The most recommended golden retriever books

Who picked these books? Meet our 34 experts.

34 authors created a book list connected to golden retrievers, and here are their favorite golden retriever books.
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What type of golden retriever book?


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.

Who am I?

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 Northanger Abbey

Lauren Owen Author Of Small Angels

From my list on books to read in a haunted house.

Who am I?

My interest in ghosts is partly due to growing up in York, which is one of the most haunted cities in the UK. In that city, I think that pretty much every pub has its own ghost, and if you’re unlucky (or lucky) enough, you stand a good chance of spotting long-dead Roman soldiers, plague victims, or ghostly dogs as you walk the streets. This atmosphere has seeped into my fiction; I have written two novels of the supernatural and am currently working on a third. I’ve also made a study of the grim and gothic in fiction; my Ph.D. thesis was largely about vampires (especially Dracula) but also strayed into other monsters and uncanny stories over the past two centuries. 

Lauren's book list on books to read in a haunted house

Lauren Owen Why did Lauren love this book?

This book parodies the gothic novels popular in Jane Austen’s time. Ann Radcliffe, whose novel Udolpho features prominently, was the queen of this genre. Her stories boast chilling elements like murder plots, the Spanish Inquisition, skeletons, evil nuns, and more.

The heroine of this book, Catherine Morland, enjoys this kind of writing a bit too much; mistaking real life for fiction leads her to see murder and intrigue where there is none. It’s a good warning for us imaginative types not to let fantasy run away with us. (There’s no harm in enjoying a spooky tale within reason, though; Henry Tilney, the novel’s level-headed hero, has read Udolpho and thoroughly enjoyed it.) 

By Jane Austen, Keith Carabine (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by David Blair, University of Kent.

Northanger Abbey tells the story of a young girl, Catherine Morland who leaves her sheltered, rural home to enter the busy, sophisticated world of Bath in the late 1790s. Austen observes with insight and humour the interaction between Catherine and the various characters whom she meets there, and tracks her growing understanding of the world about her.

In this, her first full-length novel, Austen also fixes her sharp, ironic gaze on other kinds of contemporary novel, especially the Gothic school made famous by Ann Radcliffe. Catherine's reading becomes intertwined with her…

Book cover of Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

Angela Champ Author Of The Squiggly Line Career: How Changing Professions Can Advance a Career in Unexpected Ways

From my list on accelerating your career.

Who am I?

Although I’ve worked in many professions and industries, a common theme in all my jobs is that I love helping people succeed in their careers. I’ve started or sponsored employee networks that focused on professional development, I’m a certified coach that focuses on propelling a client’s career, and I am a conference keynote speaker on the topics of careers and leadership. Everyone deserves to have a great career that makes them want to jump out of bed on Monday morning and that provides a good living and lifestyle. I love to make that happen!

Angela's book list on accelerating your career

Angela Champ Why did Angela love this book?

You hear the word “talent” used in organizations all the time, with the idea that great workers are talented in ways that others lack. 

But is that true? Are all good workers “talented?” 

In this book, Geoff Colvin dispels the idea that specific natural talents make great performers at work and instead shows us how the secrets and principles of extraordinary performance that can be used to excel in your career.  

By Geoff Colvin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Excellent.”—The Wall Street Journal

Since its publication ten years ago, businesspeople, investors, doctors, parents, students, athletes, and musicians at every level have adopted the maxims of Talent Is Overrated to get better at what they’re passionate about. Now this classic has been updated and revised with new research and takeaways to help anyone achieve even greater performance.
Why are certain people so incredibly great at what they do? Most of us think we know the answer—but we’re almost always wrong. That’s important, because if we’re wrong on this crucial question, then we have zero chance of getting significantly better at…

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.

Who am I?

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 Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

Kari Neumeyer Author Of Bark and Lunge: Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes

From my list on dogs who rescue us as much as we rescue them.

Who am I?

I made so many mistakes with my first German shepherd, Isis, that I wrote a book about her in hopes of saving other people from the same heartbreak and frustration. Then I wound up living with two more German shepherds with similar challenges. Our current dog, Bailey, was undersocialized before we met her, but our past experience showed us how to help her live her best life anyway. My dogs have enriched my life so much that my favorite books are about the ways they save us as much as we save them. 

Kari's book list on dogs who rescue us as much as we rescue them

Kari Neumeyer Why did Kari love this book?

I debated whether to include this book because the author, Iraq war veteran Luis Carlos Montalván, apparently took his own life a few years after it was written, just before the sequel was published. Does that mean Tuesday didn’t “save” Montalván as the title says? I finished this book wishing that every returning service member could be given a service animal to help navigate their lives after experiencing psychological and often physical trauma. I didn’t warm up to the story right away, because it begins with a description of Tuesday’s training before the author knew him. Tuesday comes alive as a character when Montalván describes their strengthening relationship. Regardless of how the story ended, the healing power of their bond is miraculous and Tuesday did enrich Montalván’s life for the years they were together.

By Luis Carlos Montalván, Bret Witter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A heartwarming dog story like no other: Tuesday, a lovable golden retriever, changes a former soldier's life forever.

A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, his physical wounds and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. He wondered if he would ever recover.

Then Luis met Tuesday, a sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. Tuesday had lived among prisoners and at a home for troubled boys, and he found it difficult to trust…

Book cover of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Lauri Robinson Author Of An Unlikely Match for the Governess

From my list on that create great discussions for book club.

Who am I?

As a kid, I read by flashlight under the covers and loved family vacations because long car rides meant hours of reading time (they still do!). I love belonging to book clubs because of the variety. Stories I might not have chosen, but end up loving. For years I devoured romance novels, especially historical and westerns. When my husband said, “You should write a book, you’ve read so many.” I decided to try and now have over 70 published romance novels, 50+ with Harlequin, Mills & Boon, and one young adult book that I co-wrote with two of my granddaughters. I hope my recommendations provides your book club with lively discussions!     

Lauri's book list on that create great discussions for book club

Lauri Robinson Why did Lauri love this book?

This book can be discussed with the young, the old, and everyone in-between. Anyone who’s had a relationship with an animal, be it dog, cat, horse, etc., any special pet, believes they know what the animal is thinking.

This book is in a dog’s point of view. Enzo, an amazing canine, and faithful supporter of Denny, gives the reader full insight to a day in a dog’s life. Actually, many days. From puppy to old dog, Enzo is loveable, laughable, and wise. 

This book provides range of topics explore, including how easily it is to believe that a dog told this story. Months later, my book club still talks about this book.

As soon as I finished this book, I wanted to start reading it again!

By Garth Stein,

Why should I read it?

13 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 The Darkest Evening of the Year

Jonathan R.P. Taylor Author Of Meat: Memoirs Of A Psychopath

From my list on most disturbing stories that you can not put down.

Who am I?

I’m an award-winning British singer/songwriter who you have probably never heard of. Since completing my first novel I’ve also titled many other multi-genre works. My passion is based on anything and everything that has never been done before. I say this; “If you wish to feel happy, take a pill - if you seek a cure, then face the truth.” I’ve written songs about 9/11, The Holocaust, Execution by hanging in Iran – all themes that many would say are ‘unapproachable’. I am a Neurodiverse writer who won the Principal’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Education – let me share that success with you. My disability is a gift, not a curse.

Jonathan's book list on most disturbing stories that you can not put down

Jonathan R.P. Taylor Why did Jonathan love this book?

I had never heard of Koontz until my wife said to me that my work had huge similarities. She is an avid horror reader, I am not – and to be honest I had always preferred films.

If I was going to have my first novel pigeon-holed then this is where she felt it would sit. It was her finding of the onslaught of vulgarity in my own text (of my killer’s rantings) that drew these similarities. I asked her which book was best to start with and she suggested the title: The Darkest Evening of the Year.

I did see similarities in style – a suspense thriller that incorporates the elements of graphic horror, of sexual fantasy, a good dose of science fiction, and of course; suspense and mystery. It was interesting to see how a reader would separate the text of the creator - from them as the…

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 Beach Heart

Leah St. James Author Of Adrienne's Ghost

From my list on series that should be made into movies or TV shows.

Who am I?

Aside from reading (preferably at the beach), one of my favorite pastimes is watching movies or TV with my husband. We enjoy analyzing plots and talking about what we do or don’t like, what surprised us, or how we might have handled a scene differently. It seems the better ones are most often based on novels, usually with strong, well-developed characters, emotional punch, interesting settings, and/or hard-to-guess plot twists. This is my list of stories I think are strong in those characteristics and would make great movies or TV shows/series.

Leah's book list on series that should be made into movies or TV shows

Leah St. James Why did Leah love this book?

This book ticks all my must-haves in a great movie: a compelling story, characters, and setting. Shortly after losing her husband to a debilitating illness, Emma Dance unexpectedly inherits her great-aunt’s beach house where she’d spent happy childhood days. Located at the North Carolina coast, it’s a perfect place to try to hide from the grief and emotional drain of the past few years. Despite her desire to lock herself away from the world, Emma slowly emerges and makes friends, possibly even a new romance. Eventually she finds joy once more in everyday life. While delivering an emotionally satisfying story, the author perfectly captures life at the beach—from the breath-stealing beauty of sunrise and sunset, to the force of a storm’s wind shrieking through the seaside house. 

By Grace Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Visit Emerald Isle, NC again in this single title story about Emma, a woman who spent much of her early life at the beach but then fate took her elsewhere. Now she has a chance to go back and reclaim the happiness she remembers...but is that possible?

Emma Deveraux married Gregory Dance soon after college and now, thirteen years later, she is a widow and about to be homeless. Her husband’s long illness has left her broken financially and emotionally devastated. Over the angry objections of her stepson, Macon, she sold the family home to pay the debts and now,…

Book cover of Watchers

J.M. Unrue Author Of The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

From my list on showing that somebody has it worse than you do.

Who am I?

I’m an old guy. I say this with a bit of cheek and a certain amount of incongruity. All the books on my list are old. That’s one area of continuity. Another, and I’ll probably stop at two, is that they all deal with ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances—those curveballs of life we flail at with an unfamiliar bat; the getting stuck on the Interstate behind a semi and some geezer in a golf cap hogging the passing lane in a Buick Le Sabre. No one makes it through this life unscathed. How we cope does more to define us than a thousand smiles when things are rosy. Thus endeth the lesson.

J.M.'s book list on showing that somebody has it worse than you do

J.M. Unrue Why did J.M. love this book?

Again, another fantasy writer whose proliferation causes us to overlook sheer artistry.

This is a stellar story, ahead of its time, the good/evil paradigm framed in genetic experimentation. The lead character, a dog—and anyone who follows Koontz knows his affinity for golden retrievers—is a whole being and a gentle soul. Even anti-fantasy snobs would love this book. It’s a great contemporary fairy tale and a harbinger. 

As a footnote to this, most of the songs on my playlists are also forty-plus years old. Why tinker with success?

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

2 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 Killer Music

Barbara Hinske Author Of Guiding Emily

From Barbara's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Home goods is my happy place Happy ending addict Downton Abbey’s biggest fan Wife Mother

Barbara's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Barbara Hinske Why did Barbara love this book?

I love a good mystery, and this first in the series from Tammy L. Grace is a favorite of mine. Full of twists and turns, with suspects around every corner, it also has characters who pulled me in and made me care about them.

The main character is a lawyer-turned-private detective named Coop, who has a humorous snark about him. Coop’s loyal golden retriever is always by his side. His Aunt Camille provides a roof over his head on her huge estate and keeps him well-fed with all her southern cooking.

The food descriptions will have your mouth watering. The quirky supporting cast of characters gets involved in Coop’s cases (whether he wants them to or not), and together, they solve what seems to be an unsolvable murder.

This is a fast-paced mystery that kept me guessing until the end and made me want to continue the series.

By Tammy L. Grace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A murdered music mogul. A high-and-mighty widow. To take down a killer, he’ll shake Nashville to its knees.

***Gold Medal Mystery Winner in the Global eBook Awards***

When private detective Cooper “Coop” Harrington meets record label mogul Grayson Taylor at a swank gathering of country music artists and politicians he never imagines he’ll be investigating his brutal murder less than twenty-four hours later.

The suspects are plentiful. More than a handful of people could have wanted him dead. Retained by Taylor’s widow, Coop works alongside his best friend and Chief of Detectives, Ben Mason. The investigation leads Coop and Ben…