When I was a kid, one of my favorite books to read was an old, beat-up copy of A Dog Named Penny, a children’s novel from the ’50s that one seller of old books on Amazon summarizes somewhat hilariously as “a heart-warming story of two children and a stolen collie dog.” As soon as I’d get to the last page of the book I’d cry a bit—because, like many good dog stories, this one was a tearjerker, where Penny ultimately had to choose between the children and her original owner. Then I’d immediately flip to the first page and start over again. And then again. And then again.
Even as a kid, I already knew two things: books are good, but if you throw in a story about a dog, well, now that’s taking a good thing and making it amazing. A Dog Named Penny is regrettably long out-of-print, but there are plenty of other modern books about dogs you can lay your paws, er, hands, on.
Following is a roundup of some of the very best books for dog lovers. They start with my top five favorites of all dog books no matter the genre. Then you’ll find more top lists by category: new releases, literary books, beach reads, mysteries and thrillers, classics, and even a few titles for your coffee table. All of these books put dogs right where I like them, in the middle of the story.
Top 5 Books Featuring Dogs
- Dog Years: A Memoir
- The Art of Racing in the Rain
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
- How to Be a Good Creature
- A Dog’s Purpose
I wish it were true that like the saying all dogs are good dogs—an unimpeachable fact—all dog books were good dog books. While there are a ton of very good books written about dogs, there are some that just stand out above the fold.
To Be Read with Dogs
Last but not least, I suggest that you read or enjoy these books while in the company of a dog. You’ll be able to pause and get some furry cuddles whenever you need them, for one thing. Plus, you can read your favorite parts out loud to your pet.