Friday, July 10, 2015

Which book. . . ?

Oh, dear, what shall I read? George, the Dog, or Dogfella? Dogfella or George, the Dog?

This is becoming a question asked more and more frequently as there are always quite a few books out on the same topics: dogs and the military, rescue dogs and rescued dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, and even animal control officers, to name just a few of the recently popular genres!

But perhaps you don’t want to read all of the books on one topic (unless you love the subject) and may not have the money to purchase more than one, so which one is the best? How do you find out?

This is a question I often am asked. My reply is, ‘It depends!”

Start with the Reviews

And, of course, find a book reviewer whose reviews you like, who tells it like it is (the good, the bad and the ugly), who has the same interests as you (e.g., DogEvals), and then, rely on that site as a place from which to start.

Two Examples

Some currently popular dogs-and-the-military books include Saving Cinnamon (previously reviewed as 44 Days out of Kandahar) War Dogs, The Dog Who Could Fly, Sergeant Stubby, Dogs of War, One Dog at a Time* (with a half dozen more reviews to come) and, recently, DogEvals reviewed Dogfella and George, the Dog, John, the Artist – both, books about ex-cons and the dogs who saved them.

This One or That One?

If you like British books, if you like street art, choose George, the Dog, but if you prefer New York City, the Mafia, TV shows (the Oprah Winfrey Network) and dog and cat rescues and shelters, then Dogfella is for you. If cuss words turn you off, select another book.

On the other hand, George, the Dog, is a story that must be non-fiction: nobody could make up a life like John’s. Dogfella is more plausible, but still, with the Mafia. . . .

Magic? Yes, Magic!

I could easily compare these two books based on style, theme, character development, or any one of the myriad other ‘things’ an English major learns to observe and evaluate, but I was not an English major! So, if I like a book, it is because it has magic in the writing, causing me to stay up all night at times. Such a book is unforgettable. And, yes, I sometimes disagree with other reviewers.

In a nutshell, I preferred Dogfella over George, the Dog, but I loved the drawings in George!

*Review to appear next (I reviewed One Dog at a Time years ago but forgot to post it!)

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