How the Quest for Status Has Harmed Man's Best Friend

Michael Worboys Author Of Doggy People: The Victorians Who Made the Modern Dog

From my list on the history of modern dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of biology and biomedicine who has always been an outsider. Most of my colleagues have worked on ‘Darwin to DNA’ – evolution, physiology, genetics, and molecular biology. My interests have been in applied biology – parasites, insects, fungi, bacteria, biomedicine, animal diseases, and latterly dogs. It was a book on rabies, that I wrote with Neil Pemberton, that got me into dogs. In our research and writing we explored the wider social history of dog ownership and then, encouraged by the new interest in Animal History, researched how, and by whom, dogs’ bodies and behaviour had been shaped and reshaped, beginning in the Victorian period. 

Michael's book list on the history of modern dogs

Michael Worboys Why did Michael love this book?

Michael Brandow has an agenda. He wants to change radically how pedigree dogs are bred and valued.

He argues that the preference for standardized fancy forms and coiffured coats should be replaced with a priority for dogs’ health and well-being. Dogs should be valued as companions, not commodities.

Brandow develops his argument historically, starting with the Victorian invention of multiple breeds and the very idea of Dogdom as composed of discrete, standardized, physically uniform breeds.

Not everyone will agree with Brandow, but his strength of feeling and the thoroughness of research makes for an engaging, often witty, and thought-provoking read. The narrative combines social and animal history, psychology and ethics, and stories, most entertaining but some shocking.

By Michael Brandow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A provocative look at the ‘cult of pedigree’ and an entertaining social history of purebred dogs—“a must-read for all dog lovers” (Booklist).
 
So-called “purebreds” are the mainstay of the dog industry. Expert Michael Brandow argues these aren’t time-honored traditions—but rather commercial inventions of the 19th century that were marketed as status symbols to a growing middle class.
 
Combining social history and consumer studies with sharp commentary, this reveals the sordid history of the dog industry and shows how our brand-name pets pay the price with devastatingly poor health. It includes chapters devoted to popular breeds such as:
 
• Golden Retrievers…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in golden retrievers, dogs, and behaviorism?

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