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Dog Lovers Book Club - June 2020

Having spent the last couple of months at home with more time to catch up on reading, your stash of books may have dwindled?

There seems to have been fewer book releases of late for obvious reason but there were a few that caught our attention for our selection of the June 2020 - Dog Lovers Book Club.

The Science that Reveals Our Dogs' Genetic Ancestry
by Bryan Sykes

How did wolves evolve into dogs? When did this happen, and what role did humans play? 

Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes used the full array of modern technology to explore the canine genetic journey when our ancestors first learned to hunt together with wolves. 

In the process, he discovered that only a handful of genes have created the huge range of shapes, sizes, and colours in modern dogs. Providing insight into these adaptive stages in "prose both scientific and poetic" (Booklist), Once a Wolf also focuses attention on how human evolution was enhanced by this most improbable ally. 

Whether examining our obsession with canine purity or delving into the prehistoric past to answer the most fundamental question of all: "Why do we love our dog so much?" 

This book is "a must read for anybody who has ever wondered about the origins of human's best friend" (Library Journal).

Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: WW Norton & Co, 7th April 2020

RRP: $35.25 at

by Lara Shannon 

Eat, Play, Love (Your Dog) is the book that every dog owner needs, to provide their dog with the healthiest and happiest life possible.

Author Lara Shannon has drawn upon her many years of working (and playing!) with dogs as a certified dog trainer and pet food nutritionist, and through her TV show Pooches at Play. Her book is the essential go- to guide covering everything you need to know about caring for your dog from puppyhood until end of life.

Divided into three handy chapters – Eat, Play and Love. 

Lara tackles all the important subjects, from ensuring your dog gets the right diet it needs to thrive, through to how to successfully address common dog behaviour issues. You’ll also find some healthy D.I.Y dog food and treat recipes, brain games and activities to engage with your dog, advice for choosing the right dog for your lifestyle and guidance on overcoming common anxieties.

Eat, Play, Love (Your Dog) will help you to understand why dogs do what they do, and give you the necessary advice to meet the mental and physical needs of your furry friend.

Paperback, 248 pages
Publisher: Hardie Grant Australia, 1st June 2020

RRP: $29.99, available where all good books are sold including

by Hans-Olav Thyvold 

The wisest, funniest, and most inspiring book on friendship and ageing written by a dog you'll ever read.

'The best thing you can aspire to in this world, is company. Whether it's for pleasure or pain, a crowning or an execution: everything is better with company. You might say it all went to hell with Mrs. Thorkildsen, but you know what? It could have been worse, because Mrs. Thorkildsen had me to keep her company. And I had her. That's what we had in common, her and me, what bound us together. We were company.'

"Look at this!" Mrs Thorkildsen says, holding the book open to a certain page, and I again feel the quick jolt of fear that sooner or later she will lose track of daily existence, when I once again have to remind her that: "Dogs can't read."

At a nursing home, The Major, a World War II veteran, breathes his last. Watching over him are his wife and his faithful companion, Tassen, the story's narrator, who is, by his own admission, a couch potato and a one-man dog.

After the Major is gone, Tassen and Mrs Thorkildsen settle into their new life surrounded by books and stories of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen's race with Britain's Captain Robert F Scott to reach the South Pole in 1911. Regular visits to the local library and the bar next door provide all types of enlightenment. And Tassen and Mrs Thorkildsen provide company for each other.

However when Mrs Thorkildsen becomes ill, Tassen's secure world begins to wobble.

Beguiling, poignant, funny and thoughtful, this utterly entertaining novel is destined to become a favourite. 

Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia, 4th February 2020 

RRP: $29.99 at

The Ultimate Book for Dogs and Dog Lovers

by Kate Pullen

A book that celebrates how great-and gross-dogs can be.

Do you take your dog to parties so that you know you'll have someone to hang out with? Does your dog eat better than you do? Do you have a doggy daycare report card stuck to your fridge? Do you regularly remove various disgusting things from your dog's mouth and hardly wince? Then this book is for you.

I Am About to Lick Your Human is a hilarious collection of doggo sentiments and situations paired with fun and playful illustrations. It includes a catalogue of all the things you'll pull out of your dog's mouth, confessions of a dog lover, and a checklist for the soon-to-be dog owner (number one: no aversion to bodily fluids). This is the ultimate gift for canine lovers that celebrates all that is good (and bad) about dog ownership.

Paperback, 128 pages
Publisher: Hardie Grant Publishing, 1st April 2020

Price: $17.50 at


What Wolves and Dogs Think and Feel (A Young Reader's Adaptation)

by Carl Safina

Eye-opening, wise, and filled with triumphant and heartbreaking stories about the wolf population at Yellowstone (as well as some personal anecdotes about dogs), Beyond Words: What Wolves and Dogs Think and Feel accessibly explores the mysteries of animal thought and behaviour for young readers.

Weaving decades of field research with exciting new discoveries about the brain, and complete with astonishing photos, Beyond Words offers an extraordinary look at what makes these animals different from us, but more importantly, what makes them similar, namely, their feelings of joy, grief, anger, and love.

These similarities between human and nonhuman consciousness and empathy allow the reader to reexamine how we interact with animals as well as how we see our own place in the world.

Hardcover, 176 pages
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia, Imprint: Roaring Brook Press, 17th June 2020
For Ages: 10+ years old

RRP: $32.99. Pre-order at

Dogs of World War II

by Kirby Larson

Author Kirby Larson delivers a heartwarming story of friendship, love, and courage, and the incredible contributions of Navajo Code-Talkers during WWII.

Billie has lived with her great-aunt ever since her mum passed away and her dad left. Billie's big brother, Leo, is about to leave, too, for the war front. But first, she gets one more weekend with him at the ranch.

Billie's surprised when Leo brings home a fellow Marine from boot camp, Denny. She has so much to ask Leo -- about losing her best friend and trying to find their father -- but Denny, who is Navajo, or Dine, comes with something special: a gorgeous, but injured, stray dog. As Billie cares for the dog, whom they name Bear, she and Bear grow deeply attached to each other.

Soon enough, it's time for Leo and Denny, a Navajo Code Talker, to ship out. Billie does her part for the war effort, but she worries whether Leo and Denny will make it home, whether she'll find a new friend, and if her father will ever come back. Can Bear help Billie -- and Denny -- find what's most important?

A powerful tale about unsung heroism on the WWII battlefield and the home front.

Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Media, 7th April 2020
For Ages: 8 - 12 years old

RRP: $16.50 at

by Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Did you know that a dog’s nose is 50 times better than yours? 

Easy to read, fun to see, and filled with amazing things, kids (even reluctant readers) will love Ripley Readers - Dogs with Jobs!

With stunning photography and fun, easy-to-read writing, this Level 3 book covers everything from hunting dogs to helping dogs. It's all true and unbelievable!

From the editors of Ripley's Believe It or Not! comes Ripley Readers. Designed to help kids build their reading skills and confidence at any level, this program offers a variety of fun, entertaining, and unbelievable topics to interest even the most reluctant readers. 

With stories and information that will spark their curiosity, each book will motivate them to start and keep reading.

Paperback, 32 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 12th May 2020 
For Ages: 6 - 7 years old (Level 3 - for kids that are beginning to read on their own) 

RRP: $10.95 at

by Bluey

Meet Bluey!

Bluey Heeler loves to play, explore and use her imagination to turn everyday life into an amazing adventure. Learn all about Bluey in this fun shaped board book for kids of all ages.

Bluey has been a phenomenal success since airing on ABC KIDS in October 2018, amassing legions of dedicated fans and hugely popular ranges of books, toys, clothes, games and more. 

It holds the coveted position of being the most watched program ever on ABC iView, with over 260 million plays for Series One, and is the winner of an International Emmy for Most Outstanding Children's Programme.

Board Book, 12 pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House, Imprint: Puffin, 2nd June 2020
For Ages: 3 - 5 years old

RRP: $16.99 from all good book resellers and online via

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