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Dog Lovers Book Club - November 2016

Award-winning animal photographer Alex Cearns celebrates the peace, calm, and joy dogs bring to our lives with this unique full colour collection capturing 80 dogs in their most relaxed and contented moments. 

by Alexandra Cearns

When Alex Cearns caught Suzi the Sharpei on film with her eyes closed and an endearing smile on her furry face, the renowned Australian professional pet and wildlife photographer called this picture of serenity "Zen Dog." 

Captivated by the image’s tranquil beauty, Cearns then turned her lens on other canines experiencing their own carefree and meditative "Zen" moments. This series of photos would go viral across the web and take the top prize in a major international competition.

Expanding on the original web series, Zen Dogs includes 80 stunning photographs of a variety of breeds —Golden Retrievers, Beagles, French Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Poodles, Huskies, Pitbulls and German Shepherds. There are some familiar faces from the online series, joined by dozens of dogs never seen before whose engaging personalities shine through. Sprinkled throughout are words of wisdom from the Buddha, Eckhart Tolle and other meditative masters, inspiring messages that with the photos, warm the heart and soothe the spirit.

A gorgeous compendium for every dog lover, animal enthusiast, and everyone looking to add some peace and joy to their day, Zen Dogs reminds us of the power dogs have to enrich our lives to make us happier, healthier, calmer, and more loving.

Hardcover, 128 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers Inc., 24th October 2016

RRP: $24.99 from leading book retailers and online. For details, visit

by Cat Warren

In What the Dog Knows, Warren uses her odyssey with her own German Shepherd "Solo" to enter the broader world of scent detection dogs, revealing the remarkable capabilities of working dogs, their handlers, and their trainers. 

Taking the reader from crime scenes to training sites and science labs, talking and working with other handlers and trainers, and interviewing animal psychologists, forensic anthropologists, breeders, and scent researchers, Warren explains how working dogs can capture the hidden worlds their noses know and translate that arcane knowledge for humans. 

The book tells the stories of cadaver dogs, drug and bomb detecting K9s, tracking and apprehension dogs — even dogs who can locate unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers and help find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. Working dogs sometimes seem magical, as they distinguish scent, cover territory, and accomplish tasks that no machine is yet capable of. With an additional chapter included in the paperback, What the Dog Knows reveals the science, the intense training, and the skilled handling that lie behind those abilities — and shows why we keep finding new uses for the wonderful noses of working dogs.

Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Scribe Publications, October 2016

RRP: $28.99 from

by Michael Brandow

This book takes a provocative but well needed look at the 'cult of pedigree' and it is an eye-opening and entertaining social history of purebred dogs. 

Why would anyone want a Bulldog with a snout so deformed it can hardly breathe? What's so alluring about a Retriever with a pedigree but so hobbled by hip dysplasia that it can't even play fetch? What force is so powerful that it can compel people to go against all rationality and morality when selecting a pet? Why, good old-fashioned snobbery of course! In his social history A Matter of Breeding, Michael Brandow examines this peculiarly popular form of elitism. Equal parts amusing and horrifying, his biting critique shows what outrageous lengths humans have gone to, moulding dogs into almost unimaginable shapes and sizes to increase their own social status. 

This obsession has had far-reaching consequences not only for our so-called best friend but also for us, as it preserves beliefs about racial purity and class that we're no longer supposed to have. It certainly struck a chord with us...

Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 28 September 2016

Price: US$18.00 from

by Ruthless Photos

Tails of Sydney is a stunning A4, 200 page, full colour limited edition glossy coffee table book. It features 117 Sydney dogs photographed at 85 locations in the city and surrounding suburbs. 

This A4 book is part of the Tails of Australia fundraising coffee table books series and contains over 450 beautiful full colour photographs by specialist pet photographer, Ruth O’Leary of Ruthless Photos. To date, Tails of Sydney alone has raised over $8,000 and 10% of the profit of the sale of each book will also support 3 local dog rescue groups.

RRP: $100.00 at 

For a sneak preview, click on the video below...

Kids' Corner

by Daphne Maple, illustrated by Annabelle Metayer 

What’s better than being best friends? Being best friends who volunteer together at the Roxbury Park Dog Shelter! With a focus on friendship, family, and cute canines, Roxbury Park Dog Club is perfect for tween readers, especially those who love dogs. 

In this third book, Taylor discovers that not everyone in Roxbury Park is as welcoming as her two best friends, Kim and Sasha. A girl at school won’t stop picking on Taylor for being new. Even worse, the Dog Club is under attack, too! A fancy dog grooming shop across town has set up a competing dog day care, and unless the girls figure out how to keep their customers, the Pampered Puppy might put them out business for good.

Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers Inc., 24st October 2016
Ages: 8 - 12 years 

RRP: $12.99 from

by Keris Stainton

The little town of Pinewood can't wait for Christmas this year. They're going to celebrate by putting up a giant Christmas tree in the town square, and asking all the townspeople to hang a Christmas wish on its branches. Everyone is feeling very festive, including 9-year-old Lily - although she's not sure she believes in wishes. Then a very strange storm blows in, scattering all the wishes......and Lily wakes up the next morning to a bit of a surprise. 

Bug, her adorable Pug puppy, can talk! It's magic - and a wish come true! But it's not Lily's wish... Lily and her little brother James soon discover that something must have happened during the storm - the town's wishes have been granted, but to all the wrong people! Lily, James and Bug must work out which wish belongs to who, and sort everything out before Christmas Eve - otherwise no one will get what they want for Christmas.

Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Piccadilly Books, 1st October 2016
Ages: 6-10 years

RRP: $14.99 at

by Claire Garth

The Grover McBane, Rescue Dog series is based on the author’s own Border Collie dog. In this third title, 'Grover, Benji and Nanna Jean', Grover loves his job looking after all the other rescue dogs at the animal shelter. But one day a new dog arrives who needs Grover’s help more than anyone before. 

Benji is blind. He longs for his own home, with humans for company all day. Finding the right place for Benji will be tricky. But when Grover's owner Annie takes Benji to a nursing home, they discover they might have found the perfect solution. 
What will happen to Benji? 
Where will he go? 

Paperback, 128 pages
Publisher: Black Inc., 31st October 2016
Age: 6-9 years

RRP: $12.99 at

by Kes & Claire Gray and Jim Field

This hilarious sequel to the bestselling Oi Frog! will have children rolling around with laughter.

Frog's had enough so he's the changing the status quo! Cat insists that there are rules - only mules sit on stools, no one but hares should sit on chairs and however irritating, dogs MUST sit on frogs. 'Well, I'm changing the rules,' said the frog. 'From now on, dogs sit on logs, not frogs!'

And everyone else is going to have to sit somewhere else too. Will Cat want to sit on gnats instead of cushy mats? Will spiders like sitting on gliders? Will whales be happy to sit on nails? And, most importantly, where is Frog going to sit?

Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: Hachette, 11th October 2016

Ages: 2-6 years

RRP: $24.99. Available from

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