Saturday, May 12, 2012

Doggone literature

After venting  in my last post about the folly of forming a book group from a load of dog lovers I discussed the matter with a friend. She immediately observed that I was barking up the wrong tree and there was nothing wrong with the premise, but that where we went wrong was in not restricting our reading to animal books and most particularly to books about dogs. She assured me that this would have minimised conflict because our thoughts would not have strayed to potentially contentious non-doggie issues.

Her recommended reading list included:

101 Dalmations
Red Dog
Rin Tin Tin 
Black Dog
Old Yeller
Blackfriars Bobby
Harry the Dirty Dog
The Diggingest Dog
Marley and Me
Hairy McClary
Lady & the Tramp
The Poky Little Puppy
The Call of the Wild
The Incredible Journey
Spot the Dog
The Hound of the Baskervilles

She also considered Tarka the Otter, My Friend Flicker, Babe and all the works of Beatrix Potter safe territory.

I can't test her hypothesis. We read what we read.  I can't recast Fairbridge Farm where David Hill spent his formative years, despite the near bestiality of many of the priestly practices, as an animal shelter nor can I turn Love In A Cold Climate, animalistic though it already is, what with 'that sewer of a dog' and the various Mitford sisters referring to their pregnancies as being 'in pig', into a kind of bitchy Wind in the Willows!

We were stuck with works of fiction and non-fiction about actual human beings, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. It is human to explore, to identify, to support, to quarrel, to disappoint, to move on in our individual journeys. Yesterday I bumped into the sister who was ostracised over the lawn mower incident. I realised that I like her a lot and want to talk to her about more than books. At the same time some of my most interesting talks about books are with people who wouldn't go near a book group. 

Perhaps I could found a group called the society of people from quite varied backgrounds, who like a wide range of different things, may or may not have a dog or cat and enjoy  each others' company. Wonder if that name is already taken in Google Groups?

I am still open to reading suggestions!


SandyDe said...

How about:
The Lives of Monster Dogs, by Kirsten Bakis;
The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O'Hagan or
You Had Me At Woof by Julie Klam
and yes these are real books!

SandyDe said...

How about:
The Lives of Monster Dogs,
By Kirsten Bakis
The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe,
By Andrew O'Hagan or my personal favourite title:
You Had Me At Woof, By Julie Klam

Alice said...

These sound somewhat more sophisticated than the ones I'd considered. I'm actually tempted to read them. Oh, and I forgot 'Flush' Virginia Woolf's biography of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's spaniel!