100 books like Landfill Dogs

By Shannon Johnstone,

Here are 100 books that Landfill Dogs fans have personally recommended if you like Landfill Dogs. 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 Travels with Charley in Search of America

Eyal Halfon Author Of They Were Here Before Us: Stories from Our First Million Years

From my list on traveling the world from your armchair.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I became a filmmaker and many years before I knew what pre-history meant, I was a restless traveler. I was an adventurer and a hiker, fascinated by maps and mountain peaks and constantly searching for the best place for a coffee break. In my list, I have tried to combine my passion for traveling with what is really important in life: people, friends, and travel companions.

Eyal's book list on traveling the world from your armchair

Eyal Halfon Why did Eyal love this book?

I wish I could be there, in the back seat of Steinbeck’s pickup truck…with a 10-year-old French poodle named Charlie.

Steinbeck's travelogue is a farewell to the America he knew and an observation of a country that is changing before his eyes. What a joy it could have been to join this great writer (and the poodle) if only for a part of his 10,000-mile road trip across the USA at the beginning of the 60s.

By John Steinbeck,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Travels with Charley in Search of America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An intimate journey across America, as told by one of its most beloved writers

To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light-these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the…

Book cover of How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

Jacki Skole Author Of Dogland: A Journey to the Heart of America's Dog Problem

From my list on dogs and their people.

Why am I passionate about this?

Do you ever wonder what your dog’s life was like before he became part of your family? Or what your dog is thinking when she stares at you? I’m a journalist, and when I get curious about something, I start asking questions, and I read. A lot. When I started researching the book that would become Dogland, I began collecting dog books of all kinds: novels, memoirs, nonfiction. Now I review dog books for EcoLit Books, an online journal featuring works with animal welfare and environmental themes. The books listed below—a mix of fiction and nonfiction—are some of my favorites. 

Jacki's book list on dogs and their people

Jacki Skole Why did Jacki love this book?

I am forever wondering what goes on in the deep recesses of my dogs’ brains. (Except if it’s 5:00 p.m. and my Labrador-mix locks eyes on me. Then, I know it’s dinner time.) It’s this desire to peer into my dogs’ heads that attracted me to Gregory Berns’ pioneering research. In 2011, Berns came up with the radical notion that dogs could be trained to enter an MRI machine and remain still long enough to have their brains scanned and thus, studied. Many doubted him, but Berns and his Terrier-mix Callie proved them wrong. This is their incredible story.

By Gregory Berns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Dogs Love Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal bestseller.

The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that's uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly "man's best friend." But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?

After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question-use an MRI machine to scan the dog's brain. His…

Book cover of The Friend

MJ Werthman White Author Of An Invitation to the Party

From my list on aging, family, and relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, our public library in the basement of the Methodist church became my second home. However, I considered any visit a bitter disappointment that didn’t result in one or two dog stories in the stack I signed out. Big Red, Old Yeller, Lassie, Lad a Dog, Call of the Wild, White Fang (the occasional wolf was also okay), I loved them all. That experience has continued to affect the adult I’ve become. As I’ve turned to reading, and writing, stories of family, relationships, and, lately, of aging, it’s become clear to me that I’ve never found a story that wasn’t improved by the appearance of a good dog.

MJ's book list on aging, family, and relationships

MJ Werthman White Why did MJ love this book?

In Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend a terrible event (a dear friend and mentor’s suicide) results in the unnamed narrator’s acceptance, out of a sense of responsibility, of an unwanted burden (the heartbroken Great Dane, Apollo−the narrator admitting she is more of a cat person).

I love that by book’s end, that obligation turns out to be a precious gift that assuages both their griefs, serving to connect them to the departed one they both loved. Along the way we, lucky readers, get to eavesdrop on the literary discourse of an agile mind attempting to parse the unparsable as the narrator, a writer herself, addresses both the lost (her mentor) and the found (the dog).

Does the dog die? Don’t ask and I won’t tell.

By Sigrid Nunez,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog.


'A true delight: I genuinely fear I won't read a better novel this year' FINANCIAL TIMES

'Loved this. A funny, moving examination of love, grief, and the uniqueness of dogs' GRAHAM NORTON


When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has…

Book cover of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Eve Gaal Author Of The Happy War

From my list on adventure books that will make you forget reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a survivor. Whether flaming engines on a plane, a hurricane, or breast cancer, I have made many unusual journeys. The way I see it, I am also a writer, and God keeps giving me material for my adventure novels. Of course, I’m also a reader and could fill this page with more than five recommendations. Hopefully, you’ll want to read one of these awesome books. I guarantee they will make you escape reality.

Eve's book list on adventure books that will make you forget reality

Eve Gaal Why did Eve love this book?

This book is so much better than the movie!

I love it because it’s a story about a dog. In fact, the story is told from the dog’s point of view, which, of course, grabbed my attention immediately. I mean, if the dog is going to tell a story, I’m going to listen. Loved it!

By Garth Stein,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Art of Racing in the Rain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture, this heart-warming and inspirational tale follows Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together.

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: he thinks and feels in nearly human ways. He has educated himself by watching extensive television, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo realizes that racing is a metaphor: that by applying the techniques a driver would apply on…

Book cover of Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage

Shannon Lee Dawdy Author Of American Afterlives: Reinventing Death in the Twenty-First Century

From my list on by archaeologists for people who don't dig.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a quiet kid who had trouble understanding people. I preferred being on my own, exploring remnants of logging camps and abandoned mines in the woods that surrounded my small town. In archaeology, I found a way to improve my comprehension of humans and still go exploring the object world. For me, archaeology is not about the distant past, nor about a set of methods. Rather, it is a way of seeing the world. As I write, I try to help the reader train their own archaeological eye in order to re-calibrate their ideas about what is possible in the past, present, and future.

Shannon's book list on by archaeologists for people who don't dig

Shannon Lee Dawdy Why did Shannon love this book?

If we have gotten better at recycling waste in the last few decades, it is in part thanks to Bill Rathje's invention of garbology. His innovative application of archaeological excavation and analysis techniques on American landfills proved that an archaeology of contemporary life is not only possible, but can contribute to solving today's problems. Before Rathje, who knew of our disposable diaper problem, or the fact that 'compostable' waste lingers a long time in the urban dump, or that landfills ooze toxic sludge? While archaeologists of antiquity love to find a good midden full of old bones and potsherds, Rathje digs us and tells us, in an amusing and accessible fashion, shocking things about American consumer habits and the waste landscapes that our economy continues to create.

By William Rathje, Cullen Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is from the discards of former civilizations that archaeologists have reconstructed most of what we know about the past, and it is through their examination of today’s garbage that William Rathje and Cullen Murphy inform us of our present. Rubbish! is their witty and erudite investigation into all aspects of the phenomenon of garbage. Rathje and Murphy show what the study of garbage tells us about a population’s demographics and buying habits. Along the way, they dispel the common myths about our “garbage crisis”—about fast-food packaging and disposable diapers, about biodegradable garbage and the acceleration of the average family’s…

Book cover of Jasper's Day

E.B. Bartels Author Of Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter

From my list on teaching kids about pet death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m someone who has had a lot of pets in my life––dogs, fish, birds, turtles, tortoises––which means I’m also someone who has had a lot of pets in my life die, because the worst thing about pets is they don’t live as long as we do. I spent ten years writing Good Grief, but really, I’ve been researching Good Grief my whole life, ever since my first pet died. This list includes some classics I loved when I was a kid, and some newer titles that I learned about while researching Good Grief. All are wonderful and will be a balm during a hard time.  

E.B.'s book list on teaching kids about pet death

E.B. Bartels Why did E.B. love this book?

I love this book because it digs into those tough days leading up to a pet’s death––especially when you know what day your beloved animal is going to die because your family has decided on euthanasia.

It can be really scary knowing exactly when the end will be, but I love Jasper’s Day because it shows how one family made their dog Jasper’s final day on earth as special as possible, doing all of his favorite things.

This book reminds me of how my friend and her family took their German Shepherd for a ride along the California coast and cooked her a steak dinner the night before she was put down, or how another friend threw a party and invited everyone who loved her dog to come say bye. 

By Marjorie Blain Parker, Janet Wilson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Today Riley's family is celebrating Jasper's Day. Everything they do will be in honor of Jasper -- sort of like a birthday. But it isn't Jasper's birthday. The old dog's cancer has gotten really bad. Riley knows they can't let him suffer any longer, but letting go will be the hardest thing he's ever had to do. Marjorie Blain Parker's tender story is filled with smiles, tears and the joy of special memories, and Janet Wilson's gentle pastels capture the depth of love shared by a boy and his dog. Together, they speak of acceptance, remembrance and the importance of…

Book cover of How to Steal a Dog

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

This is a wonderful book about homelessness that is full of heart and humor. I love that it explores the question of whether it’s okay to do something wrong, in this case stealing a dog for the reward money, when you’re desperate for money. This is an entertaining way to teach kids about the reality of living out of a car, the choices kids and their parents must navigate when impoverished, and how we often make biased assumptions when we encounter those less fortunate than ourselves.

By Barbara O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Steal a Dog 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?

Half of me was thinking, Georgina, don't do this. Stealing a dog is just plain wrong. The other half of me was thinking, Georgina, you're in a bad fix and you got to do whatever it takes to get yourself out of it.

Georgina Hayes is desperate. Ever since her father left and they were evicted from their apartment, her family has been living in their car. With her mama juggling two jobs and trying to make enough money to find a place to live, Georgina is stuck looking after her younger brother, Toby. And she has her heart set…

Book cover of Whistle for Willie

Stephanie Calmenson Author Of Dozens of Dachshunds: A Counting, Woofing, Wagging Book

From my list on picture books for dachshund lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love dachshunds!  My dachshund Harry has appeared in several of my books including Dozens of Dachshunds; May I Pet Your Dog?; Oodles of Poodles and Doodles (yep, he's in that one, too); and the Ready, Set, Dogs! chapter book series written with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole. I'm a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor and I've written over 100 books for children. 

Stephanie's book list on picture books for dachshund lovers

Stephanie Calmenson Why did Stephanie love this book?

This is a gentle, joyful story about perseverance and growing up. 

A young boy named Peter wishes he could whistle. When he sees that another boy can whistle to get his dog to run to him, he wants to do the same with his dachshund Willie. Peter tries and tries to learn. He tries so hard his cheeks get tired. He doesn't give up and triumphs in the end.

Several other books by Ezra Jack Keats feature Peter and Willie together and they're a pair worth knowing. 

By Ezra Jack Keats,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Whistle for Willie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Since it was first published in 1964, Whistle for Willie has delighted millions of young readers with its nearly wordless text and its striking collage artwork depicting the story of Peter, who longs to whistle for his dog. The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Keats' illustrations boldly, colorfully capture the child, his city world, and the shimmering heat of a summer's day."

Book cover of Pawcasso

Kate Temple Author Of The Underdogs Serve It Up

From my list on hilarious animal characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a big fan of two things… one is graphic novels and the other is funny stuff! When those two things come together I am in my zone. I read lots of graphic novels when I was a kid and I've never really stopped. They are a great part of anyone’s reading diet. Now I write funny graphic novels for kids with my writing partner Jol. We’ve written 20 books to date including The Underdogs series, but there’s more to come!

Kate's book list on hilarious animal characters

Kate Temple Why did Kate love this book?

This one has a human in it but also a dog – the world’s cutest and sweetest dog Pawcasso.

So it’s not as side-splitting as my other recommendation but after all that laughing you’ll need to settle down with this heart-warming tale or should I say tail!

This is a story all about friendship and belonging and it will make you feel terrific! 

By Remy Lai,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pawcasso 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?

Remy Lai, the award-winning creator of Pie in the Sky makes her middle-grade graphic novel debut, Pawcasso, about the unexpected friendship between the loneliest girl in class and the coolest canine in town.

A Booklist Editors' Choice Winner for 2021, Amazon Best Book of the Month, New York Public Library Best Book of the Year, and Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year

"It's tail-wagging entertaining!" ―Kelly Yang, New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk

Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list, and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One…

Book cover of Don't Eat Bees: Life Lessons from Chip the Dog

Mike Peterson Author Of Chaco's First Day at Work

From my list on dogs we can learn from.

Why am I passionate about this?

Chaco’s First Day at Work is based on my real life furry best friend, Chaco. Chaco is a Miniature Australian Shepherd and has been an amazing companion over the last 13 years. I work in Human Resources and am always focused on developing leaders in the company and am surprised by some of the things that people do. There are not many children’s books about leadership so I thought it would be great to pass along some new leadership lessons early to children through Chaco’s First Day at Work

Mike's book list on dogs we can learn from

Mike Peterson Why did Mike love this book?

This is more of a fun story than a life lesson. There are more lessons about what not to do that what you should do. That being said it’s a very cute book that does have one very important lesson: Don’t eat bees or they will sting you! This is story I wish I read as a kid before learning about bees the hard way. 

By Dev Petty, Mike Boldt (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Eat Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The comic duo that brought you I Don't Want to Be a Frog is back, with Chip the dog, a hilarious new character who's got some "wisdom" to share.

Are you a dog in need of advice? Fear not: Chip the dog is ON IT in this super-silly guide to living your best canine life. Chip is seven; he knows things. Like what to eat (important papers, the fancy bird the humans cooked for the fancy dinner, Grandpa’s teeth), and what not to eat (bees). He won’t get those mixed up, will he?
Pet lovers will see their own goofy…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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