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Dog Lovers Book Club - September 2021

Spring has sprung and so has the September 2021 selection of the Dog Lovers Book Club with nine new book releases - including some great last minute gift ideas for Father's Day - that caught our attention this month.

by Simon Rowell

A summer of relentless heat. A local surfer named Ray Carlson is found dead in a house not far from Portsea back beach. There’s a kitchen knife deep in his chest, and blood everywhere.

Detective Sergeant Zoe Mayer is scarcely back from extended leave, and still wrestling with her demons, but she is assigned the case—alongside her new service dog, Harry, whose instincts help her in unexpected ways.

There’s an obvious suspect for the murder, and Zoe makes an arrest. But it’s all too neat, and none of Zoe’s colleagues believes her theory that the whole thing is a stitch-up.
Except now someone is trying to hunt Zoe down.

Superbly plotted, and vividly set in the beachside suburbs and hilly retreats around Melbourne, The Long Game is a mystery about a tough and clever investigator who won’t give up.

Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Text Publishing, 3 August 2021

RRP: $32.99 from all good bookstores and online. 
For stockists, visit

a brief history of an unbreakable bond

by Simon Garfield

A wise, witty, alternative history of humanity exploring how our relationship with dogs has changed over the centuries.

How did we arrive at the moment when a dog goes to the cinema? How did we realise that dogs could assist humans not only in hunting, but also in bomb disposal and cancer detection? When did pawsecco and naps on a luxury bed replace the scavenging of their wolf ancestors? 

From the first glimpses of our early bond on ancient rock art to the latest scientific and psychological insights, from the Corgis at the Palace to the true story of the Labradoodle, Dog's Best Friend is the story of a relationship built over 15,000 years that tells us much about dogs and even more about their owners.

Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Hachette Australia, Imprint: W&N, 31st August 2021

Price: $22.99 (paperback), also available as e-book and audiobook. 

For details, visit

Exploring the Big Questions in Life

by Anthony McGowan

Because man’s best friend deserves to know the secrets of how to live a good life, too.

Monty was just like any other dog. A scruffy and irascible Maltese terrier, he enjoyed barking at Pugs and sniffing at trees. But after yet another dramatic confrontation with the local Rottweiler, Anthony McGowan realizes it's high time he and Monty had a chat about what makes him a good or a bad dog.

Taking his lead from Monty's canine antics, McGowan takes us on a hilarious and enlightening jaunt through the major debates of philosophy. Will Kant convince Monty to stop stealing cheesecake? How long will they put up with Socrates poking holes in every argument?

In this uniquely entertaining take on morality and ethics, the dutiful duo set out to uncover who and if anyone has the right end of the ethical stick and can tell us how best to live one’s life...

Paperback, 336 pages
Published: 10th August 2021

RRP: $31.75 at

How Dogs and Humans Made Modern New York, London, and Paris

by Chris Pearson

Dogopolis suggests a surprising source of urban innovation in the history of three major cities: human-canine relationships.

Stroll through any American or European city today and you probably won’t get far before seeing a dog being taken for a walk. It’s expected that these domesticated animals can easily navigate sidewalks, streets, and other foundational elements of our built environment. But what if our cities were actually shaped in response to dogs more than we ever realised?

Chris Pearson’s Dogopolis boldly and convincingly asserts that human-canine relations were a crucial factor in the formation of modern urban living. Focusing on New York, London, and Paris from the early nineteenth century into the 1930s, Pearson shows that human reactions to dogs significantly remoulded them and other contemporary western cities. 

It’s an unalterable fact that dogs—often filthy, bellicose, and sometimes off-putting—run away, spread rabies, defecate, and breed wherever they like, so as dogs became a more and more common in nineteenth-century middle-class life, cities had to respond to people’s fear of them and revulsion at their least desirable traits. The gradual integration of dogs into city life centered on disgust at dirt, fear of crime and vagrancy, and the promotion of humanitarian sentiments. 

On the other hand, dogs are some people’s most beloved animal companions, and human compassion and affection for pets and strays were equally powerful forces in shaping urban modernity. Dogopolis details the complex interrelations among emotions, sentiment, and the ways we manifest our feelings toward what we love—showing that together they can actually reshape society.

Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 31st August 2021

RRP: $69.90 at

Hurricane Katrina and a Life That Went to the Dogs

by Chris McLaughlin

On August 29, 2005, the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States devastated the city of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. Like many others in America and around the world, Chris McLaughlin watched the tragedy of Katrina unfold on a television screen from the comfort of her living room on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. In the devastation afterwards, almost 2,000 people and an estimated 250,000 animals had perished.

Miraculously, many pets did manage to survive. But in the months that followed the hurricane, thousands of them were fending for themselves in the ruins of devastated neighbourhoods. They roamed the streets in feral packs or struck out alone. Their plight triggered a grassroots rescue effort unlike any this country had ever seen, and while relief organizations such as the Red Cross were tending to the human survivors, and movie stars and celebrities were airlifting food and endorsing seven-figure checks, a much smaller and meagerly funded effort was underway to save the four-legged victims. 

With no prior experience in disaster response and no real grasp of the hell that awaited them, scores of animal lovers, including McLaughlin, made their way to the Gulf Coast to help in any way they could.

Including photos from four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Carol Guzy, Mississippi Barking spans the course of two years as McLaughlin and others ventured into the wreckage of the Gulf Coast to rescue the animals left behind. McLaughlin tells the moving stories of the people she met along the way, both those who lost everything to the hurricane and those working beside her rescuing and transporting animals away from the neglected, derelict conditions in which they barely survived. 

Within this story of tragedy and cruelty, suffering and ignorance, Mississippi Barking also bears witness to selfless acts of bravery and compassion, and the beauty and heroics of those who risked everything to save the animals that could not save themselves.

Hardcover, 208 pages
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi, 26th August 2021

RRP: $43.95 at


by Heather Pidcock-Reed

The special relationship between people and dogs began thousands of years ago. Ancient peoples knew that having animals around had some psychological and emotional benefits. In the 1800s, famous nurse Florence Nightingale began to see that pets reduced anxiety in hospital patients. 

Today, the human-animal bond is readily apparent where therapy dogs are involved. Therapy dogs are friendly and easy-going, and specially trained to provide benefits to people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and many other places. 

Therapy dogs even help out in natural disasters. 

If you love dogs, every book in the Living With Dogs series is packed with valuable information and amazing photographs to delight readers and dog lovers. This series highlights service dogs and other dog heroes and provides readers with valuable information on dog ownership, training and rescue and adoption.

Publisher: Mason Crest Publishers, 15 August, 2021
For Ages: ‎ 12 - 17 years

RRP: $68.25 at

Daley's Dog Tales
by Helen Haraldsen, illustrated by Steve Hutton

Petra is a special dog. She's fast determined and a master at moving without being seen.

When two local dogs are stolen, Petra knows she's the one to go to their rescue, but there's a problem - she doesn't know where the thieves have taken the dogs. Before she can save them, she needs to find them. It's a mission that isn't as straightforward as she thinks.

Can she find the missing dogs and bring them home safely, or will she end up getting caught herself? Petra might move like a ghost, but she's a real dog and she's heading into terrible danger.

The action-packed sequel to The Dalmatian that Lost its Spots.

Paperback, 192 pages
Published: 20th August 2021
For Ages: 7 - 9 years old

RRP: $15.25 from

by Ellie Royce, Andrew McLean

Who’s in your family?

Frizzle and Me is the gently humorous story of a growing rainbow family. It’s a big deal when your family changes, but with plenty of love to go around, even the biggest changes can be wonderful!

Paperback / Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing, 1st June 2021
For Ages: 5+ years old

RRP: $16.95-$24.95 from

by John R. Scannell

When two enthusiastic little boys, Conway and Weston, ages five and three, make a late summer visit to Grandma and Grandpa's country home, they discover something fascinating, something wonderful. Children and dogs can talk to one another. Really talk! 

As the two youngsters play fetch and eat berries with Grandma's three dogs, Grandma's kind, redheaded Chow Chow, Wolfie-the Guardian of Wutherwood-tells them that every dog needs a forever home filled with love, and that every dog has a job, too. Some protect. Some comfort. Some entertain. But every dog's most important job is to love their humans. 

Dogs Really Do Talk! welcomes you to explore that special world-the one inhabited by children and dogs.

Paperback, 32 pages
Publisher: Wutherwood Press, 30th June 2021

RRP: $26.25 at

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