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Dog Lovers Book Club - May 2022

Make a dog mum's day special on Mother's Day with these book gift ideas!

This May 2022 Dog Lovers Book Club selection features our top picks across fiction, non-fiction, romance novels and more plus some educational titles for young dog lovers.

Breed and Blood in Victorian Britain

by Michael Worboys, Julie-Marie Strange, Neil Pemberton

The story of the thoroughly Victorian origins of dog breeds.

For centuries, different types of dogs were bred around the world for work, sport, or companionship. But it was not until Victorian times that breeders started to produce discrete, differentiated, standardised breeds.

In The Invention of the Modern Dog, Michael Worboys, Julie-Marie Strange, and Neil Pemberton explore when, where, why, and how Victorians invented the modern way of ordering and breeding dogs. Though talk of "breed" was common before this period in the context of livestock, the modern idea of a dog breed defined in terms of shape, size, coat, and colour arose during the Victorian period in response to a burgeoning competitive dog show culture. 

The authors explain how breeders, exhibitors, and showmen borrowed ideas of inheritance and pure blood, as well as breeding practices of livestock, horse, poultry and other fancy breeders, and applied them to a species that was long thought about solely in terms of work and companionship.

The new dog breeds embodied and reflected key aspects of Victorian culture, and they quickly spread across the world, as some of Britain's top dogs were taken on stud tours or exported in a growing international trade. Connecting the emergence and development of certain dog breeds to both scientific understandings of race and blood as well as Britain's posture in a global empire, The Invention of the Modern Dog demonstrates that studying dog breeding cultures allows historians to better understand the complex social relationships of late-nineteenth-century Britain.

Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: John Hopkins University Press, 12th April 2022

Price: $50.25 at

A Lost Dog, Fifteen Hundred Acres of Wilderness, and the Dogged Determination that Brought Her Home
by Teresa J. Rhyne

After losing her beloved beagle Daphne to lymphoma, author Teresa Rhyne launches herself into fostering other dogs in need, including Poppy, a small, frightened Beagle rescued from the China dog meat trade. The elation of rescue quickly turns to hysteria when Poppy breaks free from a potential adopter during a torrential thunderstorm and disappears into a rugged, mountainous, 1,500 acre wilderness park, bordered by a busy road.

In the quest to find Poppy, Teresa will work with rescue specialists, volunteers, psychics, a Native American who communes with owls, helpful neighbours, decidedly unhelpful strangers, a howling woman, the police, crushing dead ends, glimmers of hope, and her own emotional and physical limits as she sits in the wind and rain in the wilderness park for hours each dusk and dawn with bags of roasted chicken and her dirty socks, the human lure for a terrified beagle and packs of less terrified coyotes.

Meanwhile, Poppy encounters heavy rains, a homeless encampment, the Sheriff and his wife, a series of strangers, speeding traffic, hawks, and, ultimately, a world of people willing to do anything to protect rather than harm her. Through an unexpected late night encounter, Poppy is finally caught. After her time in the wild, a surprisingly transformed Poppy reunites with Teresa. Now newly confident and brave Poppy is ready to be welcomed into her forever home.

Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Pegasus Books5th April 2022

Price: $35.50 from

Weird and Wacky Facts about Our Canine Friends

by Mike Darton

Schott's Original Miscellany was a publishing phenomenon. It sired a host of sequels and parodies. But no matter how patiently and for how many years they begged, the potential canine readership was continually left to pine. Until now!

Dog Lover's Trivia
is how the original would have appeared had its creator been an obsessive dog owner. Or, indeed, a very literate dog. It parodies the randomness of entry and stylishness of design of the original, but is created entirely for dogs and their doting owners and admirers. The result is a fascinating collection of dog-related facts, including gems such as:

✔️ Dog epigraphs
✔️ The origins of dog names
✔️ An international guide to the word "dog"
✔️ The oldest dog
✔️ Weights and breeds
✔️ Crufts winners
✔️ Aesop's fabled dogs
✔️ Most popular breeds
✔️ Dog bite statistics
✔️ Lassie
✔️ And dogs on the Titanic

The perfect coffee table book to paw through at random or the latest addition to
 your home library.

Hardcover, 96 pages
Published: 28th September 2021

RRP: $19.95 at

by Jill Staunton

Daniel O'Callaghan, an ex-combat dog handler, decides that a long road trip might be the answer to his quest for peace, purpose and a place of his own.

In the outback township of Greenvale, Daniel meets Finneen Murphy under fiery circumstances at the local servo. Their frosty relationship eases when Daniel helps her rescue an abused Kelpie, an action which brings unexpected repercussions. Together, he and Finneen must forge a relationship built on trust while dealing with a Kelpie that is not at all what she appears to be.

Jill Staunton is two-time winner of the Outback Writers’ Festival Short Story Competition.

Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Boolarong Press, 1st January 2022

RRP: $24.99 at

by Zara Stoneley

One dog. Two strangers. An unfur-gettable romance.

Wanted: someone nice, normal and trustworthy to housesit a beautiful cottage in the Lake District while the owner is away on a business trip. Must like dogs.

Wanting to escape from crap bosses and useless boyfriends, Becky jumps at the chance of the perfect escape - rest, relaxation and dog-sitting a very cute pooch called Bella

But looking after Bella comes with a catch, namely gorgeous, brooding, Chris Hemsworth-worthy Ash James, who claims Bella is his dog and will stop at nothing to get her back

Becky's not about to hand over lovely Bella to any Tom, Dick or Ash. She's determined to watch every move Ash James makes... even if it gets her very hot under the collar.

Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins UK, 26th April 2022

Price: $34.25 at

by Casey Wilson

Discover this poignant, heart-wrenching, and ultimately uplifting novel about the unbreakable bond between a boy and his dog that is perfect for fans of A Dog's Purpose and Marley and Me.

In the farming town of Riverside in Washington, Toby Fuller is feeling more alone than ever. Nothing Toby did was ever good enough for his father, but he never expected his father to leave, to abandon him and his mother forever. He loses hope, until a scruffy Golden Retriever called Buddy follows him home from school. 

Though he's struggling to walk, Buddy matches Toby step for step, never taking his eyes off him, as if Toby is all he needs in the world. And from that day on Buddy never leaves Toby's side. Buddy shows Toby a loyalty that he has never known. But then disaster strikes and Toby's life is changed forever.

Will Buddy be able to give Toby the strength he needs to carry on? A tale of how unconditional love can bound into your life when you least expect it, giving you hope in the darkest of times.

Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
29th March 2022

Price: $21.80 from 


by Kate Foster

A rescue story of love and trust between a boy and a dog from the talented author of Paws.

Do you hear that? You’re Cliff now, and your life is going to get better, I promise.

When eleven-year-old Matt finds Cliff, a hurt, neglected dog abandoned in the bush, he knows the brave little pup needs saving. He wants to help. But can he? Lately, Matt has had way more bad days than good days. The pieces of his life just don’t seem to fit together any more and he doesn’t understand why.

He's finding it impossible to concentrate at school and has lost interest in the activities he used to love. Plus, he’s tired all the time. Matt's too afraid to share what's really going on in his own head with anyone. His friends and family will never understand . . . maybe it's not only Cliff who needs saving.

Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Australia, 3rd May 2022
For Ages: 9 - 12 years old

Price: $15.95 from

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

A young readers adaptation of the New York Times-bestselling book Beyond Words which focuses on consciousness and self-awareness in wolves and dogs.

Eye-opening, wise, and filled with triumphant and heart-breaking stories about the wolf population at Yellowstone (as well as some personal anecdotes about dogs), this book 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 re-examine how we interact with animals as well as how we see our own place in the world.

Hardcover, 176 pages
Publisher: St Martins Press, 21st April 2020

Price: $20.25 from

Book 2 of the Cooper the Dog series 
by Michelle Lander Feinberg, Anna Mosca (Illustrator)

The award-winning team behind Please Don't Tell Cooper He's a Dog returns with a delightful new canine adventure. Cooper the rescue dog makes a daring escape from his yard. When he returns home with his new friend, Jack the Rabbit, the fun is just getting started. 

The latest edition introduces a new character, Uncle Stephen, who shares in the fun while watching how the big-hearted mutt befriends someone who is completely different.

Michelle Lander Feinberg's hilarious "doggerel" will be sure to amuse and inspire conversations about diversity and the meaning of true friendship. Wonderfully illustrated by the talented Anna Mosca, this book is perfect for fans of rescue dogs and their families everywhere.

Paperback, 32 pages
Sdp Publishing Solutions LLC, 10th September 2021
For Ages: 2 - 8 years old

Price: $15.25 at

by Helen Morrish

Rupert the rescue dog has a happy life in London with his owners, Mum and Dad, until, suddenly on an otherwise ordinary morning, his dad disappears. Try as he might, Rupert just doesn't understand where Dad has gone, or why.

An endearing story of love and loss told through the eyes of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with characterful illustrations helping to bring his world to life.

Paperback, 66 pages
Publisher: Silverwood Books, 20th April 2022
For Ages: 0 - 10 years old

Price: $48.90 from

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